Get to Know Our Team
2022-2023 General Studies Student Council Members
Walter is in his third year of the Dual BA Program with Trinity College Dublin in the class of 2025. He studied European Studies at Trinity and is majoring in Political Science at Columbia. As Commuting Students and Students with Families Representative, he looks forward to addressing their specific needs and ensuring their voices are heard within GSSC. Walter is dedicated to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for commuting students and those with families at Columbia. He is excited to work with the rest of the Policy Committee to positively impact GS, ensuring that every student’s experience is as smooth and rewarding as possible. Please feel free to email him with any questions or concerns, or to say hi!
Taylor Moniz is a junior in the Columbia University Dual BA Program with Trinity College Dublin. Taylor is a neuroscience and behavior major and plans to pursue a PhD in neuroscience. She has worked on numerous research projects, starting at the University of Pittsburgh in 2019. Taylor is currently a research student in Dr. Christine Denny’s systems neuroscience lab at the Columbia University Irvine Medical Center, where she studies stress resilience. She is passionate about female and minority representation in higher education and science, hoping to break down some of the barriers that prevent Native Hawaiians and other minority groups from obtaining higher education. Taylor is also passionate about global learning and traveling. While at Trinity, Taylor served as the ethnic minorities officer on the diversity in STEM committee and as an international first-year mentor. In addition to her studies at Trinity, she worked in Dr. Tomas Ryan’s behavioral neuroscience lab, where she studied thermodynamic memory. Taylor is excited to plan events that bring the Dual BA and joint program communities together and help Dual BA and joint program students integrate into the GS and wider Columbia community.
Simas is a senior at GS studying history. He is expecting to graduate in May 2024 with his younger brother, Rimas CC'24, after a happy set of coincidences led their paths back together after high school at Bergen County Academies. Simas grew up in northern New Jersey, not too far from campus. Coming to Columbia was something of a childhood dream come true because his parents met in Mudd Hall as graduate students. Simas is happiest on his grandparent’s biodynamic organic farm in rural southern Lithuania, where he learned how to drive, off-roading in a 1999 Ford Ranger, chasing rogue sheep. He worked there for some time prior to coming to Columbia.
He is passionate about building community at GS, both as a distinct, diverse, and supportive community and as a part of the wider Columbia undergraduate student body. In the previous three years, Simas has served as the Community Service and Sustainability Representative on the Campus Life Committee and the Vice-President of Finance. In fact, the 2023-2024 Academic Year marks the third time that he has successfully passed a GSSC budget and his fourth year being involved with GSSC. His top priorities for the year are maintaining high levels of transparency, continuing accountable and responsible spending practices, and actively facilitating the work of the GSSC in conditions that make long-term planning difficult. For any questions, comments, or concerns pertaining to the work of the Finance Committee, please know that his door (email inbox) is always open.
Savanah is a senior studying Political Science, originally hailing from rural upstate New York. She became involved in student advocacy during her time at Community College where she served in executive student leadership positions on both a campus and statewide scale. She is passionate about empowering student voices in collaboration with administration and ensuring that everyone has a seat at the table! In her position on council, Savanah is excited to lead the policy making branch at GSSC! She is passionate about initiatives uplifting the Columbia student experience and providing resources to the GS campus community! In her free time Savanah enjoys exploring NYC’s various food, dance, art, and theater scenes!
Originally from Ukraine, Rychard has been living in New York for the last nine years. He is in his second year at GS and is graduating in 2025. He studies Financial Economics with an interest in Behavioral Finance. As a Financial Coordinator, Rychard serves as a liaison between GSSC and other student organizations when it comes to information regarding co-sponsorships between GSSC and other student organizations as well as ensuring that financial information is being passed between the committees on GSSC. He also supports the VP of Finance and the Chief Financial Representative to ensure things run smoothly in the finance committee. Rychard loves world cinema, nineteenth-century Russian literature, and plays tennis in his free time.
