James and Jeannie Evans

Resident Deans — Campus North Residential Commons

James and Jeannie Evans fill their lives with adventure; they enjoy everything from snowshoeing through Jackson and Washington Parks to swimming in Lake Michigan, as James has even been known to do in the winter. As Resident Masters in UChicago’s newest residence hall, Campus North Residential Commons, the couple will share their love of adventure and the city of Chicago while connecting with students and their passions.

James and Jeannie grew up in Southern California and met at Brigham Young University, where James earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and economics and Jeannie received a bachelor’s degree in political science. Jeannie earned her law degree at Harvard University, and James earned his PhD in sociology at Stanford University.

The Evans family has called Hyde Park their home for the past 11 years. James is an associate professor of sociology, director of the Knowledge Lab, and senior fellow at the Computation Institute. He will also direct the new two-year master’s program in computational social science starting in fall 2016. Jeannie is a trial lawyer at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, a national class-action and complex litigation firm.  

The couple has four children, Noah, a freshman at Columbia University; Ruth, a freshman at Brigham Young University; Anna, a freshman at Whitney Young Magnet High School; and Kate, a third grader at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.

James and Jeannie will focus on two themes as they develop programs for their 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 vision, whether that be in business, technology, science, the arts, or social causes.

“College is the time for students to reinvent themselves, to do something, make something,” James says. “Rather than just be passive learners, they have a real opportunity to grow into makers and contributors here.”

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, Luna the Goldendoodle is always up for a pet or snuggle.