Every October, Columbians around the world—alumni, students, parents, friends, neighbors, faculty, and staff—come together for Columbia Giving Day, a 24-hour online fundraising event on Oct. 26, 2016. Our alumni are deeply committed to making a real difference in the world.  To support Giving Day, the work our alumni do, and to virtually say “thanks” to all of SIPA’s alumni who take on global issues, big and small, I’ll share one alumni story a week every Friday this month.  The videos highlight the work of especially distinguished SIPA alumni, underscoring their various contributions to our society in the US and abroad.

As a health promoter for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), Ella Watson-Stryker, MIA ’09 worked on the front lines of the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa. “You can work really hard and sometimes it’s not enough,” she says. “But… we have to keep trying because if we’re not trying, then no one else will.”