Our ‘Seeple’ did some amazing things last year

Two-thousand fourteen was an extraordinary year, and we can hardly wait to see what 2015 has in store for us. SIPA students, faculty and alumni are flourishing and are accomplishing so many great things across the globe. Last year, SIPA welcomed some notable people to campus, our students explored climate issues abroad, and our staff and alumni even found themselves in the pages and on the teleprompters of the country’s leading media outlets.

The New Year may be in full swing, but we don’t want to forget about our accomplishments last year. So as you put away the twinkle lights, make lists for this year’s resolutions, and dream about tomorrow (and possibly a future at SIPA), we thought we’d share some of our favorite “Seeple” (SIPA people) moments with you. 

Here’s a look at some of our favorite moments from 2014:

Conferences and Speakers
In January 2014, SIPA held its annual Washington, D.C. Career Conference where students networked with potential employers in the DC area and with SIPA alumni.

Throughout the spring semester, the SIPA United Nations Studies Program (UNSP) held several working lunch events, which featured Ambassador Oh Joon, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea, and Ambassador Khalid Abdalrazaq Al Nafisee, Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia, and allowed students to interact with the Ambassadors.

In March, SIPA and the Harriman Institute convened six faculty experts for a wide-ranging discussion on the crisis in Ukraine.

In April, SIPA hosted the 17th Annual David N. Dinkins Leadership & Public Policy Forum, led by former NYC Mayor David Dinkins, and featured current NYC Mayor, Bill de Blasio, SIPA ‘87.

In May, Françoise Bouchet-Saulnier of Médecins Sans Frontières and Philippe Bolopion of Human Rights Watch discussed challenges in humanitarian law. Then, the following week, SIPA held TEDxColumbia SIPA: Think Smaller at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre to discuss the notion that bigger is not always better.

In December, Columbia’s Journal of International Affairs celebrated the launch of its Fall 2014 issue, “Breaking Point: Protests and Uprisings in the 21st Century,” at the biannual Thought Leadership Forum. And ending the year with a bang, Jason Bordoff, SIPA professor, appeared on the Colbert Report and discussed energy and falling oil prices.


Student Spotlights
Tsechu Dolma, MPA ’15, received the Brower Youth Award and was recognized for her work to build a community greenhouse in Nepali village.

Moises Mendoza, MIA ’16, pursued a Project on Statelessness. The beta version of the multimedia website, “Stateless Voices,” is currently online.

Rina Lila, MIA ’15, worked on the Kosovo Diaspora Project.

For last year’s Workshop in Development Practice, 21 teams of SIPA students in the Economic and Political Development concentration pursued fieldwork in 18 countries.

SIPA students participated in United Nations’ Conference of the Parties (COP 20) on climate issues in Lima, Peru.

A delegation of SIPA students were joined by Dean Merit E. Janow at the 2014 conference of the Global Public Policy Network (GPPN), hosted by the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

Following NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s election, five MPA students surveyed their classmates to develop policy recommendations for New York City’s new mayor in the key areas of housing, transportation, education, and economic development and sustainability and sent an open letter to Mayor de Blasio.


Alumni Accomplishments
Ella Watson-Stryker, SIPA ’09, was featured on cover of Time Magazine as Time’s Person of the Year. She was picked as the “Ebola Fighter” with fellow Médecins Sans Frontières staff!

Ashoka Mukpo, MIA ’11, recovered from Ebola and is doing well.

Cris Stephen, MIA ’99, was appointed coordination officer for the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response.

Eric Garcetti, SIPA ’93, was elected Mayor of Los Angeles in November. Congratulations!

 ***Can’t get enough of 2014? Watch some of our greatest moments, featuring clips from SIPA’s most-popular conferences, panel discussions and round-table events.***


Looking ahead to 2015
Julissa Reynoso, U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay, will teach a new course at SIPA on rule of law in Latin America (Seminar on Latin America: Challenges to Progress) this spring.

Caroline Kennedy, U.S. ambassador to Japan and a 1988 graduate of Columbia Law School, will be the featured speaker at SIPA’s graduation ceremonies in spring 2015.


We will welcome a new class of SIPA students!!


For prospective students interested in applying to Fall 2015, a friendly reminder that February 5, 2015 (at 11:59 PM EST) is the final application deadline. Good luck!