Oscar Wolfe is a freshman in the Joint Program with The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He will likely study Political Science or American Studies at Columbia and Jewish Thought or Ethics at JTS. He was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Oscar is committed to public service, working in government at various levels. He was his high school’s Student Council President and district’s Student Board Representative. He has also worked as an intern for both the Minnesota Senate and Minnesota House of Representatives, as well as an intern for a federal campaign. Some of his policy focuses have included religious equity, universal school lunches, voter restoration for felons who are not incarcerated, and adjusting the Minnesota state budget so that the education funding formula adjusts relative to inflation. Oscar is honored to be on GSSC and plans to continue working towards a more efficient, effective, and transparent community.
Olivia McAlpine is a new student in her sophomore year at Columbia. She is from Toronto, Ontario where she attended Canada’s National Ballet School for seven years. Olivia spent the last five years working as a professional ballet dancer, at the Sarasota Ballet and Orlando Ballet. During Covid, she enrolled in Ontario College of Art and Design University, and completed a year of studies as a Creative Writing major while working. In early 2023, serendipitous circumstances presented the opportunity for Olivia to quit ballet and join Columbia. She is very excited to begin this adventure and feels inspired and welcomed by the GS community.
Oliver is in his fourth year of the Dual BA Program with Trinity College Dublin and is graduating in 2024. He studied Middle Eastern and European Languages and Cultures at Trinity and studies Political Science at Columbia.
As VP of Communications Oliver is excited to help make GSSC work as smoothly as possible, and is excited to play an active role in making sure all the hard work we put in as GSSC gets communicated to the student body, so we can get everyone at Columbia as involved as possible. He loves being a part of GSSC so he can play an active role in the GS community, and can't wait to see what the rest of the year brings!
Nick is a Senior studying Computer Science. He is originally from Princeton, NJ, but lived in the DC area for several years before transferring to Columbia University. He is an avid athlete, completing an Ironman Triathlon recently and helping with the Lightweight Rowing team at Columbia University as a team manager. In his free time, he enjoys watching comedy shows, playing video games, and disc golfing when he is out of the city. Though it is his first time in GSSC, he is focused on advocating for making Senior year the best for current and future Seniors. Embracing the YoSo mindset, he invites anyone to discuss suggestions, improvements, and opinions in general on the Senior experience in GS. So if you see him around campus, no matter your year, stop and say "Yo so..." if you have any thoughts on being a Senior in GS. You're Only a Senior Once, so he is focused on making that year the best it can be!
Get To Know Nasser
Major: English and Film & Media Studies, Class of 2025
Contact Info: [email protected]
Nasser is in his third year at GS, studying English and Film & Media Studies. He plans to attend film school after Columbia and has been actively involved in GSSC since arriving to Columbia in the fall of 2021. Before GS, Nasser obtained bachelor’s degrees in the fields of Chemistry and Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry, before deciding to leave STEM and return to school to pursue new academic and career opportunities. In between his previous university and Columbia, Nasser worked as the Head of Operations at a non-profit food business focused on refugee and asylum-seeking women from Latin America and the Middle East and North Africa regions.
Outside of his involvement on student council and in school, Nasser is involved with two student groups that advocate for first-generation, low-income students, Matriculate and the GS FGLI group, as well as serving as an Orientation Leader and Crew Captain during the New Student Orientation Period (NSOP). Additionally, Nasser works part-time for the Columbia Library system, as an Admissions Ambassador and Tour Guide for the GS Admissions Office, and as a gig worker for the Columbia Bartending Agency.
Nasser’s focus on council is to ensure that all four Committees are fully supported and functioning, while overseeing opportunities for collaboration within and outside of GSSC. His initiatives include working on a variety of important changes for students through advocacy work on the Policy Committee, specifically along the domains of finances, dining, housing, academic policies, and mental health, ensuring that GSSC’s student events represent the diverse interests and increased demand of our student body through the Campus Life Committee, and enhancing the logistical work done by the Finance and Communications Committee.
In his downtime, Nasser can be found exploring restaurants throughout the city, taking walks around Morningside Heights, listening to music, watching movies or television, or spending time with friends.
If you see Nasser around campus, make sure to say hi and introduce yourself!
