Graduation 2019

Commencement Exercise

We put 10 very recent graduates on the spot to get their last words on leaving the College

Sarah Doane

Photos by Eson Chan

Sara Doane

Major: Anthropology

What’s next: “Still working on it!”

The CC Takeaway: “One foot in front of then other; take everything one day at a time and know that things will work out.”


Sumya Akkas
Sumya Akkas

Major: Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies

What’s next: “I’m working at a law firm in New York.”

The CC Takeaway: “Slow down and appreciate all the opportunities around you, not just the educational ones — go to panel events, go to events with friends. There are so many initiatives around campus. Really take the opportunity to explore what you’re passionate about, and discover new passions.”


Elliotte Jun Beom Lee
Elliotte Jun Beom Lee

Major: Economics and Environmental Science

What’s next: “I’ll be incorporating my own game development and consulting business in New York.”

The CC Takeaway: “Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your business.”


Marvin D. Clark
Marvin D. Clark

Major: Political Science and African-American Studies

What’s next: “Teaching elementary special education in St. Louis, through Teach For America.”

The CC Takeaway: “We shouldn’t let the accomplishments we all pursue so strongly distract us from developing as human beings and being able to empathize with each other.”


Nika Bederman
Nika Bederman

Major: East Asian Languages and Cultures

What’s next: “Attending the Law School.”

The CC Takeaway: “Keep an open mind, but not so open that your brains will spill out!”


Dejavis Bosket
Dejavis Bosket

Major: English, with a concentration in Russian Literature

What’s next: “Working in publishing here in town — I hope with children’s fiction.”

The CC Takeaway: “Things are never really as they seem when you first look at them. Take the jump to get to know someone or try new material; it really opens things up.”


Kai Morsink
Kai Morsink

Major: Earth Science

What’s next: “Working for the Bureau of Land Management in Wyoming on geographic information systems.

The CC Takeaway: “Love and spend time with the people around you, because that’s the community that’s going to come through for you when you hit tough times. When you’re looking for greater meaning, you can find it in the community you’ve built.”


Rylee Carrillo-Waggoner
Rylee Carrillo-Waggoner

Major: Comparative Literature and Society

What’s next: “I’m heading to Arizona to work on a farm and volunteer on the border. The farm harvests wild desert plants to support sustainable living in the desert — it goes back to traditional indigenous ways of living on the land. I’m Chicanx, so I’m excited to get back to that.”

The CC Takeaway: “Try! Don’t be afraid of failure. Everyone can do really cool things, and it’s exciting to see what you can produce in spaces where you have exciting minds collaborating.”


Tarek Deida
Tarek Deida

Major: History

What’s next: “I’m still trying to figure that out, but I have two job offers — in Boston and New Orleans.”

The CC Takeaway: “Being at Columbia, studying humanities, you get a good sense of how the world and society operates. But you also realize that you don’t know everything and you can’t figure it all out — you have to just use what you have to get you to the next thing.”


Kaya Hantsbarger
Kaya Hantsbarger

Major: Psychology

What’s next: “Moving to South Dakota to work at a residential treatment center
for children who’ve been referred by child protective services. Within a couple of years I hope to either get my master’s or doctorate so that I can continue working with kids in that kind of setting.”

The CC Takeaway: “Don’t be afraid to take a risk. Take a class you’re not sure you’ll do well in, or talk to someone that you might be nervous to talk to. Be willing to take those kinds of risks because that’s how you build the best memories and make the best friends.”