Yo-Yo Ma’s multi-faceted career is a testament to his enduring belief in culture’s power to generate trust and understanding. Whether performing new or familiar works from the cello repertoire, collaborating with communities and institutions to explore culture’s role in society, or engaging unexpected musical forms, Ma strives to foster connections that stimulate the imagination and reinforce our humanity.
In August 2018, Ma began a new journey to perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s six suites for solo cello in one sitting in 36 locations around the world, iconic venues that encompass our cultural heritage, our current creativity, and the challenges of peace and understanding that will shape our future.
The Bach Project continues his lifelong commitment to stretching the boundaries of genre and tradition to explore music as a means not only to share and express meaning, but also as his contribution to a conversation about how culture can help us imagine a stronger society and build a better future.
It was this belief that inspired Ma to establish Silkroad, a collective of artists from around the world who create music that engages their many traditions. Through his work with Silkroad, as well as throughout his career, he has sought to expand the classical cello repertoire, frequently performing lesser-known music of the 20th century and commissions of new concertos and recital pieces. He has premiered works by a diverse group of composers, among them Osvaldo Golijov, Leon Kirchner, Zhao Lin, Christopher Rouse, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Giovanni Sollima, Bright Sheng, Tan Dun, and John Williams.
In addition to his work as a performing artist, Ma partners with communities and institutions from Chicago to Guangzhou developing programs that champion culture’s power to transform lives and forge a more connected world. Among his many roles, Ma is as a UN Messenger of Peace, the first artist ever appointed to the World Economic Forum’s board of trustees, and a member of the board of Nia Tero, the US-based nonprofit working in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and movements worldwide.
Ma’s discography of over 100 albums (including 18 Grammy Award winners) reflects his wide-ranging interests. In addition to his many iconic renditions of the Western classical canon, he has made several recordings that defy categorization, among them “Appalachia Waltz” and “Appalachian Journey” with Mark O’Connor and Edgar Meyer, and two Grammy-winning tributes to the music of Brazil, “Obrigado Brazil” and “Obrigado Brazil — Live in Concert.” His recent recordings include: “Sing Me Home,” with the Silkroad Ensemble, which won the 2016 Grammy for Best World Music Album; “Brahms: The Piano Trios,” with Emanuel Ax and Leonidas Kavakos; “Six Evolutions — Bach: Cello Suites;” and “Not Our First Goat Rodeo,” with Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile. His latest album is “Beethoven for Three: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 5” recorded with Emanuel Ax and Leonidas Kavakos.
Ma was born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris. He began to study the cello with his father at age four and three years later moved with his family to New York City, where he continued his cello studies with Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School. After his conservatory training, he sought out a liberal arts education, graduating from Harvard University in 1976. He has received numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), the Glenn Gould Prize (1999), the National Medal of the Arts (2001), the Dan David Prize (2006), the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award (2008), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2010), Kennedy Center Honors (2011), the Polar Music Prize (2012), and the J. Paul Getty Medal Award (2016). Furthermore, he has performed for nine American presidents, most recently on the occasion of President Biden’s inauguration.
Ma and his wife have two children. He plays three instruments, a 2003 instrument made by Moes & Moes, a 1733 Montagnana cello from Venice, and the 1712 Davidoff Stradivarius.
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.
Yevgeniy Yesilevskiy is a Lecturer in the Discipline of Innovation and Design in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Columbia University. He focuses on project-based and active-learning courses that seek to engage and improve engineering education through the design process. In his courses he guides students towards solving open-ended problems. By having students face uncertainty in their classes, he prepares them to be the next generation of innovators. For his efforts, he was awarded the 2021 Edward and Carole Kim Faculty Involvement Award. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he took the lead on creating a novel face shield design that was deployed in New York City hospitals. Additionally, he spearheaded the creation of project kits that allowed mechanical engineering students to maintain their hands-on education at home. Prior to Columbia, he received his PhD in 2018 from the University of Michigan for his work in legged robotic optimal energetics.
William Kentridge is internationally acclaimed for his drawings, films, theatre, and opera productions.
His method combines drawing, writing, film, performance, music, theatre, and collaborative practices to create works of art that are grounded in politics, science, literature and history, all the while maintaining a space for contradiction and uncertainty. His aesthetics are drawn from the medium of film’s own history, from stop-motion animation to early special effects. Kentridge’s drawing, specifically the dynamism of an erased and redrawn mark, is an integral part of his expanded animation and filmmaking practice, where the meanings of his films are developed during the process of their making.
Kentridge’s work has been seen in museums and galleries around the world since the 1990s, including Documenta in Kassel, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Albertina Museum in Vienna, Musée du Louvre in Paris, Whitechapel Gallery in London, Louisiana Museum in Copenhagen, the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid, and the Kunstmuseum in Basel.
Opera productions include Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Shostakovich’s The Nose, and Alban Berg’s operas Lulu and Wozzeck, and have been seen at opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera in New York, La Scala in Milan, English National Opera in London, Opera de Lyon, Amsterdam opera, and the Salzburg Festival.
