Author Archive for Columbia SIPA – Page 2

Entrepreneurial MPA-DP Student Learns How to Change the World

The MPA in Development Practice program curates dynamic 12-week professional summer placements by developing partnerships with organizations working in sustainable development. Students also have the flexibility to develop their own placements. During past summer 56 second year MPA-DP students have worked in 30 countries for such partners, as MIT D-Lab and Mercy Corps in Uganda, OECD in France, the World Bank in Tanzania, FAO in Lao PDR, among many others. Students typically fill a “junior professional consultant role,” either assisting in the design and development of new initiatives or supporting and/or evaluating ongoing projects. They apply skills they have developed through past professional experience as well as from MPA-DP coursework.

Fernando Armendaris Puente (Class of 2019) has spent his summer with the World Bank Independent Evaluation Group in South East Asia. Fernando moved to the U.S. from Ecuador and has experience working at the World Bank focusing on various issued related to cities. This summer he traveled to the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam developing case studies on urban resilience. “It’s always fascinating to me to read so much about a city and then go there and see it all come to life. I’m glad I have acquired so many tools that I’m already applying and I look forward to more epiphany moments of linking my experience back to SIPA,” Fernando reflects. To learn more about his summer placement watch DP120 video below. DP120s are short videos with stories from the field shared by development practitioners.

If you have questions or want to join the MPA-DP global community email us at: sipa_mpadp@columbia.edu

Financial Aid FAQs: Common questions about paying for SIPA

We often tell students that as much as you plan for graduate school, you should also be planning for the tuition and payments side of it. But we understand it’s a process, and we’re here to walk you through the process.

Our financial aid officers have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help with concerns about student loans, work study, billing, and payment.

Student Loans

I was only awarded the Direct Unsubsidized Loan for $20,500 but I need more funding. What are my options?

When you submit the FAFSA, we can package you with the Direct Unsubsidized Loan because it does not require a credit check or additional application. For graduate students, the annual cap for the Unsubsidized Loan is $20,500; however, you can also apply for a Graduate PLUS loan. If you have already received your award notification, please see the Documents & Messages page of NetPartner. Beneath the section labeled “Unmet Financial Need,” you will find the application and you will see your remaining amount of need which is the maximum you can borrow in a Graduate PLUS or similar private loan.

When do I need to apply for loans/complete entrance counseling/sign the promissory notes?

We recommend you have your aid in place no later than early August. Please log in to NetPartner and be sure to accept your awards on the Accept Awards tab and review the Documents & Messages page for any outstanding materials.

When and how will the loan be disbursed?

Loans are divided evenly between the terms you are enrolled and disbursed to your Columbia student account at the beginning of each semester.

If I borrowed loans to cover living expenses, how and when will that money be refunded to me?

We strongly encourage you to set up direct deposit (click here for instructions). Any amount you borrowed in excess of the tuition and fees for the semester will be issued as a refund to you by the second week of classes after the loan has disbursed to your student bill and after you have registered for classes (assuming you have also completed all the necessary steps on NetPartner).

Can international students borrow student loans?

There are private lenders who make loans available to international students, but most require a US citizen to co-sign. Find a list of suggested lenders here.

Work Study

Do I have to accept Federal Work Study? How does it work? Will it be paid towards the bill? How do I find a job? Should I wait until I know my class schedule to look for a job?

If you were eligible for work study, it was included in your financial aid notification. You are not required to accept it. You will need to find an eligible position and then the money will be paid out to you like a regular salary subject to taxes (it is not applied to your bill). We recommend you start searching for positions and then you can work out the specific schedule after you are hired. More info, including how to search for positions, is here.

Billing & Payment

The SIPA Financial Aid Office does not charge tuition or collect payment. The office responsible for these procedures is the Student Financial Services Office. Find more information here; SFS can be reached at 212-854-4400.

When will I receive my first bill?

The fall statement will be issued August 13th and due September 14th. The full schedule is available here.

What happens with the admission deposit I paid?

It will be applied towards the charges for the first semester you are enrolled and you will see the credit on Student Services Online (SSOL) when you review your student account.

Is there a payment plan?

Yes. Information on the monthly payment plan is available here.

Can I wire money from a foreign bank to pay my bill?

