Meet the Student Members of the Office

Student members of the Office of University Life work on all of our initiatives and programs. They provide creative, event and administrative support in addition to their unique insight as students, and hospitality!

Interested in joining University Life? Write to universitylife@columbia.edu.

                                                                             2018-19 Cohort

 

Julianne Borrelli is a dual-masters student from Columbia’s School of Social Work and the Mailman School of Public Health. She is interested in a career in public policy and programming related to substance use and addiction. Julianne graduated Washington University in St. Louis with a bachelor’s in psychological & brain sciences. Her goal is to try all the food trucks that park outside of campus on Broadway, and she once shared a glass of milk with Jimmy Carter.

 
 
 
 

Diana Cervantes is pursuing her master’s in higher and postsecondary education with a concentration in social and civic analysis from Teachers College, Columbia University. Originally from Oregon, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Oregon, where she studied crime & law and Spanish and minored in business administration and ethnic studies. After completing her undergraduate degree, Diana interned with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Homeland Security and Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.  She is interested in critical race theory, college access, first generation college students, and the retention of students of color in graduate schools. 

 

Ben Clark is a sophomore in the School of General Studies majoring in political science. Prior to Columbia, he attended Community College of Baltimore County-Essex and was the Chief of Constituent Engagement for Delegate Pat Young (D-44B) in the Maryland House of Delegates. A  native of Birmingham, Alabama, Ben has served the United States Marine Corps since 2013. His favorite spot on campus is the rotunda of Low Library, about which he says, “The grandeur of this building during its heyday had to have been magnificent!”

 

Haley Garofalo assists with the Sexual Respect and Community Citizenship Initiative and wellness-focused projects for the Office of University Life. She is pursuing a master's degree in higher education and student affairs at NYU to work towards enhancing student well-being and creating an inclusive campus environment for all college students. Haley is a proud native Long Islander who enjoys dancing, going to concerts, and traveling the world.

Jason Harden attends Columbia College and studies English with a particular interest in prose fiction. His goal is to attend law school after finishing undergrad studies. Jason enjoys singing in the Barnard-Columbia Chorus and feels that music and art are strong tools for building diverse communities. He enjoys admiring the architecture at and around Columbia and running in Riverside Park. Jason is originally from eastern Montana and loves traveling, and visiting and learning about airports across the United States.

Crystal Lua is a senior in Columbia College pursuing Anthropology and Film & Media Studies. Having always lived in cities, she is fascinated by urbanism and architecture. She hails from Singapore (the longest flight in the world away!) but loves immersing herself in new places; she has traveled to more than 40 countries to date and is taking suggestions for more. At the Office of University Life, she assists with communications and creative design. She writes for campus publications in her free time, and can often be found catching a film or museum exhibit downtown.

Fatime Osmani is obtaining her master’s degree in higher education and student affairs at New York University (NYU) and earned her bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies from Texas Woman’s University, where she was part of student government, orientation and Greek Life – all of which inspired her to pursue a career in higher education. Fatime has a passion for programming, communications and student development, and hopes to encourage students to make the most of their college experience. In her spare time, Fatime enjoys hand lettering, calligraphy, and spending time with family and friends.

Elias Sorich is pursuing his Master of the Fine Arts in poetry from the Columbia University School of the Arts. He received his B.A. in English from Carleton College in Minnesota. A native of Woodstock, Elias is adapting to New York City life and looks  forward to learning more about this massive and inspiring place. He is excited to join the University Life office to work with the communications team and support initiatives focused on issues such as sexual respect and diversity.

2017-2018 Graduate Assistants

 
Marty Hernandez is a graduate assistant in the Office of University Life, assisting in programming and event planning. He is currently pursuing his masters in higher and post-secondary education at Teachers College. Before coming to Columbia, Marty studied psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles and minored in civic engagement. He plans to apply to Ph.D. programs next fall and aspires to be an expert on military students in higher education. Marty is also a proud military veteran who served in the United States Marine Corps, and is currently in the United States Air Force Reserves. He is dedicated to supporting military veterans succeed in their transition into higher education. 

Brianna Kirk is a graduate assistant in the Office of University Life. Kirk has a passion for programming, access and equity in higher education and is working to find a way to decrease homelessness and hunger on college campuses, and improve access to higher education for homeless youth. 
She is a second-year master’s student at NYU where she is studying higher education and student affairs. Kirk is from Connecticut, enjoys traveling, and finding new bakeries.

 

Aayushi Mishra is a graduate assistant in the Office of University Life and is studying environmental science and policy at the School of International and Public Affairs. She is focusing on all-things wellness at Columbia, and helping to plan events and researching stress-relief. When not reading academic papers and writing about climate change, Aayushi is brushing up on her painting skills. Aayushi has a B.A. in biology and environmental studies from Mount Holyoke College. She has lived on four continents.

2017-18 Fellows

 
Shyamolie Biyani is a Columbia College senior majoring in Psychology and Business Management. She is interested in learning how people think, interact and live in communities, and is working with Columbia Libraries to transform library space to reduce stress and be a friendlier environment. As a University Life Fellow, Shyamolie wants to help make Columbia feel like home for everybody, particularly students who are international, isolated or lonely. Shyamolie wants to eventually be involved in education in developing countries and creating equal access to education for girls and women. 
Shyamolie is from Mumbai, India. She enjoys cooking, watching a lot of TV, and singing badly at parties.

Nathan Lam is a Columbia College sophomore with interest in human rights and public health policy. He has become a University Life Fellow with the goal of positively shaping campus culture and helping the community of students, faculty, and staff at Columbia. Nathan’s dream career is to be in a position to effect meaningful change for underserved and underrepresented populations, possibly as Surgeon-General or Director of World Health Organization. For now, he is most intent on staying open to intellectual and personal experiences. 
Nathan is from San Marino, California and, as an avid backpacker, has trekked in over 30 national parks and the Sierra Mountains.

Courtnii Lamar is a Columbia Law School first year student whose aim is to be a positive example for disadvantaged students both inside and outside of the classroom. Previously, she was a Teach for America Corps Member in Washington D.C. educating first graders. Courtnii will also be a continuing Summer Associate at the global firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP through Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), a program that offers incoming law students of color an internship with a top law firm. She believes good representation is not only about reversing harmful stereotypes, but also about ensuring diverse narratives, celebrating cultures, and sharing stories.
Courtnii is from Portland, Oregon and graduated magna cum laude from Howard University with a B.A. in History and a concentration in the African Diaspora. 

 

Christine Tran is a graduate student at the School of Social Work studying advanced clinical practice, health, mental health and disabilities. She is also the president of the Students Against Sexual Violence (SAS-V) Caucus helping to spread awareness and advocate for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Christine’s dream would be to work in college counseling as a licensed clinical social worker. She is excited to join the Office of University Life as a Fellow to enhance the well being and experiences of Columbia students. 
A Bay Area, California native, Christine completed the Central Park Half Marathon 2017 and in her free time likes to eat her way through New York and burn it off with kickboxing.