Author Archive for Columbia SIPA

Straus Historical Society and American-Scandinavian Foundation Scholarship Opportunities

Enrolling at SIPA – and living in New York City – represents a serious financial obligation. SIPA has made a firm commitment in recent years to devoting more resources to scholarship and fellowship programs, and fundraising efforts continue so that we can make a SIPA education more affordable.

External resources available as well, from all over the world, and SIPA students annually find millions of dollars in such scholarships each year. Our Office of Financial Aid maintains a searchable database of such scholarships, along with providing links to other free scholarship search sites, and we encourage all applicants to search for these funding opportunities throughout the application process and even once they are enrolled.

We have recently come across two awards that may be of interest to some applicants, but please check our website and keep updated with this very Admissions Blog for many more opportunities: 

Straus Historical Society

The goal the Straus Historical Society scholarship program is to help support the continuing education of a student or students whose professional goal is in the field of public service.  The Society defines public service as employment in government, the uniform services, public interest in non-governmental research and/or educational and nonprofit organizations, such as those whose primary purposes or to help needy or disadvantage persons or to protect the environment.  Columbia University is one of only three schools selected for applications for the 2019/2020 school year. The application can be found on the Straus Historical Society website.

Application deadline: November 1, 2018.

The  American-Scandinavian Foundation

The Foundation offers over $500,000 in funding to students from Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway to undertake graduate level study and research in the United States. Awards are made in all fields. See this website for more information.

The application will open in November, with a deadline of April 1, 2019.

Upcoming Graduate School Fairs

The Columbia SIPA admissions team will be attending several upcoming events around the U.S., and we want to talk to you. A few minutes at a graduate school event could change your life forever and lead to great advances in your career. If you’re unable to come to these, don’t worry – keep updated on where we’ll be around the world with our Off-Campus Recruitment Events calendar.

QS Grad School Event

New York City
September 15, 2018, 12:30pm – 6pm

APSIA Graduate School Fairs

Montreal
September 11, 2018, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Atlanta
September 12, 2018, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

New York City
September 13, 2018, 5:15pm – 9:00pm

Washington D.C.
September 18, 2018, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Three Tips for Efficient Communication with our Office

The Office of Admissions and Financial Aid is meant to be a resource for you as you go through the admissions process. Help us help you stay efficient in getting information by following these three tips for communicating with our office:

  1. Use the same name and email address each time. Whether communicating with us or opening an application, consistency is important for us to search and recall past communications to help you get what you need.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the Admissions FAQs. Have you ever been asked a question that the asker could have done a quick internet search to find the answer? We have! We love to speak with people and help them out, but we can get backlogged with questions that are clearly answered on the Frequently Asked Questions page. Those are questions that we collect directly from applicants like you, so chances are that you’ll find the answer to your question more quickly that way. (But we do answer all emails sent to our office, in case you’re wondering.)
  3. General professional email etiquette will speed things up. This includes using descriptive subject lines in emails, including your contact information in your email signature, and avoiding long emails. “Long” emails can be subjective, but if for example, we receive an email with multiple detailed questions, it’ll take us longer to dig through it. With that, you can consider breaking them into separate emails over a short period of time to allow us to respond more efficiently.

    Another email etiquette tip? Avoid copying multiple parties on the same email. I know when I see four other people copied on an email sent to me, I may just let someone else answer the email first, or it’ll spawn more emails itself as we all check who is going to take point on it. If you’re unsure who the email should go to, trust that the person you send it to will direct it to the right place!

Remember, we’re here to help you, and we love when you help us help you.

Seeples-Recommended Restaurants for Every Occasion

If you want more information as you’re starting the 2019 application, you can find us at these grad school fairs. We also encourage prospective students to visit campus to get more information on the application process and experience what student life in NYC would be like.

NYC and student culture intersects on food. SIPA students compiled a list of 18 restaurant favorites for every occasion, from dates to taking your family out. A few top picks?

  • Good for Friends: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. “The best place for a big group, eat lots of meat and drink cold pitchers of beer. The service is warm and friendly, prices are reasonable by NYC standards, and the place is just generally fun. Must try: Deliciously juicy wings, brisket and the St. Louis pork ribs.”
  • Good for Drinks: Ellington In The Park. “Best for day drinking in nice weather.”
  • Cheap eats: The halal cart on 116th and Amsterdam in front of Columbia Law School. Oddly specific, but the numerous food carts around Columbia campus don’t always show up in an internet search. Our students recommend this halal cart for a cheap, convenient and delicious meal.

View the full list below, and let us know if you have any recommendations!

MPA-DP Summer Placement in Hanoi, Vietnam

Nausher Khan MPA-DP ’19 shares his Summer Field Placement experience in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Over the course of the summer, I along with my MPA-DP colleague, Claire Thibault worked with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Hanoi as part of the inaugural Columbia World Project (CWP). The CWP is titled ACToday: Adapting agriculture to climate today for tomorrow and is a collaboration between the International Research Institute at Columbia University and strategic partners in 6 countries. The project is operational in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Senegal, Colombia and Guatemala and is scheduled to run for 5 years commencing in 2018. The CWP is mandated with working with the relevant national governments and civil society organisations to enhance their capacity in adapting their food systems to the changing climate.

These countries have been chosen as they are predominantly agriculture based economies which are severely vulnerable to climate change. Vietnam is the third largest producer of coffee and second largest producer of rice in the world, however due to its placement proximal to the south China sea, it has experienced a proliferation of extreme weather events over the preceding decade. Additionally, due to the global sea level rise, the Mekong delta in the south of Vietnam is subject to saline intrusion, rendering rice paddies situated on the river bed, extremely unproductive. A pattern of increased rains and typhoons in the north of the country, and drier and hotter summers in the South is posing a current and impending threat to the agricultural productivity of the country. Thus, ACToday is partnering with the ministry of natural resources and environment, ministry of agriculture and rural development, and with international organizations such as CIAT in Vietnam to build their adaptive and mitigative capabilities. The project aims to help the local government incorporate accurate Climate change projections and data into the development of their agricultural plans and setting of their food system priorities.

Over this summer, the MPA-DP student team working in Vietnam worked to conduct an extensive stakeholder analysis and needs assessment of the climate information services value chain. We were tasked with identifying the organisations and processes responsible for the production of climate information, the translation of that information into agricultural advisories, and the dissemination channels by which this information was reaching the farmers. This initial scoping will lay the foundation for the succeeding initiatives that will be established under the ambit of the ACToday program. Similar work was carried out in the remaining CWP countries and now as the strategic operations have been formalized In the respective countries, the project will enter the second phase and work in a localized manner to achieve the end goal of increased food security through a sustainable food system.

In addition to the conduction of the climate information service value chain analysis, I had the opportunity to document the experience in an audio-visual format. The purpose of this documentation would be to develop a short audio-visual case study to be used as a teaching aid for the students of Food systems in the coming years. This documentary followed the novel format of student-led filmmaking, primarily using an Iphone to record field experiences, day-day life and expert interviews. It will go to show the impact of climate change on Vietnamese agriculture, and capture the experience of working within the mandate of the CWP in Vietnam.

"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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