2015-2016 Contributors

Elaine Kubik-mugshot

Elaine Kubik, MPA-DP 2016
Hometown: I have lived in over 17 different cities, but I’m thankful to call Orange County, New York my home.
Fun Fact: I joined Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg as one of the few people allowed to open the Panama Canal!

Elaine Kubik is a second year MPA-Development Practice candidate at Columbia University SIPA. She is focusing her studies on corporate social responsibility and examining how private sector companies can contribute to the growth of developing countries. Elaine was born in Panama and raised all over the world as a military dependent. Prior to SIPA, Elaine worked for five years in both the public and private sectors in marketing and communications. Upon graduating Elaine hopes to work with private companies in increasing the sustainability of their products and their commitment to their communities.

Eloy-Oliveira-headshotEloy Oliveira, MPA 2016
Concentration: Economic and Political Development

Eloy is a second-year SIPA student pursuing an MPA degree with a concentration in Economic and Political Development. He holds a B.A. in Law from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Prior to studying at SIPA Eloy worked seven years for the state government of Minas Gerais, Brazil as Consultant, managing major infrastructure projects and Public-Private Partnerships. Eloy also has experience in the non-for-profit sector, he is a member of the Global Shapers, which is a group of young leaders created by the World Economic Forum.

AdrianaPopaheadshotAdriana Popa, MIA 2016
Hometown: Pitesti, Romania
Favorite college-related book and/or movie: Well, I thought it was college-related at the time, as I was watching it when I was still in Romania, and Law School doesn’t happen after undergrad there, but IS part of undergrad, so I thought “Legally Blonde” was about college in the US, essentially. It is, to this day, my favorite college/grad school-related movie.
Fun fact about myself: I lose balance when I sneeze or blow my nose.

Originally from Romania, Adriana has lived and studied on three continents and graduated from Swarthmore College in May 2012. During and after college, her professional involvement centered on international institutions and non-governmental organizations. Upon graduation, she was awarded a Davis Project for Peace grant in India, where she worked over the summer of 2012. She then worked for two years in the private sector in New York City, notably for the KKR Global Institute, Cushman & Wakefield and Balint, Brown and Basri LLC. She currently resides in New York City, where she is attending graduate school at Columbia University (SIPA). At SIPA, she is pursuing a Master’s in International Affairs (MIA), with a concentration in International Security Policy and a specialization in International Conflict Resolution. Her professional experience and personal interests span a range of fields, from foreign affairs/diplomacy, to education/youth and art (specifically writing, painting and dancing – she has published poetry, short stories and travel articles in several languages, and she is on the Columbia Ballroom Team). She also models in her spare time, and enjoys horseback riding – she was on the Swarthmore Equestrian Team, and continues to ride as often as she can in the New York area and whenever she travels. She intends to pursue a diplomatic career. She comes from a family of diplomats and scientists, and has no relatives in the US.

DinaUfbergr-headshotDina Ufberg, MIA 2016, MBA 2016
Hometown: Scranton, PA
Favorite quote: “Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath,” —Michael Caine
A tip for prospective students: Be open minded. Try a course that you “think” you don’t know anything about. Be willing to take a class even if people say its extremely hard or that the workload is overly heavy. Be OK being uncomfortable!

Dina is pursuing a dual degree that combines a Master of International Affairs and a Master of Business Administration, focusing on social enterprise. After graduating from the University of Michigan, Dina was awarded a Fulbright to teach in universities in Hong Kong. From there she went on to work at Jerusalem Venture Partners in Jerusalem and New York, learning how startups and venture capital firms operate. Following her VC experience, she went on to learn about technology from a different angle: Dina worked at Scholastic in their education department.  It was through these myriad of experiences that she learned she wanted to pursue social impact in the form of education technology.  Through her education at SIPA and Columbia Business School, Dina hopes to work for an education technology company.

AllisonWalker-headshotAllison Walker, MIA 2016
Concentration: Human Rights
Specialization: International Media, Advocacy, and Communications

Allison is a second year MIA student focusing on Human Rights and specializing in International Media, Advocacy, and Communications. Allison worked as a digital media and webcast specialist in the nonprofit sector in New York before going back to school. She double majored in Film and International Relations for her undergraduate degree at Northwestern University worked for documentary production companies and nonprofits in Chicago, D.C., Nashville, and New York.

YitingXu-mugshotYiting “Elaine” Xu, MPA 2016
Hometown: Shanghai, China
Favorite quote: “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

Yiting Xu is a second-year SIPA student concentrating in Economic and Political Development. She is enrolled to SIPA directly after she graduated from Fudan University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. During college, she had excellent academic performance and diverse internship experience. Before joining SIPA, she served as an editor at the state-owned news agency in Beijing, and interned at the municipal government of Shanghai. She also interned for a social enterprise company last summer. She believes that two-year study at SIPA can provide her with countless opportunities in the future.



"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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