Archive for SIPA

Life Beyond the Classroom: Spectrum

SIPA has so much to offer beyond the classroom, and we’re excited to hear from Spectrum during this Pride Month! Read on to learn more about what they do and stand for here at SIPA.

Spectrum is a student organization at SIPA that uses advocacy and information to advance local, national and international transformations, in favor of LGBTQIA rights. We bring together the talent of SIPA students who wish to make a difference in favor of equality and non-discrimination, particularly with regards to sexual orientation, gender expression or identity.

One of the most important goals of Spectrum is to maintain a friendly community where everyone feels welcomed. Spectrum is committed to supporting our members in their well-being. We’re committed to providing safe spaces for all students and take anonymity seriously.

What do we do? Along with panels and working lunches on topics related to LGBTQIA rights in the U.S. and the rest of the world, we throw the best happy hours to unite our community over a drink or two in informal settings!

  • Spectrum panelistsThis spring semester, we held a panel on Sexual Violence and Mental Health. Our guest speaker Jessica Stern, president of OutRight Action International, spoke on the importance of creating new and adjusting old policies that would address sexual violence in the United States. Monica Pombo, representative of the Sexual Violence Response unit at Columbia University, talked about counseling and medical services available for students on campus. Dr. Cindy Veldhuis, a postdoctoral research scientist at Columbia University’s School of Nursing, talked about the phenomena of sexual violence and how to address it.
  • We invited former and current SIPA students who successfully landed a job to share their experience in finding that job. Guest speakers included Jason Fauss (BlackRock), Nick Donias (KPMG), and Daniel Peciña-Lopez (European-American Chamber of Commerce in New York).
  • Spectrum also unites queers across the entire Columbia University. This past April we recently had a joint happy hour with LGBTQ communities from Columbia’s Law School, Business School, School of Science and Engineering, School of Social Work and School of General Studies.

Spectrum is an inclusive community — everyone who cares about LGBTQIA is welcome to become a member. Join us through OrgSync and our Facebook group to stay up-to-date with current events.

Learn About Policy & International Affairs Graduate Programs at Summerfest 2018: Boston, Washington, D.C. and NYC

This summer we’ll be joining four other top graduate programs in public policy and international affairs for Summerfest 2018! These mini graduate-school fairs will be in Boston, Washington D.C. and New York City. Representatives from the following graduate programs will be available at each Summerfest to discuss admissions requirements, the application process, financial aid, and more:

  • Columbia University– School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)
  • Georgetown University– Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service
  • Johns Hopkins University– The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
  • Princeton University– The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
  • Tufts University– The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

If you want to learn about SIPA in-person, you can always visit us at an on-campus event. And this summer and fall, we’ll be traveling globally for graduate school fairs and other events. Until then, I hope you’ll join all of us at a Summerfest!

Summerfest Boston
Wednesday, June 20, 2018 | 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
160 Packard Ave.
Medford, MA 02155
*Transportation from Davis Square will be provided.

Summerfest Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, June 27, 2018 | 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Georgetown University Law Center
Gewirz Student Center, 12th Floor
600 New Jersey Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20001

Summerfest New York City
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 | 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
International Affairs Building, Columbia University
420 West 118th Street, Room 1501
New York, NY 10027

Summerfest Washington, D.C.
Thursday, July 19, 2018 | 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
1740 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

Interschool Fellowship Applications Due by June 22

Congratulations to all of the winners of the Columbia Graduate Global Policy Fellowships! Among the winners are seven SIPA students, two of which are are Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy students, which is one of the submission requirements for this fellowship.

Interschool Fellowships are open for application. Each year, Columbia makes a few scholarships and fellowships available to students from all schools within the University. These awards, known as Interschool Fellowships, are the result of donations from generous supporters of the University and tend to have very specific eligibility criteria.

Click here for the Interschool Fellowship application. The deadline is Friday, June 22, and any documents that require original copies of official sealed documents should be delivered directly to the SIPA Financial Aid Office by the that date.

