Archive for Academics

Take a Peek at MPA-DP’s Newest Initiative: DP120

MPA-DP Founding Director Glenn Denning introduces DP120, our newest initiative aimed at collecting and sharing insights into development practice. Watch the video to find out why the number 120 was chosen, how practitioners can get involved and to hear Director Denning’s insight for the week- practice makes the practitioner!

Episode 1: Introduction, Practice Makes the Practitioner

 

Meet Columbia’s Libraries

The Meet Columbia series aims to expose prospective SIPA students to the larger university-wide experience offered at Columbia. In this post, we explore four of Columbia’s libraries on the Morningside Heights campus. 

It’s Midterm season, and you haven’t started your Conceptual Foundations or Politics of Policymaking papers?! Perhaps buckling down in one of the 21 libraries at Columbia or its affiliates would help! But which one? If you’re looking for a change to your usual study space, here’s a quick run-down of four of the most popular libraries on campus.

The Herman H. Lehman Social Sciences Library

Third Floor of the International Affairs Building (420 W. 118 St.)

Lehman Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo caption: Lehman Library sits below “the Fishbowl” of the International Affairs Building, the hub of the SIPA Community.

What you need to know: Lehman caters to the Departments of Anthropology, Political Science, and Sociology. It is also the “in-house” library for the School of International and Public Affairs.

What you should know: The library’s three Group Study spaces are wildly popular for students coordinating group assignments, TAs conducting office hours, and informal club meetings. Lehman also hosts a large computer lab, recitation rooms, presentation practice rooms, and scanning services.

What you didn’t know: Lehman houses an extensive map collection that began in 1912. Between over 200,000 geological, topographical, political, nautical, and aeronautical maps, you can find yourself lost in a room full of maps.

Butler Library

South Lawn (535 W. 114 St.)

Butler Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo caption: Butler 301, colloquially known as the Ref room, is home to soaring chandeliers and hard-working students. This room is one of many that remains open for 24 hours during the academic year.

What you need to know: Butler is Columbia’s largest library, containing over two million volumes works related to the humanities, religion, philosophy, and literature, as well as a large collection of government documents. It originally opened as South Hall in 1934, replacing Low Library as the school’s main library. Fun Fact: Staff used a giant slide to transport books from Low.

What you should know: Butler is the library that never sleeps, staying open for 24 hours during the academic year. There will be students working during all parts of the night. There are study carrels and offices reserved for graduate students on the library’s upper floors, with most students preferring to work in the reading rooms, large reference rooms, or the stacks. The entrance level has a Blue Java Cafe, a popular meeting spot for group projects. Should you need a break from Lehman, many group study rooms are available upon prior reservation.

What you didn’t know: The sixth floor is home to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, a massive collection of primary sources spanning more than 4,000 years of history. You can pay them a visit in their museum-style space featuring rotating exhibitions, and Columbia students are given access to documents for research purposes.

C.V. Starr East Asian Library

Third Floor of Kent Hall (1140 Amsterdam Ave.)

Starr Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo caption: The stained-glass window of Justice recalls the space’s former use as the Law School Library. Today, Starr is dedicated to Columbia’s East Asian studies.

What you need to know: Starr is home to one of the largest East Asian collections in the country, housing materials in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean to Tibetan, Mongol, and Manchu. The collection houses books, films, and many cultural artifacts from East Asia. Special search terminals in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean help students find electronic resources in these languages.

What you should know: Starr is known for its elongated study tables that run along the library’s length, as Starr was modeled after the library at Trinity College at Cambridge. Furthermore, the entrance level of Starr showcases many artifacts from East Asia including a large, gilded Buddhist statue of the Bodhisattva Jizo-sama.

What you didn’t know: The east-facing stained glass window depicts Justice, a remnant of the old Law School library that occupied the space previously. The window depicts the seal of Columbia University and the coats of arms of the thirteen original U.S. colonies.

Science & Engineering Library

Fourth Floor of Northwest Corner Building (550 W. 120th St.)

Science & Engineering Library

Photo caption: The Science and Engineering (S&E) Library is Columbia’s newest library. Nestled inside Northwest Corner Building, the space maintains a modern aesthetic, a stark difference from Columbia’s older design traditions.

What you need to know: The Science and Engineering Library is Columbia’s newest library, opening in 2011. It supports research in the fields of chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy, psychology, and interdisciplinary works.

What you should know: The library houses the Digital Science Center, making its computers some of the most powerful and comprehensive on campus. There are more than fifty advanced workstations, all outfitted with course-related software (read: SPSS and Stata), and can be used at individual or group carrels. There are also group study spaces and presentation practice rooms available upon reservation. Additionally, Joe’s Coffee downstairs can satisfy your food or coffee fix.
What you didn’t know: Ever wanted to design something? Anything? Columbia offers free 3D printing! If you can design it, you can print it! No worries if you never had experience with 3D design. Columbia Libraries offer tutorials and beginner resources to help you start your project.

Which library is your favorite? Is there anything you want to know about student life at Columbia? Curious about any history, traditions, or folklore on campus? Comment below, and we’ll write about it in our next blog post.

