Columbia announces comprehensive assessment of undergraduate health and wellness resources

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

President Lee C. Bollinger has appointed James J. Valentini, dean of Columbia College and vice president for undergraduate education, to lead a Steering Group on Mental Health, focused on Columbia’s undergraduate community.

The group, composed of administrators, faculty and students who will assess and enhance Columbia’s policies, programming, services and outreach, will work on a comprehensive assessment of undergraduate health and wellness resources at Columbia, in collaboration with The Jed Foundation (JED), a  leading non-profit organization dedicated to promoting emotional health and preventing suicide among college students.

In completing the assessment, the committee will work closely with offices and staff members throughout the University who are central to the undergraduate experience and committed to the health and wellness of Columbia’s undergraduate students to provide important insight into the Columbia community’s resources and needs. These include Alice! Health Promotion, Counseling and Psychological Services, Disability Services, Medical Services, Multicultural Affairs, Public Safety, and Residential Life, as well as academic advisors in Columbia College, Columbia Engineering and the School of General Studies, and other offices and departments as needed. In addition, JED will be holding a series of focus groups for students to discuss their experiences and provide suggestions and feedback.

The committee hopes to complete the campus assessment by the end of the academic year, leading to a strategic planning process to enhance well-being in the Columbia community.

The members of the steering committee are:

  • Melanie Bernitz, Associate Vice President and Medical Director, Columbia Health

  • Shyamolie Biyani, student, Columbia College

  • Leora Brovman, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Student Affairs, Columbia Engineering

  • Jewelnel Davis, University Chaplain

  • Richard J. Eichler, Executive Director, Counseling and Psychological Services

  • Donna P. Fenn, Associate General Counsel

  • Melody Gomez, student, School of General Studies

  • Cristen Kromm, Dean of Undergraduate Student Life, Columbia College and Columbia Engineering

  • James F. McShane, Vice President for Public Safety

  • Barclay Morrison, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Vice Dean of Undergraduate Programs, Columbia Engineering

  • Matthew Patashnick, Assistant Dean of Student and Family Support, Columbia College and Columbia Engineering

  • Peter Pilling, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education

  • Andrew Plaa, Dean of Advising, Columbia College and Columbia Engineering

  • Abby Porter, student, Columbia College

  • Samuel K. Roberts, Associate Professor of History and of Sociomedical Sciences

  • James J. Valentini, Dean of Columbia College and Vice President for Undergraduate Education

  • Nicholas Villalobos, student, Columbia Engineering

  • Scott Wright, Vice President for Campus Services