The Head & the Load, with music by composer Philip Miller and Thuthuka Sibisi and choreography by Gregory Maqoma, interweaves music, dance, projection, shadow-play, and sculpture. It premiered at the Tate Turbine Hall in July 2018 and went on to the Park Avenue Armory in New York and the Holland Festival in Amsterdam.
Kentridge is the recipient of honorary doctorates from several universities including Yale University and the University of London. In 2010, he received the Kyoto Prize. In 2012, he presented the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard University. In 2015, he was appointed an Honorary Academician of the Royal Academy in London. In 2017, he received the Princesa de Asturias Award for the Arts, and in 2018, the Antonio Feltrinelli International Prize. In 2019, he received the Praemium Imperiale Award in Painting in Tokyo.
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.
Vijay B. Samant ’77EN earned a master's degree in chemical engineering from Columbia University in 1977 and a master's degree in management studies from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1983. Prior to attending Columbia and MIT, Samant earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Bombay in 1975. He has a strong, long-standing relationship as an active alumnus with Columbia that began over 20 years ago with his appointment to the Columbia Engineering Alumni Association (CEAA). During his time on the CEAA, Samant has served in various roles, including Chair of the prestigious Pupin Medal Committee from 1992 to 2016, and, more recently, President of the CEAA. As President of the CEAA, Samant partnered with the Board to strengthen the already strong relationship between the CEAA and the University, and to align the goals and mission of the CEAA with the Engineering School. He was the recipient of the CEAA Crossed-Hammers Award, in recognition of his unwavering service to the CEAA and the University, which included participation in a plethora of University events as a panelist, mentor of Columbia students, and participation in Columbia workshops. Additionally, Samant’s long-standing service, volunteerism, and University citizenship led him to be named as one of the 2022 Columbia Alumni Medalists. Professionally, he is the Chief Executive Officer of Xiconic Pharmaceuticals, and serves as a Board member of Brickell Biotech (BBI). Previously, Samant was the President and Chief Executive Office of Vical Incorporated from November 2000 to September 2019. Prior to Vical, he worked at Merck for 23 years in a variety of executive roles leading to his appointment as the Chief Operating Officer of the Merck Vaccine Division from 1998 to 2000. In his 40+ years in the pharmaceutical industry, Samant has played pivotal roles in all aspects of drug development, biological manufacturing, business development/licensing, supply chain management, and product commercialization, among other areas. He advises several public and private companies in the healthcare industry and is widely recognized as a vaccine expert.
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.
Timothy Donnelly’s most recent book of poetry is The Problem of the Many (Wave Books, 2019). His other collections include Twenty-seven Props for a Production of Eine Lebensezeit (Grove, 2003) and The Cloud Corporation (Wave, 2010), winner of the 2012 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Prize. With John Ashbery and Geoffrey G. O’Brien, he is co-author of Three Poets (Minus A Press, 2012) and his chapbook Hymn to Life was published in 2014 by Factory Hollow Press. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, The Believer, The New Yorker, The Nation, The New Republic, The Paris Review, Poetry, Poetry London, and elsewhere, as well as in the Best American Poetry and Pushcart Prize anthologies. Donnelly is a recipient of a Columbia Distinguished Faculty Award, the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and Paris Review’s Bernard F. Connors Prize, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and New York State’s Writers Institute.
Thomas W. Cornacchia ’85CC was a four-year member of the heavyweight rowing team in the early 1980s, and had an impressive career in finance, rising to become a partner at Goldman Sachs before retiring in 2017. Throughout his years as an alumnus, Cornacchia never forgot his alma mater. He was on the College Board of Visitors for over 13 years, including serving as Vice Chair for two years and Chair for three years. Cornacchia was part of several key initiatives on the Board including Columbia College’s Strategic Plan. Cornacchia currently serves as a member of the Core to Commencement Committee, a fundraising committee that has helped to raise $700M for the students of Columbia College and the faculty who teach them. He is a generous supporter of the College, including establishing the Thomas and Nancy Cornacchia Family Scholarship. In 2013, the College presented Cornacchia with a John Jay Award for his distinguished professional achievements. He also serves as a member of the King’s Crown Rowing Association and the Rowing Advisory Committee and established a key program endowment for Columbia Rowing in 2011. That endowment supports all three rowing programs: heavyweight, lightweight, and women’s team. Cornacchia made significant gifts to establish the Leadership Fund for Student-Athletes, vital to the holistic 360-degree approach Columbia Athletics takes to support success through wellbeing. He also serves on the Athletics Leadership Committee, and was honored as a Varsity C Alumni Award winner in 2014. Cornacchia is also a member of the Cancer Advisory Council at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center and has been a tremendous supporter of their efforts. Cornacchia and his wife Nancy live in Darien, CT and have five children, two of whom are Columbia graduates, William ’17CC, and Victoria “Tory” ’19CC.
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.
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.
