AitN: May 20, 2019

Vanity Fair’s May 2019 issue featured “Mad About Bari Weiss: The New York Times Provocateur The Left Loves To Hate.” The article discusses how Bari Weiss ’07, a regular Times columnist/contributor, has become divisive on social media, with equally fervent supporters and detractors for her views on everything from politics to culture.

John B. Pegram ’60 received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Intellectual Property Law Association at the organization’s annual meeting on May 14. Pegram is a practicing attorney at Fish & Richardson, based in New York City. From the press release: “He has represented clients in a wide variety of patent, trademark, copyright, and antitrust matters with a focus in the life sciences field. Throughout his career, Pegram has worked to achieve harmonization in international patent and trademark law … Pegram is a leading expert on patent reform and the EU Unitary Patent & Unified Patent Court.”

On May 13, The New York Times’ PopCast discussed Father of the Bride, the new album from Vampire Weekend. Ezra Koenig ’06, Chris Tomson ’06 and Chris Baio ’07 formed the band while they were College students (co-founder Rostam Batmanglij ’06 left in 2016, but appears on the new album). The album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Top 200.

Hari Nef '15

Hari Nef '15

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images North America

On May 10, The Cut featured “25 Famous Women on Their Career Milestones,” in which women shared how certain jobs and opportunities “unmistakably altered their lives and careers.” Model and actress Hari Nef ’15 spoke about her struggles with theater and fashion internships.

On May 6, Ann Kim ’95 won the James Beard award in the Best Chef: Midwest category. To win, a chef must “set high culinary standards and also demonstrate integrity and admirable leadership skills in their respective regions. A nominee may be from any kind of dining establishment but must have been working as a chef for at least five years, with the three most recent years spent in the region.” Kim won for her work with her restaurant Young Joni; she also owns Pizzeria Lola and Hello Pizza, all three are in Minneapolis.

Several CC alumni and students were winners of the 2019 Columbia Venture Competition, which allows budding entrepreneurs to pitch to and receive funding to get their startups off the ground. In the Technology Challenge, sponsored by Columbia Engineering, George Liu ’17 and Jie Feng SEAS’17 took second place (and the $15,000 prize) for Serengeti, which “uses machine learning to recommend audiences to target your product to, even those you haven’t thought of yet.” In the Undergraduate Challenge, Nico Laqua ’22 and Arman Jindal ’22 (founders of Brain A. Eye, which helps “law enforcement objectively and instantly determine if someone is under the influence of an impairing substance”) and Sean Taylor ’20, Kevin Zhen, Eric Duong and Hojung Kim (founders of Homecooked, which builds “relationships and community through local dining experiences) tied for first place, with both companies receiving $20,000 in funding. In third place was Raghav Mecheri SEAS’22, Ajit Akole SEAS’22, James Bollas SEAS’22, Ishaan Chandratreya SEAS’22 and Ketan Jog ’22, with BinIt, “intelligent trash receptacles which automatically segregate waste for large corporations and office work spaces.” The winners were announced in early April.