Awardees

2021 Awardees

   

  • Yiting Shen manages the Global External Network for Treasury & Trade Solutions at Citigroup, responsible for 200+ relationships in approximately 100 markets. Shen champions business model innovation. Previously, she held roles in Currency Clearing and Strategies while based in London. She is the Global Ambassador for the Citi Women Leadership Development program alumnae community, where she promotes senior women leadership and champions women as a business advantage. A global citizen at heart, Shen has worked in 10 different countries. Prior to Citi, she was an entrepreneur in education, and a management consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton in London, and she has also worked in mergers and acquisitions in New York. Shen is the President of the Asian Columbia Alumni Association and currently serves on the Board of the Columbia Engineering Alumni Association, and Columbia Engineering Development Council. When in London, she was a member of ARC and served as President of the Columbia University Club of London, which won the first International Club Award from CAA. She holds an M.S. and a B.S. from Columbia Engineering, an M.P.A. from The Harvard Kennedy School, and an M.B.A. from MIT Sloan.

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  • Page Fortna is the Harold Brown Professor of U.S. Foreign and Security Policy in the Columbia University Political Science Department. Her research focuses on terrorism, the durability of peace in the aftermath of both civil and interstate wars, and war termination. She is the author of two books: Does Peacekeeping Work? Shaping Belligerents’ Choices after Civil War (Princeton University Press, 2008) and Peace Time: Cease-Fire Agreements and the Durability of Peace (Princeton University Press, 2004). She has published articles in journals such as International Organization, World Politics, International Studies Quarterly, and International Studies Review. She is currently at work on a project on terrorism in civil wars. Her research combines quantitative and qualitative methods, draws on diverse theoretical approaches, and focuses on policy-relevant questions.

    Professor Fortna is a member of the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. She was a 2010 recipient of the Karl Deutsch Award from the International Studies Association. She has held fellowships at the John M. Olin Institute at Harvard, the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Hoover Institution. She received her B.A. from Wesleyan University and her Ph.D from Harvard University.

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  • Timothy Mitchell is the William B. Ransford Professor of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS) at Columbia University. He served as Chair of the MESAAS Department from 2011 to 2017. Before joining the Columbia faculty in 2008, he taught for 25 years at New York University. Educated at the University of Cambridge and Princeton University in the fields of law, history, and political theory, he works across the disciplinary boundaries of history and the social sciences. Many of his writings explore materials from the history and contemporary politics of Egypt, where he has conducted research over more than four decades. His writings, which have been translated into Arabic and 15 other languages, examine the history of colonialism, the politics of energy, the political economy of capitalism, and the making of expert knowledge. His books include Colonising Egypt, Rule of Experts, and Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil

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  • Thomas Lo is a doctor by day and chef by night, known professionally as Chef Dr. Lo. Chef Dr. Lo is a board-certified anesthesiologist with a lifelong passion for food and cooking. After graduating with a degree in Molecular Biology from Yale University in 2000, Lo began his professional culinary career studying at the French Culinary Institute in New York. He has appeared on numerous network shows and most recently, he competed on and won the Food Network show, Kitchen Crash. After leaving the culinary world, Lo went on to pursue his interest in medicine at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S). Lo was the recipient of the Virginia P. Apgar Award for excellence in Anesthesiology and Critical Care. Lo remained at Columbia for his residency in the Department of Anesthesiology and completed his postdoctoral residency training in 2012. Currently, he is an anesthesiologist, Diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology, and CEO of Modern Renaissance Anesthesia in New York. He has served as a council board member of the VP&S Alumni Association since 2012, and President since 2018. He initiated a five-year alumni engagement campaign, serving as Chair, and has hosted many alumni events including a president’s tasting dinner, where he cooked an eight-course regional Chinese banquet for local alumni. Lo has also been a member of the CAA’s Alumni Trustee Nominating Committee since 2020. At the start of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Lo had the opportunity to partner with the CAA and contacts in China to help procure and deliver much-needed PPE for the clinical front lines at CUIMC, NewYork-Presbyterian, and other major hospitals in the New York metropolitan area. Lo is also the owner and culinary director of Spy C Cuisine restaurant in Forest Hills, New York. Spy C Cuisine has quickly gained critical accolades from The New York Times and received its first Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2020. With the understanding of the molecular physiology of taste, he enjoys playing with the palate by combining flavor combinations and balancing the harmonies of sweet, salty, bitter, and sour. Lo is known for his Sichuan Mind Numbing Sauce, which must be properly prepared and used for dishes to provide the perfect balanced flavor profile. When given in the proper amount, harmony is achieved.

