Meet University Life

Meet University Life

  • Wushuang Li is a graduate assistant at University Life. She is currently studying in Applied Analytics at the School of Professional Studies. She earned her bachelor's degree in Accounting from the Ohio State University and previously worked in controllership at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and consulting at Grant Thornton-Shanghai office. Wushuang is originally from China and has been interested in the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion since she moved to the states. She enjoys exploring the city by going to different events, cafes and meeting different people.

  • Peter Donatich is an executive assistant in the Office of University Life. Peter started his Columbia career in the Office of the President where he worked as Senior Administrative Coordinator for several years. Before Columbia, he worked at Oxford University Press and DC Comics, and in addition to publishing, he worked in consulting and lobbying. Peter earned a B.A. in English from Amherst college, and he has a fondness for karaoke and enjoys exploring New York City with his wife and friends.

  • Olger C. Twyner, III, is Executive Director of Community Impact (CI) at Columbia, a non-profit with a mission to advance the public good in Upper Manhattan through volunteer and service initiatives in the areas of youth, adult education, emergency services, and health.

    Olger earned a B.A. in History from Jackson State University, a J.D. from The Ohio State University College of Law, and an M.B.A. in Public and Non-Profit Management from Columbia Business School. He has worked with a variety of legal and non-profit organizations, including Southeast Mississippi Legal Services, the Ford Foundation, Mississippi Center for Justice, and Row New York. In higher education, Olger has also been engaged in community outreach and public service initiatives at Columbia Business School, NYU Law School, Double Discovery Center, and Xavier University of Louisiana.

    Olger is an avid New York Yankees fan and enjoys cooking and international travel. His favorite place on the Columbia campus is the Low Library steps, directly behind Alma Mater, facing Butler Library at Dusk.

  • Niko Crawford is the First Year Experience Coordinator at University Life. He has experience in student support roles at Columbia and New York University focused on connecting students to resources for well-being, sexual respect, and social justice. He is pursuing a Master's Degree at Teachers College in Politics and Education, centered on building democratic and anti-racist pedagogies.

    Niko hails from the Bay Area, California, and is a current Brooklynite and lover of RnB and Filipino food. He loves to take in the views of the Amsterdam overpass bridge.

  • Maya Castronovo ('23) attends Columbia College and is pursuing a major in film and media studies. She is interested in the intersections among social justice, awareness and video content. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Maya is excited to explore all the film opportunities that New York City has to offer. Her favorite spots in Morningside Heights include Yoga to the People and The Hungarian Pastry Shop.

  • Associate Vice President Marjory Fisher is Columbia University’s Title IX Coordinator, responsible for monitoring the university’s policies and procedures for resolving sexual and gender-based misconduct, harassment, and other complaints under Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally-funded educational institutions.  In addition, Ms. Fisher provides guidance on investigations, oversees Deputy Title IX Coordinators at the University, and is responsible for training University staff and others on Title IX issues.
     
    Ms. Fisher brings extensive legal and investigative experience to her post. She joined Columbia from T&M Protection Resources, where she served as Senior Managing Director of the Sexual Misconduct Consulting & Investigations Division. Ms. Fisher was formerly Bureau Chief of the Special Victims Bureau in the Queens District Attorney’s Office for 22 years, and prior to that served for eight years as Assistant District Attorney in the Sex Crimes Bureau and supervising Trial Attorney in the Homicide Bureau of the Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney’s Office.  
     
    In her capacity at T&M, Ms. Fisher conducted sensitive investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct as well as provided Title IX trainings for investigators, adjudicators, faculty, administrators, staff and students at a wide range of colleges, universities and K-12 private and public schools. She also provided sexual harassment and investigations training for various private businesses and non-profit institutions.
     
    Ms. Fisher has been a St. John’s University Law School Adjunct Professor, where she taught a course on Sexual Assault and Family Violence.  She is the recipient of multiple awards for excellence in trial work and the pursuit of justice, including recognition from the Mt. Sinai Rape Crisis and Intervention Program and the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault.
     
    She earned her juris doctor from George Washington University’s National Law Center.

  • Lori Paulson came to University Life from the School of General Studies communications team, where she served as a Communications Assistant. She is also a GS alumna (GS '21), with a degree in Psychology. Lori's interest in web design and strategy stems back to the days of Angelfire and Geocities, where she liked to build pages about her cats and favorite musicians (not a lot has changed). While originally from Seattle, Lori has moved across the country a couple of times and now lives in Brooklyn. She's excited to combine her site-building skills with her passion for higher education as she continues her journey at Columbia.

