Get to Know Our Team
2022-2023 General Studies Student Council Members
Get To Know William
William “Liam” Grugan is a senior in Columbia’s Dual Bachelor’s Program with Trinity College Dublin. In Dublin, he studied Middle Eastern and European Languages and Culture (specializing in German and Arabic) and, in New York, he studies Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, while continuing his Arabic and German language studies. He is an avid baker, gym-goer, and Philadelphia sports fan.
As Senior Class Vice President, he hopes to work with GSSC to represent and voice the needs of the senior class. Specifically, he plans to organize student-produced resources for students picking majors and opportunities for increased socializing among members of the same major.
Get To Know Su
Major: Financial Economics '25
Su is a junior studying Financial Economics at GS. He is expecting to graduate in May 2025. Prior to matriculating at Columbia University, he served in the United States Army for six years and graduated from Bakersfield Community College with an Associate Degree in Business Administration. Due to his military service, Su has traveled to many countries and hopes to visit more African countries in the near future. Although he spent half of his life in Seoul, South Korea, he prefers to listen to Frank Sinatra or Ella Fitzgerald over BTS or Black Pink and loves taking photographs with his camera.
Su's top priorities for the year as the Chief of Finance are to progress as an individual and assist the council members by maintaining high levels of transparency as the year before. He advocates breaking all kinds of stereotypes, which is why he joined the General Studies Student Council.
He believes that Columbia University, let alone the world, would be a much happier place if more people were unprejudiced and accepted individuals' idiosyncrasies.
"Be curious, not judgmental.”
Get To Know Serena
Major: Information Science '25
Serena is in her first year at GS and is planning to major in Information Science with a concentration in Statistics. Originally from Hong Kong, she worked as a UX researcher before coming to Columbia. Her favorite artist is 88rising and her interests include design and boxing. She was motivated to join GSSC upon her experience at orientation and navigating Columbia’s abundance of resources!
As technology chair, her goal is to build a more unified community with all Columbia affiliations and amplify our current resources to improve overall outreach.
Get To Know Sean
Major: Sociology '23
Sean Reilly is greatly honored to be the first GSSC Commuter Representative! Ever since he started attending college, he has had to commute. Whether it was on the bus, train, or subway, he has always traveled from home to school. The reason why he applied for this new commuter role at GSSC was to give a voice to all the great commuters attending Columbia GS, as well as Columbia as a whole. Simply put: Sean wants to improve the lives of GS commuters and let them know, first and foremost, that they matter to him — and that they are never alone. Currently, Sean juggles playing for the club hockey team, living with his fiancé plus two cats, and commuting over 4-6 hours (depending on the day) to Columbia University.
In short, commuting great distances to school while enjoying life and balancing extracurriculars at a rigorous college is possible, and he is here to help anyone traveling from far and wide to Columbia in any way he can. No matter who you are or where you come from, you are someone to him.
Some fun facts about Sean are that he teaches yoga and meditation. He also played hockey competitively all over the country when he was not enrolled in school and lived with several host families while doing so! His goal in GSSC is to make commuting to Columbia University a little better for everyone.
Get To Know Savanah
Major: Political Science '24
Savanah is a junior 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 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 support the work of the GS Senator on Columbia University Senate and serve on the Policy committee 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!
Get To Know Rubaab
Major: Human Rights '23
Rubaab is a senior in the Dual BA with Sciences Po, majoring in Human Rights with a specialization in American Studies. Now in her second term on GSSC, she is excited to shift her focus to the administrative and academic needs of GS students. Though there are many Policy initiatives that Rubaab hopes to work on, her primary project will be to more effectively disseminate information to the GS student body by creating a comprehensive source for students to refer to for their questions and concerns throughout the year.
Outside of GSSC, Rubaab loves to cook and bake (although baking does not always love her), and is always looking for new recipes to try out! She also loves exploring NYC and its changing seasons, as well as learning the secrets of Columbia months after everybody else has discovered them :)
Get To Know Robert
Major: Financial Economics ‘24
Robert is in his first year studying Financial Economics at Columbia and will be graduating in 2024. He was born and raised in Hannover, Germany and is part of Columbia’s community of international students. After high school, Robert completed his social voluntary year as a volunteer coordinator and taught German and Math to refugee children. Soon after, in 2019, he moved to the U.S. to work as an Au Pair in Santa Monica, California and White Plains, New York.