Prof. Shing-Tung Yau is a famous Chinese-American mathematician. He currently serves as a Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University and a Professor of Physics at Harvard University. In 1976, Prof. Yau proved the Calabi conjecture gave solutions of multiple well-known open problems in algebraic geometry and also allowed physicists to show that string theory is a viable candidate for a unified theory of nature. Calabi–Yau manifolds are among the ‘standard toolkit’ for string theorists today. Prof. Yau's work opened up new directions, set foundations and changed people's perspectives towards mathematics and their applications in physics and computer science. Prof. Yau has won Oswald Veblen Prize in 1981, Fields Medal in 1982, MacArthur Fellow in 1984, Crafoord Prize in 1994, United States National Medal of Science in 1997, China International Scientific and Technological Cooperation Award in 2003, Wolf Prize in Mathematics and Asian American Engineer of the Year (AAEOY) in 2010 and MG15 Award (The Fifteenth Marcel Grossmann Award) in 2018.
Hon. Rolando T. Acosta ’79CC, ’82LAW is the Presiding Justice of the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department. Prior to joining the bench, Acosta held various posts with the Legal Aid Society, including Attorney-in-Charge of the largest civil trial office, and with the New York City Commission on Human Rights. A proud graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School, Justice Acosta is the recipient of Columbia University’s Medal for Excellence and Columbia Law School’s Lawrence A. Wien Prize for Social Responsibility. In 2008, he was inducted into the Columbia University Athletics Hall of Fame, having earned four straight All-Eastern League (and All-Ivy League) honors and being twice named Pitcher of the Year in leading the Lions to two Ivy League championships. Over forty years after graduating from Columbia College, Acosta still holds Columbia records for career and season victories. He has served on the Columbia Board of Trustees since 2011, where he Chairs the Public Affairs Committee and oversees Athletics. Acosta also serves on the Board of the Columbia Alumni Association, is a member of the Dean’s Council of Columbia Law School, and was the keynote speaker at Columbia College’s 2020 Class Day. Justice Acosta is husband to Dr. Vasthi Reyes Acosta (’94, ’95TC) and father to Lucas Acosta and Zila Acosta-Grimes (’11CC, ’15LAW). Zila and her husband, Brian K. Grimes, Jr. (’11CC), are parents to Brian K. Grimes III and Tomás B. Grimes, prospective students for the Columbia College classes of 2041 and 2043, respectively.
Rebecca Castillo ’94CC, ’06JRN is a storyteller who prefers the visual medium. Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, she is a freelance photographer and Assistant Director of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, an organization educating middle school, high school and undergraduate student journalists through events, award programs, and curriculum development. Castillo co-edited and produced the award-winning book, Magazine Fundamentals, and her photography has been published by TIME magazine and The New York Times Foundation. While at Columbia College, she served as President of the Chicano Caucus and President of the Columbia Board of Managers. At Columbia Journalism School, she served as Class President. She remains involved with her alma mater as the adviser to the Columbia Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Castillo served on the Columbia Journalism School Alumni Board and is the past Chair of Columbia College Women. She currently serves on Columbia’s Alumna Leadership Group known as She Opened The Door. Castillo is a founding member and past President of the Latino Alumni Association at Columbia University (LAACU).
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.
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).
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.
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.
Paul Alexander Bloom is a PhD student in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University. Under the mentorship of Dr. Nim Tottenham in the Developmental Affective Neuroscience Lab, Bloom has focused his graduate research on data analysis methods for developmental neuroscience. His dissertation seeks to contribute tools for studies of brain imaging, emotion, and learning in children and adolescents. As a technical instructor with Justice Through Code, a free web development intensive for formerly incarcerated individuals, Bloom works to design curricula and teach computer programming tools to prepare students for careers in the technology sector. He also leads workshops through Columbia Foundations for Research Computing, Columbia Psychology Scientific Computing, and the Columbia Summer Internship Program in Psychological Science, as well as mentoring students in the lab. Across settings, Bloom strives to increase the accessibility of STEM resources and structure learning environments to meet student goals.
Patti Smith is a writer, performer and visual artist. She gained recognition in the 1970s for her revolutionary merging of poetry and rock. She has released 12 albums, including Horses, which has been hailed as one of the top 100 albums of all time by Rolling Stone.
Smith had her first exhibit of drawings at the Gotham Book Mart in 1973 and was represented by the Robert Miller Gallery for three decades. Her retrospective exhibitions include the Andy Warhol Museum, the Fondation Cartier, and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. Her books include Just Kids, winner of the National Book Award in 2010, Witt, Babel, Woolgathering, The Coral Sea, Auguries of Innocence, M Train, and Devotion.
In 2005, the French Ministry of Culture awarded Smith the title of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, the highest honor given to an artist by the French Republic. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
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.
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.
