Posts Tagged ‘graduation’

Spectrum | Apr. 23 9:34 am EST
wake up call

We’re fencing winners, but Call of Duty player is a very sore loser

Illustration by Karl Daum

Good morning, Columbia! As we engage in pre-finals craze, Spectrum would like to remind you to go to sleep, y’know, eventually. Just enough so that it makes sense for us to wish you a good morning. Today’s supposed to be around 56 degrees with a slight chance of showers. Here’s what’s going on:

In Columbia news:

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News | Apr. 21 3:52 pm EST
vals and sals

Columbia College valedictorian and salutatorian announced

File Photo

The Columbia College valedictorian and salutatorian have been announced! The class of 2014 valedictorian is Margarete Diaz Cuadros, and the salutatorian is Samuel Walker. Congratulations to both! Below is the full press release from the Columbia College website.

The Columbia College faculty Committee on Honors, Awards and Prizes has announced the names of the Class of 2014 valedictorian and salutatorian. The valedictorian is Margarete Diaz Cuadros, a biochemistry major with a concentration in evolutionary biology of the human species. The salutatorian is Samuel Walker, a comparative literature and society major with a concentration in philosophy.

Diaz, who is originally from Lima, Peru, came to New York after completing high school. As a sophomore, she started working in the laboratory of University Professor and Nobel Prize winner Martin Chalfie, and “quickly demonstrated her mastery in the field of nerve cell development and function in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans,” according to the faculty committee. During her time in Professor Chalfie’s lab, she went on to conduct a “mutagenesis screen,” which Professor Chalfie calls, “a gold mine” for his laboratory, opening many new avenues for research.

Diaz is a recipient of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center’s seventh annual Frank and Sara McKnight Award for Biochemistry, a national award for seniors who have conducted outstanding research in chemistry, biological chemistry, or biophysics or quantitative biology. She has also received research funding from the Columbia College Alumni and Parent Internship Fund for her research in Professor Chalfie’s Laboratory. She plans to continue her research and pursue  a Ph.D. in molecular genetics. In her free time, she enjoys preparing Peruvian cuisine and reading Latin American literature.

“Margarete has impressed Columbia and national faculty with her commitment to research, her creative thinking which allows her to identify details others might miss, and her phenomenal work ethic – all of which, combined with her gracious, generous and humble character, point to her becoming a leading scientist of her generation,” the faculty committee said.

Walker, who is from Westchester, N.Y., is a highly gifted scholar of literature, history, philosophy, according to faculty members with whom he has studied. He has also proven to be an “outstanding student” of foreign languages, mastering both French and German at a near native level, the faculty committee said. He took a year off from the College to study languages and spent a summer working with the Summer Bridge Program, tutoring rising first-year students in Columbia’s Academic Success Programs.

Walker is completing his senior thesis on perception and moral autonomy in Rousseau’s Second Discourse and Kant’s Conjectural Beginnings of Human History, in which he argues that both thinkers trace humanity’s problems to a dialectic between empirical and rational sources of motivation, but that they have different answers when it comes to how this dialectic should be resolved. The faculty members advising this work say that its scholarship is so advanced, it reads like the first draft of a doctoral thesis.

“Sam’s selection as the Salutatorian for the Columbia College Class of 2014 is a testament to his immense capacity and passion for learning,” the faculty committee said. “And it is a great tribute to Sam’s originality of thought and dedication to scholarship that he has excelled in these intersecting fields, impressing and delighting his professors across all his disciplines.”


Spectrum | May. 14 2:48 pm EST

Ezra of Vampire Weekend says he’d use Columbia degree to read at library

Today, the guys of Vampire Weekend, the loveliest of Columbia alums, did a Reddit AMA. They answered questions from Reddit users on everything from where they buy their salmon-colored shorts to some of their songs’ origins.

Ezra Koenig, lead singer and guitarist in Vampire Weekend, commented on his time at Columbia in response to a question about how their parents felt about them going into music after time at an Ivy League school.

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The Eye | Mar. 29 5:13 pm EST

Sex & Low Beach

The Eye

Now that we’re a week deep into the part of the semester that follows spring break, many of the most exciting moments of the school year are upon us. For example, we find out in just a few short days who’s playing at Bacchanal (and hopefully won’t be disappointed, though we at The Eye, in our endless Columbian cynicism, aren’t too hopeful).

For the Class of 2013, something wicked this way comes: Real life. Many of you guys are probably stressing more than ever, wishing you had just gone to vocational schools instead of sinking 240k into a liberal arts degree.

The end of the year certainly has its wonderful moments, though. You’ll be able to sit outside on the steps, soaking up the sun and laughing with your friends. Maybe you’ll even catch the eye of that special someone on Low Beach, and they’ll finally respond to your CU Admirers post…

To prepare for all the wonderful fun that will ensue, why not read The Eye’s lead this week, “Sex Talk”?

Better yet, check out the whole issue! Enjoy!


Opinion | Mar. 14 9:41 pm EST

I hate feeling post-grad nostalgia before the graduation

Illustration by Lian Plass

I’ve spent the better part of this week complaining. Or, more aptly, the past few weeks.