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  • Stanley Shih-Chieh Ko is President of Ko Hospitality Group, a boutique hospitality management company that focuses on three key business areas: representing established brands, helping nascent brands to grow, and creating wholly new restaurant concepts. The company successfully operates restaurant concepts throughout the United States, Greater China, Japan, and Southeast Asia including Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Ramen Nagi Universal Noodle, and celebrated Michelin-starred restaurants Shoun RyuGin and Restaurant RAW.  He is an Executive Director of the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) in Taiwan, and a member of the Family Business Program Advisory Board and Hermes Society at Columbia Business School. He has helped to organize regional alumni events in Asia for the CAA, the Business School, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Ko received his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School in 1999. While at Columbia, he pursued a personal interest by studying in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. He graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a B.A. in Economics in 1992. He is married to Shu Chen Huang with whom he has two sons, Owen ‘23CC and Henry ‘25CC.

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  • Ralph S. Kaslick was a member of the Marching and Concert Bands and the Columbia Daily Spectator staff during his College years. After he graduated, he taught Periodontics part-time at Columbia’s College of Dental Medicine (CDM), became Co-Chair of the ‘56CC Fund Drive, and created and edited a magazine for CDM with the help and advice of George Keller, editor of Columbia College Today in 1965. Kaslick soon turned to full-time academics, joining Fairleigh Dickinson University’s (FDU) dental faculty. He remained at FDU for 23 years, becoming Professor of Periodontics and Oral Medicine, serving as Dean of the School of Dental Medicine for 13 years, and later FDU Campus Provost, achievements recognized by his induction in 2007 into the University’s Heritage Hall. After leaving FDU, he became a Professor of Periodontics at New York University College of Dentistry and Chief of Dentistry and Medical Consultative Services at NYU Medical Center’s Goldwater Hospital, serving two terms as President of the Hospital’s Medical Staff. In 2007 he received CDM’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award and became Chair of CDM’s Visiting Professorship Program Advisory Committee, a volunteer position he still holds today. The Program focuses on challenging contemporary issues that affect the future of dentistry and frequently intersects with such areas as public health, technology, and engineering. He and his wife, Jessica, provide honoraria to the Program’s student scholars, and they also endow a scholarship in Periodontics at CDM that supports postdoctoral students with interest in careers in academic dentistry. In addition, Kaslick is a member of the 1754 Society, Columbia College John Jay Associates, a ’56CC representative to the Annual Dean’s Scholarship Reception, a student mentor, and a regular participant in CC’s mini-core evening classes for alumni. Most recently he was elected Vice President of the Lyceum Society of the New York Academy of Sciences.

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  • Professor Rachel Adams specializes in 20th and 21st century literatures of the United States and the Americas; disability studies and health humanities; media studies; theories of race, gender, and sexuality; and food studies. Her most recent book is Raising Henry: A Memoir of Motherhood, Disability, and Discovery,published by Yale University Press in 2013 and winner of the 2014 Delta Kappa Gamma Educators Book Award. She is also the author of Continental Divides: Remapping the Cultures of North America (University of Chicago Press, 2009) and Sideshow U.S.A.: Freaks and the American Cultural Imagination (University of Chicago Press, 2001). She is co-editor (with Benjamin Reiss and David Serlin) of Keywords for Disability Studies and co-editor (with David Savran) of The Masculinity Studies Reader (Blackwell Press, 2001). She is editor of a critical edition of Kate Chopin's The Awakening (Fine Publications, 2002). Adams’s articles have appeared in journals such as PMLA, American Literature, American Literary History, American Quarterly, The Minnesota Review, Camera Obscura, GLQ, Signs, The Yale Journal of Criticism, and Twentieth-Century Literature