Michael is a junior pursuing a degree in financial economics at Columbia University. He previously studied business administration at Hudson Valley Community College and holds an associate's degree.
Michael's background includes an internship with Calcium and Company in New York City, where he contributed to the development and execution of brand strategies for various healthcare brands. His work on campaign execution, trend analysis, and comprehensive launch plans demonstrates his ability to strategize effectively.
In addition to his internship experience, Michael served as the treasurer for the Hudson Valley Community College student senate. In this role, he was crucial in formulating a substantial budget for the academic year and made significant cost-saving optimizations. His leadership as co-chair of the programming committee also highlights his commitment to enhancing student life.
When Michael isn’t studying or involved on campus, he spends his free time cooking new dishes or practicing photography.
Melanie is a Sophomore studying Cognitive Science. Last year, as a new GS student on campus, she quickly became passionate about everything GSSC has accomplished and the upcoming plans. In Melanie’s “former life” (pre-Columbia) she worked simultaneously as a professional ballerina and brand ambassador for various product lines. She loved representing her Company at outreach events and utilizing digital media to promote her organization. Originally from New York, Melanie grew up in Naples, Florida, and is thrilled to return to her New York roots.
As Chief of Communications, Melanie is excited to get the word out on all the exciting activities, resources, and opportunities implemented for our GS community. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, fitness, and long walks with her energetic new puppy, Ollie. Please say hello on campus and feel free to reach out at any time. Melanie looks forward to working with the GSSC team and building upon our amazing GS community!
Marquise Johnson is a committed second-year student at GS, specializing in Political Science and Human Rights. As a determined nontraditional, first-generation college student, he brings a distinct and valuable perspective to his role on the General Studies Student Council. Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, he actively engages in teen advocacy groups, working tirelessly to combat alcohol and drug abuse in his community. Prior to his academic endeavors, Marquise served in the U.S. Army, undertaking several senior positions, including those of a litigation paralegal, senior criminal law paralegal, and senior criminal defense paralegal.
Driven by a profound ambition to pursue a Juris Doctorate upon completion of his studies at Columbia GS, Marquise is fervently dedicated to championing civil rights, human rights, and prison reform. Beyond his academic and professional commitments, he finds solace in exploring new destinations, skydiving, and indulging in canoeing. He is deeply honored to serve as a member of the General Studies Student Council and remains steadfast in his commitment to contributing meaningfully to the progression and enhancement of the GS and Columbia University communities.
Malika Ali, a second-year Columbia School of General Studies student, is pursuing a dual major in Political Science and Statistics. As a Health and Wellness representative, she is dedicated to developing initiatives to offer students comprehensive education on sexual and mental health. Additionally, She currently holds the position of Research Assistant at the School of Social Work and serves as a Production Intern for The Blackstage podcast. Before joining GS, Malika studied at Montgomery College, a Maryland Community College, where she actively engaged in activism and championed social justice causes. She enjoys yoga, attending Broadway shows, and exploring the city outside campus.
Class of 2026
Madison is a proud non-traditional, first-generation college student. She was born and raised in San Diego, California, and has an extensive resume that has enabled her to fulfill the position of GSSC's Diversity and Equity Representative. She is transferring in as a Junior and studying Human Rights. Her resume includes being a professional special effects makeup artist for the DOD, solo-backpacking Southeast Asia, becoming 200-hr yoga certified, 600-hr Ayurveda certified, becoming certified and operating her own birth and postpartum doula business, all while working at Trader Joe's. But with the intent of wanting a formal education to find her home in NYC, Madison returned to San Diego Mesa Community College to pursue psychology, only then to participate in my school's Speech & Debate team and realize how much she cares for advocacy and justice. She then decided to transfer to GS to pursue her undergraduate degree in Human Rights and JD and LLM in Human Rights & Social Justice. She plans to work on domestic and international Human Rights.