Milica Iličić is an interdisciplinary scholar and educator whose pedagogy focuses on community-building, integrative learning, and inclusivity. Her doctoral dissertation explores the power of art in fostering generous and ethical communication. Iličić’s syllabus for the undergraduate seminar Thinking Bodies: Literature, Film, Performance merited a Teaching Fellowship from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. At Columbia, she also taught the Russian and Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian languages. From 2018 to 2022, Iličić worked with Columbia’s Language Resource Center to develop a comprehensive digital curriculum for Elementary Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, currently used for hybrid instruction at Columbia, Yale, and Cornell, as well as at the University of Chicago. From 2013 to 2016, Iličić served as Editor-at-Large for the Belgrade-based cultural publication Kultur!Kokoška. She is the co-founder of NGO Kultur Kolektiv, dedicated to organizing events and general audience educational content in her native Serbia. She cultivates a lifelong commitment to making the liberal arts meaningful and accessible to all.
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).
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.
Matthew I. Palmer is an ecologist and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (E3B) at Columbia University. He received his BS in Natural Resources from Cornell University and his PhD in Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers University. Dr. Palmer teaches and advises students in several programs, including E3B’s undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, and graduate programs and in the Environmental Science and Policy program in the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). He teaches courses in botany, forest ecology, urban ecology, herpetology, and research methods, often with extensive field and laboratory components. His research includes measuring ecosystem functions in forests, wetlands, and cities, the management of natural areas, and the conservation of biological diversity. He finds great joy in teaching and in helping students to see the natural world with a fresh perspective and to better understand the connections between nature and humanity.
Dr. Marisa Spann is the Herbert Irving Associate Professor of Medical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Dr. Spann is a clinical neuropsychologist with specialty training in developmental neuroimaging and perinatal epidemiology. She obtained her PhD in clinical psychology at The George Washington University. She went on to pursue a clinical neuropsychology postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine, a MPH at Yale School of Public Health, and a NIH-funded T32 research postdoctoral fellowship in Translational Child Psychiatry at CUIMC.
The overarching goal of Dr. Spann’s research is to identify early immune, brain, and neuropsychological antecedents of childhood psychiatric risk to reduce the time to intervention for young children. She accomplishes this through two complementary lines of study involving national and international birth cohorts, and clinical samples of pregnant women at CUIMC. Dr. Spann’s lab is the N3 early Neuroimaging, Neuroimmune and Neuropsychology Lab.
Mariam Aly is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Columbia University. She received her BS with Honors from the University of Toronto in 2008, her PhD from University of California, Davis in 2013, and conducted postdoctoral research at Princeton University until 2017. She is the Principal Investigator of the Aly Lab in the Department of Psychology where she studies the human mind and brain to understand how the brain’s memory systems contribute to attention, perception, and prediction. Her achievements have been recognized with an NSF CAREER Award, a Rising Star Award from the Association for Psychological Science, and a Young Investigator Award from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. She is an avid science communicator through social media and has a passion for helping students navigate school and life beyond it—working to destigmatize mental illness, and promoting fairer and more supportive spaces for graduate students.
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.
Laurie Magid, Esq. '85 LAW has been an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia for two decades. Living just a stone’s throw from Independence Hall, Laurie and her husband Jeffrey Miller appreciate the history of their neighborhood, but also love the proximity to their New York family and Columbia community. Magid graduated from Columbia Law School in 1985. She has taught at Villanova, Rutgers, Temple, and Widener Law Schools. In 2010, with her three wonderful children—Julia, Henry, and Nick—grown, Magid found that she had the time to engage more deeply with the Columbia community. After serving on her 25th-year Reunion Committee, she joined the Columbia Law School Alumni Association as a Regional Vice President for four years, then served as the President for four years, and now serves as an Advisor. In 2017, she joined the Columbia Alumni Association where she serves on the Arts Access Committee, the Programs Committee, and the Leaders Weekend Steering Committee. In 2018, she was the Vice Chair of Leaders Weekend, and in 2019 she chaired the CAA’s signature event. Magid was an inaugural member of the Alumnae Leadership Group, and has helped plan the “She Opened the Door” events, including the conference with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This year, Magid joined the University Senate where she serves on the External Relations and Government Affairs Committee, and is co-chair of the Alumni Relations Committee. At the Law School, she serves on the Harlan Fiske Stone Council and the Public Interest/Public Service Council, and mentors students, especially women and first-generation professional students. In addition to Columbia, her other significant commitments are as a Board member of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the LGBT synagogue in New York City, where she focuses on criminal justice reform issues, particularly clemency and reentry to communities after incarceration; and as the doting grandmother of her adorable one-year old granddaughter, Louisa.