    Professor Adams has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Salon, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Gastronomica, and The Times of London,and has blogged for The Huffington Post. Her essay series Book + Worm is published on Medium. In 2010, she was the recipient of the Lenfest Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award and more recently, she won a 2019-2020 Guggenheim Fellowship. She holds a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley (1990), an M.A. from the University of Michigan (1992), and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara (1997).

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  • Pavan C. Surapaneni is a partner with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, who has a unique multidisciplinary practice in the sports and real estate industries. He has been named a “Sports/Entertainment Trailblazer” by TheNational Law Journal, a “Rising Star in Sports” by Law360, and an “Emerging Leader” by The M&A Advisor. He is a long-tenured member of the Firm’s diversity committee and was selected as a fellow by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, as well as by the NYC Bar Association’s Diversity Bar Fellowship Program. Surapaneni graduated from the School of General Studies in 2006 as salutatorian of his class with a B.A. in Political Science and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures. He subsequently received his J.D. from Harvard. While at Columbia, he held several school- and University-wide student government and leadership positions, led Community Impact’s Peace by PEACE, competed on the ski team, and was named to the Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Program. Surapaneni previously served on Columbia’s Alumni Trustee Nominating Committee and GS’s Recent Alumni Leadership Committee. He has been a member of GS’s Board of Visitors since 2011 and currently serves as its Vice Chair. He previously served on GS’s Reunion Committee and the CU250 Undergrad Student Committee. Surapaneni is also a Director and Secretary of Saving Teens, a Director of the American Alpine Club, and a former Director of the John Dewey Academy. Growing up in Maine, he is an avid skier and ice climber. He now resides in Tribeca.

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  • Paul Neely is the former publisher of The Chattanooga Times. He holds a Master of Science in Journalism and a Master of Business Administration, both from Columbia. He earned his undergraduate degree from Williams College in 1968. Neely has worked at papers in Riverside, CA, Louisville, KY and St. Petersburg, FL. He and his reporting partner in Riverside were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in Local Reporting in 1973. In 1982 he was President of the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors. He became Managing Editor of The Chattanooga Times in 1983. In 1992, he was named publisher, the first person outside the Ochs/Sulzberger family to hold that title since Adolph S. Ochs bought the paper in 1878. Neely is currently engaged in various civic and educational activities. For more than a decade, he has served on the Board of Visitors of Columbia Journalism School. When that Board was more formally reconstituted in 2014, he became its Chair and served in that role until 2019. He is Co-Chair of the School’s portion of the Columbia Commitment capital campaign and has longstanding involvement with its advancement and strategic planning. In 2015 he received the Founder’s Award for service to the School.

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  • Nina Rothschild is a Health and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator in the Division of Disease Control at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH), where she has been immersed in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She has worked at DOHMH in several positions since graduating from the Mailman School of Public Health: in the Bureau of Maternal, Infant, and Reproductive Health; in HIV Prevention; and in HIV Community Planning. She currently is a member of the Informatics, Data, and Outbreak Response Team in the Division of Disease Control. Her education at Mailman prepared her for the challenges of working at a big city health department—but public health first intrigued her way back during her junior year at Barnard College where she took courses including Women, Health, and Health Care and Caring for the Mentally Ill: Treatment and Policy.  She was an English major, but these two courses captured her attention more than English literature did.  Although her subsequent degree was an M.A. in English Literature from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, one of her most amazing courses was on Reporting Ethical Issues in Science and Medicine at Columbia Journalism School. She enrolled at Mailman and was incredibly excited to study under the excellent faculty while pursuing her M.P.H. and Dr.P.H. Rothschild serves on the Mailman School Alumni Board, and chaired the first Development and Governance Committees. Being a goodwill ambassador for the school came naturally. She is a past President of the Public Health Association of NYC, an organization which subsequently merged with the New York State Public Health Association.

