Archive for event

Admitted Students’ Day

Yesterday was an exhilarating day with newly admitted students, current students, alumni, faculty and staff.  The energy was electrifying — I didn’t even mind my feet throbbing in pain from walking around all day or my “lack of voice” this morning from talking so much.  It was all worth it.  I personally love meeting our admitted students who we have all gotten to know well through their applications.  They are all as great in person as they were on paper.  It’s also a good time to talk through what’s next and put to rest any concerns that students may have about living in New York City, the SIPA class size, financial aid, and opportunities post graduation.

Our guests were able to meet with faculty from the various concentrations and specializations; sit in plenary discussions about career services and financial aid;  hear from one of our luminary professors talk about SIPA and his own experiences during lunch; and get student and alumni perspective on the priceless network and resources afforded them as a member of the SIPA community.  And as if that wasn’t enough, we ended the day (the New York way) with drinks, food, and good conversations… all overlooking the New York City skyline.

So far the feedback has been positive… and our goal to make it difficult for them to walk away from SIPA hopefully will be achieved.  Because I would hate to see them not come back.

an Arts initiative

In my last post I wrote a about the myriad of opportunities available to students on Columbia’s campus, but of course one of the greatest advantages of coming to SIPA is that you get to live in New York City! I could write a whole blog post about the career related activities and internship opportunities available to SIPA students here in our fair city, and in fact I very well may, but all work and no play makes Nancy a dull grad student.

If you plan on coming to SIPA, you should definitely know about CU Arts Initiative. The CU Arts homepage ( describes it as a “pioneering venture to make art and culture a meaningful part of every Columbian’s experience.” To me, it’s a great way to find out what’s going on in New York and an even better way to score discount tickets.  Columbia students have ongoing discounts to such New York institutions as the Metropolitan Opera, the Museum of Modern Art and the Bronx Zoo.  You can also buy discounted movie tickets and receive special pricing on tickets to Broadway (and Off-Broadway shows). I just went to see Newsies for ½ of the published ticket price!  You can also use CUArts to reserve performance space, promote your own on or off campus cultural event and find out about events happening at the university.  Check them out here.


Commencement and visiting SIPA this week

Next week (May 14th– 17th) the Columbia University campus will be bustling with commencement activities.  Graduation is a time of celebration, reflection and also particularly limited access to campus. A Columbia University ID card is required to enter campus only at specific points and during specific times. Guests of graduating students must have a ticket and graduating students must arrive at the appointed time to line up and prepare to walk onto the great lawn for the ceremony.

President Obama is the commencement speaker for Barnard College on Monday, May 14th on the great lawn. As a result, campus security is heightened and many streets will be closed off to vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

As you can imagine, a lot of planning, preparation and execution is required for such a large event and Columbia’s great lawn will hold hundreds of people for multiple events before the week is over. Commencement week 2012 is a website dedicated specifically to provide information about the graduation ceremonies being held all week.  You can even catch some of the commencement festivities on the campus webcam.

As a result, we advise anyone planning to visit SIPA during this time to make alternate arrangements. You are welcome to call our office or send an email to receive answers to your inquiries or make other visiting arrangements.

The commencement ceremony for SIPA is being held on Thursday, May 17th. We wish our students the absolute best of luck and congratulations!!

SIPA Life on a Friday

The following post was written by Andrea Bustard, a second year MIA student concentrating in Urban and Social Policy. Her involvement in the Southeast Asia Student Initiative, SIPA Students of Color and the Migration Working Group has proven to be an enriching experience while at SIPA.


SIPA offers a wealth of avenues to prepare students with the needed skills for their careers after graduation. Courses range from Cost Benefit Analysis to Policy and Practices of Humanitarian Assistance, and this doesn’t include the classes offered through other schools such as Columbia Business School or Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia. And with over 40 student organizations, you’re bound to find at least one that matches an interest. As a second year, while I’ve felt the courses have taught me skills, having an opportunity to get involved in student groups has given me a chance to work with like-minded professionals and expand my network.

Few classes meet on Fridays, so students often take advantage of the time to attend SIPA related events. Here’s a snapshot of my Friday:

8am Arrive at the Localizing Global Justice conference in the International Affairs Building and greet incoming presenters and help with check-in for registered guests as a board member of the Southeast Asian Student Initiative.

10am-4pm Hear from panelists at the conference about law and human rights issues in Southeast Asia. Highlights included the presentation “Keeping it Up and Keeping it Down – Broadcasting Rights at Thai Protests” by Benjamin Tausig.

4pm-530pm Attend a reception for the panelists from the conference. I especially enjoyed a poetry and cello performance by Professor McCargo’s wife.

6pm-9pm Network at the Alumni of Color Reception hosted by SIPA Students of Color attended by graduate students and alumni from various schools. The highlight was hearing from SIPA alum and candidate for Congress in New York, Vince Morgan, but the food catered from a nearby Côte d’Ivoire restaurant was a close second.

11pm-2am Support SIPA Pan-Africa Network by going to their African Diplomatic Forum fundraiser party at the Empire State Building. On the way back, we stopped at a pizza place outside the subway station before catching a train home. It was a great way to end the event-filled night.

Summer Recruiting Events

The blog has been focused mainly on incoming students recently but I did want to take a moment to highlight some opportunities for prospective students to gather more information about SIPA.

Next month SIPA will be participating in five different recruitment events.  If you are a prospective student and are available it would be great to meet you at one of these events.  Details on each event are below.

First, SIPA is participating in the Aid & International Development Forum taking place in Washington D.C. on June 8th and 9th.  The forum is free to attend and you can view the schedule and register by clicking here.

Second, on Monday, June 13th in Washington, D.C. SIPA will join four other policy schools for an evening reception featuring admissions representatives, alumni, and current students enrolled in our programs. The event will be held at the Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.

The doors will open at 5:30 P.M. for registration. The main event, featuring alumni and representatives from the schools, will take place from 6:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. The event will start with some brief presentations followed by mingling with drinks and light hors d’oeuvres and should conclude around 8:00 P.M.

There is no charge to attend the event, but you must register to attend. You can register for the event by clicking here or by pasting the following address into your Web browser:

Third, SIPA will have a table at three graduate school fairs in San Francisco, New York, and Washington D.C.  Full details are available via the following links:

San Francisco Graduate School Fair – June 16th from 5:00 to 8:00 P.M. at the San Francisco County Fair Building

New York City Graduate School Fair – June 22nd from 5:00 to 8:00 PM
at Fordham University

Washington, D.C. Graduate School Fair – June 23rd from 5:00 to 8:00 P.M. at American University

Please note that we also host information sessions at SIPA each Monday at 6:00 PM and each Friday at Noon, with some exceptions for holidays.  Registration is required and you can contact our office anytime to reserve a space.

Representatives from SIPA travel extensively in the fall and as our travel schedule firms up we will post updates to this blog so stay tuned.

"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

Boiler Image