Robert joined the GSSC to build and strengthen the community at GS, especially for new and first-year class students. As First Year Class President, he is thankful to be able to represent his fellow students on the council and wants to be approachable and present to every GS’er, their thoughts, ideas, and concerns.
Besides being a full-time student, Robert is a licensed ski instructor and European handball referee. In his spare time, you will often find him running along the Hudson, working out at Dodge, or simply hanging out in the GS Lounge.
Get To Know Rebekah
Major: Applied Mathematics '23
Rebekah is studying applied mathematics at Columbia. She transferred to Columbia University School of General Studies as a junior and has integrated herself into the wider campus community. She is a researcher for various missions under the Columbia Space Initiative and teaches high schoolers machine learning. She loves animals. She is excited to be a part of GSSC and help leave campus a better place than she found it and help GSSC make this a great senior year for everyone.
Get To Know Rachel
Major: Cognitive Science '25
Concentration: Visual Arts
Rachel Papirmeister is studying Cognitive Science, with a concentration in Visual Arts. She is from Maryland, bordering Washington DC. She expects to graduate by the Spring of 2025. Rachel has welcomed new students as an orientation leader in both the Spring 2022 and Fall 2022 semesters.
Outside of school, Rachel works as a therapy intern at a social skills group for adults and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She also works as a research assistant for the COVID-19 Mother Baby Outcomes (COMBO) Study, at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center. In her free time, Rachel likes to play video games, frequent art museums and flea markets, and experiment with cooking new recipes.
As a member of GSSC, Rachel wants to demystify communications and increase transparency between disabled students and the Office of Disability Services (ODS), and to publicize accessibility tools and disability resources available to students on campus. She hopes to collaborate with ODS to create a protocol for supplying incoming disabled students with accessibility tools and/or mobility aids during orientation week programming. In collaboration with the Campus Life committee, she would like to establish regular therapy dog days specifically for GS students, and she would also like to partner with the Communications committee to implement alternative text and captions for visually impaired students on all GSSC social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and the GSSC website.
Oliver is in his third 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 Chief of Communications Oliver hopes 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!
Get To Know Maya
Maya is entering her second year at Columbia GS and is still a little undecided about what she is studying (though she is currently deciding between Economics-Political Science and Astronomy and Political Science). She is incredibly excited to join GSSC as Vice President of Campus Life and serve GS’ diverse and remarkable community.
As Vice President of Campus Life, Maya aims to introduce more events into the GSSC repertoire, ensure inclusivity for events to ensure that every GS student is able to attend, and further bolster GSSC’s relationship with its respective counterparts in Columbia and Barnard.
For any questions about Campus Life, feedback/concerns, and ideas for future events you’d like to see GSSC make happen, please reach out to Maya by email.
Get To Know Marie
Major: Sustainable Development '23
Marie Febrillet is a Senior studying Sustainable Development. Her areas of interest include sustainability, social inequalities, access to education, and diversity and equity. She is Dominican, born and raised, which means that she does not enjoy the cold and loves a beach moment. Marie is looking forward to ensuring that students from all backgrounds feel welcomed and included in the GS community.
Get To Know Lily
Major: Cognitive Science and Jewish Ethics '25
Lily is in the Joint Program between Columbia and the Jewish Theological Seminary, class of 2025, and is majoring in cognitive science and Jewish ethics. Hobbies that Lily enjoys are reading, painting, and running. Also, a fun fact about Lily is that she competed in Irish dancing for 10 years! During this year in GSSC, she hopes to help strengthen the community, as well as bring attention to our mental and physical health and its strong correlation with our success in school.
Get To Know Kyle
Major: Political Science '23
Kyle is a Political Science major graduating in May 2023. He was born in Connecticut and has been living in NYC since arriving at GS in the fall of 2020. Kyle's involvement in GSSC stems from his studies and experiences.
Besides being a full-time student, Kyle is a professional bartender who has helped restructure and revamp cocktail programs for several bars. Bartenders are de facto therapists who not only see people at their best, but also at their worst. Bartending has allowed Kyle to interact with a diverse set of people on a regular basis. These interactions have taught him the value of pluralism in a free society and the complications that arise from such.