Yes. Please click here for more information.

Can I waive the health insurance and health services fee?

Domestic full-time students can waive coverage if they have alternate coverage that meets the criteria; see here. The waiver for the fall term is due September 30th. Students cannot waive the Health Services Fee.

If I’m living in Columbia housing, will my rent be on the bill?

Most students in University housing will see their room charges on their bills.

My employer/sponsor is going to pay my bill and needs to receive an invoice from Columbia. What do I do?  

You will need to set up third-party billing. Please also email our office with a copy of your sponsorship letter.

I’m receiving an external scholarship. Do I notify you? Where can they send the payment?

Please email our office the details. They can mail the check to:
Attn: Payments & Deposits Office
Student Financial Services
205 Kent Hall
1140 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027

Other Helpful Resources at Columbia University:

International Students & Scholars Office

Office of Military and Veterans Affairs

Capstone Workshop: Improving STEM education in Ghana

A signature of the SIPA curriculum is the Capstone Workshop, a live consulting project on a real-world issue for an outside organization. You’ll work with small consulting teams of other SIPA students under the guidance of an expert faculty advisor.

This is just two of the Spring 2018 workshops out of the 80+ projects each year, and your project could be in the public, private, and nonprofit sector

Building a Hands-on Science Culture Among Ghanaian STEM Teachers

Client: Practical Education Network (PEN)

Based on the finding that one-off teacher trainings alone are not sufficient to enable teachers to implement hands-on science, the Capstone team developed an incentive strategy to increase teacher uptake of in-class activities. The team also made recommendations to improve PEN’s monitoring & evaluation practices, including providing guidance on data collection, analysis, and storage. The team’s final deliverables include toolkits, step-by-step implementation, and measurement guides for immediate incorporation into organization processes. Learn more here.

Clean Cooking Energy Enterprise in Uganda

Client: United Nations Capital Development Fund

In Uganda, only 2% of the population has access to clean cooking technologies while the majority of households rely on biomass to cook, thus making the expansion of the clean cooking sector a major challenge in the country. To fulfill the client’s requests of providing diagnostics to help the companies attract further technical and investment support, the Capstone team undertook background research on the sector, conducted interviews with international organizations and local associations, and took a weeklong field visit to Uganda to meet with local entrepreneurs and produced a set of deliverables, including company prescriptions, company profiles and a website with database feature, to advise them properly on the ways in which they could scale up their efforts. Learn more here.

Check out the full list of SIPA Capstone Workshops here.

SIPA Stories with Katie Jacobs Stanton and Mayor Eric Garcetti

We hosted an energetic and busy Summerfest NYC yesterday and met so many fantastic people. Thank you to all who came to network with us and the other top policy schools. If you’re in the D.C. area and are interested in graduate programs in international affairs, stop by Summerfest D.C. tonight.

A common question from prospective students last night was about how the MIA, MPA, or MPA-DP program would help them in their future careers. Who better to answer this question than two former students / current alumni?

Katie Jacobs Stanton (MIA ’95) shares how her SIPA education was applicable across her career in government and technology. She is the chief marketing officer of Color and former VP of global media for Twitter.

For a different perspective, Eric Garcetti (MIA ’93) was elected Mayor of Los Angeles in 2013 and speaks to how he wants Los Angeles to “become an example of how we bring folks across cultures together to build a new city.”

You can meet more of the people devoted to addressing public policy challenges at SIPA Stories.

Summer Reading from SIPA Professor and Alumni Authors

SIPA is home to practitioners, professors and faculty all across academia. Our distinguished professors have written books in their respective fields. So, while you kick-back and enjoy the summer take a look at these books!

Howard W. Buffett is an adjunct Associate Professor and Research Scholar at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He chairs the advisory board for Columbia’s Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management, and he serves on the management advisory board for the university’s Earth Institute. Buffett is a coauthor of Social Value Investing: A Management Framework for Effective Partnerships (Columbia University Press, 2018), which analyzes innovative collaboration from across sectors and outlines a new methodology to measure social and environmental impact called Impact Rate of Return.

