Reunion

May 24 – June 4, 2021

The Columbia University School of General Studies is bringing Reunion Weekend 2021 to you! Although we can’t be together on campus this year, we invite you to join us for several engaging and exciting virtual opportunities. Enjoy conversations, updates, and performances that are open to alumni, students, and friends of the School.

Thank you for staying connected to GS. As always, we are thinking of you and your loved ones. For more information about Reunion, please contact the GS Office of Development and Alumni Relations at gsalumni@columbia.edu or 212-853-2447.

Welcome Gathering with the Dean

Monday, May 24
6 - 7 p.m. EDT

Join Dean Lisa Rosen-Metsch '90 as she welcomes alumni and friends to Reunion 2021. Guests will have the opportunity to mingle with peers from their class years in breakout rooms, hear updates from the School, and meet current student leaders who will discuss their GS experience.

A Celebration of the Performing Arts at Columbia

Monday, May 24
7:30 - 8:30 p.m. EDT

Join us for our annual Reunion performance event as we celebrate Columbia GS being home to some of the world's greatest performing artists. Viewers will enjoy performances by the Columbia Ballet Collaborative and Columbia Repertory Ballet, followed by a conversation with Keith Roberts '17GS, '20BUS, Director of Repertoire at American Ballet Theatre. Several Columbia artists will reflect on what it means to transition from the stage to the classroom, and how they have weathered the last year without live audiences.

About Keith Roberts '17GS, '20BUS
Keith Roberts is currently Director of Repertoire at American Ballet Theatre. He earned his MBA at Columbia Business School and his BA in economics-philosophy from Columbia's School of General Studies. Prior to his work as Director, Mr. Roberts worked as a répétiteur for Twyla Tharp Dance, setting Tharp’s work on her behalf across the US and internationally. In 2000, he joined the Broadway cast of Fosse and originated his role in Tharp’s Movin’ Out, receiving both Tony and Astaire Award nominations. Previously, Mr. Roberts was a principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre.

About Sasha Gorrell '10GS
Dr. Sasha Gorrell danced with Boston Ballet and American Ballet Theatre for a combined 18 years. Following retirement from dance, Gorrell received a BA in psychology from Columbia University School of General Studies and an MA from New York University. She earned her PhD in clinical psychology from the University at Albany in 2018, after which she joined the UCSF team as a T32 postdoctoral scholar within the NIMH-funded Clifford Attkisson Clinical Services Research Training Program. As an assistant professor in the UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Gorrell’s clinical focus is in the treatment of adolescents with restrictive eating disorders, and specifically in supporting their recovery in family-based treatment. 

About Melissa Thomas DeLong '13GS
Originally from Birmingham, Melissa has spent the better part of her life in New York, first as a professional ballet dancer with the American Ballet Theatre for eight years. Following her career in the arts, Ms. DeLong attended Columbia University, graduating summa cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in psychology. She completed her graduate studies in social work at NYU, receiving supervision in psychodynamic psychotherapy. Since graduation, Ms. DeLong has been committed to combining her background in psychodynamic practices of psychotherapy with current, evidence-based treatments.

Celebrating Dual Degree Programs at GS: Spotlight on International Higher Education

Tuesday, May 25
12 - 1 p.m. EDT
 

Join Lisa Rosen-Metsch '90GS, Dean of the Columbia University School of General Studies, and Stéphanie Balme, Dean of the Sciences Po Undergraduate College, as they reflect on the origins of the groundbreaking Dual BA Program between these two institutions. Hear about highlights from the Program’s first ten years, what the future holds for both institutions, and current campus developments from both Columbia and Sciences Po. Guests will also hear current students discuss their experiences in the Program, and what it means to undertake a nontraditional international undergraduate education.

About Stéphanie Balme
Stéphanie Balme has been the program director of Sciences Po’s research group “Law, Justice and Society in China” since 2006, and is the scientific advisor for the “China and East Asia” concentration at PSIA/Sciences Po. She was also a Fall 2014 Visiting Professor at the Columbia University School of Law, and has been both a Visiting Professor and Research Associate at the Chinese University of Hong Kong from 2003–2006, and at Tsinghua University Faculty of Law from 2006-2012. Balme obtained her PhD with high honors from Sciences Po Paris in December 2000 and completed her post-doc position at Hong Kong Baptist University in 2001. She obtained her qualification as PhD Supervisor and full professor under the academic French system from Sciences Po School of Law in 2016, and is one of the leading experts on Sino-French relations. She is among the founding members and now serves as vice president of the European China Law Studies Association (ECLS) based in Hamburg (Germany) as well as a board member of the GIS/CNRS Asia Pacific Group (Paris), and has been a consultant for international organizations and think tanks such as UNDP, the European Union, and World Bank. She has taught in France, Belgium, Mainland China, Hong Kong, the United States, Canada (UQAM and UBC), and New Delhi (Ashoka University), and has been published in French, English, and Chinese.

On the Frontlines: Nursing Leadership in Pandemics

Tuesday, May 25
2 - 3 p.m. EDT

Nurses are on the frontlines of pandemic responses worldwide, but their stories, their knowledge, and their public trust are often overlooked and underutilized in high-level policy and decision-making. A working group of Columbia faculty from public health, humanities, public policy, nursing, and oral history came together three years ago to address this issue by doing in-depth oral histories of frontline nurses from the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and continued their work by including the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak in New York City. At this event, you'll hear the stories of frontline nurses and midwives and learn what they can teach us about pandemic response.