Monday and Tuesday nights, I groaned away in Butler 209 as I watched the movies I was supposed to watch during Intro to Film instead of falling asleep.

I groaned and hated my life so much this week that I had to listen to fart videos (of all things) to stop myself from going insane. By 2 a.m. last night, I was like, “Fuck the world, I’m going to sleep 23 hours a day during spring break.”

And then today, at 4 p.m., I saw a friend’s Facebook reminder about buying my graduation regalia. I went to the bookstore. I bought my cap, my gown, and my tassel. Shit just got real. And as much as I’m done with academics, I’m not done with Columbia.

And I’m scared as fuck.

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Opinion | Mar. 11 8:54 pm EST

Setting out and starting up

Last week I posted the first interview in the “You in a Few” series. (There’ll be a few more before the semester ends.) I’m a tech guy, so naturally my first interviewee was a startup founder. I spoke with Jared Hecht, CC ’09, who dropped a Teach for America offer at the last minute to work for Tumblr and eventually found GroupMe. He discussed the pressure to go down more traditional job routes like finance and TFA after graduation and the importance of risk-taking.

The big vs. small company debate is one many of us face when thinking of life after graduation. There are a lot of factors to consider: salary, reputation, perks, hiring, network, and most importantly, the kind of experience you’ll get. More »


Spectrum | May. 19 11:04 am EST

Senior in the Springtime: The final countdown

Amalia Rinehart / Spec

Hello and a very warm welcome to the 16th and final installment of Senior in the Springtime. This week I continued the journey of completing the traditions that remained on my list.

Again, the numbers alongside the tradition reflect their placement in the original list. My three for the week:

33. Go to Midnight Breakfast.

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Spectrum | May. 13 2:41 pm EST
Class Day

Graduating GSers share their stories

The School of General Studies held its class day this morning on Low Plaza. You can read our news story on it here. We asked some of the graduating seniors how they feel now that it’s all over. These were some of their reactions:

Lydia Chan, psychology major, came from Singapore and attended Westchester Community College for two years before arriving at Columbia. “I wanted a good education — an excellent education.” She found the School of General Studies by chance. Now that it’s over, she says she feels “happy, tired. Tired!” Next up: grad school, right here at Teacher’s College.

Ben Wirtshafter, political science major, came to Columbia after having spent time as a professional actor in New York. “I realized I wanted to continue my education and this was the best place to do it,” he said. He came to Columbia after a friend told him about the General Studies program.

“I was really intrigued by the concept of people who’ve taken some time off from school, who’ve tried to learn another vocation or learn something outside of the academic realm, and getting to be in classes with people like that, and also being able to be around a bunch of 18- to 20-year-olds who are brilliant and genius in their own way.”

Now that it’s all over, he says he feels “Relieved. I still have to finish a paper that’s due on Wednesday.”

Kayran Abasali, sustainable development major, started her journey to Columbia from Trinidad. After she scored well on her SATs, her friends encouraged her to go to America for school. She went to FIT for two years, and then decided she wanted something different. She applied to Columbia and was accepted.

Abasali said her experience her was good, though it had it’s ups and downs. “One of the ups was realizing that I can do anything, and that I belong here. The GS deans were awesome. One of the downs was realizing that some of the professors are difficult, and very set in their ways.” Overall, she says she’s glad she came here, “minus the $180,000 debt.” Next, she says, she’s “going to take over the world.”

Are you a graduating GSer? What was your experience at Columbia like? Share it with us in the comments!


Opinion | May. 8 1:59 pm EST

To the columnist who wrote to the class of 2012

Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Dear Bret Stephens,

Thank you for your non-congratulations to the members of the class of 2012. Since you asked me to, I will indeed spare you self-pity about graduating. And I will tell you why I can spare you:

You wrote that we will be moving in with our parents after graduation. You wrote, based on an experience you once had giving one (1) interview, that knowledge counts, and we, the Class of 2012, don’t even know who the President of the United States was in 1956. You wrote that we’re in worse shape than our peers “in places like Ireland, France, India and Spain,” where people speak several languages—”Unlike you,” you wrote. You wrote that our resumés are endless advertisements for ourselves with things like “internships” and “school papers” (I think you and I may have a different opinion of what a CV is, but I digress). You wrote that our “generation has an especially bad case” of comforming “because your mass conformism is masked by the appearance of mass nonconformism.”

Here is what I have to write to you: More »


Opinion | Apr. 27 8:03 pm EST

Life imitates Lemon

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

30 Rock had a live episode last night. Maybe it’s just because of my well-documented admiration for Tina Fey, or because I once wore a hat with a piece of masking tape that said “Night Cheese” on it to her book signing, or because most people I meet here seem to harbor a secret or overt crush on Alec Baldwin, but a lot of the lines struck me as especially relevant to this moment in Columbia’s history.

“Glamour, excitement, what we today would call alcoholism.”
To the senior class. This one’s pretty self-explanatory.

“Nine out of ten doctors surveyed said, ‘Who is this? Why are you calling so late?’”
To everyone who works for the Senior Fund. Again, this one is fairly obvious. Let’s move on. More »