Author Archive for Columbia SIPA

Upcoming Fellowship Opportunities, and Next Steps for Admits

The SIPA Financial Aid Office maintains a database of external funding opportunities, and we wanted to alert students to some with upcoming application deadlines. We’ve also included some next steps for admitted students regarding financial aid. For more external scholarship awards, go to our External Fellowships and Funding Sources page.

Upcoming Scholarships

Islamic Scholarship Fund
Requirements: US citizens and permanent residents attending graduate school who have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and are Muslim or an active member of the Muslim community.
Deadline: April 9, 2020

John R. Mott Scholarship Foundation
Requirements: Graduate students native to the region of Calabria, Italy.
Deadline: April 15, 2020

Peggy Howard Fellowship in Economics
Requirements: Wellesley alumnae continuing their study of economics.
Deadline: April 15, 2020

Qalaa Holdings Scholarship Fund
Requirements: Egyptian nationals under the age of 35 who have a minimum of two years of work experience post-graduation and committed to returning to work in Egypt for two years after completing their degree program.
Deadline: April 15, 2020

Savoy Orders Piggot Scholarship
Requirements: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, have proven financial need, strong academic performance, and have a minimum GPA of 3.00 or its equivalent. For the International Studies Scholarship, enrollment at a university within reasonable proximity of the United Nations is also required because recipients will be required to attend and report on periodic NGO briefings at sessions relating to the Economic and Social Council of the UN.
Deadline: May 15, 2020

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Scholarship
Requirements: CHCI’s scholarship opportunities are afforded to Latino students in the United States who have a history of performing public service-oriented activities in their communities and who demonstrate a desire to continue their civic engagement in the future.
Deadline: May 22, 2020

R.D. Sethna Scholarship
Requirements: Loan scholarships to students who are citizens of India, regardless of community, caste or creed. Loan scholarships are granted to enable students to undertake scientific, technical, industrial or commercial studies in India and overseas on the condition that they are repayable with interest in terms of the agreement and other documents required to be entered into and executed by applicants and their guarantors. Only those applicants who have passed at least the Secondary School Certificate examination or other equivalent examination and who have secured not less than 50% of the total marks in the last examination given by them prior to the making of the applications are eligible to apply for a loan scholarship.
Deadline: May 31, 2020

Houtan Scholarship Foundation
Requirements: Students from all origins – Iranian and non-Iranian – who have high academic performance and proven interest in promoting Iran’s great culture, heritage, language and civilization. The candidates for the award must demonstrate leadership ability and the desire to make a difference in the society where they reside.  Applicants should have a working knowledge of Parsi.
Deadline: June 1, 2020

For Admitted Domestic SIPA Applicants: Financial Aid To-Do List

All admitted applicants who were offered direct funding by SIPA were notified at the time of admission. In addition, all domestic admitted applicants who submitted a FAFSA have been notified of additional student loan and/or Work Study options, and that is an ongoing process as FAFSAs are received.

Your next steps will be emailed by the Office of Financial Aid. Please be aware the following action is required upon receipt of your full financial aid package by the financial aid team via email:

  • Accept any fellowship offered by SIPA – this should be done by the time you pay your enrollment deposit by May 1, and;
  • Accept or decline student loans and/or Work Study (if you have completed your FAFSA and notified by SIPA of loan/Work Study eligibility) – this can be done at any time, but if you want these financing options available at the start of the fall semester, you should do this by about July 1;
  • Loan borrowers must complete the one-time federal requirements Direct Loan master promissory note and entrance counseling
  • If you have been offered a Work Study job, you will be notified by the Work Study Office over the summer with instructions about finding an available job. Work Study jobs are University-wide, many students will not have a Work Study job at SIPA.

NOTE: If you’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and haven’t submitted a 2020/2021 FAFSA yet, you should do so as soon as possible so that we can provide you with information about loans and Work Study.  Columbia University’s school code number is 002707.

Upcoming scholarship opportunities for March – April 2020

The SIPA Financial Aid Office maintains a database of external funding opportunities, and we wanted to alert students to some with upcoming application deadlines.  For more external scholarship awards, go to our External Fellowships and Funding Sources page.

Walter S. Barr Fellowships
Requirements: Residents of Hampden County, MA or qualified former residents.
Deadline: March 15, 2020

Council of Citizens with Low Vision International Scholarships
Requirements: Full-time student with visual impairment.
Deadline: March 15, 2020 

Episcopal Church Foundation Graduate Fellowship Program
Requirements: Lay and ordained members of the Episcopal Church or any member church of the Anglican Communion.
Deadline: March 15, 2020

Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund
Requirements: Federal employees with the federal government for more than three years as of the scholarship application deadline, and some family members.
Deadline:  March 25, 2020 

National Federation of the Blind Scholarships
Requirements: Legally blind and pursuing a full-time course of study.
Deadline: March 31, 2020

Swiss Benevolent Society of New York Scholarships
Requirements: Swiss-American students and their families.
Deadline: March 31, 2020