Similarly, the GS student body houses an array of different backgrounds. To Kyle, it’s a poignant reminder that academia is a place for all. He believes we shouldn't demonize nor pathologize unconventionality. Instead, we ought to commemorate and celebrate it. Along with advocating for those who have traversed a “non-traditional” path, Kyle hopes to make student life easier by eliminating undue stress in areas such as, registration, course selection, and accessing various student resources.
Get To Know Kris
Major: Information Science, Business, and Philosophy '24
Kristupas (Kris) is a junior at GS, having spent his first two years of college in Tel Aviv, as part of the first class of students in the Dual B.A. program between Columbia and Tel Aviv University. He studies Information Science, Business, and Philosophy at Columbia, and also majored in Middle Eastern Studies while in Tel Aviv. Originally from Vilnius, Lithuania, Kris spends his free time playing soccer and chess, hiking, reviewing movies, and exploring NYC.
As the Treasurer of GSSC, Kris hopes to leverage the Student Council's finances to support events and initiatives important to the GS community, thereby helping create the best possible student experience for the amazing and diverse student body of GS.
Get To Know Katherine
Major: Political Science '24
Kat is a third year student in GS studying Political Science with a concentration in International Relations and graduating in 2024. She is a part of the Trinity College Dublin and Columbia University Dual BA Program and has spent the last two years in Dublin, Ireland studying Middle Eastern and European Languages and Cultures with specializations in German and Arabic studies. 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 towards earning her JD/MBA degree and to live in Europe with several dogs.
As Alumni Affairs Representative she hopes to bring awareness to the various post-graduate resources available to current undergraduates. These resources are currently hidden under the “you can google it” mentality and she hopes to change the narrative. In addition, Kat hopes to bring graduates and undergraduates of the GS community closer together in various events such as Homecoming, coffee chats, and small group discussions to aid upperclassmen in the transition from student to graduate. She is excited for the role as she has watched both her parents benefit from the Columbia alumni resources and aspires to help others find the same.
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 or Alumni Affairs that you might have or if you just want to grab coffee!
Get To Know Jule
Major: Political Science '24
Jule' Boudreaux is entering her first year at GS as an incoming Junior studying Political Science. She was motivated to join GSSC as First Year Vice President after going through her NSOP and enjoying the events put on by GS Campus Life.
As First Year VP she wants to produce events that are welcoming to the new incoming class as well as partner without other groups on campus to spread awareness about the resources and opportunities that could positively impact GS students.
Being new to the team Jule' is very open to suggestions for events or other campus life activities and very excited to get to know everyone. "
Get To Know Josh
Major: Mathematics and Talmud '23
Joshua is a junior in the JTS/GS Joint Program studying Math/Computer Science and Talmud. When his head is not buried in his books, whether a math textbook or a tome of Talmud, you can often find him walking the halls of JTS or eating peanut sandwiches somewhere on Columbia’s campus despite finishing dinner just an hour ago.
Although Columbia & JTS are located right next to each other and students in the program travel between both schools every day—even making a mad dash between classes to not be late—it can feel as if the two schools exist in alternate universes. So, as JTS Rep, Joshua hopes to bring GS’ers and JTS students together from across the seemingly endless two block ocean that is Columbia’s Campus and JTS. By doing so, he will help foster relationships that allow JTS students and GS students to feel part of one common community.
Get To Know Jennifer
Major: Psychology '24
Jennifer Odum is a third year psychology major. She plans to pair her major with a business management concentration, with an expected graduation date of 2024. Jennifer’s interest in psychology and business lies in the intersection of the physiological and psychological basis of behavior as it relates to the business landscape; she is interested in decision making centers housed within specific structures in the brain, that may potentially play a role in performance, productivity and business acumen. She plans to use this knowledge to transform raw potentials into human capital in her home country Nigeria. Jennifer is passionate about helping people achieve their full potential, whilst preparing them to become high performing members of the work force.