William B. Eimicke is Professor of Practice in International and Public Affairs and the founding director of the Picker Center for Executive Education of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. The Picker Center runs the School’s Executive MPA program (EMPA), SIPA’s audio-visual case study program, and the school’s executive training programs. Eimicke teaches courses in management, cross sector partnerships, applied policy analysis, and innovation. He also teaches at Peking University and the Universidad Externado de Colombia.

In their new book, Howard W. Buffett and William B. Eimicke present a five-point management framework for developing and measuring the success of such partnerships. Inspired by value investing — one of history’s most successful investment paradigms — this framework provides tools to maximize collaborative efficiency and positive social impact, so that major public programs can deliver innovative, inclusive, and long-lasting solutions. It also offers practical insights for any private sector CEO, public sector administrator, or nonprofit manager hoping to build successful cross-sector collaborations. The book also received a shout out from Bill Gates. 

Michael A. Nutter, the David N. Dinkins Professor of Professional Practice in Urban and Public Affairs, served almost 15 years in the Philadelphia City Council, then was elected the 98th Mayor of his hometown in November 2007 and took office in January 2008. At his inaugural address, Mayor Nutter pledged to lower crime, improve educational attainment rates, make Philadelphia the greenest city in America and attract new businesses and residents to the city. He also promised to lead an ethical and transparent government focused on providing high quality, efficient and effective customer service.

In 2007, after serving almost fifteen years on the Philadelphia City Council, Michael A. Nutter became the ninety-eighth mayor of his hometown of Philadelphia. From the time he was sworn in until he left office in 2016, there were triumphs and challenges, from the mundane to the unexpected, from snow removal, trash collection, and drinkable water, to the Phillies’ World Series win, Hurricane Irene, Occupy Philadelphia, and the Papal visit. By the end of Nutter’s tenure, homicides were at an almost fifty-year low, high-school graduation and college-degree attainment rates increased significantly, and Philadelphia’s population had grown every year. Nutter also recruited businesses to open in Philadelphia, motivating them through tax reforms, improved services, and international trade missions.Mayor Nutter details the important tasks that mayoral administrations do, he tells the compelling story of a dedicated staff working together to affect positively the lives of the people of Philadelphia every day. His anecdotes, advice, and insights will excite and interest anyone with a desire to understand municipal government.

Alum Andrea di Robilant (’80 SIPA) is the author of A Venetian Affair, a biography of his ancestor in 18th century Venice based on their correspondence; and a sequel entitled Lucia: A Venetian Life in the Age of Napoleon. Di Robilant was born in Italy and educated at Le Rosey and Columbia University. He now lives in Rome, working as a correspondent for the newspaper La Stampa.

In the fall of 1948 Hemingway and his fourth wife traveled for the first time to Venice, which Hemingway called “a goddam wonderful city.” He was a year shy of his fiftieth birthday and hadn’t published a novel in nearly a decade. At a duck shoot in the lagoon he met and fell in love with Adriana Ivancich, a striking Venetian girl just out of finishing school. Di Robilant-whose great-uncle moved in Hemingway’s revolving circle of bon vivants, aristocrats, and artists-recreates with sparkling clarity this surprising, years-long relationship. Hemingway used Adriana as the model for Renata in Across the River and into the Trees, and continued to visit Venice to see her; when the Ivanciches traveled to Cuba, Adriana was there as he wrote The Old Man and the Sea. This illuminating story of writer and muse-which also examines the cost to a young woman of her association with a larger-than-life literary celebrity-is an intimate look at the fractured heart and changing art of Hemingway in his fifties.

Joseph E. Stiglitz is University Professor at Columbia and Co-Chair of the University’s Committee on Global Thought. He is also the co-founder and co-president of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia.In 2001, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information, and he was a lead author of the 1995 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2011, Time named Stiglitz one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

America currently has the most inequality, and the least equality of opportunity, among the advanced countries. While market forces play a role in this stark picture, politics has shaped those market forces. In this best-selling book, Stiglitz exposes the efforts of well-heeled interests to compound their wealth in ways that have stifled true, dynamic capitalism. Along the way he examines the effect of inequality on our economy, our democracy, and our system of justice. Stiglitz explains how inequality affects and is affected by every aspect of national policy, and with characteristic insight he offers a vision for a more just and prosperous future, supported by a concrete program to achieve that vision.

[Book covers from Amazon.com and Columbia University Press.]

"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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