Since these awards are for all Columbia University students, SIPA nominates eligible applicants but does not choose the recipients. The decisions will be made later this summer. We encourage SIPA students to click here for more information about the fellowships and application process. Here are some descriptions of the available fellowships:

  • Clifford and Siegfried Upton Scholarship — Requirements: Children, adopted children, and step-children of the employees of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company (Boston-based), its subsidiaries, or successor companies.  Available to graduate or undergraduate students.
  • Leta Stetter Hollingworth Fellowship — Requirements: Columbia graduate student who is also a woman graduating from or has graduated from the University of Nebraska.
  • Paul Nichoplas Scholarship Fund — Requirements: A male or female student in any area of the University who has attended college or university in Greece.  Available to graduate or undergraduate students.
  • Vladimir and Olga Poder Fund — Requirements: Estonian-speaking students attending Columbia. Available to graduate or undergraduate students.
  • George W. Ellis Fellowship — Requirements: Graduate students who are residents of Vermont or who have graduated from an accredited Vermont college or university.
  • The Lydia C. Chamberlain — Requirements: Students who have resided at any time in the State of Iowa and graduated from a college or university located in Iowa. The award is based on scholastic standing, seriousness of purpose, moral character and the real need of financial help and used to pursue advanced and graduate studies in Columbia University.

Pretty specific, right? So if you meet the full criteria for any of these Interschool Fellowships, click here to apply. Again, the deadline is Friday, June 22, and applications (and any necessary documents) must be submitted to the SIPA Office of Financial Aid by then. And of course, contact us if you have any questions at 212-854-6216 or sipa_finaid@columbia.edu.

A 5-Year Columbia Student’s Take on On-Campus Housing

Columbia’s location in Morningside Heights has, inevitably, shaped the neighborhood and its development. Over the recent years, the University has acquired a number of apartment buildings in the Morningside Heights vicinity, as well as in Harlem and the Manhattan Valley. In 2008, Columbia even acquired the Arbor, an admittedly nice apartment complex located in Riverdale. In the Bronx. (Don’t worry. Columbia offers a shuttle between the Arbor and both the Medical Center and Morningside Heights Campi. Pick your poison). Here’s a quick overview of the pros and cons of pursuing University Apartment Housing (UAH).

Pros:

It’s lowkey your best bet to stay close to campus. As noted before, Columbia has acquired, and continues to acquire, many apartment buildings in the Morningside Heights neighborhood. From my experience, SIPA students who pursue UAH are placed within a ten-minute walk to the International Affairs Building (IAB). In fact, SIPA students who live on 118th Street, between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive live right across IAB. Geographically speaking, students may be placed within the rectilinear domain bounded by 106th Street, Riverside Drive, 120th Street, and Frederick Douglass Boulevard/Central Park West.

Path of least resistance. Perhaps the least work-intensive housing search can be found with UAH. If approved for UAH housing, students indicate their preferred price point, fill out a personality questionnaire, supply additional documentation, if needed, and done! Students are notified once they are placed, and the contact information of their potential roommate/suitemate is passed along. Upon arrival to campus, residents pay a visit to the UAH office (near the corner of 119th and Morningside) to sign a lease, and off they go!

‘Tis the season for sublets. School’s out for summer. But you’re not! UAH leases last for the entire duration of your student status. That means the apartment remains yours for the summer. If you’re interning or working in New York, you’re free to remain in your apartment. However, if your research sends you to Rome, or your internship places you in Iqaluit, you have the ability to sublet your apartment. The transient nature of the neighborhood means that someone would be more than happy to sublet your space. You’re also allowed to charge your subletter a premium, a rate higher than your rent, within reason. UAH has rules for that, but that discussion is best left for if you survive your first year a later time.

Cons:

UAH is not guaranteed. There is no way for the University to provide housing to its close to 20,000 postgraduates. That said, the various schools are allocated housing spaces; in turn, each school has its own process to determine which students received UAH. At SIPA, the Office of Student Affairs facilitates the UAH process, approving students throughout the summer. A number of factors can determine UAH eligibility including geographic distance away from New York, ability for a student to produce a credit report or credit history, among other things. If you pursue UAH, be sure to pursue other housing options until you receive an offer from UAH.