 

What you should know about SIPA’s International Dual-Degree Programs

As a member school of the Global Public Policy Network (GPPN), SIPA offers a International Dual-Degree Program to our MPA/MIA students. Students in this program have the opportunity to spend one of the two years of their MPA/MIA program to study at a foreign partner school. This program gives students the chance to study public policy from an international perspective with exposure to different academic, cultural, and professional environment. Here are some things you need to know about the International Dual-Degree Program.

Which schools offer international dual degrees with SIPA?
SIPA has a partnership with six policy schools around the world, including Sciences Po Paris, the London School of Economics and Political Science, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, the FGV-EAESP in São Paulo, the Graduate School of Public Policy (GraSPP) at the University of Tokyo, and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

When do I begin my study aboard if I am in this program?
Students in the international dual-degree program would spend one year at SIPA and another year at a partner school. For each program — except for the one with Sciences Po Paris — students are free to choose whether to  spend the first year at SIPA or at a partner school. The program with Sciences Po Paris is a fixed-track one, in which all students must spend their first year in Paris and the second year at SIPA.

If I want to start from SIPA, how do I apply?
If you plan to spend the first year at SIPA, you need to go through the regular SIPA admissions process. All the requirements are the same as the regular two-year MPA/MIA application, including the materials you need to submit and the deadlines. When you are matriculated at SIPA, you need to talk to your academic adviser about dual-degree program and apply to a partner school accordingly.

If I want to start from a partner school, how do I apply?
If you plan to spend the first year at a partner school, you need to apply through their website. The following programs has various application requirements and deadlines, so please follow the school’s instructions and contact their respective admissions offices if you have questions or need further information. More information for each program is below:

Do I get two degrees from both schools?
Yes, you could get a MIA or MPA degree from SIPA and also a relevant degree from the partner school. See the links above to confirm which degrees qualify for the program at each institution.

How do I pay tuition?
Students will pay SIPA tuition when they are studying in residence at SIPA, and the partner school tuition for the other year. For the SIPA side, you can find the estimated tuition, fees and cost here. For the partner school side, you will need to review the links referred above to find about their tuition and cost.

What is the language of instruction?
English is the language of instruction for all programs with the exception of the FGV-EAESP’s Master in Management and Public Policy in São Paulo, where the language of instruction is Portuguese (The language of instruction for the Master in International Management is English).  Therefore applicants to this program should know Portuguese, as well as English.

What courses should I choose when studying in a partner school?
If you study at a partner school during the first year, you are encouraged to satisfy as many SIPA core requirements as possible by taking approved equivalent courses. During the second year at SIPA, you will need to complete any remaining core requirements in addition to your concentration and specialization requirements. If you start at SIPA, you are required to complete all core courses  in the first year, with the exception of capstone workshop. The second year curriculum is determined by the partner school. You can consult with your academic adviser and the dual-degree coordinator to figure out which courses can be used to satisfy SIPA requirements, as well as the partner school’s requirements.

Who do I contact to find out more?
Please contact Alleyne Waysome, assistant dean of Office of Student Affairs for more info on the International Dual-Degree Programs at sipa_osa@columbia.edu.

I’m still confused.
Don’t worry. Just look at the chart below.

Program
Location
SIPA Degree
Partner  Degree
Enrollment Preference
Instruction Language
How to Apply
Fundação Getulio Vargas Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo
São Paulo, Brazil
MPA or MIA
Master in International Management
Start at either school
 English
Apply directly to the school or to SIPA. Once matriculated at either school students can then apply for the dual degree program.
Master in Management and Public Policy
Portuguese/ English
Hertie School of Governance
Berlin, Germany
MPA or MIA
MPP or MIA
Start at either school
English
Apply directly to the school or to SIPA. Once matriculated at either school students can then apply for the dual degree program.
London School of Economics and Political Science
London, England
MPA or MIA
MPA
Start at either school, but if you start at LSE you can only pursue the MPA at SIPA
English
Apply directly to the school or to SIPA. Once matriculated at either school students can then apply for the dual degree program.
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore
Singapore
MPA or MIA
MPP
Start at either school
English
Apply directly to the school or to SIPA. Once matriculated at either school students can then apply for the dual degree program.
Sciences Po
Paris, France
MIA
MIA
Start at Sciences Po
English
Students submit a single “dual degree” application to Sciences Po. If admitted the admission decision is applicable to both schools.
MPA
MPP
University of Tokyo Graduate School of Public Policy
Tokyo, Japan
MPA/MIA
MPP
Start at either school
English
Apply directly to the school or to SIPA. Once matriculated at either school students can then apply for the dual degree program.

This could be your Capstone project one day

SIPA’s signature Capstone Workshops give students the opportunity to apply the practical skills and analytical knowledge learned at SIPA to a real-world issue for client organizations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Students from the Master of International Affairs and Master of Public Administration degree programs, working under the guidance of an expert faculty advisor, are organized into small consulting teams (generally about six students per team) across more than 80 projects each year.

While students won’t complete their MIA/MPA Capstone Workshop until their final semester at SIPA, there are ways to preview what the assignments are like. Here are two Capstone Workshops highlighting some of the compelling work that our Seeples do.