Returning to school in her mid-twenties, she feels it has given her the life experience and growing pains necessary to understand herself and her role as a Global Citizen. She is thrilled to broaden the spectrum of Diversity and Inclusion in her role here at GSSC. She hopes to gain community and knowledge from her time at Columbia University. Please say Hello and she hopes you all have a studious and enlightening academic year ahead!
Lily is a new and excited member of the GS community! She studies creative writing and has no idea what she will do with that degree. She is passionate and enthusiastic though, which may be all that matters. Lily, a sober student in active recovery, is passionate about aiding others in the recovery community. She is an outspoken advocate for those struggling with addiction and is a strong example of overcoming and fighting addiction. Before Lily had the privilege of joining the GS family, she worked in restaurants and fine dining across the country and helped open two new restaurants in Austin, Texas. Lily is a proud Austinite, and like a true Texan, is happy and welcoming to all. (IDK if this line should be there, I don’t want it to sound like I’m conservative because I’m Southern lol)
Outside of student council, Lily involves herself in the greater Columbia community, participating in as many clubs as her time permits. She loves being a Columbian and does her best to share that and connect with the community she is so grateful to be a part of. Say hi! She’s known for never having met a stranger.
Lily hopes to help bring the first-year class together and understands that nontraditional students can have different needs than those on a typical path. She believes that being nontraditional is not a complication, setback, or inconvenience but a celebration of the different stories the GS community brings. We are a fascinating and unique community. The events Lily plans to organize will reflect that.
She cannot wait to help this family in any way she can, and she hopes to meet and befriend as many classmates as possible. Again, Lily is anyone’s friend!
Kat is a fourth year student in GS studying Political Science with focuses in International Politics and Comparative Politics and graduating in 2024. She is a part of the Trinity College Dublin and Columbia University Dual BA Program and spent her first two years of Uni in Dublin, Ireland. She studied Middle Eastern and European Languages and Cultures with specializations in German and Arabic studies. This year, on top of her Columbia work, Kat will be working on her Capstone Project for Trinity. Her interests lie in the political and international relations fields and hopes one day to work in the UN or State Department. In the coming years she is looking to work in Consulting and live in Europe.
As VP of Campus Life, Kat hopes to increase both the quality and quantity of events that the Campus Life Committee brings to the GS student body this year! She seems great potential with the committee and is looking forward to working with students on all committees to not only have fun events, but also informational academic events as well. Her biggest goal for the year is to ensure that the GSSC Gala is more accessible for students, is hosted in a unique location, and out-does her work last year. Kat loves to say that “campus life is her sh*t” and truly believes that this is the best place for her to be on the GSSC team!
Outside of classes and GSSC you can find Kat working with Columbia Women in Business Society as a part of the conference committee, working with the Friend of Aine non-profit raising awareness and money for child bereavement, and traveling to Dublin and Germany to visit her friends abroad. She loves being sarcastic, finding dogs to pet, and finding quiet spaces to listen to music and people watch. Please feel free to reach out to her with any questions about Campus Life that you might have or if you just want to grab coffee!
Jonathan is a Dual BA student studying Political Science at Columbia University; he’s from France and will graduate from Columbia in 2025. He had previous experiences in student advocacy. In high school, Jonathan was elected to the Student Council and was chosen by the board to be an ambassador as a former member of the Irwin Cotler fellowship, a program created by the former Minister of Justice of Canada, Irwin Cotler. Jonathan had the chance to look at a broad analysis of policymaking. He wants to pursue a master’s degree in public Affairs and hopes to work for a private organization in this field. In his position as Chief of Policy, Jonathan is excited to contribute to GS and looks forward to improving the experience of the entire community at Columbia. Jonathan loves traveling and languages. In addition to the Dual BA Program, where he studied Middle Eastern Studies and Business Studies, Jonathan has been to different places in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States.
Jemima is a student at Columbia University, currently pursuing a Dual Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature to graduate in 2024. Jemima is a Trinity X Columbia community member specializing in Russian and Shakespearean literature. Over the summer she worked in two financial internships in London and studied abroad in the French summer program.
Jemima is actively involved in campus life. Last semester, she served as the First Year Vice President of the Campus Life Committee in Columbia University's GSSC.
