Shavon Bell, SIPA – Sciences Po, MIA ’22
Concentration: Economic and Political Development
Specialization: International Organizations & UN Studies
Hometown: New York, NY
Shavon is a dual master’s student between SIPA and Sciences Po Paris. For her MIA degree from SIPA, she concentrates in Economic and Political Development with a specialization in International Organizations and UN studies. For her Master of International Public Management from Sciences Po Paris, she concentrates in diplomacy.
Upon graduation from Brown University in 2017, Shavon spent a year at the Mission of Panamá to the United Nations, where she developed her foundational knowledge of the UN and its agencies. As a Panamanian New Yorker, she was thrilled to have the opportunity to work for the country of her heritage. Following her time at the UN, she worked for a New York-based think tank that works closely with multilateral organizations before traveling to Paris to begin her dual master’s studies. A true dog lover, Shavon enjoys dog sitting a Maltese named Quincy who loves watermelon and french fries.
Catherine Born, MPA ’22
Concentration: Urban and Social Policy
Hometown: Berkeley, California
Catherine Born is a second-year MPA candidate. A native of Berkeley, California, she earned her BA at the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a double major in Spanish Language and International Studies. In addition to a career in education in the United States, Spain, Japan, and France, she has interned and volunteered at international nonprofit organizations with a focus on human rights, migration, and refugees. At SIPA, Catherine has focused her coursework on management techniques and tools, taking practical courses on measuring and evaluating impact, government budgeting, and public sector management.
Over summer of 2021, she had the opportunity to work at a nonprofit organization, CSforALL, where she planned and executed a two-day meeting with policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels centered around policy recommendations that would expand AI and Data Science education in the United States. As a result of the meeting and ongoing conversations, Catherine co-wrote a report on increasing AI and Data Science education in the U.S.
Nicholas Chun, MIA ’22
Concentration: Human Rights & Humanitarian Policy
Specialization: Technology, Media and Communications
Hometown: Carmel, Indiana
Nick Chun is a second-year MIA student from Carmel, Indiana. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 2019 with a major in Political Science and a minor in French. During his time at SIPA, he has been involved in student organizations such as the Journal of International Affairs and The Morningside Post. He has conducted research through the Earth Institute’s AC4 and Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute and also interned at Scholars at Risk and the International Organization for Migration.
Prior to SIPA, Nick was completing his undergraduate studies while also exploring his interests in the intersection between human rights and international organizations. He traveled a bit through East Asia before arriving in New York to begin at SIPA.
In his free time, Nick enjoys playing guitar and uploading covers on YouTube. He is a huge Weezer fan. He also likes watching horror movies, reading, and eating Chipotle.
Rachel Tang, MIA ’22
Concentration: Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy
Specialization: Technology, Media and Communications
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Rachel Tang is a second-year MIA student concentrating in Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy (HRHP) and specializing in Technology, Media and Communications (TMaC). She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, earning a Foreign Language and Areas Study (FLAS) fellowship in Thai.
Prior to SIPA, Rachel served as an AmeriCorps member at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and worked with the refugee and immigrant community in Los Angeles. She is passionate about human rights and migration issues. As a U.S. State Department Rangel Fellow, Rachel will enter the U.S. Foreign Service to serve as a Foreign Service Officer after graduating from SIPA.
Catalina Wedman Alfaro, MIA ’22
Concentration: International Security Policy
Specialization: Foreign Language Specialization in Mandarin Chinese
Hometown: Cartago, Costa Rica
Catalina is a second-year MIA candidate born and raised in Cartago, Costa Rica. She’s concentrating in International Security Policy and studying Mandarin Chinese as a 2021-2022 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellow. After graduating from the University of Kansas in May 2020, she came to Columbia to enhance her management skills and reinforce her data analysis skills. During her second semester at SIPA, she got to complete a Fulbright ETA (’21) in Madrid, Spain, while attending SIPA courses remotely.
Catalina has completed internships with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, U.S. Embassy Nassau, and the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. As a Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellow, Catalina will be joining the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer upon graduation. She is passionate about improving U.S. diplomatic relations with Latin America, East Asia, and Europe.
In her free time, Catalina enjoys dancing, spending quality time with her friends and family, and eating at local restaurants. As a proud community college graduate, she hopes to empower other community college students to embrace their alternative path to rigorous educational experiences and inspire them to reach their highest potential.