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Students receive Presidential Global Fellowships

Friday, April 10, 2015

Twelve first-year students in Columbia College and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science have received 2015 Presidential Global Fellowships. The students, whose academic interests range from art history, Hispanic studies and sustainable development to comparative literature, computer science and East Asian languages and cultures to English literature, political science, human rights and international relations, were selected from a pool of more than 120 for the University’s undergraduate global summer program.

The Presidential Global Fellowship program, funded with a seed grant from Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger and established in 2014, covers the program fee associated with a Columbia global program, as well as a stipend to cover round-trip airfare and living expenses, for students to study in a location at or near one of the Columbia Global Centers. It is open to rising sophomores in Columbia College, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science and General Studies.

Applicants were chosen for the opportunity by a faculty committee after demonstrating their interest for issues surrounding globalization and how their global studies will be guided by that interest, as well as how being a Presidential Global Fellow would benefit fellow students and the greater Columbia community. They will be spending the summers in locations including Amman, Jordan; Paris France; Beijing, China; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Venice, Italy; and on a combined program in Istanbul and Tunis, Tunisia.

“We are excited to announce the 2015 Presidential Global Fellows. This year’s cohort represent a wide range of backgrounds and interests and will greatly contribute to Columbia’s efforts in the global sphere,” said Scott Carpenter, associate dean of global education and fellowships. “The students are thoughtful, engaged, and curious. We look forward to seeing how their vision of a global community will develop through this summer and beyond. Like the inaugural group last year, these students are leaders on campus and will be outstanding ambassadors for Columbia around the world.” 

The program is unique in that it will include a specialized group orientation and advising sessions to help fellows identify how their global opportunities can enhance their experiences at Columbia and their future intellectual, professional and personal goals. The program will include a meeting with President Bollinger, where the president will share his global vision and hear about the fellows’ global interests.

The 2015 Presidential Global Fellows are:

Kiran AidaKiran Aida CC’18
Summer Arabic Program in Amman
Morrisville, North Carolina

Kiran is currently considering a major in Hispanic studies, Middle Eastern, South Asian and African studies or computer science.  In all of these disciplines, she is fascinated by the connections between cultures and linguistic systems.  Kiran fell in love with Arabic during the period of the Arab Spring when the media coverage of the events revealed to her a living culture and language she had never before experienced and about which she became intensely curious. Outside of class, Kiran is an avid dancer with the Columbia student group Orchesis and is involved in a number of community service initiatives.

Hyun Joo Cho

Hyun Joo Cho CC’18
Venice Italian Studies and Art History Program
Seoul, South Korea 

Hyun Joo’s academic interests range from art history and architecture to East Asian languages and cultures.  She plans to study in Venice in order to explore how Renaissance art represents cross-cultural communication and incorporates intellectual ideals from around the Mediterranean and the wider world.   A former intern at the Korean Broadcasting System, where she worked on a variety of art history projects, Hyun Joo is also an avid artist herself. As a ceramicist, Hyun Joo has had her work appear in many art shows and has also used art as a vehicle to raise funds and awareness for social causes.

Christina ClarkChristina Clark CC’18
Art Humanities and Music Humanities
Rancho Santa Fe, California

Christina plans to major in sustainable development.  An active member of Barnard-Columbia Design for America, a student group focused on using design to create local and social impact, Christina is working with a team of peers on issues surrounding food systems, nutritional education and social entrepreneurship. She also is a staff writer for the BWOG.  She will be studying both Art Humanities and Music Humanities in Paris this summer.  She looks forward to being able to explore the interplay between music and art in Parisian monuments, buildings and museums.

Juan Pablo Fernandez HerzbergJuan Pablo Fernandez Herzberg CC’18
Arabic Summer Language Program in Amman
Miami, Florida

Juan Pablo aspires to work with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) or an NGO to provide aid to refugees in countries experiencing mass migration due to conflict both inside and outside of their borders. He is particularly interested in working in Jordan, which is home to the Zaatari refugee camp that has been housing Syrian refugees since July, 2012. For all of these reasons, he is very excited to spend the summer continuing his study of Arabic in Jordan where he will acquire vocabulary particular to the region while immersing himself in Jordanian culture.  His interest in human rights and international relations has also led him to become an active member in Dorm Room Diplomacy, a group creating dialogue with students around the world, while at Columbia. Juan Pablo is also a competitive swimmer and an accomplished salsa dancer.

Veniamin GushchinVeniamin Gushchin CC’18
Beijing Chinese Language Summer Program
Ellicott City, Maryland

Veniamin is interested in majoring in comparative literature because of his passion for both Russian and Chinese.  He also intends to pursue a concentration in linguistics. He is particularly drawn to studying the differences between the two languages, while also exploring the similarities and differences between each country’s response to communism and globalization. Studying in Beijing this summer, Veniamin hopes to improve his Chinese pronunciation and fluency, while deepening his understanding of Chinese culture.  Active in the literary scene on campus, Veniamin is an editor of both the Columbia Review and The Helvidius Group.