Delta Gamma Fellowship
Requirements: Must be members of the sorority and selection is based on scholastic achievement, contributions to chosen field, and past/current Delta Gamma activities and leadership.
Deadline: April 1, 2020

Islamic Scholarship Fund
Requirements: U.S. citizens and permanent residents attending graduate school who have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and are Muslim or an active member of the Muslim community.
Deadline: April 9, 2020 

John R. Mott Scholarship Foundation
Requirements: Graduate students native to the region of Calabria, Italy.
Deadline: April 15, 2020 

Peggy Howard Fellowship in Economics
Requirements: Wellesley alumnae continuing their study of economics.
Deadline: April 15, 2020

Qalaa Holdings Scholarship Fund
Requirements: Egyptian nationals under the age of 35 who have a minimum of two years of work experience post-graduation and committed to returning to work in Egypt for two years after completing their degree program.
Deadline: April 15, 2020

Upcoming scholarship opportunities for February 2020

The SIPA Financial Aid Office maintains a database of external funding opportunities, and we wanted to alert students to some with upcoming application deadlines. For more external scholarship awards, go to our External Fellowships and Funding Sources page.

Pi Gamma Mu Scholarship
Requirements: Pi Gamma Mu’s scholarships are intended for the first or second year of graduate work in the areas of sociology, anthropology, political science, history, economics, international relations, public administration, criminal justice, law, social work, psychology, and human/cultural geography.  Applicants must be members of the Pi Gamma Mu Honor Society.
Deadline: February 15, 2020

New York Grace LeGendre Endowment Fund, Inc.
Requirements:
A woman who is a United States citizen and a resident of New York State, have a bachelor’s degree, currently enrolled in graduate studies in an advanced graduate degree program at an accredited New York State college or university and have already completed at least one semester in that program.
Deadline: February 28, 2020

Pat Tillman Foundation
Requirements: Active and veteran servicemembers and their families by providing scholarships for tuition and fees, living expenses, and books.  The average award is $10,000.  Scholars demonstrate extraordinary academic and leadership potential, a track record of perseverance, and a deep desire to impact change in our country and communities through their studies in medicine, law, business, policy, technology, education and the arts.
Deadline: February 29, 2020

National Italian American Foundation
Requirements: Be a member of NIAF or have a parent, guardian or grandparent who is a member of NIAF, minimum GPA 3.5 and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Deadline: March 1, 2020

United Methodist Church Scholarships
Requirements: Active, full member of United Methodist Church for at least one-year, full-time student and 2.5 GPA or higher.
Deadline: March 5, 2020

Walter S. Barr Fellowships
Requirements: Residents of Hampden County, MA or qualified former residents.
Deadline: March 15, 2020

Council of Citizens with Low Vision International Scholarships
Requirements: Full-time student with visual impairment.
Deadline: March 15, 2020

Episcopal Church Foundation Graduate Fellowship Program
Requirements: Lay and ordained members of the Episcopal Church or any member church of the Anglican Communion.
Deadline: March 15, 2020

Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund
Requirements: Federal employees with the federal government for more than three years as of the scholarship application deadline, and some family members.
Deadline: March 25, 2020

National Federation of the Blind Scholarships
Requirements: Legally blind and pursuing a full-time course of study.
Deadline: March 31, 2020

Swiss Benevolent Society of New York Scholarships
Requirements: Swiss-American students and their families.
Deadline: March 31, 2020

“In Response to the US Government’s New Travel Restrictions on Six Nations”

This statement is from the Columbia Office of University Life. You can read the original statement here.


Dear Columbia community,

The U.S. government on Friday announced new restrictions on immigration to the United States by people from Nigeria, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Sudan and Tanzania, all nations with substantial Muslim populations. Student visas and other non-immigrant travel remain unaffected. Still, as an educational institution committed to the free exchange of ideas irrespective of national boundaries, bans on immigrants because of their nationality are deeply concerning.

Columbia’s mission underscores that a diverse and international faculty and student body is fundamental to the success of our learning and research environment. Indeed, our students and scholars from across the world play an essential role in making Columbia a global institution at the center of new ideas, information and innovation.

The new order, which takes effect on February 22, cuts against this commitment. It brings the total to 13 nations facing immigration restrictions here (including Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Venezuela and North Korea).

Singling out nations in this way also harms individuals, damages America’s leadership in higher education and defies our nation’s founding principles, as President Lee C. Bollinger wrote in response to the federal government’s 2017 order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority nations. Since that time, the University has joined amicus briefs, statements and letters opposing the ban.

Although international students and scholars currently in the U.S. are not affected by the new restrictions, if you are a student, visiting scholar or community member from one of the affected countries, we urge you to contact our International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) before making travel plans.

We know that these are trying times for many in our community and that this new travel restriction may heighten bias toward individuals from the targeted countries. All in our community should contact Public Safety with any concerns about your personal safety. And for our students, please contact your school’s Dean of Students, the Office of University Life or any of the resources listed on University Life’s website and app.

