New Faculty Principals

Matthew Gabriele, associate professor of Medieval Studies in the Department of Religion and Culture in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, serves as faculty principal in the Residential College at West Ambler Johnston.

Gabriele received a B.A. in history from the University of Delaware in 1997 and his Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Berkeley in 2005. In 2006, Gabriele began teaching the European Middle Ages course at Virginia Tech, with a focus on ideas of religion and violence. He has also published a number of books and scholarly articles devoted to these areas of study. He is no stranger to West Ambler Johnston, having served as associate faculty principal of Hickory House since the Residential College opened in 2012.

Rachel Gabriele, assistant to the Assistant Vice President for Budget and Financial Planning/Special Projects Manager in the Office of Budget and Financial Planning, serves as senior fellow in Hickory House for the Residential College at West Ambler Johnston. She received her B.S. in finance from the University of Delaware in 1998 and completed a Masters in Public Administration at Virginia Tech in 2013.

Mathew, Rachel, and their son Ulysses will be joined in West Ambler Johnston by their two cats.

You can contact Professor Gabriele by email at or stop by his office in the atrium of the building at 1319 Ambler Johnston.

Faculty Principal’s Duties

The faculty principal is responsible for coordinating educational programs, fostering academic engagement, and enriching the residential college’s unique culture. They provide the academic vision of the residential college; they get to know residents and their individual interests, and they provide guidance throughout students' university careers.

The faculty principal develops and sponsors programs that support the Division of Student Affairs' aspirations for student learning, as well as the goals of the university's strategic plan. They also participate in educational and social programs sponsored by students and other staff members.