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Interviewers

Meet the Senior Interviewers who conduct most of our on-campus interviews!
 

Abby Abrams

Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri

High School: Ladue Horton Watkins High School

Major: English

Activities: Editor in Chief of Columbia Daily Spectator, former Editor in Chief of Barnard Echoes Literary Magazine, Columbia/Barnard Hillel Interfaith/Intercultural Committee, Columbia/Barnard Hillel Friday Night Dinner Committee, Barnard Student Admissions Representative

Internships: TIME Magazine and Time.com, TIME For Kids Magazine, St. Louis Beacon

“During my three years here at Barnard, I’ve grown to appreciate the women’s college atmosphere more than I would have ever expected. That was not something high on my list of priorities in the beginning, but as I’ve gone to school here, I find myself continuously appreciative of all the opportunities that the women’s college community affords me. I have also become more interested in feminism and thinking about what that term means to me and how it applies to my daily life, which is another thing that I did not expect. All of the intellectual and social aspects of Barnard have made me think so much more critically about everything I see, so that I now have many more lenses through which to view what I read and the actions I observe.”

 

Olivia Aylmer

Hometown: Richmond, Virginia

High School: James River High School

Major: English

Minor: Dance

Study Abroad: Mansfield College, University of Oxford (United Kingdom)

Activities: Blog and Features Director at Hoot Magazine, Editor and Senior Staff Writer for Columbia Daily Spectator, contributor to The Eye, contributor to The Barnard Bulletin, radio show host for WBAR, Barnard Student Admissions Representative, Barnard Alumnae Reunion assistant, Barnard Events Board, Orchesis, Event Coordinator and Sub-editor for The ISIS, styling assistant on fashion shoots, zine making

Internships: 29th Street Publishing, InStyle, Teen Vogue, Narratively

“Attending school in New York City makes it difficult to draw a clear line between being a college student and a ‘real person.’ It has personally instilled in me a more independent spirit and a willingness to grasp opportunities that others might reserve until post-graduation, whether that means covering shows at New York Fashion Week or joining a start-up. I find that the city’s constant buzz and high energy, rather than exhausting me, more often inspires me to be the best version of myself that I can be.  As I plan to live and work in the city along with many Barnard and Columbia alums after graduation, having the chance to build my professional network and to feel so at home here has been priceless.”

 

Claire Bouchard

Hometown: Oyster Bay, New York

High School: Oyster Bay High School

Major: Philosophy of Language

Minors: Economics and French

Additional Designation: Pre-Law

Study Abroad: La Sorbonne (France)

Activities: Team Manager of Emerging Leaders Program, Head Speaking Fellow, Resident Assistant, AJKA-I USA National Karate Team Captain, Gold Medalist at AJKA-USA Karate Euro Cup (2013), TEDx Columbia College: Complexities of the Martial Arts Mindset

Internships: Rakower Lupkin PLLC, MassMutual, myVRM

“My favorite class was my First Year English course (Legacy of the Mediterranean with Professor Vandenburg). It was in this course that the seed for my self-created major, Philosophy of Language, was first planted. While examining and discussing some phenomenal classic texts, Professor Vandenburg masterfully led the class through an analysis of their greater significance. This was the first time in my academic career when I was truly challenged to not only learn and regurgitate theories and ideas, but rather to investigate and explore what their larger meaning was, as well as apply my own thoughts to the mix.”

 

Rachel Kaplan

Hometown: Armonk, New York

High School: Byram Hills High School

Majors: Political Science and Economics

Study Abroad: New York University Madrid (Spain)

Activities: President of the Columbia University Political Science Students Association, FemSex, Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity, Barnard Babysitting, service desk consultant for Columbia University Information Technology, Barnard and Columbia Bloomberg Student Ambassador and Global Team Leader for Bloomberg L.P.

Internships: LearnVest, Grameen Bank (Bangladesh), Obama for America, Gillibrand for Senate, The White House Project

“I had heard the expression ‘She’s so Barnard!’ thrown around since I attended a Barnard admissions panel senior year of high school, and while I didn’t know exactly what it meant, I knew that being ‘so Barnard’ was the ultimate compliment.  Being ‘so Barnard’ isn’t about being smart, or being sophisticated, or being sociable (although Barnard women are all of these things); it is about feeling empowered in who you are and having the inner confidence to believe that if you can imagine it, you can achieve it. I am ‘so Barnard’ because I know in my core that if I have a goal or dream, I will have the ambition, empowerment, and assurance to achieve it.”

 

Sonali Kumar

Hometown: Mumbai, India

High School: The Cathedral & John Connon School

Major: English

Minors: Psychology and Economics

Activities: Alpha Delta Phi Society, research assistant in the Barnard College English Department, office assistant in the Dodge Fitness Center Physical Education Department, Active Minds, Barnard Babysitting, Psyched: The Barnard Psychology Society

Internships: National Eating Disorders Association NYC, Conde Nast Traveler India, Purpella Events

 “Coming to college, I knew that I loved literature and writing, but I had never been taught to closely read a text in a way that illuminates not only the literary devices in use, but also the historical time period, socio-cultural changes, and key psychological and philosophical theories relevant to the author and literary tradition involved. Studying Modernism during my sophomore year of college changed my thinking permanently; I was welcomed into an entirely separate dimension of analyzing text that I never would have known existed. It felt like falling into an expanse of infinite possibility, within which all knowledge, culture, and history could be integrated, traced, and recreated in new ways. It was the first time I had been taught to read in a way I never had before, and I fell deeply in love with the subject that semester.” 