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  • A leading figure in intervention science for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, Professor Nabila El-Bassel, appointed University Professor in 2019, is known for her work explicitly targeting couples, enabling them to practice safer sex, reduce HIV, and resolve conflicts without violence.

    Professor El-Bassel is the Willma and Albert Musher Professor of Social Work. She is Director of the Social Intervention Group, which was established in 1990 as a multidisciplinary center focused on developing and testing prevention and intervention approaches for HIV, drug use, and gender-based violence, and disseminating them to local, national, and global communities. Her work has been funded extensively by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Mental Health. She provides significant national and international leadership to the global HIV and health agenda.

    Professor El-Bassel is also Director of the Columbia University Global Health Research Center of Central Asia, a team of faculty, scientists, researchers, and students in New York and Central Asia committed to advancing solutions to health and social issues in Central Asia through research, education, training, policy and dissemination.

    In addition, Professor El-Bassel has designed and tested a number of multilevel HIV and drug use intervention and prevention models for women, men, and couples in settings including drug treatment and harm reduction programs, primary care, and criminal justice settings. She studies the intersecting epidemics of HIV and violence against women, and she has designed HIV interventions that address these co-occurring problems with significant scientific contributions in gender-based HIV prevention for women.

    Professor El-Bassel has published extensively on HIV behavioral prevention science and on the co-occurring problems of HIV, gender-based violence, and substance use. She has mentored HIV research scientist s from Central Asia, and she has been funded by the National Institutes of Health to train underrepresented faculty and research scientists on the science of HIV intervention and prevention. She holds a B.S.W. from Tel Aviv University and an M.S.W. from the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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  • Miguel Ángel Garrido was born and raised in Madrid, Spain, and he is a proud Madrileño. He completed his undergraduate studies in mathematics at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Boston University. After a two-year stay in the U.K., where he received his master’s degrees from University of Cambridge and The London School of Economics and Political Science, he joined the Statistics Department at Columbia University in August 2016. While pursuing his Ph.D., Miguel has actively engaged with the Columbia community. In 2019 he was a fellow at the Center for Teaching and Learning, and currently he is part of the International Fellows Program at the School of International and Public Affairs. In his free time, Miguel is an avid theatre-goer, and he loves discovering new restaurants with his boyfriend (activities that he hopes to enjoy again post-COVID).

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  • Michelle Estilo Kaiser graduated in Columbia College’s first fully co-educational class, following her older sister Karen ’85BC. She returned to Columbia University for graduate school, earning an M.P.H. in Epidemiology in 1992 and an M.D. in 1997, before completing her training in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill-Cornell Medical Center. While a medical student at VP&S, she met her husband Michael, then a Columbia neurosurgery resident. Estilo Kaiser credits Columbia University core values and her positive experiences in many Columbia communities as her inspiration to volunteer. She looks forward to trips with her girlfriends from college and medical school, and considers many of Mike’s neurosurgical residency colleagues as part of their extended Columbia family. In 2007, she re-engaged with Columbia, serving on her 20th College reunion committee. She joined the Dean’s Alumnae Task Force in 2010, volunteered as an Alumni Representative Committee interviewer and mentor, is a member of the Alumnae Legacy Circle, and has served on the Boards of Columbia College Women (CCW) and the Columbia College Alumni Association, as Co-Chair of CCW Mentoring and Vice President, State of the College. Estilo Kaiser believes in the ideal of "One Columbia," because of her positive experiences across campuses. She participated on the CAA 2023 Task Force, and is currently a member of the Columbia Alumni Association Board. Since 2018, she has served on the Columbia University Senate as an Alumni Senator. She is Co-chair of the Alumni Relations Committee, and also serves on the External Relations, Budget, and Campus Planning Committees. Michelle and Michael live in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey, and are proud parents to Nicole ’20CC, Cynthia, and Christopher ’25CC.