Preventing Social Conflict in the Peruvian Mining Industry

Capstone Client #1: Government of Peru, President of the Council of Minister’s Office

Faculty Advisor: Jenik Radon

Team: Ayaka Ishida Amano, Lidia Cano, Filippo Ghersini, Ana Gabriela Gonzalez, Marisol Grau, Jordan Grimshaw, Vidyu Kishor, Emmanuel Laboy, Alessandra Mistura, Joshua Trinidad, Clara Young Thiemann

Mining is one of Peru’s most important industries, responsible for a considerable portion of the country’s economic growth since the 1990s. However, this growth has come at a financial, environmental and human cost. Work stoppages and deaths have resulted from social conflicts that arise when members of the communities impacted by mining projects are excluded from the approval processes and the economic benefits. Government regulations aimed at preventing and mitigating the causes of these social conflicts have been largely ineffective. With renewed government focus on this issue in 2017, the team’s report harnessed the current political momentum and provided a guide for the new administration through the process of filling legal gaps, mapping administrative processes, improving state engagement with communities, and ensuring implementation and compliance with robust social license policies.

Assessing Offline Internet Technology as a Development Tool to Connect the Unconnected

Capstone Client #2: Wikimedia Foundation, Mount Sinai—Wikipedia Project for Offline Education in Medicine (POEM) in the Dominican Republic

Faculty Advisor: Anne Nelson

Team: Lucia Haro, Maria Gonzalez Millan, Katie Nelson, Jorge Salem Suito

Offline internet technology is an emerging ICT4D tool to expand access to information to the 60% of the world’s population who lack internet connectivity. Wikipedia is interested in expanding the use of their open source encyclopedia content around the globe, and assessing its usefulness in low-resource settings. The Dominican Republic, a country with an under-resourced health system and limited internet connectivity, is an ideal laboratory to test offline internet as a tool for development. The team interviewed healthcare providers in the Dominican Republic to learn what kinds of information they require, and to assess the usefulness of the ‘internet-in-a-box’ as a low-cost offline internet-enabled data storage device that allows users to wirelessly access open-source content. The project’s findings are that offline internet has considerable potential to bridge information gaps, especially in rural, low-resource settings. The team’s recommendations are being incorporated into a pilot project to field-test the device during summer 2017.

5 Items to get you through Micro and Macro

As a recent admit or prospective student you may be wondering, “what do I need to prepare myself for the econ courses?” Well, as a recent econ survivor, I have a few tips to share. Whether you go with calc or concepts, here are the five items that will help you get through your micro- and macro- courses.

*Disclaimer: These are all my personal preference! You are more than welcome to pick one, two, or none of these items at all. I’m also a by-hand note taker (6400 prospects, you will be too), so these tips are very much geared toward the analog rather than digital. You’ll retain the info better this way anyway.

5. Graph Paper Sticky Notes
This is really a point of personal preference, but I love a good graph-paper sticky note. I tend to reorganize my notes a lot, so movable graphs are really handy in this respect. It also makes comparing your graphs much easier

4. A Folder
As a chronic printer of notes and problem sets, a folder is an absolute necessity. How else will you keep all those loose papers in one place? And in order?

3. A Notebook
Arguably the most important item on this list. This is where all your notes will go, so make sure you get a notebook you will not forget/ lose. And make sure it’s one that you love! I’m also a big fan of matching my notebooks and folders so I always know which goes with which.

*Note: Tips No. 3 and No. 4 could easily be combined into a 3-ring binder with dividers separating the different concepts, but 1) I am entirely too lazy to hole-punch anything and 2) I hate binders. I’m really not into loose sheets of paper and I have bad luck with functioning rings. Team folder-notebook for life!

2. Highlighters
I’ve already mentioned that I’m a chronic printer of lecture notes, so highlighters are a must have. 6400 students: Gerratana gives you his lecture notes beforehand. I personally got a lot out of reading/ highlighting the notes the night before so that I had a good grasp of what we’d be talking about in class. Bubula (6401) is a post-class note disseminator, so his class notes are much more of a review.

1. The Holy Grail: Colored Pens
These were honestly my saving grace. There’s no better way to get organized than a set of colored pens. When I first started, I was a firm believer that econ notes should be done in pencil only, but the minute I started color coordinating, my life was forever transformed. Graph shifts? Producer vs consumer outcomes? INCOME AND SUBSTITUTION EFFECTS? What once was a monochromatic bloc of confusing arrows suddenly became an orderly sequence of concepts ready and waiting to be understood. Added Bonus: Even if you have no idea what’s going on (you won’t be the only one, that’s for sure) you’ll more easily be able to figure out where you’re having trouble AND you’ll look like you really have your stuff together. It’s a win-win!
Now that I’ve outed myself as someone who is clearly too excited about school supplies (though honestly, who isn’t?!), I hope you guys will find some of this useful! Of course, perfect school supplies are no substitute for actually studying the material, attending class, and going to recitation, so make sure you’re as focused on the concepts as you are on the pen colors and you’ll be good to go.

"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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