In her new role as Community Services and Sustainability Representative on the Campus Life Committee she plans to lead the position with a focus on stimulating environmental education through organizing workshops, seminars, and awareness campaigns. Outside her academic and GSSC responsibilities, Jemima enjoys sports and is a semiprofessional showjumper. During her leisure time, Jemima enjoys exploring New York City's culinary scene and taking leisurely walks in Morningside Heights with a good book. If you encounter Jemima on campus, please say hello and introduce yourself!
Jake is a sophomore in the joint program with the Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University. Jake is majoring in Economics at Columbia, and at JTS he is majoring in Law. As Technology Chair, Jake aims to ensure smooth coordination of all online connections, including maintaining weekly meetings, updating the website to reflect modern information and styles, and streamlining online communications between the student body and GSSC. While this is his second year at Columbia, this is Jake's first year involved in student life, and he is excited to help make Columbia a warm and welcoming environment for all.
In his free time, Jake enjoys playing tennis, cooking, being active, and playing video games. Outside of student council, Jake is a member of the Rock Climbing Club. You can also find Jake at Chabad or Hillel regularly or at some store buying food because he is always hungry. Jake's general philosophy is always to try to make himself laugh and smile.
Isabel Tenney is a freshman studying Political Science. Prior to attending Columbia, she trained as a pre-professional ballet dancer in Atlanta, GA, and danced as an Apprentice with the Kentucky Ballet Theatre in Lexington, Kentucky. Isabel has worked in a number of social media roles and is currently a social media manager at scholarship nonprofit Bold.org.
Haya is a sophomore in the Joint Program between GS and JTS and is graduating in 2026. She is studying History with a concentration in Education Studies at GS, and Modern Jewish Studies at JTS. Outside of GSSC, you can find Haya on the club Ultimate Frisbee team, serving as class president on List College Student Council, or attending yet another Columbia Dining event. She hails from the great state of Minnesota and can talk about why the Midwest is the best region in the US for hours.
As Campus Life Coordinator Haya is very excited to work with GSSC to create events that help both our GS and university-wide community flourish. Last year she worked on the Communications Committee as the Outreach Associate, and is very excited to continue being on GSSC!
Major: Visual Arts & Computer Science '24
Faith is a Senior studying Visual Arts with a concentration in Computer Science. She is from Orange County, California, and moved to New York in Fall 2021 to attend Columbia!
Throughout her time at GS, Faith has served in numerous positions on GSSC — her first year starting as the Community Services and Sustainability Representative, then becoming the First-Year Class President, and last year starting as the Social Media Representative and then becoming the VP of Communications. This year, she looks forward to being Senior Class President (and staying in one position for the 2023-2024 School Year...).
As Senior Class President, Faith aims to serve as a bridge between the student body and GSSC. She is committed to working to create the best possible experience for her and the Class of 2024’s final year at GS and their transition into the alumni community! Faith strives for transparent communication, and she encourages all students to reach out, either to GSSC as a whole ([email protected]), to the Senior Class ([email protected]), or to herself ([email protected]), if they have any questions, concerns, suggestions, or just want to grab some coffee and chat!
Outside of GSSC, Faith was this year’s NSOP Chair for GS and is currently the VP Panhellenic for her sorority Kappa Alpha Theta. During the school year, you can usually find her in the Lounge, in line at Pret, or sitting on one of the lawns (if you see her, come say hi!). She also loves to bake, watch TV with her cat Mer, and take photos of friends on her film camera!
Evan is a third-year in the Dual BA Program between Trinity College Dublin and Columbia, and is excited to be at GS and in New York! He studied European Studies at Trinity and is majoring in Political Science at Columbia. As part of the GSSC, Evan wants to get involved in the Columbia community and meet as many GSers as possible. He's also planning to get involved in skiing/snowboarding, hiking, and music-related societies. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Evan loves to travel. He's spent the last two years living in Dublin, Ireland, and traveling across most of Europe and parts of Asia and Africa. He's looking forward to exploring NYC and the surrounding area - feel free to send him any recommendations!
