Two new Resident Masters to join South Campus and Max Palevsky residential communities

College Housing has appointed two members of the faculty as Resident Masters in the South Campus and Max Palevsky Residential Commons. Starting this fall, Jason and Suzanne Riggle will begin their tenure as Resident Masters in Max Palevsky, and Philippe Guyot-Sionnest and Caryl Gout will begin their tenure in South Campus West.

“We are deeply grateful for the faculty members and their families who are instrumental in building these communities and inspiring a strong sense of belonging among our students,” said Karen Warren Coleman, vice president for Campus Life and Student Services.

“The outgoing Resident Masters David and Kris Wray in Max Palevsky and John Lucy and Suzanne Gaskins in South Campus West welcomed students into their homes and led adventures in and around Chicago to explore intellectual, social and cultural activities, creating connections that last a lifetime,” Coleman said.

David and Kris Wray have served the Max Palevsky community since 2004. Suzanne Gaskins and John Lucy were the inaugural Resident Masters in South Campus West, and have worked with the students there since 2009.

“As Resident Masters, these faculty members have provided strong intellectual and cultural leadership for the undergraduate communities in their care,” said John W. Boyer, dean of the College. “The next generation of students in the College will similarly benefit from the enthusiasm and creativity of our newest Resident Masters.”

Philippe Guyot-Sionnest and Caryl Gout join South Campus West

Philippe Guyot-Sionnest is professor of Chemistry and Physics, and his wife Caryl Gout is a small business owner in downtown Chicago. Originally from France and South Africa, respectively, Guyot-Sionnest and Gout bring a wealth of international experiences and interests to South Campus.

“I currently interact with the students mostly as a teacher and a scientist,” Guyot-Sionnest said. “I’m looking forward to creating relationships with the students in a new setting.”

Knowing the beauty and frustration of the many transitions that young people experience during their years in college, Guyot-Sionnest said he hopes his family will be a reassuring presence for the students, “especially the science nerds.”

“I would like to bring more science into the halls, and cater lectures from faculty and activities to a multitude of diverse interests,” he said.

Gout professes a love for music of all kinds, and plans to organize trips with students to the many musical and cultural events in Chicago. She also hopes to bring musicians into the residence halls for concerts, jam sessions and talks.

Guyot-Sionnest and Gout play many games as a family, and are ready to welcome any players who can hold their own in Boggle, Scrabble, Pictionary and others.

They are the parents of three children. Marcel, 22, is a recent graduate of Brown University; Stephanie, 21, is studying at Vassar College in New York; and Fabrice, 16, is a high school student at the Laboratory Schools.

Guyot-Sionnest and Gout both have an interest in exercise, though their philosophies could not be more different. “Philippe thinks there is no point working out if you don’t do it well,” Gout said, whereas her motto is to “start slowly and taper off, preferably keeping a lot of breath to chat with friends along the way.”

Jason and Suzanne Riggle come to Max Palevsky

Jason Riggle is an associate professor in Linguistics and the director of the Chicago Language Modeling Laboratory. Suzanne Riggle is managing director for operations and finance at the Becker Friedman Institute and has worked in various other roles on campus in the ten years since their family moved to Hyde Park.

“We think of the campus as our front yard,” Suzanne Riggle said, noting that her family has particularly enjoyed running and playing on the Midway and Main Quads.

Their children, Matt, 8, and George, 6, are also looking forward to the move. “They are friendly and energetic, and love spending time with the College students,” she said.

The couple has already had a good introduction to the communities within the residence halls—Jason Riggle serves as faculty fellow for Shorey House, and is often invited along with his family to lead discussions and dine with the students.

His connections with students recently inspired him to embrace another campus tradition. He grabbed a Nerf gun, tied on an orange armband, and took part in the Humans vs. Zombies game over winter quarter. “I lasted a long time as a human,” he boasts. As the days wore on and more humans fell to the zombie virus, the players began referring to him simply as “The Professor.”

The couple anticipates organizing many activities with their new neighbors, including study breaks and outings to cultural and sporting events. “We hope to combine the resources of the city with the intellectual resources of our campus, to add to the atmosphere of learning and exploring in the residence halls,” Jason Riggle said.

Both families will move into the residence halls during the summer of 2014 and begin programming for the houses and students under their care starting in the fall quarter.