Amsal LakhaniAmsal Lakhani CC’18
Istanbul/Tunis Summer Program in Democracy and Constitutional Engineering
Mombassa, Kenya

Amsal is quick to let others know that he hasn’t always lived in a democracy.  Born in Pakistan, currently living in Kenya, he has been driven since an early age to think about the intertwined nature of democracy and human rights. Given his inquiries into questions of legitimacy and the role of a free press in developing democracies, Amsal is excited to study on the Istanbul/Tunis Summer Program in Democracy and Constitutional Engineering.  When not pursuing these issues, Amsal is active on the Columbia College Student Council, the Columbia International Relations Council and Association, and the Organization of Pakistani Students. He is also a member of Columbia’s Global Recruitment Committee.

Mabel LuoMabel Luo SEAS’18
Summer Portuguese Program in Rio de Janeiro
San Jose, California

Mabel intends to major in computer science with a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation.  She has already begun to explore these interests in an internship with a mobile app tech company she secured through the Columbia Startup Internship Program. Mabel also volunteers her time and talents tutoring at the Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem. She has a wide range of outside interests from biogeochemistry to fashion blogging.  She will spend this summer in Rio de Janeiro where she will begin her studies of Portuguese, a language she is eager to master.

Chelsea MillerChelsea Miller CC’18
Istanbul/Tunis Summer Program in Democracy and Constitutional Engineering
Brooklyn, New York 

Chelsea has been an activist in the field of women’s issues both locally and around the world. The founder of Dare to Dream, a youth empowerment organization improving the lives of pre-teen girls from underserved communities, Chelsea has worked tirelessly on issues of education, self-esteem and leadership for her local community. She was the recipient of the New York Public Advocate Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement in 2013. She recently attended the Women’s Leadership Forum in Yangon, Burma, which addressed global women’s rights issues. She is particularly interested in the roles that women can play in democratization efforts around the world, an interest that has led her to study this summer on the Istanbul/Tunis Summer Program in Democracy and Constitutional Engineering.  A Kluge Scholar who plans to major in political science with a focus on international relations, Chelsea is active on the Columbia University Multicultural Recruitment Committee, the Black Students Organization and Project Tutors.

Matthew RiveraMatthew Rivera CC’18
Summer French Language Program in Paris
Louisville, Kentucky

Matthew will major in English literature while at Columbia because of his penchant for narrative in all its forms. He is drawn to creative writing as well as filmmaking.  He is a fan of old classic and art-house films and sees studying them and the worlds they portray as being essential to his own development as a filmmaker. To that end, he envisions his time in Paris as an opportunity to unpack the legacy of such filmmakers as Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut and Claude Chabrol among others.  His time in New York is spent working on his filmmaking and as a jazz programmer on WKCR. He is also the managing editor of the undergraduate film journal Double Exposure.

Talia RubinTalia Rubin CC’18
Summer Chinese Language Program in Beijing
Newton, Massachusetts

Talia plans to major in East Asian languages and cultures.  She is particularly interested in issues surrounding human rights in the region.  She seeks to improve her Mandarin language skills on the Beijing program this summer.  In particular, she is also interested in gaining a more globalized lens by which she can have a more sensitive and nuanced understanding of the world around her.  At Columbia, Talia has participated in the Pre-Law Society, the Columbia College Law and Business Association, Hillel and TAMID, a program that connects business-minded students to economic ventures in Israel. 

Sophia StadlerSophia Stadler SEAS’18
Summer French Language and Studies program
Randolph, New Jersey

Sophia intends to major in Computer Science.  She loves to program and is particularly interested in coding. Sophia also has a passion for French scientific culture and hopes to spend her time in Paris exploring this intellectual sphere. Sophia looks forward to seeing how the legacy of France as a scientific powerhouse, with innovators like Louis Braille, Marie Curie and René Descartes, lives on in today’s technology sector. When not in front of a computer screen, Sophia is an active skateboarder.

Linh TangLinh Tang CC’18
Summer French Language and Studies program
Hanoi, Vietnam

Linh intends to major in comparative literature with a focus on French, Vietnamese and American literature.  Her summer studying in Paris will be a pivotal chance to be immersed in French culture and literature. She is particularly interested in the role French language and literature has played in shaping notions of identity and self in Vietnam.  When not in the classroom, Linh is active on campus as a radio announcer on WKCR and has written editorials for the Columbia Daily Spectator.  She also regularly teaches debate to tenth-graders on the Upper West Side.