Jennifer’s interests encompasses business, as she studied classical music at the prestigious MUSON School of music, where she majored and minored in voice and piano respectively. She currently runs a music education practice which serves to make music education accessible to Nigerian children both at home and in the diaspora. She personally provides piano and vocal instructions in this regard.
Her background in joint venture facilitation in the real estate sector has left her well equipped to function as the Chief Negotiator of the IGSSC. In this capacity, she plans plan to bring her expertise garnered through extensive negotiation and innovative strategy to executing her duties.
In her spare time, Jennifer loves to read and currently runs a book club for working Nigerian professionals in Nigeria and in the diaspora. She also spends a great deal of time in the kitchen, due to her love for the culinary arts. You would also find her on the golf course, on the salsa dance floor or enjoying a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, whilst reading a newly discovered literary piece.
Get To Know Haya
Major: History '26
Haya Fine is a freshman in the Joint Program between JTS and GS (class of 2026). At the moment She is planning on majoring in history, but will see what happens in the coming years. Haya is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota (midwest = midbest), but she is very excited to be in NYC! Her main goal as Outreach Associate is to share and highlight the amazing GS community (because we are all REALLY incredible). Furthermore, She want to use social media as a way to not only advertise GS events, but also as a way to hear back directly from GS students. She absolutely cannot wait for this year on GSSC, so please feel free to reach out!
Get To Know Garrett:
Major: Mathematics '23
Garrett is a senior studying Mathematics at GS. His other academic activities include researching US nuclear weapon policy under Professor Ivana Hughes, and multiple Fellowships on long-term existential risks, AI governance, and effective altruism.
More importantly, Garrett has a deep-seated love for the GS community. He's served as an Orientation Leader and Crew Captain every semester he's been here, participated as a member on numerous prospective student interest panels, and served as a Junior Marshal. Last year, Garrett served as your Senior Class Treasurer, a role which helped him better understand many of the needs of seniors at GS and how best to address them.
This year, Garrett intends to increase the frequency of classic senior events like Lerner Pub to pre-COVID levels while continuing to meet rising expectations around access, capacity, and ticket prices at GS senior events for our growing senior student population. As your Senior Class President, he will also work to secure a larger share of tickets to four-school senior events. Lastly, Garrett intends to expand and even create new traditions for seniors at GS to cherish with the hope that our community will continue to carry them forward in future years.
Since Garrett strives to remain as accessible and transparent as possible, please don't hesitate to email him, attend his planned office hours, or just stop him wherever you see him on campus if you have anything you'd like to discuss. He is always happy to talk with GSers and loves getting to know them better, particularly over coffee!
Get To Know Gaetan
Major: Computer Science and Mathematics '25
Gaetan is currently a Sophomore majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics. Prior to enrolling at Columbia University he served in the United States Army for 3 years while studying online towards his BS in Computer Science Engineering. He has lived in many countries as he was born in Paris, France, spent many years in Cameroon then moved to Los Angeles, CA in 2017. Besides being a full- time student, Gaetan has a little Yorkie named Dobbie, he loves to play Fortnite, party, read, and is a U.S. Army Cadet. He will commission as an officer upon graduation.
Gaetan’s top priority as the Family and Working students representative is to work on improving living conditions and financial aid for the many GS students that are currently struggling.
Get To Know Faith
Major: Visual Arts & Computer Science '24
Faith is a junior studying Visual Arts and Computer Science. She was born in Portland, Oregon, and was raised in South Orange County, California. Faith has served in numerous positions on GSSC — last year starting as the Community Services and Sustainability Representative, then becoming the First-Year Class President, and this year starting as the Social Media Representative and then becoming our VP of Communications.
As VP of Communications, Faith has a part in nearly everything that the student body sees from GSSC: our newsletter, our social media, our website, and more. Her main goal is effective and transparent communication, and she encourages all students to reach out, either to GSSC as a whole ([email protected]), or to herself ([email protected]), if they have any questions, concerns, or just want to grab some coffee and chat!
Outside of GSSC, Faith is the Communications Lead for the Google Student Developer Club at Columbia University, and is the VP Panhellenic as well as web manager/designer for her sorority — Kappa Alpha Theta.
Eric is finishing his first semester as a Junior and his second semester 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 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 sports in general.