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  • Professor Marcel Agüeros’ research interests are time-domain astronomy, with a focus on stellar astrophysics and late stages of stellar evolution, especially white dwarfs. His current research uses new datasets and technologies to address classic questions in stellar astrophysics.

    Before joining the Columbia University faculty, Professor Agüeros was a National Science Foundation (NSF) Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow in the Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory for four years. For two of those years, he was also the Associate Director of Columbia's Bridge to the Ph.D. Program in the Natural Sciences (now in STEM), which he directed for a decade.

    Professor Agüeros is a recipient of an NSF CAREER award, of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), and of Columbia University's Distinguished Faculty Award and its Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching. He received his B.A. in Astronomy from Columbia College, earned his M.Phil in Physics from the University of Cambridge, UK, and his Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Washington, Seattle.

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  • Kyriakos Tsakopoulos rowed Columbia varsity crew and later served on the Board of the CAA, the Board of Visitors, and as a Trustee of Columbia University. He chaired the University’s Physical Assets Committee that oversees management and development of Columbia’s campuses, buildings and grounds including Morningside Heights, the Medical Center, Baker Field and Manhattanville. Tsakopoulos is proud to have participated as a Trustee in many initiatives such as the return of ROTC to Columbia and establishment of a plaque to honor and permanently recognize the indigenous Lenape people. He established the Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Chair on Aristotle and the Moderns to honor his grandfather, and the Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Scholarship in Honor of Gene Rossides, to recognize his friend who also was a proud Columbian. Tsakopoulos lives in Northern California with his wife and three children and keeps in close touch with lifelong friends from Columbia. He constantly applies lessons learned at Columbia, from the undergraduate Core Curriculum through his experience as a Trustee, to his work in land development, environmentally sustainable farming, water management, and endangered species protection projects.

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  • Katherine (Katie) Reuther is a Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Design, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship in the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at Columbia University, with additional appointments as Director of the Columbia BME Technology Accelerator (BiomedX) program and Director of Master’s Studies. The BiomedX program provides funding, education, and support to faculty and students interested in commercializing their biomedical inventions. Her current educational work focuses on enhancing graduate education in the Department, including developing a medical innovation program that covers all aspects of the design and innovation process. Reuther supports entrepreneurship programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through her work with Biocomx, VentureWell, and I-Corps. Reuther received a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering (with an emphasis in Mechanical Engineering) from The College of New Jersey, a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and an Executive MBA from Columbia University.

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  • Jeremy Dodd is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physics, where he also serves as Director of Undergraduate Studies. His early career was in experimental particle physics research, focused primarily on various aspects of strongly interacting particle collisions, as a research scientist at Columbia University's Nevis Laboratories. Since joining the Physics faculty, he has taught many of the Department's undergraduate courses, and is responsible for all aspects of teaching in the Department. He is Director of the Columbia University Science Honors Program, a high-profile enrichment program serving talented high school students from the tri-state area with academic-year courses given by Columbia scientists and researchers.

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  • Professor Jean Howard’s teaching interests include Shakespeare, Tudor and Stuart drama, Early Modern poetry, modern drama, feminist and Marxist theory, and the history of feminism.

    She was a 2020 recipient of the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching. She has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Folger Shakespeare Library, The Huntington, and the Newberry Library.

    Professor Howard is on the editorial board of the journals Shakespeare Studies and Renaissance Drama. Her books include Shakespeare's Art of Orchestration: Stage Technique and Audience Response (1984); The Stage and Struggle in Early Modern England (1994); Theater of a City: The Places of London Comedy, 1598-1642 (2007), winner of the 2008 Barnard Hewitt Award for Outstanding Research in Theatre History; and four generically organized Companions to Shakespeare, edited with Richard Dutton (2001). Howard is a co-editor of The Norton Shakespeare (3rd ed. 2015).