On the Communications Committee, Evan hopes to reach all GS community members and promote the GSSC's many events and initiatives. He's passionate about photography, and will definitely be documenting the year in depth! He'll be working to publicize all of GSSC's endeavors to get students excited about Columbia. He hopes to unite all GSers to ensure everyone finds a place in the Columbia community.
Eric is in his second semester as a Junior and his second year at Columbia. Before GS, Eric studied film production at Emerson College where he also took a gap year and worked for Universal to develop their newest theme park in Beijing. He is now pursuing a degree in Financial Economics with concentration in Philosophy and expected to graduate in Dec. 2024 or May 2025. After graduation, Eric plans to use his knowledge in Economics and finance and apply them in the entertainment industry. Besides being a public servant, Eric enjoys playing tennis, watching movies, and surfing on weekends. Reach out to Eric if you want to surf with him!
Clara is a third year student at GS studying History with a focus on Modern European History. She is part of the Trinity College Dublin and Columbia University Dual BA Program. At Trinity, she was a member of the DULBC Novice Rowing Team as well as a Class Representative.
As Alumni Affairs Representative she hopes to help undergraduates tap into the greater GS alumni network. Alumni connections are invaluable resources to undergraduates, and Clara hopes to aid in fostering these relations. She hopes to garner interest and engagement in the alumni community through coffee chats, career fairs, and graduate panels. She is excited to be part of GSSC and can't wait to see the many events put on this year!
Chelsey is a third-year student at GS, majoring in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS). A deep passion has marked her journey at Columbia University for the MENA region, which she discovered during her extensive travels before joining GS. This profound love for the region's culture, history, people, and languages inspired her to pursue a major in MESAAS. Looking ahead, Chelsey has her sights set on a dual JD and MBA program, allowing her to further specialize in her chosen field.
Prior to her time at GS, Chelsey worked as a paralegal. During her time at the firm, Chelsey found immense satisfaction in assisting individuals through complex legal processes, realizing the profound value of meaningful involvement. This experience instilled a strong desire to actively engage in service, which remains a driving force within her.
As a dedicated member of the General Studies Student Council (GSSC), Chelsey aims to collaborate with fellow students and university administration to address vital issues and enact impactful policies. Additionally, she is eager to contribute to developing and promoting policies that will foster a safer and more productive environment for the General Studies and general Columbia University community. She has witnessed the incredible work accomplished by the GSSC and is determined to be an integral part of the ongoing betterment of the school community.
Chelsey's interests include traveling, trying new restaurants, pilates, supporting the Colombian national team, and long walks with her dog, Emiliano (Emi).
Caroline is a junior studying Political Science focusing on American Government and International Relations. Originally from Connecticut, she worked for six years after high school in Florida, then returned to the Northeast to attend school, starting at GS in the fall of 2022. After graduating GS, she hopes to attend law school.
Outside of class, Caroline is involved in Columbia UNA-USA as its Secretary and also can be found working shifts at St. Paul's Chapel. In her free time, she enjoys going to the gym, exploring Central Park, and experiencing all the city offers.
In her first position on the student council, she is excited to support the VP of Communications, Oliver, and looks forward to increasing student access to the GSSC members and information!
Get To Know Bruce
Major: Economics & Neuroscience ‘26
Bruce is a French Air Force Veteran who used to run Track & Field competitively (400 m / 3,000 m). He deeply values the Columbia Experience for students and officers and wants to ensure that all individuals have at their disposal the necessary tools and resources to stay healthy and to thrive academically and professionally. His areas of focus are the availability and accessibility of campus student space, financial aid, access to mental health care, and course search and registration innovation. On the University Senate, Bruce co-chairs the Student Affairs Committee and serves on the Information and Communications Technology and Executive committees. He is a member of the Columbia Alumni Association Board and the Columbia Economics Society.
