Columbia University in the City of New York

Meet the Office of University Life

The Office of University Life is led by Executive Vice President Suzanne Goldberg. A leading expert in sexuality and gender law, Professor Goldberg is also the Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law, founder and director of the Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic, and co-director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School, where she has been on the faculty since 2006.

Since her appointment to Executive Vice President for University Life in January 2015, Professor Goldberg has focused the office’s efforts on Columbia as community, working actively on student life, intellectual life and community citizenship across Columbia’s many schools.  Among the programs she has spearheaded are the nationally-recognized Sexual Respect and Community Citizenship Initiative, University-wide task forces on Gender-Based Misconduct Prevention and on Race, Ethnicity and Inclusion; and Columbia’s Awakening Our Democracy series focused on race, ethnicity, disparities and justice and other pressing issues of our time.

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Don Harrison is executive assistant to the Executive Vice President for University Life.  He comes to Columbia from the American Association for Advertising Agencies, a nonprofit trade association, and prior to that worked for global agencies Foote, Cone & Belding and TBWA.  Don graduated from Occidental College with a degree in French, which he justified by living for a year in Paris post graduation.  Academia is a family business; Don enjoys his work in the Office of University Life and his husband is a professor at the New School. His African violet welcomes all who visit the office.


Radhika Patel is Chief of Staff to the Executive Vice President for University Life, Suzanne Goldberg. Radhika has wide-ranging experience in operations, strategy, and building teams. She previously worked for the American Red Cross as New York State Director of Administration for Long-Term Recovery from Hurricane Sandy, and also expanded operations across the region, finally serving as Director of Recovery for New York State. Prior to this, Radhika worked on large-scale economic development projects and in real estate investment advisory in New York City and abroad for 10 years. Radhika holds master’s degrees in urban planning and international affairs from Columbia University, and earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

She enjoys Sakura Park when the cherry blossom trees are in full bloom and regards Istanbul as her home away from New York.


Ixchel Rosal is Associate Vice President for Student Life in the Office of University Life, developing and implementing programs across Columbia’s undergraduate and graduate schools and collaborating closely with students, administrators and faculty university-wide on student-life issues and student-driven projects. She formerly served as executive director of Student Diversity Initiatives at the University of Texas at Austin and oversaw its Gender and Sexuality Center and Multicultural Engagement Center. Ixchel also worked with community-based arts organizations serving historically marginalized communities, and has been a diversity educator, strategic planner and grant writer for several nonprofit organizations. She holds a B.A. in history from the University of California, Berkeley and her master’s in public affairs with a focus on cultural policy from the University of Texas at Austin.

Born in New York City but raised in California and Spain (she once aspired to be a flamenco dancer), Ixchel is enjoying re-exploring the City starting with College Walk. Before motherhood, Ixchel also wrote poetry.


Barbara Chen is senior director of communications for the Office of University Life. She comes to Columbia from Bloomberg Philanthropies' government innovation practice and previously was media relations director with the New York City Police Department (NYPD) until 2014. Prior to that Barbara worked as an ABC News network assignment editor and producer, and was New York Chapter Vice President of Broadcast for the Asian American Journalists Association. She holds a B.A. cum laude in journalism from California State University Fullerton, where she served as a commencement speaker for the College of Communications. She also graduated from the Columbia Business School Police Management Institute, and was its 2011 class speaker. Barbara enjoys lyricism and is happy to have had a poem published in 2015. She delighted at finding a community Garden of Love on 116th Street.


Alison Ewing is the director of strategic programs and operations for the Office of University Life. She joins the team from the Office of the President and previously worked in undergraduate Residential Programs while obtaining her master’s degree in higher and postsecondary education administration from Teachers College. Alison also worked in student life at Harvard College. She earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Cornell University.

Alison has run the New York City marathon every year since relocating from Boston in 2012 and her favorite part is the amazing cheering along the course, especially at mile 20 where she often sees many of her Columbia friends and colleagues.


Lamar Lovelace is the director of public programs and events for the Office of University Life, producing and managing the run of show and logistics of programming opportunities for dialogue and cross-school interaction between students, faculty, and staff. He returns to the University after having created arts-based social justice arts programs and exhibitions at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and previously worked in Columbia’s Office of Government and Community Affairs managing community-based partnerships and special events. Lamar holds master’s degrees in arts management and oral history from Carnegie Mellon and Columbia, respectively, and earned his B.A. in speech and hearing science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He enjoys dusk on the steps of Low Library during summer.


Alana Samoles is the digital communications manager for the Office of University Life. She previously served as deputy communications director for Yungman Lee’s congressional campaign in New York’s 7th District. Alana’s experience includes agency-side public relations with Lion and Lamb Communications, where she focused on food, beverage, and hospitality. She graduated from Eugene Lang College of the New School University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism—a field she became interested in after reading the works of Truman Capote, David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Schelle, among others. Alana’s favorite sight to see in Morningside is the display case at Mondel Chocolates. 


Jonathan Morales is the Office of University Life administrative coordinator, and previously worked in the Office of the President. He came to Columbia from the School of Fashion at Parsons (The New School), where he served as a project manager for initiatives including Career Week. Jonathan holds multiple degrees and certification in music, voice and opera performance from Rice University in Houston, Florida State University and Mannes College at The New School, respectively. He is pursuing his business certification and a career in business administration while professionally performing as a vocalist in New York City.  Jonathan recommends Riverside Park.


Bryant Roman is Program Coordinator for the Office of University Life. He previously served as a district representative for Rep. Nita Lowey (D) in New York’s 17th Congressional District covering education, immigration and income tax regulation, and before that led voting registration and other community outreach for the Westchester Hispanic Coalition. Bryant holds a bachelor’s in English from Boston College and a master’s in Spanish language translation from NYU. He taught English in Madrid, where he also indulged in a diet consisting largely of tapas. Bryant’s favorite views of Columbia and the city can be seen from the upper floors of the Mudd Building and Schermerhorn Hall.