    From 1996 to 1999 Professor Howard directed the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Columbia; in 1999-2000 she was President of the Shakespeare Association of America; from 2004 to 2007 she served as Columbia's first Vice Provost for Diversity Initiatives; and from 2008 to 2011 she was Chair of the Department of English and Comparative Literature. Currently, as a Trustee Emerita of Brown University, she is a member of the Brown University Advisory Council on Diversity and serves on the Pembroke Center Advisory Council; she is also a Senator of Phi Beta Kappa.

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  • Dr. Jasmine McDonald is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health. She received her Doctorate in 2009 from the Biological Sciences in Public Health Program at Harvard University, with a concentration in Immunology and Infectious Disease. She then pursued postdoctoral training in breast cancer epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. She is a multidisciplinary trained molecular epidemiologist whose research program provides unique perspectives and novel study designs to examine the complexities of breast cancer etiology and risk reduction across the life course. An avid teacher and mentor, Dr. McDonald teaches Cancer Epidemiology at MSPH, is the Assistant Director of Cancer Education at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC), and is the Co-Director of the Continuing Umbrella of Research Experience (CURE) Program at the HICCC. The CURE program serves high school and undergraduate students from underserved backgrounds and communities, and has hosted over 40 students since 2015.

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  • Jamal Joseph is a writer, director, and Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University School of the Arts in the Film Department.

    Professor Joseph has written and directed for Black Starz, HBO, Fox TV, New Line Cinema, Warner Bros., and A&E. His produced screenplays include Ali: An American Hero (Fox), New York Undercover (Fox), Knights of the South Bronx (A&E), and The Many Trials of Tammy B (Nickelodeon). He wrote and directed Drive By: A Love Story, Da Zone, and the docudrama Hughes’ Dream Harlem for Starz. Professor Joseph is currently co-executive producing and writing a dramatic musical for BET. He is also adapting his memoir, Panther Baby (Algonquin Books), into a feature screenplay that he will direct.

    Professor Joseph is the author of Tupac Shakur Legacy (Simon & Schuster). He has also written the script for a Broadway musical based on the life of Tupac Shakur. Joseph is the Founder and Artistic Director of IMPACT Repertory Theatre, a Harlem-based youth theatre company, and Executive Director of New Heritage Films, a not-for-profit organization that provides training and opportunities for minority filmmakers.

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  • Professor Geraldine Downey's main interest is the study of personal and status-based rejection. In her current work, she is exploring people's expectations of rejection and their impact on the perception of other people's behavior, in anticipation of and following social encounters.

    Her work has focused on the personality disposition of rejection sensitivity and on its association with responses to rejection as well as efforts made to prevent it. This line of work has led her to study sensitivity to rejection based on personal, unique characteristics, as well as sensitivity to rejection based on group characteristics such as race and gender. She has sought to investigate the effect of rejection sensitivity on people's behavior by utilizing various techniques including established social cognition paradigms, experimental studies, physiological recordings, brain-imaging, and diary studies.

    Recently, Professor Downey has been using the knowledge acquired from her research on rejection to develop models of personality and attachment disorders. She has also been interested in the study of identity, specifically on the way in which individuals strategically use their multiple social identities to cope with daily stressors.

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  • Denise Cruz is an Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature. She is a scholar of gender and sexuality, with special interests in the Philippines and Asian American literature. Her work covers a range of subjects, from connections between the rise of English literature and women’s suffrage in Manila, to the vibrant world of Filipino high fashion, to the strategies Asian American authors use to represent regional, national, and transnational communities. She is the recipient of the Ford Foundation predoctoral, dissertation, and postdoctoral fellowships, teaching awards from the University of Toronto and Indiana University, the Lenfest Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award, and most recently, an Innovative Course Design grant from the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation for the online redesign of her large lecture course in Asian American literature. Her courses consider how the study of literature—as a collective and community-building endeavor—can engage a global and transnational world.

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  • Daniella Cádiz Bedini is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. She holds a Latin American Regional Certificate from the Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) and her dissertation examines transnational literary relations in the Americas in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her research focuses on writing published in Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, and the United States, and examines translation and adaptation as practices in the establishment of literary print networks.