Before joining the military, Bruce worked in the laboratories of Veolia Water Technologies, focusing on the provision of drinking water in humanitarian emergencies. He also worked for Rotary International, organizing fundraising to support rural electrification and the structural transformation of schools and villages in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Togo. Bruce strongly believes that we must speak up for those whose voices are not heard and that we each have a role to play in reducing the inequalities we witness, remaining conscious of the impact that we have on people and on society.
Brian Williams was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. He moved to Southern California in early adulthood and enlisted in the Marines. Brian spent over six years in the Marine Corps serving as an infantry assaultman, assault section leader, and combat marksmanship instructor. He had two combat deployments to Afghanistan. After separating from the Marines in late 2014, Brian worked as an operations supervisor at a large grocery redistributor. He then sought higher education and attended college in California, studying business administration. He transferred to Columbia University where he is currently a dean’s list student studying political science. Brian is active in the Columbia Military Veterans association, and he is the veteran’s representative for the Columbia School of General Studies Student Council. He is passionate about veteran voices being heard and appreciated by all political parties to ensure their lifelong wellbeing and rights. In his free time, Brian enjoys surfing, reading, and volunteering as an ambassador for Service to School non-profit. He works for the Warrior-Scholar Project as the Senior Business Fellow.
Ayşe Lara is in her third year of the Dual BA Program with Sciences Po Paris set to graduate in 2024. Hailing from Istanbul, Turkey, she studied Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Politics and Government at Sciences Po and is now majoring in Human Rights at Columbia.
Ayşe Lara is excited to join GSSC as First-Year Class Vice President and continue her journey with advocacy as the former director of the Sciences Po student government’s On-Campus Events Committee and former editor-in-chief of the campus magazine. On paper or in person, she has always felt drawn to highlighting and addressing pressing issues impacting her communities throughout her academic career.
Ayşe Lara looks forward to advocating for the particularly unique experience of first-year students in what she sees as a safe (yet competitive, rigorous, and collaborative) haven for students seeking a radically flexible undergraduate experience, the School of General Studies.
She is a campus Program Assistant for the Columbia Committee on Global Thought. Before starting at Columbia, Ayşe Lara worked at the Global Public Policy Institute, Middle East Policy Council, International Press Institute, and Hurriyet Daily News. Having lived, studied, and worked in five countries, Ayşe Lara loves traveling, learning new languages, and meeting new people.
Aoife is in her third year of the Dual BA Program with Trinity College Dublin and will graduate in 2025. She studied European Studies at Trinity, specializing in French and Spanish language and cultural studies. At Columbia, she is studying Political Science, focusing on Comparative Politics and International Relations.
Aoife was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. As the International Students Representative, she is excited to help advocate and plan events, especially for international students! Aoife can't wait to get more involved with the GS community!
Anatta is in her fourth year of the Dual BA program with Trinity College Dublin, studying the History of Art and Architecture. She is from Germany and Thailand and grew up attending an international school in Bangkok. She’s particularly interested in the study of design and architecture, and perhaps also creating some herself — for instance, producing clear and engaging content for GSSC! Besides spending time with family and friends, she enjoys listening to podcasts, volunteering, and dancing.
Alina is a junior in Columbia University's Dual BA Program with Trinity College Dublin, studying Political Science and Middle Eastern and European Languages and Cultures with a concentration in Russian and Hebrew. She is passionate about uplifting student voices and is excited to work alongside the council and other campus bodies. As Policy Coordinator with the Student Council Policy Committee, she intends to enhance access to meal plans, gym classes, and extracurricular activities for students with nontraditional backgrounds and similarly unconventional student experiences.
Outside of student council, she engages in research to support her humanitarian work, focusing on the well-being of those in countries formerly in the Soviet Union. Her interests lie in human rights, foreign policy, and journalism.
Alec is a dedicated student at Columbia University in the General Studies program. Graduating in May 2025, he's pursuing a degree in Computer Science, driven by his passion for technology and problem-solving. Alec is not just a computer science enthusiast; he's also a passionate advocate for people with disabilities. As someone who experiences dyslexia and manages a chronic health condition, Alec understands the challenges individuals with disabilities face and is committed to standing up for their rights. Alec enjoys the thrill of longboarding through the city in his free time.