Laura L. Ardizzone ’04, ’10NRS,is the Director of Nurse Anesthesia Services at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and a member of the Executive Nursing Leadership team. Ardizzone received her BSN from the University of Pennsylvania and her Master’s and Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees from the Columbia University School of Nursing. She is a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. She serves on the editorial board for various anesthesia journals and has lectured nationally and internationally on a variety of clinical anesthesia topics. Ardizzone’s commitment to Columbia has spanned over the past 14 years through various activities that support alumni, students, and administrative academic communities. She has served as a Nursing Alumni Association Board member (2014-2021), President (2019-2021), and now President Ex-officio (2021-2022), an Annual Fund member and Chair (2016-2017), and the nursing representative of the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA). She has attended and participated on the Nursing Alumni Reunions Committee since 2008, and various school events, such as New Student Welcome Breakfasts and Annual Dean’s Scholarship Receptions. Ardizzone has attended the Columbia Alumni Leaders Weekends, participating and speaking in the conference sessions. Her biggest honor as an alumna was being cared for by the School of Nursing’s fantastic students after the birth of her twins.
Laura Kurgan is Professor of Architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, where she directs the Center for Spatial Research (CSR) and the Visual Studies curriculum. She is the author of Close Up at a Distance: Mapping, Technology, and Politics (Zone Books, 2013), and Co-Editor of Ways of Knowing Cities (Columbia Books on Architecture, 2019). From 2004 through 2015, she founded and directed the Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL) at GSAPP.
Her work explores the ethics and politics of digital mapping and its technologies; the art, science, and visualization of big and small data; and design environments for public engagement with maps and data. CSR work has been exhibited internationally, at the Chicago Architecture Biennial (2019), at the Biennale Architettura di Venezia 2018, in the Jerome L. Greene Science Center at Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute 2017, at the Istanbul Design Biennial 2016, at the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016, and at Palais De Tokyo 2016. Professor Kurgan’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Fondation Cartier in Paris. Her writings have been published widely, including articles in e-Flux, the Harvard Design Magazine, Grey Room, Volume, and Architectural Design.
For her work as a designer, Professor Kurgan was awarded a United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship, in 2009, and she was named a Game Changer by Metropolis in 2012. As Director of the Center for Spatial Research and the Spatial Information Design Lab, she has been Principal Investigator on research supported by the Open Society Foundations, the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Gardiner Foundation. Current topics of her research at CSR include justice mapping, conflict urbanism, spatial inequality, algorithms and social justice, and historical New York City.
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.
Kathie-Ann Patrice Joseph ’95VP&S is Professor of Surgery and Population Health and Vice Chair of Diversity and Health Equity for the Department of Surgery and Transplant Institute at NYU Langone Health. Joseph’s relationship with the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons began before she enrolled in medical school. As a student at Stuyvesant High School, she participated in Columbia’s PREP program for underrepresented minority high school students and would take the train every Saturday from Flatbush, Brooklyn to take classes in Washington Heights from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. These classes, taught by Columbia VP&S students, inspired Joseph as she continued to Harvard University, graduating cum laude in sociology. She returned to Columbia to study medicine and public health at VP&S and the Mailman School of Public Health and to teach in Columbia’s PREP program. Dr. Kenneth Forde, himself an active VP&S alumnus, was her surgery preceptor and mentor. Joseph has been an active member of the VP&S Alumni Association, serving as corresponding secretary from 2012-2014, Vice President 2014-2016, and President from 2016-2018. In 2019, she started the VP&S Women in Medicine Collaborative to further engage VP&S alumnae with our medical students. Joseph is married to David Joseph, ’95VP&S, and they have two sons, Devon and Justin.
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.
Josef Sorett is Professor of Religion and of African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University, where he currently chairs the Department of Religion and is the Director of the Center on African-American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice. He is the author of Spirit in the Dark: A Religious History of Racial Aesthetics (Oxford, 2016), and the editor of a recently published anthology, The Sexual Politics of Black Churches (Columbia, 2022). His next book, Black is a Church! Ironies of an American Secular, will be published later this year.
Professor Sorett’s work has garnered wide-ranging grant support, including from the Arcus Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Louisville Institute, and the Forum for Theological Exploration. His writing and commentary have appeared in such popular media outlets as ABC News, TheNew York Times, TheWashington Post, as well as on the BBC and NPR.
Jodi Kantor is a prize-winning investigative reporter and best-selling author whose work has revealed hidden truths about power, gender, technology, politics and culture.
In October 2017, she and Megan Twohey broke the story of decades of sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Their work helped ignite the #MeToo movement, shift attitudes, and spur new laws, policies and standards of accountability around the globe. Together with a team of colleagues who exposed harassment across industries, they were awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service , journalism’s highest award, and also received or shared in numerous other honors, including a 2017 George Polk Award.
She Said, Kantor and Twohey’s book recounting the Weinstein investigation, was called “an instant classic of investigative journalism” by The Washington Post and one of the best books of the year by the New York Public Library, NPR, The New York Times, Time, and many other publications.
Before then, Ms. Kantor’s article about the havoc caused by automated scheduling systems in Starbucks workers’ lives spurred changes at the company and helped begin a national fair-scheduling movement. After she and David Streitfeld investigated punishing practices at Amazon’s corporate headquarters, the company changed its human resources policies, introducing paternity leave and eliminating its employee ranking system. Ms. Kantor’s report on working mothers and breastfeeding inspired two readers to create the first free-standing lactation suites for nursing mothers, now available in hundreds of airports and stadiums.
