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House and Learning Community Program

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The mission of the Chicago Medical School (CMS) Learning Communities (LCs) is to support the professional development of medical students by fostering an environment of academic excellence, professionalism, leadership, health and wellness, teamwork, mentorship, and interprofessionalism. The LCs seek to accomplish this mission by: 

  • Creating a sense of community, collaboration, and support among students, Faculty Mentors, and Peer Mentors.
  • Establishing the continuity of learning, development, and support through established co-curricular and social events.
  • Cultivating professional identity formation through Learning Community involvement and faculty mentorship.
  • Applying a broad range of student resources to reinforce learning, advising, support, wellness, and teamwork.


CMS has four Houses which are each named after a notable CMS alumnus. A House consists of medical students from all four classes. Each class within a House makes an individual learning community — totaling 16 learning communities. Students are assigned to a House randomly prior to the first day of orientation, ensuring a well-balanced LC (roughly 50 students per class in each LC). 

Students remain in their assigned House throughout the four-year medical school experience. Under the Leadership of the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, each LC is supported by a Faculty Mentor, CMS Office of Student Affairs (OSA) LC Advisors, and the Student Programs Coordinator.

The LC House Council consists of elected student leaders in their M1 year for a four-year term. The House Council leadership positions are Chair, Vice Chair, and Treasurer. When M1 House Council leadership transition to their M2 year, they become members of the Executive House Council (EHC), with assigned executive functions that support the overall House and LC events (Field Day, Winter Social, Faculty Awards, and Classroom to Clerkship Ceremony) and Signature programs (MedLEAD, LC CARES, Student Wellness).

The image is composed of four photographs, showing groups of students each wearing a team color: orange, gold, blue, and green. In the center is a crest made up of all four colors.

Student Affairs House and Learning Community Leadership and Contacts

Jessica Lewis

Jessica Lewis, PhD

Assistant Dean, Student Affairs

Allison Cassidy

Allison Cassidy

Student Programs Coordinator

LC Program Support Role: Wellness Program Advisor, Student Events and Meetings Advisor

Kari Brownholland

Kari Brownholland, MS

Learning Community Advisor for Emanuel and Portes

LC Program Support Role: Community Engagement Program Advisor (LC CARES)

Lauren Hoover

Lauren Hoover, MEd

Learning Community Advisor for Finkel and Lipschultz

LC Program Support Role: Peer Mentoring and Leadership Development Program Advisor (MedLEAD)

Nikki Dixon, RN, MEd, MSN

Director of Academic Advising and Success