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  • Cynthia S. Stuen is the Main Representative to the United Nations on behalf of the International Federation on Ageing. She is currently the Chair of the NGO Committee on Ageing at the UN. Stuen’s entire professional career has been devoted to improving the lives of older persons on local, national, and international levels. Stuen served in various capacities at Lighthouse International during her 24-year tenure. Her last position was Senior Vice President, Chief Professional Affairs Officer, which involved advocating for vision rehabilitation for older adults with vision loss at the national and international level, while also maintaining involvement in international efforts to preserve sight and prevent excess disability resulting from vision impairment. She is a former Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Society on Aging (ASA), the largest organization of professionals in the field of aging in the United States. She is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the New York Academy of Medicine. Stuen has chaired the National Association for Social Worker’s Aging Specialty Practice Section and helped to develop practice guidelines for caregivers of older adults for the professional association. Since 2012, Stuen has been a member of the Columbia University Alumni Trustee Nominating Committee. She has served on the School of Social Work’s Alumni Doctoral Committee since 1987.  She was an adjunct faculty member at the School and a field instructor for many years. While a doctoral student, she launched a Retired Faculty Program through the Brookdale Institute on Ageing, linking retired faculty to give back to impoverished communities. Currently, she serves as a Vice President of the Board of Directors of VISIONS Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired and as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Federation on Ageing.

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  • Cristiane Duarte is a Professor in the Columbia University Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Duarte's research is based on innovative population-based studies about the development of mental disorders in children, adolescents, and young adults. Through state-of-the art sampling, recruitment, and culturally appropriate assessment methodologies, she has sought to generate knowledge of relevance to diverse, often underserved and understudied populations. Currently, she is a leader of the Boricua Youth Study, the only multinational source of information about how mental disorders develop from childhood to young adulthood in a Latino subgroup.

    Dr. Duarte's work has received support from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health. She is also a key member in several international global mental health collaborations focused on improving child mental health services and implementing interventions in low-resource settings. She has published several articles in psychiatric, psychological, public health, and pediatric journals.

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  • Christopher Medina-Kirchner is not your traditional Ivy League student. At 18 years old, he received a six-year prison sentence for selling 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Upon release from prison, he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. There, he joined Dr. Krista Lisdahl’s Brain Imaging and Neuropsychology Laboratory and began to study the behavioral and pharmacological effects of recreational drugs. After reading High Price by Dr. Carl L. Hart, Chris became interested in human drug administration studies and how they can be used as a tool to prevent the spread of drug-related misinformation. As a Ph.D. student in the Psychology Department, he has been working under the mentorship of Dr. Hart in the Neuropsychopharmacology Laboratory. Here, he is researching the acute, repeated-dose, and residual effects of recreational drug combinations in humans. He hopes to use the information gained from his studies to ensure that our drug education, treatment, and policies are based on science and not misinformation.

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  • Casey Nelson Blake works on modern U.S. intellectual and cultural history, with an emphasis on the relationship between artistic modernism, cultural criticism, and democratic citizenship. His publications include Beloved Community: The Cultural Criticism of Randolph Bourne, Van Wyck Brooks, Waldo Frank, and Lewis Mumford; The Arts of Democracy: Art, Public Culture, and the State; The Armory Show at 100: Modernism and Revolution (co-edited with Kimberly Orcutt and Marilyn Kushner); and At the Center: American Thought and Culture in the Mid-Twentieth Century (co-authored with Daniel Borus and Howard Brick). He is currently at work on a cultural biography of the writer and critic Paul Goodman.

    Professor Blake came to Columbia in 1999 as Founding Director of the Center for American Studies after directing American Studies programs at Indiana University and Washington University, and teaching at Reed College. While at Columbia, Professor Blake has overseen the development of a civic engagement initiative within the Center, including the “Freedom and Citizenship” program that provides humanities education and college mentoring to underserved high school students.

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