Housing & Residence Life

Woodlawn Residential Commons

1156 East 61st Street Chicago, IL 60637

  • 11 Houses
  • Room Types: Singles, Doubles, Apartments
  • Dining Hall: Woodlawn Dining Commons
  • Built: 2020

This residence hall was designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects and constructed by Turner Construction. Ground was broken in 2018 and the hall opened in Autumn 2020.

Woodlawn Residential Commons is located on the southern side of campus, a few minutes’ walk from the main Quadrangles. The hall houses eleven vibrant communities, which are comprised of two distinct residence hall communities (East and West), each with their own complement of Resident Heads and Resident Assistants, charged with community building. The hall has two Resident Dean couples, (one for each side) who act as intellectual stewards for the residents.

Assistant Director of Residence Life (Woodlawn East): Bethel Kifle

Assistant Director of Residence Life (Woodlawn West): Aliya Syed

Assistant Director of Operations: Jessica Herron

Standard Room Furniture:

  • XL Twin Bed
  • Dresser
  • Wardrobe or Closet
  • Desk and Chair

Resident Deans

Thomas Christensen and family pose outside near bushes.

Thomas and Clara Christensen

Resident Deans, Woodlawn Residential Commons East

Thomas is the Avalon Foundation Professor of Music and the Humanities at the University of Chicago, where he has taught for more than 20 years. His musical tastes run from the music of Bach to contemporary jazz and the American Musical. Born and raised in New Hampshire, he received his PhD from Yale University. Among other positions, he has served as Master of the Humanities Collegiate Division and Associate Dean in the Division of Humanities.

Clara is originally from Busan, South Korea. She holds a DMA degree in piano performance from the University of Iowa. For many years she was active as a professional pianist giving recitals and concerts in Asia, Europe and America. Today she has an active piano studio in Hyde Park where she remains busy as a piano instructor and performer in chamber music recitals. She is also an avid cook.

Thomas and Clara are excited to take the helm as Resident Deans for WRC-East along with their two children, Eddie and Katharine, as well as their Golden Retriever, Millie.


House Communities


  • Baker Shield
  • Casner Shield
  • Fama Shield
  • Gallo Shield
  • Rustandy Shield
  • Yovovich Shield


  • Chenn Shield
  • Eka Shield
  • Han Shield
  • Liew Shield
  • Markovitz Shield