Archive for Haiti

Ketti Jean Klefeker, SIPA Student Video Winner, 2010

The following post is credited to SAlex Burnett, SIPA’s Communications Officer.


As part of SIPA’s ongoing effort to share the extraordinary work of its students, the School conducted a contest earlier this year calling for videos from students spending their summer in the field.

Kettie Jean Klefeker (MIA ’11) wins a new video camcorder for her video exhibiting her work with young refugees and orphans in Tibet and Nepal. Klefeker is a second-year student from Haiti, concentrating in Economic and Political Development. She says her work helped her gain greater insight and knowledge about the inner-workings of such homes for children.

The new video recorder will allow her to continue to show how her SIPA education is making a difference around the world. SIPA encourages all students to document and share their incredible stories through photos or video, and is now beginning to loan video cameras to students heading into the field.

Klefeker’s video and additional student submissions will be used to demonstrate SIPA’s commitment to educating the policy advocates and analysts of tomorrow.

Columbians Recount, Respond to Haiti Quake

haitiLast week I noted that some SIPA students were in Haiti as part of their professional development work when the earthquake occurred.  The Record, a Columbia University publication, recently ran an article about the SIPA students and others from around the University that were in Haiti at the time.  A portion of the article is below and to view the whole article please visit the web site of The Record.

Shortly before 5:00 p.m. on Jan. 12, Elisabeth Lindenmayer, director of the United Nations program at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), was in Port-au-Prince with six of her students, exiting a van outside the United Nations Development Programme building. A longtime U.N. peacekeeper and former assistant secretary general and deputy chief of staff to Kofi Annan, she and her students were in Haiti for a week-long trip. They were conducting research on the role of the private sector in social and economic development and its link to state-building. After close to a week of interviews, they were scheduled to leave the next morning.

As they stepped onto the street, the earth shuddered. The building they were about to enter started to crack, and a deafening roar filled the air. “Get out,” Lindenmayer yelled. Some students threw themselves on the ground; others stayed in the van.

Although members of the Columbia community lost family and friends, the Columbians who were in Haiti were extraordinarily lucky. Remarkably, no one was injured, and a total of 10 students, faculty and staff members were able to be evacuated out of the country with support from a team working from Morningside Heights.

SIPA Faculty Member and Students Return from Haiti

One key part of the education SIPA students get is professional experience.  SIPA students travel all over the world during the summer, winter, and spring breaks and are often in the middle of where news is happening.  This was the case with Haiti as well.

Six SIPA students and SIPA faculty member Elisabeth Lindenmayer are safe after becoming trapped in Port-au-Prince, Haiti during the devastating earthquake that struck that country on January 12.  Lindenmayer, director of SIPA’s United Nations Studies Program, and the six students were in Haiti on a UN study trip. After evacuating by helicopter to the Dominican Republic, all returned home on Friday, January 15.

Everyone at SIPA is greatly relieved to hear that all involved in the development exercise are home safe.  For a more detailed article please visit the Columbia Spectator site.

"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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