  • Josie Landers is a Graduate Assistant at University Life. Currently, she is a Master’s candidate in New York University’s Higher Education program (‘23). Before working in student affairs, Josie was a researcher for Princeton University and Columbia Books. Josie is originally from Gilbert, Arizona, and made the big move to the East Coast for her undergraduate degree in political science and history from Boston College. 

    Josie loves connecting with students, drinking coffee, watching the newest HBO drama, and taking walks through Prospect Park.

  • Joseph Defraine Greenwell serves as vice president for student affairs in University Life. A leader and strategic partner in student affairs for more than 20 years, he has served at University of California, Berkeley, San Francisco State, Stanford, Colgate and Vanderbilt Universities. In his role at University Life, Joseph partners with Columbia's 17 schools, central student services and students, staff and faculty on a wide range of student affairs and campus climate topics. He focuses on wellness and mental well-being, equity and inclusion, and community citizenship in order to best support students at Columbia and beyond. 

    Joseph received his doctorate of education in higher education leadership and policy from Vanderbilt University, where he also earned his bachelor's of music and master's in education degrees. He is passionate about the arts, plays piano, enjoys exercise and hiking and is excited to collaborate with all members of the Columbia University community to continually enhance the student experience.

  • Jessica Pavone serves as Associate Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for University Life. She has a wide-ranging background in communications and strategy, and has served in leadership roles in the public and nonprofit sectors. Jessica joined University Life in 2021, initially serving as Executive Director of Communications. She is a skilled storyteller and has crafted and managed high impact communication strategies and marketing campaigns over the course of her career, as well as strategic initiatives at multiple organizations.

    Jessica has worked in the field of education since 2014, from Pre-K through higher education. Her past experiences include Chief of Staff for the KIPP Foundation’s Policy and Public Affairs team, the NYC Department of Education, where she led operations for the Universal Pre-K expansion. Prior to that, Jessica worked in urban planning, economic development and disaster resiliency at the American Red Cross for Greater New York and New York City Economic Development Corporation. She holds a Master’s in Urban Policy from NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and a B.A. in Spanish and History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

    A lover of great public spaces, Jessica enjoys summer picnics on Morningside with her family, and exploring Columbia’s campuses.

     

  • Rev. Dr. Ian Rottenberg directs Columbia’s Earl Hall Center for Religious Life. Dean Rottenberg has academic degrees in philosophy and theology from Haverford College, Yale University, and Fordham University. As a leader of faith communities, he is passionate about increasing multi-faith dialogue, promoting mutual understanding, and working to meet the diverse religious needs of our university community. 

    He loves appreciating Columbia’s collection of outdoor sculptures and frequenting the many great coffee shops on and around campus.

  • Gabriela is the Program Coordinator for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives in the Office of University Life. She formerly served in the Office of Global Inclusion at New York University (NYU). Gabriela began her career in local government where she gained skills in community engagement, collaboration, and event planning. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from San Diego State University and a Master of Public Administration from NYU.

    Gabriela is originally from San Diego, California, and enjoys listening to podcasts, exploring NYC, and DIY projects. She looks forward to exploring Columbia University and finding a favorite place on campus!

  • Erin Choi '23CC is a junior in Columbia College from Hattiesburg, Mississippi majoring in Political Science-Statistics. On campus, she serves as the Co-President of the Korean Students Association, the Class of ’23 Vice President of Columbia College Student Council, and a General Board Member of the Political Science Students Association. She also volunteers with Columbia’s Asian Youth Program and Womankind. In her free time, you can find her at Wu & Nussbaum or Community Food & Juice. She loves cooking, yoga, karaoke, and reading.

  • David is the Social & Multimedia Specialist for the Office of University Life. He has a BA in Journalism from Brooklyn College and has spent the past few years in the non-profit and public education world where he loved sharing the stories of students and staff alike on social media. 

    David was born and raised in Queens and is a big New York sports fan. You can often find him at Yankee stadium or Citi field catching a baseball game, but he's also looking forward to exploring his new home at Columbia University. 

  • Christian Johanson is the Financial Analyst for University Life. He has been a staff accountant in the software industry for the past few years and has worked in finance since 2018. He is passionate about increasing department efficiency through the implementation of new technologies and systems. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, visiting museums, trying new restaurants, and exploring NYC with friends and family. 

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