For six years, Ms. Kantor wrote about Barack and Michelle Obama, delving into their ideas, biographies, family, marriage, faith, and approach to the White House, and covering the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. Ms. Kantor’s best-selling book The Obamas, about their behind-the-scenes adjustment to the jobs of president and first lady, was published in 2012.
Ms. Kantor, a contributor to "This Morning" on CBS, lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Ron Lieber, and their two daughters. Please follow her work on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Jillisa Brittan ’86GSAS is a Mediator in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, where she has conducted over 2,000 mediations in civil cases. The types of cases she mediates include civil rights, discrimination, corporate and securities, antitrust, environmental, bankruptcy, copyright, and trademark. Before her appointment at the Seventh Circuit, Brittan was a Partner in the Trial Group at McDermott Will & Emery. She received her JD from the University of Chicago Law School, where she was a member of the Law Review, and President of the Law Women’s Caucus. Before law school, Brittan received a Master’s degree in English Literature from Columbia’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and was a President’s Fellow in the PhD program for two years following her Master’s degree. She received her BA with honors in English from Northwestern University. Brittan is currently a Director on the board of Columbia’s Alumni Association (CAA), and a former Chair of the Alumni Board of Directors of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She was Chair of CAA’s 2021 Alumni Leaders’ Weekend, and co-Chair of the 2020 Alumni Leaders’ Experience. She is one of the founding donors to the CAA Scholarship created in 2021, and she and her family endowed the GSAS Brittan Family Fellowship for graduate students whose work involves interdisciplinary study. Brittan is the 2017 recipient of Columbia’s Richard E. Witten Award for Volunteer Leadership. She is also a Senior Trustee at the Latin School of Chicago, and a member of the Steering Committee of University of Chicago Women’s Board.
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.
Jeanine D’Armiento is Director of the Center for Molecular Pulmonary Disease in Anesthesiology and Physiology and Cellular Biophysics and Director of the Center for Lymphangiomyomatosis (LAM) and Rare Lung Disease. Dr. D’Armiento’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of lung injury and repair. Her laboratory integrates both in vitro and in vivo approaches and is uniquely situated to characterize the molecular changes in the study of lung injury and disease so as to identify potential therapeutic targets. Dr. D’Armiento’s clinical work focuses on Rare Disease, and she is Director of the Center for LAM and Rare Lung Diseases at Columbia University, which serves one of the largest populations of women with LAM in addition to patients with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin deficiency. She presently serves on the Executive Board of the Alpha-1 Foundation and as a Consultant to the Director of the Office of Rare Disease, NCATs. In addition, Dr. D’Armiento serves as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Columbia University Senate and Chairs the Commission on the Status of Women at the University.
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.
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.
Jane Waldfogel is the Compton Foundation Centennial Professor for the Prevention of Children’s and Youth Problems, Co-Director of the Columbia Population Research Center, and a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the London School of Economics.
Waldfogel has written extensively on the impact of public policies on the wellbeing of children and families. Her most recent book, Too Many Children Left Behind: The U.S. Achievement Gap in Comparative Perspective (Russell Sage Foundation, 2015), assesses how social mobility varies in the United States compared with Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. She is the author of five other books, including most recently Britain’s War on Poverty (Russell Sage Foundation, 2010), Steady Gains and Stalled Progress: Inequality and the Black-White Test Score Gap (Russell Sage Foundation, 2008), and What Children Need (Harvard University Press, 2006). Waldfogel has served as President of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management and is a corresponding fellow of the British Academy and a fellow at the American Academy of Political and Social Science.
Waldfogel holds a BA in Psychology and Social Relations from Radcliffe College, an MEd from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a PhD in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
James Stewart Polshek’s distinguished career is in its sixth decade. As an architect, educator, and public advocate, he has created buildings whose designs exemplify elegance in problem-solving and spring from critical precepts of humanism. Having defined academic and practice models built on the values of collaboration and diversity, he has inspired generations of architecture students and professionals.
Polshek was Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation for fifteen years. Appointed by University President William McGill in 1972–a tumultuous period marked by the threat of nuclear weapons and the continuing Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, the aftermath of the 1960s upheavals on college campuses, and the oil crisis–Polshek led the architecture school’s resurrection. He assembled an ideologically diverse faculty, with whom he developed a socially relevant curriculum, created degree-granting programs in planning and preservation, and established the interdisciplinary Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture. Polshek served as Special Adviser for Design and Planning to the University President, and in that capacity, he assured stewardship of the historic campus and had a critical role in reviewing designs for contemporary interventions.