UAH is (relatively) expensive. Going with UAH means paying for convenience. To quantify it, UAH offerings price between $850 to $1,500 per month, ($2,300 for couples/family spaces). Depending on the placement and contract, this price may or may not include utilities. The premium you pay relieves the stress of finding a place, using a broker, etc. That said, it is possible to find cheaper housing, with rooms in Morningside Heights going as low as $700, even $600. If you don’t mind venturing two or three stops north on the 1 line, you’ll surely get more for your money.

Pro-tips:

Make friends with a Columbia person who knows what’s up. They’ll be able to let you into various Facebook groups for housing (some pending activation of your UNI and email).

Use OCHA! The Off-Campus Housing Assistance site can be a happy medium between an expensive UAH while still staying within the Columbia community. OCHA compiles a list of spaces posted by Columbia affiliates. Check them out!

Bits of advice:

Morningside Drive and Morningside Avenue are two different streets! Morningside Drive is the western border of Morningside Park, closer to campus. Morningside Avenue is the Park’s eastern border.

Live where you want. Wanna live right next to school? That’s cool. All about the Chelsea life? That’s cool too. As bad gal Riri once said, “Ain’t got not time for no haters, just live your life.”

Don’t mind a 30-40 min. bus ride? Check out Astoria in Queens. Great food, affordable places, and it’s an easy trip straight to the campus gates with the M60 Select Bus Service.

Note from Admissions: To our incoming students, don’t forget to register for the Housing Webinar tomorrow through the Welcome Portal!

A View from the Class: The 2018 Award-Winning Capstone Workshop Team

The SIPA Office of Alumni and Development is pleased to share another installment of A View from the Class, a SIPA stories series featuring current SIPA students, recently graduated alumni, and SIPA faculty.

Here, we feature the Capstone workshop team that was awarded this year’s Dr. Susan Aurelia Gitelson Award for Human Values in International Affairs for their work with UN Women on the project “Using Twitter Data Combined with Traditional Survey Data to Measure Societal Dynamics Related to Violence Against Women in Brazil.” Awarded annually, the Gitelson award was created by SIPA alumna, Dr. Susan Gitelson to recognize outstanding work by SIPA students related to human values in international affairs.

For this project, six SIPA students were partnered with faculty advisor, David Dabscheck. UN Women was interested in the use of Big Data; specifically, to understand the potential of using Twitter data combined with traditional survey data to measure societal dynamics related to violence against women in Brazil, where the rates of homicide have continued to increase since 2007.

Alejandra Baez MIA’18: At SIPA, Alejandra concentrated in Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy with specializations in Latin America and Technology, Media, and Communications. A Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow, she will join the U.S. State Department in September 2018 as a Foreign Service Officer.

Wajeeha Bajwa MIA’18: Wajeeha grew up in Tokyo and Moscow and completed her undergraduate education in Germany before returning home to Pakistan to pursue a career in independent consulting. At SIPA, she specialized in Gender and Public Policy to complement her international field experience. She hopes to join an international organization working for women’s empowerment globally.

Gabriel Barrientos MPA-DP’18: At SIPA, Gabriel focused on quantitative analysis, education policies, and behavioral economics. Recently graduated, Gabriel is joining Concordia in New York City as a Partnership Development Manager, working with key partners, industry leaders, and other stakeholders to foster and strengthen public-private partnerships for social impact.

Veronique Ehamo MIA’18: At SIPA, Veronique concentrated in Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy with a dual specialization in Gender and Public Policy and Regional African Studies. From the Democratic Republic of Congo, she  will begin PhD studies in the United Kingdom this fall, focusing her research on the utilization of rape as a weapon of war in the North Kivu Region of Eastern DRC.

Lilah Greenberg MPA’19: A dual degree student at SIPA and the Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW), Lilah is pursuing her MPA, concentrating in Human Rights with a specialization in Gender and Public Policy. In fall 2018, she will continue her studies at CSSW, focusing on human rights and contemporary social issues in the U.S.

Marie Wavre MPA’18: An attorney and MPA graduate in Development and Gender Policy, Marie received a Master in Public International Law from Université Paris Assas and an LL.M. in International Law and Justice from Fordham University School of Law. Marie is currently legal counsel for an immigration law office representing Tibetan refugees seeking asylum in the United States.

"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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