Speakers Include

  • Jennifer Dohrn '85NRS, '05NRS, Associate Professor of Nursing at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center
  • Wilmot James, Senior Research Scholar at Columbia's Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP) 
  • Mary Marshall Clark, Director, Columbia Center for Oral History Research (CCOHR)
  • Victoria Rosner '90CC, '99GSAS, Dean of Academic Affairs at Columbia GS and Adjunct Professor of English and Comparative Literature

Master Class in Dance with Alicia Graf Mack ‘03GS, of The Juilliard School

Tuesday, May 25
6 - 7 p.m. EDT 

Move gracefully and joyfully alongside Alicia Graf Mack '03GS, Dean and Director of the Dance Division at The Juilliard School, in this virtual dance class designed for all ages. Guests will enjoy a Q&A with Alicia at the end of the session.

About Alicia Graf Mack '03GS
Alicia Graf Mack began her inaugural season as Director of Dance at The Juilliard School in the fall of 2018 after enjoying a distinguished career as a leading dancer at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, before which she was a principal dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem under the tutelage of Arthur Mitchell, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

Ms. Graf Mack has danced as a guest performer with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Beyoncé, John Legend, Andre 3000, and Alicia Keys. As a dance educator, Ms. Graf Mack was an assistant professor of dance at Webster University in St. Louis, and on faculty at Washington University and University of Houston. She is co-founder of D(n)A Arts Collective, an initiative created to enrich the lives of young dancers through master classes and intensives, and the proud mother of two beautiful children, Jordan and Laila Mack. Ms. Graf Mack graduated magna cum laude with honors in history from Columbia’s School of General Studies and holds an MA in nonprofit management from Washington University in St. Louis. In 2008, she received the Columbia University Medal for Excellence, which is awarded to an alumna or alumnus at Commencement for their outstanding record in scholarship, public service, and/or professional life. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Visitors for the School of General Studies.

Voices from Uganda: Delivering High-Value Healthcare in a Low-Resource Setting

Thursday, May 27
12 - 1 p.m. EDT 

Postbac Premed Program alumnus Dr. Ken Schaefle '09GS curates a selection of recent video interviews with the Ugandan healthcare providers he works with through a unique partnership between Montefiore Hospital/Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a remote government hospital in Kisoro, Uganda. Through the voices of village health workers and the local hospital director, Dr. Schaefle will present a narrative of the challenges of, and hope for, providing high-value healthcare in a low-resource setting.

About Dr. Ken Schaefle '09GS
Dr. Schaefle is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and spends three months a year in Uganda working with local healthcare providers. He is the editor of Reasoning Without Resources, a 1500-page global health textbook published this spring by CFHI press. Before attending Columbia University, Ken spent over a decade living in Amsterdam where he worked with a theater company. After deciding he needed a change, a vacation to South America led him to a chance meeting with a fellow traveler who had just graduated from a postbac premed program. At 35 years old and already considering making a switch into medicine, Ken decided to apply to Columbia. After completing his courses, he became a research assistant at Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and worked on a large database of transplant surgeries. From there, he attended Albert Einstein College of Medicine and graduated in 2014, after which he completed his internal medicine residency at Lenox Hill, where he served as Chief Resident of their HIV track. In 2017, Ken returned to Einstein Montefiore as a Global Health Fellow, and in 2019 became an Assistant Professor of Medicine.

Inside the Newsroom with Craig Wilson '95GS, Senior Broadcast Producer, CBS News

Tuesday, June 1
12 - 1 p.m. EDT

Three-time Emmy Award winner Craig Wilson '95GS, Senior Broadcast Producer for CBS News, will host an engaging conversation alongside fellow media professionals as they reflect on a year of unprecedented world events. 

About Craig Wilson '95GS
As a producer and writer, Craig has contributed to nearly every broadcast at CBS News in his nearly three-decade-long career at the network. Since February of 2020, he has produced the CBS WEEKEND NEWS. When the pandemic struck, he took the broadcast "on the road"—producing it with the anchors, producers, and facilities at 12 CBS stations and affiliates across the country. A different one each week—for three months. Craig has earned three Emmy Awards. He is also the winner of two Writer’s Guild of America Awards for best news writing—the first in 2004 for CBS News ‘Up To The Minute’ coverage of the U.S. led invasion of Iraq; the second for a 2016 CBS News 48 Hours Special Report on the death of Mohammed Ali. He’s also a Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Winner. Craig’s journalism career proudly began as a paper boy for his home-town Medicine Hat News in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada.

Professional Athletes in the Ivy League

Wednesday, June 2
8 - 9 p.m. EDT

As a home for nontraditional students, Columbia's School of General Studies stands out as the college of choice for world-class athletes seeking an Ivy League education. This exciting panel will feature several athletes in conversation, including figure skater Sasha Cohen '16GS, a two-time Olympian, three-time World Medalist, Grand Prix Final champion, and 2006 U.S. Champion. Panelists will reflect on what a Columbia education meant to them, and how it shaped their current path. 

About Sasha Cohen '16GS
Sasha Cohen works in investment management as a disruptive change analyst at Morgan Stanley, and is a podcast host for the United States Olympic Committee. In addition to her numerous awards and and medals, she was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2016. Following her competitive career, Sasha worked as an “Inside Edition” correspondent at the Academy Awards, an Olympic Analyst for Good Morning America and Yahoo Sports, and a speaker at Columbia University’s TEDx conference. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Visitors for the School of General Studies.

Veterans Reception

Thursday, June 3
6 - 7 p.m. EDT

Gather with alumni who have served their country in the armed forces. Join us for a conversation with Keren Yarhi-Milo '03GS, Director of Columbia's Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, and Jason Dempsey '03GSAS, '06GSAS, '08GSAS, Executive Director of the Columbia University Center for Veteran Transition and Integration (CVTI). This event is hosted by the School of General Studies, CVTI, and the Saltzman Institute.