In 1964, Polshek completed his first two major commissions for Teijin Institute in Tokyo, Japan. Upon his return to the United States, Polshek founded his own firm. Over the next several decades this firm evolved into Polshek Partnership winning the American Institute of Architects’ Firm Award in 1992. In concert with his office, Polshek completed numerous projects of international significance, including: Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History, New York; Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe, New Mexico; the restoration and expansion of Carnegie Hall, New York; the renovation and expansion of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Center, Little Rock, Arkansas; and the National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Emblematic of his belief in the power of design to shape the public realm and by extension to improve public life are activities complementary to professional practice. In 2006, Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Polshek to the New York City Public Design Commission, the body charged with ensuring excellence and innovation in designs for city-owned properties. In 2005, Polshek became the interpretive consultant for the realization of Louis I. Kahn’s 1973 design for Franklin Delano Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island. In 1981, he co-founded Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility; in 1993, the non-profit received a national award from the American Institute of Architects for “its strong resounding voice for social and political justice.”
In 2018, Polshek received the American Institute of Architects’ highest honor, the Gold Medal, and a year later, he received the Fulbright Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Polshek published two books on his work, Context and Responsibility (Rizzoli, 1988) and Build, Memory (Monacelli Press, 2014).
Polshek has received many honors, including the Municipal Art Society’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal, the Brooklyn Museum's Augustus Graham Medal for excellence in architecture, election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the William Bernoudy Residency in Architecture at the American Academy in Rome. He has been awarded honorary degrees from Pratt Institute, Parsons, the New School for Design, and New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Polshek is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and holds an MArch from Yale University and a BS from Case Western Reserve University.
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.
Hillary Rodham Clinton has spent four decades in public service as an advocate, attorney, First Lady, U.S. Senator, U.S. Secretary of State, and presidential candidate. After graduating from Wellesley College and Yale Law School, she began her life-long work on behalf of children and families by joining the Children’s Defense Fund. As First Lady of the United States, she championed healthcare reform and led successful bipartisan efforts to improve the adoption and foster care systems, reduce teen pregnancy, and create the Children's Health Insurance Program. As Senator from New York, she worked to expand economic opportunity and access to quality, affordable health care. After September 11, 2001, she helped to rebuild New York and provide health care for first responders.
As Secretary of State, she led the effort to restore America’s leadership in the world. She negotiated a cease-fire in Gaza that defended Israel’s security and headed off-war in the Middle East. Furthermore, she mobilized an international coalition to impose sanctions against Iran, and championed human rights.
In 2016, Clinton became the first woman nominated for U.S. president by a major U.S. political party. As the Democratic candidate, she campaigned for a vision of America that is “stronger together” and an agenda to make our economy work for everyone, earning the support of nearly 66 million Americans.
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.
Francine Glick ’77BC has been engaged with Columbia since her days as a student, as a Director of the Columbia Board of Managers as well as a DJ at WKCR. She is the founding partner of Echo Strategic Consultants, a full-service consulting firm, advising entrepreneurs and midrange businesses. Echo takes a whole company approach to solving problems. She is also CEO of Water Journey, a personal care products company and holds two patents for Hands2GO, an alcohol-free hand sanitizer. Glick has been enthusiastically involved with the university for many years. She is her class President and its class agent. She was previously VP of the Alumni Association of Barnard College, and she has chaired the Nominating Committee, the Awards Committee, the Professional and Leadership Development Committee, and has been a member of the Leadership, Reunion, and Fellowship committees. Glick was a member of the Columbia Alumni Leaders Weekend Steering Committee and currently is Co-Chair of the Alumni Leadership group, responsible for She Opened the Door programming. Glick recently developed and presented a workshop for the Barnard Entrepreneurs Network (BEnet) to assist entrepreneurs and division heads who are stuck or need to pivot. Glick lives with her husband in Morningside Heights, and they have two daughters and four grandchildren.
Devon M. Rupley, MD is an Obstetrician-Gynecologist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and the NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital. She received her BS in Government from Cornell University and her MD from the University of Michigan, completing her OB/GYN residency at Columbia University Medical Center. Prior to receiving her MD, she worked abroad in Ghana on maternal and child health issues.
Dr. Rupley focuses on caring for patients with limited access to care and a history of trauma. She is the clinical lead for the EMBRACE program, which creates communities of support for obstetric patients. In 2020, she received the Vanneck Bailey Award.
At the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Rupley centers her educational efforts on learner transitions, serving as a Foundations of Clinical Medicine Preceptor and as Co-Director of the Ready for Major Clinical Year course, which prepares medical students for the transition from classroom to bedside. Dr. Rupley also serves as Director of Resident OB/GYN education at the Allen Hospital.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Courtney D. Cogburn employs a transdisciplinary research strategy to improve the characterization and measurement of racism and to examine the role of racism in the production of racial inequities in health. She is also conducting research exploring the use of emerging technologies, including computational social science to examine patterns and psychosocial effects of cultural racism, and how virtual reality experiences can lead to changes in attitudes, social perception, and engagement (empathy, racial bias, structural competence, and behavior). Professor Cogburn is the lead creator of 1000 Cut Journey, an immersive virtual reality racism experience that was developed in collaboration with the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2018. She is on the faculty of the Columbia Population Research Center and a core member of the Data Science Institute where she also co-chairs the Computational Social Science working group. Professor Cogburn is also a faculty affiliate of the Center on African American Politics and Society. She directs the Cogburn Research Group and co-directs the Justice Equity + Tech (JE+T) Laboratory at Columbia University. Professor Cogburn completed postdoctoral training at Harvard University in the Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar Program and at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. She received her PhD in Education and Psychology, MSW from the University of Michigan, and BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia. She is also a board member of the International Center Advocates Against Discrimination.
