George J. Ames '37:   Financier and   Philanthropist
Those Were the Days,   My Friend!


Roar, Lion Roar!

Nicole Marwell '90
Mignon Moore '92
Joshua Harris Prager   '94
Cristina Teuscher '00

Back in the Classroom

By Laura Butchy

Mignon Moore '92 (left) and Nicole Marwell '90 are back teaching at Columbia
Mignon Moore '92 (left) and Nicole Marwell '90 are back at Columbia as members of the faculty.

What's a sociologist to do? For Mignon Moore '92, Nicole Marwell '90, Mary Pattillo-McCoy '91 and Sandra Smith '92, the answer was a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, one of the top sociology programs in the country. Now two of them, Moore and Marwell, have returned to their alma mater on the other side of the classroom.

According to Moore, who was a John Jay Scholar at the College, teaching several courses while completing her sociology major stimulated her interest in research and led her to enroll in graduate school immediately upon graduation. Moore joined Columbia's sociology department in January 2000 as the second alumna - and first African-American alumna - to return to the College as a faculty member. She now holds a tenure-track position as an assistant professor of sociology and is the undergraduate director of African-American Studies.

"My undergraduate experience at Columbia was so rewarding," Moore says. "I looked forward to my return as an alumna. I also think it is important for all of our students to see women and people of color in professorial roles."

Marwell, a religion major, rejoined Columbia in a joint position in sociology and Latino studies six months after Moore.

"Columbia, by virtue of its location in New York City, gave me outstanding opportunities to learn from the city and its wide variety of communities," Marwell says. "It fostered a love of city life and a certain sense of adventure and openness, all of which have been critical to my work as a sociologist studying urban Latino communities and organizations."

After a year spent working at the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art in Brooklyn, she, too, began graduate school in Chicago. There she was reunited with Patillo-McCoy and met Moore and Smith, who were already friends from their days at Columbia.

Marwell and Moore have become closer since returning to teach in the same department. Smith also has returned to New York, as an assistant professor of sociology at NYU. Patillo-McCoy serves as assistant professor of sociology and African-American studies at Northwestern and has published her first book, Black Picket Fences: Privilege and Peril Among the Black Middle Class.

"Frankly, it's still a little freaky in terms of negotiating the change in status between being a student and being a professor," Marwell says of teaching at her alma mater, "but the students have been great, and I think I'm settling in well."


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