Resident Masters make vital contributions to the residential and academic experience at the University of Chicago, said John W. Boyer, dean of the College. “Vibrant communities of learning and friendship are central to the intellectual strength of our University. The College Houses, led by Resident Masters, integrate faculty, College students, graduate students as Resident Heads, and staff, and are a natural extension of the classroom.”
Campus and Student Life and the College have appointed James and Jeannie Evans and Steven and Gretchen Rings to Campus North Residential Commons, while Craig and Kenyatta Futterman will join International House.
“For more than four decades, members of the faculty have provided intellectual leadership to the residents and staff of the College Houses,” said Karen Warren Coleman, vice president for Campus Life and Student Services. “All of our Resident Masters are accomplished scholars, and the relationships they form with our students provide benefits that endure far beyond graduation. We are thrilled to welcome our new Resident Masters into this vibrant community.”
James and Jeannie Evans join Campus North
James Evans is an associate professor in sociology, the director of the Knowledge Lab and a senior fellow at the Computation Institute. He also will direct the new two-year master’s program in computational social science starting in fall 2016. Jeannie is a trial lawyer and founding partner at Agrawal Evans LLP, a business litigation law firm based in Chicago.
With their four children, Noah, Ruth, Anna and Kate, the Evans family enjoys staying active, including snowshoeing through Jackson and Washington parks and swimming in Lake Michigan, as James has been known to do, even in winter.
As Resident Masters in Campus North, James and Jeannie will focus on two themes in the programs they develop for residents: connections and innovation. They plan to help students meet people in fields of interest by inviting guests with expertise in areas ranging from law and entrepreneurship to filmmaking and game design to science and scholarship to Campus North. They’re also passionate about supporting students’ ideas and visions, whether in business, technology, science, the arts or social causes.
“College is the time for students to reinvent themselves, to do something, make something,” James said. “Rather than just be passive learners, they have a real opportunity to grow into makers and contributors.”
Trips downtown to the theater, runs along the lake path, and gatherings with good food and conversation are also in store. For students missing their pets at home, the Evans family dog—Luna the Goldendoodle—is always up for a snuggle.
Steven and Gretchen Rings come to Campus North
Steven Rings is an associate professor of music theory and is also the chair of the Society of Fellows. Gretchen received her master’s degree in library science from Dominican University and works as a reference and interlibrary loan librarian at the Field Museum.
The Rings have called Chicago their home for the past 11 years and are eager to share their passion for the city as Resident Masters at Campus North.
The Rings look forward to raising their two sons, Elliott and Theo, among college students and becoming more integrated with the UChicago community as Resident Masters. “We’re adventurous, and we looked at this as another adventure,” Gretchen said.
The Rings will incorporate their passions into programs they develop for residents. Steve is eager to build bridges between the University’s rich intellectual life and the housing system. “Chicago is one of the world’s great universities, largely because its students are second to none in their passion for ideas and debate. I’m eager to explore and cultivate that intellectual curiosity in the more informal context of the housing system, with a particular focus on music, literature and the arts,” he said.
Gretchen plans to invite staff from the Field Museum to visit the community and speak about the exhibits and collections featured there.
The Rings also plan to get to know students in more informal settings. They’ll eat in the dining hall and will open their door to residents, “especially for students wanting a family away from home,” Gretchen said.
Craig and Kenyatta Futterman join International House
Craig and Kenyatta Futterman have spent many years surrounded by and engaged with UChicago students—Craig as a clinical professor at the Law School and Kenyatta first as an academic adviser in the College and now as the youth program coordinator within the Department of Safety & Security’s Office of Risk Management. The couple hopes their new role as Resident Masters in International House will “keep us connected, young, challenged at all times and learning at all times,” Craig said.
The couple has two daughters, Alijah, a freshman at Stanford University, and Asha, a junior at the Laboratory Schools. Tuffy, a friendly golden labrador, also will come with the family.
Craig, who has been director of the Law School’s Civil Rights and Police Accountability Clinic since 2000, noted, “We are a multiracial, multiethnic and multifaith family. We hope to build an environment that is welcoming to all of our students.”
The Futtermans look forward to sharing their interests with students, which include barbeque, jazz, hip hop, theater, film and sporting events, as the family can often be found cheering on the Maroons at softball games and volleyball matches. They also hope to unite the community with poetry slams and informal conversations with UChicago faculty members.
Kenyatta and Craig value and respect the unique characteristics that International House offers to the University community. Kenyatta said that they will work to continue those traditions, as they embrace student ideas and feedback to create new ones.
“First and foremost, we just want to be there and be present,” Craig said. “We want to have conversations, be it about academics, about life, about their experiences, dreams and hopes. This is the stuff we enjoy and love doing.”