New Sexual Respect Education Program, Research Initiative at Columbia University

February 27th, 2015 by Kaitlyn Wells
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I’m sure some of you have read the news this year related to sexual assault on university campuses across the country. So I feel it’s important to share with all of you a new awareness initiative on campus requiring all Columbia students to participate in new programming as part of their degree requirements (from workshops and films to group reflections and panel discussions).

As SIPA Dean Merit E. Janow put it, “Columbia University is undertaking a major initiative to explore the ethics around sexual respect, one that encourages everyone to reflect on what it means to be a citizen of our Columbia community. At Columbia and around the country, issues around sexual assault and harassment, dating and intimate partner violence, and stalking are being examined in robust and challenging ways.”

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A Capstone Experience: Land Development in Ethiopia

February 27th, 2015 by Kaitlyn Wells
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Hi everyone. I realize that now—the decision waiting period—is a stressful time. To lighten the mood, I thought you might enjoy reading about some of the exciting things our PAs have been up to. So I wanted to take the time to share with you a story from our newest PA, Tinsley Corbett, MPA ’15, in which she shares her Fall Capstone experience, which just wrapped up last week.

SIPA workshops, or capstones, apply SIPA students’ practical skills and analytical knowledge to a real-world issue. Small student consulting teams, under faculty supervision, are assigned a substantive, policy-oriented project with an external client. Each team produces an actionable report and an oral briefing. Workshops give students a chance to refine their skills and knowledge, make a positive contribution, and build a network. Traditionally, most SIPA Capstone Projects are completed during the final spring semester, but a lucky and ambitious few may opt to complete it during the fall, like Tinsley did. Here’s her experience with with investment group Ethiopia SouthWest Holdings.

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Student Spotlight: Isabela Cunha

February 25th, 2015 by Kaitlyn Wells
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Today I’ve decided to share a short Q&A with a current International Organizations and UN Studies specialization student, Isabela Cunha. This specialization requires students to complete a core course in international organizations, and two additional three-credit courses. The content of this core course focuses particularly on the mandate of these organizations, their history, their governance structure, their funding sources and mechanisms, their key achievements and most serious challenges, and above all, their impact on the world around them. None of this is static – mandates change or atrophy, power shifts, funding fluctuates, influence waxes and wanes. 

You may recall in a blog post we announced the fluctuation of this specialization. Previously SIPA had a United Nations Studies program, which was phased out, making way for the highly-anticipated (and requested) UNS specialization, which is under the umbrella of the IO specialization. So we thought you’d find this Q&A with Isabela Cunha, conducted by our PA, Eric Medina, MPA ’15, interesting. Enjoy.  Read the rest of this entry »

SIPA Dean’s Public Policy Challenge Winners Announced

February 23rd, 2015 by Columbia SIPA
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pictured (L-R): Rajan, Ganesan, Levin, Litowitz, Lewin

pictured (L-R): Rajan, Ganesan, Levin, Litowitz, Lewin

We have some exciting news about an inaugural public policy challenge for SIPA students to design cutting-edge technology projects. The winners of SIPA Dean Merit E. Janow’s $25,000 competition were recently announced, and the winning solutions are truly amazing! PaisaBack will use mobile technology to encourage women in India to get preventive health care, and Terranga’s mobile app will connect travelers worldwide with local residents of the places they visit.

Read about how our MIA and MPA students developed their winning projects below.

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