Get To Know DeAngelo
Major: Political Science '24
DeAngelo is a transfer student and junior political science major with an anticipated 2024 graduation year. He has served in the US Army for 6 years as an infantryman and was deployed in 2010 to Afghanistan. After the military he coached youth fitness and athletics, from hockey to football, specializing in high performance training. In his time in community college, DeAngelo served in the student government and found a strong passion for public service while advocating for veteran benefits and basic needs for all community college students.
DeAngelo enjoys listening to audiobooks, playing basketball on his intramural team, and exploring New York City as a new resident. He also enjoys being in the outdoors, going camping, and just exploring nature. DeAngelo hopes to help veteran students in his role by pushing GI Bill initiatives and increasing veteran student engagement, while also helping joint efforts to improve the student experience at Columbia for all students.
Get To Know Daniel
Major: History '24
Daniel LaFata is a junior in the Dual Degree program between Columbia and Sciences Po Paris. In France, he studied politics and law at Sciences Po’s Euro-Asia campus in Le Havre. Daniel is thrilled to be at Columbia this Fall, where he intends on majoring in Chinese history with the intent of, eventually, attending law school. A native of western North Carolina, he loves to spend his free time cooking, traveling, or in the great outdoors–where he is an avid hiker and skier.
As inaugural holder of the GSSC Policy Coordinator position, he plans on working with various members of the Council, student body, and administration to oversee policy implementation. Specifically, Daniel’s goal for this year is to examine the feasibility of expanding technological resources available to the GS student body.
Get To Know Bruce
Major: Cognitive Science & Public Health '25
Bruce is a French Air Force Veteran currently studying Cognitive Science & Public Health and graduating in 2025. He deeply values the Columbia Experience for its students and employees and cares greatly about ensuring that everyone is able to take care of their physical, social, and mental health while having at their disposal the right tools and resources to thrive financially, academically, and professionally.
He has previously interned for the laboratories of Veolia Water Technologies in the processes of providing potable water for humanitarian emergencies and worked for Rotary International for which he organized fundraisers that were able to fund the rural electrification and structural transformation of multiple schools and villages in Mali, Togo, and Burkina Faso. He believes that it is up to us to speak for those whose voices are not being heard and that we each have a role to play in reducing the inequalities we witness in the environments in which we evolve. We have to be conscious of the impact that we have on people and on society, and take action in the direction that will help better the lives of others around us and for the generations to come.
In his free time, Bruce enjoys hiking with his friends and practicing track & field but you will also find him catching up on musicals he has not seen yet or spending hours reading in random bookstores.
Get To Know Ashley
Major: Political Science '23
Concentration: Business Management
Ashley Tan is a senior under the Dual BA with Sciences Po Paris, majoring in Political Science with a Business Management concentration. She is really excited to be working with Campus Life team to promote diversity and community within GS. Ashley hails from Singapore and is passionate about promoting the wellbeing of international students on campus.
Outside of school, Ashley enjoys cooking, eating, and going for the occasional run through Central Park.
Get To Know Altynbek
As International Student Representative, Altynbek's main goal is to assist Columbia’s GS Community. With his diverse background, he wants to create events for international students at Columbia campus, foster international student leadership, and promote cross-cultural understanding throughout the University. Furthermore, he wants to build connections and friendships that includes partnering with student clubs and organizations, and opportunities for international students to be involved at Columbia.
Altynbek's hobbies include drawing fashion illustrations as it brings him great enjoyment, data science, and learning new languages.
Get To Know Aliison
Major: American Studies '23
Allison Darne is an American Studies major and plans to graduate in Fall of 2023 after which she hopes to pursue a dual degree in law (JD) and social work (MSW). Outside of GSSC, Allison also serves the GS community as a Resident Advisor and the GS Representative for the First-Generation/Low-Income Network. She is also in the process of becoming a court-appointed special advocate for foster children in Manhattan and looks forward to stepping into this role in the coming months as she transitions out of Columbia and into the greater NYC community. In her spare time, she enjoys crocheting and playing the mandolin.
One of the things she wants to focus on this year is increasing presence and access to the variety of health and wellness related-resources on campus for students. She is also excited to support the Policy Committee in related initiatives that focus on equity, inclusion, transparency, and reducing stress.