Photo: Char Smullyan

Class of 2014 Senior Snapshot: Luisa Lizoain

“The field work forced me to pay attention to elements of the landscape that I might ordinarily take for granted.”

This profile will appear as part of the Summer 2014 Columbia College Todays Senior Snapshots feature.

Given Luisa Lizoain CC ’14’s primary reason for choosing the College — “I was excited about the cultural opportunities New York City provided,” she says — it’s no surprise that her favorite memories of the Core are the supplemental outings. “When I took Lit Hum, we got tickets to see Sleep No More [an interactive retelling of Macbeth]; that was definitely a highlight,” says Lizoain, who also relished her Art Hum-related visits to the Met.

Lizoain, who majored in urban studies with a focus in sustainable development, also used her time at the College to explore other cities. She spent eight weeks during summer 2012 as an intern at ClearWorld Media, a social media consulting group in Beijing, through Columbia Experience Overseas, a program of the Center for Career Education. ClearWorld Media uses social media to raise awareness about environmental issues and promote its clients. Lizoain managed Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts for two of the company’s projects, Climate Action and Upcycling, which encourage individuals to reduce their carbon footprints and limit waste. “It was interesting to learn how companies like these [generate] the content they post,” says Lizoain. “I hadn’t really thought about online branding in that way.”

Lizoain spent the Spring 2013 semester at the School of Land and Environment at the University of Melbourne, where she took four courses. She particularly enjoyed “Cities: From Local to Global,” an urban planning course that involved excursions to the suburbs of Melbourne to study the use of space and to get local residents’ perspectives on what they liked and disliked about their neighborhoods. “The field work forced me to pay attention to elements of the landscape that I might ordinarily take for granted,” says Lizoain.

A movie buff who enjoys all genres, Lizoain initially thought to major in film. Instead, she pursued her interest through electives and the Ferris Reel Film Society, a student group that organizes on-campus screenings for Columbia students for free or at discounted prices. This year, Lizoain, who became president of the group as a junior, helped arrange advanced screenings of Don Jon at the 84th Street AMC Theater and of the mid-season premiere of the USA Network drama Suits in Roone Arledge Auditorium. The latter included a Q&A with cast members.

“There’s a sense of community when students are watching the movies [and TV shows] together; that’s been really rewarding,” says Lizoain, who was honored as a Senior Marshal. The Toronto native also volunteered with the Global Recruitment Committee beginning in her sophomore year, was an orientation leader for the New Student Orientation Program 2011–13 and co-chaired the 2014 Senior Dinner.

In her last semester, Lizoain interned in the film and television division of Random House, where she evaluated the potential of book manuscripts for motion picture adaptation. In the short term, she plans to pursue a career in film or television production, but has not ruled out attending graduate school for urban studies. “I love them both,” she says.

Nathalie Alonso CC ’08, from Queens, is a freelance journalist and an editorial producer for, Major League Baseball’s official Spanish language website. She writes “Student Spotlight” for Columbia College Today.

Published Tuesday May 6, 2014

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