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.
Christopher Hwu is currently a graduate research assistant and PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry. His medicinal chemistry research interests encompass the development of both monoaminergic substrates and inhibitors. The former goal focuses on the characterization of novel fluorescent false neurotransmitters (FFNs) that optically trace the uptake, packaging (in vesicles), and release of neurotransmitters from individual monoaminergic neurons. The latter objective is pharmacologically focused on the development of novel (and safe) small molecule derivatives based on naturally occurring substances that serve as selective monoaminergic inhibitors and most importantly, are useful as potential therapeutics for substance use and psychiatric disorders.
Christine P. Hendon develops biomedical optics technologies for biomedicine to guide interventional procedures and to provide insights into the structure-function relationship of biological normal, diseased, and treated tissues. She has worked on developing next-generation optical coherence tomography systems and integrated therapeutic catheters with near infrared spectroscopy, along with real-time processing algorithms to extract physiological information. Hendon collaborates extensively with investigators from the Columbia University Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Her group has developed integrative optics and therapeutic probes for improving the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias.
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.
Carla D. Hayden was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress on September 14, 2016. Hayden, the first woman and the first African American to lead the national library, was nominated to the position by President Barack Obama on February 24, 2016, and her nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 13, 2016.
Prior to her latest post she served, since 1993, as CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland. Hayden was nominated by President Obama to be a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board in January 2010 and was confirmed to that post by the Senate in June 2010. Prior to joining the Pratt Library, Hayden was deputy commissioner and chief librarian of the Chicago Public Library from 1991 to 1993. She was an assistant professor for Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh from 1987 to 1991. Hayden was library services coordinator for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago from 1982 to 1987. She began her career with the Chicago Public Library as the young adult services coordinator from 1979 to 1982 and as a library associate and children’s librarian from 1973 to 1979.
Hayden was President of the American Library Association from 2003 to 2004. In 1995, she was the first African American to receive Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year Award in recognition of her outreach services at the Pratt Library, which included an after-school center for Baltimore teens offering homework assistance and college and career counseling. Hayden received a BA from Roosevelt University and an MA and PhD from the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago
Ann F. Kaplan ’72SW, ’77BUS is a graduate of the Columbia School of Social Work and Columbia Business School. She is a Columbia University Trustee Emerita and, as the Chair of the Committee on Global Initiatives and Co-Chair of the Global Leadership Concil, had the pleasure of supporting the establishment of the network of Columbia Global Centers. She also served on the board of the Columbia University Investment Management Company and, as Vice Chair of the Finance Committee, chaired the Committee on Social Responsibility. Kaplan is currently a member of the Board of Overseers of Columbia Business School where she serves on the Governance and Nominating Committee, is a Founding member of the Women’s Circle, has supported the Manhattanville Campus, and has endowed a chair. She also serves on the Board of Advisors at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center, the Mailman School of Public Health, and the Beijing and Amman Global Centers. Kaplan is the Chair of the Women Creating Change Leadership Board, which supports a Columbia grant giving program for interdisciplinary work on issues that affect women. She also taught asset management at Columbia Business School from 2004 to 2014. She supports projects at The Global Centers, the Medical Center, and the Center for Chronic Grief.
Professor Adam Galinsky has published more than 200 scientific articles, chapters, and teaching cases in the fields of management and social psychology. His research and teaching focus on leadership, power, negotiations, decision-making, diversity, and ethics. He co-authored the best-selling book, Friend & Foe (Penguin Random House, 2015), which offers a radically new perspective on conflict and cooperation. His Ted talk, “How to Speak Up for Yourself,” is one of the most popular of all time with over 5.9 million views.
Professor Galinsky’s research has received numerous national and international awards from the scientific community. In 2016, he received the Career Trajectory Award, given to one researcher each year for “uniquely creative and influential scholarly productivity at or near the peak of one's scientific career.” Thinkers50 selected him as one of the Best Thinkers on Talent in 2015. Poets and Quants selected Professor Galinsky as one of the World’s 50 Best B-School Professors (2012). He has received teaching awards at the Kellogg School of Management and Princeton University.
Professor Galinsky has consulted with and conducted executive workshops for hundreds of clients across the globe, including Fortune 100 firms, non-profits, and local and national governments. He was the sole expert witness in a 2006 defamation trial in which the plaintiff whom he represented was awarded $37 million in damages. He has served as a legal expert in multiple defamation lawsuits.
He is the Executive and Associate Producer on many award-winning documentaries, including two, Horns and Halos (2003) and Battle for Brooklyn (2011), which were short-listed for Best Documentary at the Academy Awards.