In community,

Suzanne B. Goldberg
Executive Vice President for University Life
Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law

A View from the Class: James Courtright MIA ’20

The SIPA Office of Alumni and Development is pleased to share A View from the Class, a SIPA stories series featuring current SIPA students, recently graduated alumni, and faculty. In this issue, we feature James Courtright MIA’20, concentrated in Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy with a regional specialization in Africa.

What were you doing prior to attending SIPA?

I spent my adolescence growing up in Tanzania. After my graduation from Denison University, I worked in agriculture for two seasons before serving in the U.S. Peace Corps in Senegal from 2013-2016. As a Peace Corps volunteer, I lived in the city of Kolda with a Senegalese family, learned the Pulaar/Fula language, and pursued grassroots projects in urban agriculture, education, and community development. After my third year extension, I moved to the capital of Senegal, Dakar, and worked as a freelance journalist for a year. I covered human rights, food security, the environment, and transitional justice in Senegal, The Gambia, and Sierra Leone for NPR, The Christian Science Monitor, Roads & Kingdoms, African Arguments and Equal Times.

Why did you choose SIPA?

I started my graduate school search by looking at the resumes of people in positions I want to fill someday. One of few common threads across people’s backgrounds was a SIPA education. When I began looking deeper at the SIPA program, I saw that I could take classes across Columbia and engage with my interests from a critical academic perspective while also learning practical skills for a future career in the field. Also, after going to an international school in Tanzania for secondary school, I was excited to be in a school where over half of the students come from outside the U.S. It also helps that SIPA is here in New York City, one of the most cosmopolitan places in North America.

Why did you choose the Master of International Affairs (MIA) program and the Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy concentration?

An MIA gives me the flexibility to work in a variety of positions in the future, and through the human rights concentration, I am learning how to use my privilege and experiences in the cause of furthering justice in all its forms. My interest in human rights specifically stems from my undergraduate thesis in history, in which I investigated mass violence in Zanzibar in the early 1960s. Examining how violence is mobilized made me interested in what can be done to mitigate and prevent it. During my service in the Peace Corps, I also saw how structural human rights issues related to the global political and economic order further marginalize those already on the periphery. As a journalist, I was drawn towards stories that shed light on survivors of human rights abuses and those that fight entrenched power for the betterment of society.

What has been your experience at SIPA so far?

I have had a rich academic and professional experience at SIPA. In spring 2019, I interned in the Africa division of Human Rights Watch as a research assistant. My responsibilities included helping with background research on oil exploration and academic freedom in South Sudan, the protests in Sudan, and land conflicts in Northern Uganda. Last summer, I interned with the Jammeh2Justice coalition in The Gambia. I compiled detailed weekly summaries of Gambian news related to transitional justice, organized a press conference for human rights activists, and conducted an impact study on how the #IAmToufah movement changed gender activism in The Gambia. I also worked with, and continue to assist, the African Network against Extrajudicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances (ANEKED), transcribing and summarizing testimony for the Gambian Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission.

How have your Peace Corps and journalism experiences shaped your SIPA experience?

They have profoundly shaped my SIPA experience, enabling me to connect things I learn in the classroom to the real world, which helps me understand what we are learning and gives those experiences a deeper meaning. For example, in one class we were discussing the inevitability of conflict in everyday life and the importance of having mechanisms to manage that conflict. I immediately thought about Mamoudou, a friend I made in the neighborhood I lived in on the outskirts of the city of Kolda. As a Peace Corps volunteer, I saw Mamoudou every few months when he would return home from university in Dakar to visit his family. I knew he was studying international law and human rights, and spent his breaks working for a Senegalese NGO in Kolda, but I never understood precisely what he did. While doing my summer internship, supported by SIPA, in The Gambia in 2019, I was able to return to Kolda twice to visit friends and celebrate Tabaski (Eid al Adha) with my host family. I ended up spending an afternoon with Mamoudou. After catching up, I asked him more about his work. He explained he spent his time helping rural communities mediate conflicts, and if need be, seek restitution with the Senegalese justice system. He explained that most of the issues his organization dealt with regarded conflicting claims over land deeds, divorce, and occasional conflicts between herders and farmers. After my classes at SIPA, I had a greater appreciation for the importance of Mamoudou’s work and plan on learning more about how to support people like Mamoudou next time I visit Kolda.

Is there are particular SIPA experience that stands out to you?

In spring 2019, I took “Civil War and Peacebuilding” with Dr. Severine Autesserre. Her class changed my outlook on the roots of conflict and strategies outsiders can use to help foster peace. Her focus on the importance of hyper local dynamics in the outbreak of conflict and potential solutions to build peace from the bottom up resonated with my experiences in West Africa. I still reference the material we read in that class in my other classes, and increasingly, in my day-to-day life.

What are your plans after SIPA?

After SIPA, I would like to return to West Africa. I am currently applying to positions with various human rights and peacebuilding organizations in the region, as well as with the United Nations. Depending on my success on these fronts, I would always be happy to return to Dakar, Senegal and continue writing as a freelance journalist and working with organizations for which I have developed new connections.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I would like to thank SIPA’s generous donors for helping to make my attendance at this extraordinary School possible.

"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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