 

Sophie Lewis

Hometown: Steubenville, Ohio

High School: Steubenville High School

Majors: Music and English

Concentration: Ethnomusicology

Study Abroad: Oberlin in Italy

Activities: Head Writing Fellow at the Barnard College Writing Center, summer writing tutor for the Higher Education Opportunity Program and the Intercollegiate Partnership, Chapter Director and President of Strong Women, Strong Girls, Vice President of Philanthropy for Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity, board member of Musical Mentors Collaborative, Vivace Chamber Ensemble, New Opera Workshop, Bach Society, Barnard-Columbia Chorus, Resident Assistant, Catholic College Students Fellowship, Salzburg Voice Festival, ComUnidad Juan Diego/The East Harlem Project, private voice instructor

Internships: Carnegie Hall, Warner Music Group, The Immigration Law Office of David Yurkofsky

“Coming from a small Midwestern town and being the first student from my high school to apply to Barnard, I was worried that I wouldn’t meet many people who were ‘like me.’ At Barnard, my first-year roommate became my best friend, and although she and I couldn’t be more different, I discovered that my social interactions with others didn’t have to depend upon superficial characteristics. My roommate and I bonded on a much deeper level than just our hometowns or extracurricular interests because Barnard encouraged us to challenge each other and grow intellectually through our social relationships. Personally, I have been both supported and challenged at the level of my ideas and actions at Barnard, which in turn has given me the strength to allow myself to be formed by my aspirations, rather than my limitations.”

 

Hannah Miller

Hometown: Tenafly, New Jersey

High School: Tenafly High School

Majors: Anthropology and English

Concentrations: Film, Creative Writing, and Archaeology

Minor: Spanish

Study Abroad: CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts at the University of Barcelona (Spain)

Activities: Editor in Chief of The Barnard Bulletin, Secretary of the Columbia University Archaeology Circle, Columbia University Democrats, Barnard Spirit Week Committee, Extended Barnard Reach Out, Student Government Association University Planning Committee, McIntosh Activities Council (McAC), LateNite Theatre, Club Tennis, archaeological dig in New Mexico with Barnard Anthropology professor, New York Cares, Adidas St. Lucia, tutor

Internships: New York Office of the Attorney General, HarperCollins Publishers, Barnard Communications Department

“In high school, I was definitely more shy and self-conscious. After three years at Barnard, I am no longer afraid to speak my mind, nor do I hedge my opinions. Barnard has made me confident in myself as a woman and more at ease in my own skin. I feel that all of this personal growth comes from the environment that Barnard provides. Even though I am challenged in my classes, I still feel comfortable enough to voice my ideas. The Barnard community has also turned me into more of a leader. The confidence I have gained in the classroom has transferred over to my extracurricular activities where I am unafraid to take on projects or responsibilities. Barnard has also made me more aware of the world around me and given me the independence and courage required to pursue unusual opportunities.”

 

Adriana Moore

Hometown: Sacramento, California/Sao Paulo, Brazil

High Schools: Capital Christian School, American School of Campinas

Major: Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Human Rights Program

Minor: Racial and Ethnic Studies (MORE Program)

Additional Designation: Athena Scholar

Study Abroad: CIEE Arts and Sciences at the University of Cape Town (South Africa)

Activities: Emerging Leaders Program, First-Year Focus Resident Assistant, sales associate at The Barnard Store, Multicultural Admissions Advisory Committee, Black Heritage Month Committee, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Conversations, Global Fellow for Global Symposia—Women Changing Brazil, Barnard Student Admissions Representative, Barnard Babysitting, Director of Girls Going Global Summer Leadership Institute, student researcher and assistant at The Window Sex Project, pilates, yoga

Internships: National Council for Research on Women, Stephanie Jones Strategies

“The past three years at Barnard have been incredibly academically stimulating. I find myself more exploratory and curious about fields of knowledge I was not previously inclined to venture into.  Through discussions in and out of the classroom, I have been challenged to be a more critical and active thinker. Socially, I have met amazing individuals who have hugely impacted my life and have inspired me to be a better student and person. I have definitely made lifelong friendships. Personally, I have grown as a leader, feminist, and black woman. Through my time at Barnard, I have become more comfortable and confident with who I am. I have developed a better understanding of what my desires, interests, and passions are.”

 

Jenny Payne

Hometown: Mountain View, California

High School: Mountain View High School

Majors: Neuroscience and Music

Minor: English

Additional Designation: Pre-Med

Study Abroad: St. Peter’s College, University of Oxford (United Kingdom)

Activities: Barnard Writing Fellows Program, Peer Advocate at Barnard/Columbia Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center, Associate Music Editor at Columbia Daily Spectator, volunteer manager at Postcrypt Coffeehouse, FemSex, project supervisor at AMIGOS de las Americas, volunteer at Crisis Text Line, Care Coordinator and Graphic Designer at MilestonesNYC

Internships: FADER Label/Cornerstone Media, New York State Psychiatric Institute, University of Oxford Department of Pharmacology

“My favorite thing about Barnard is that there is no ‘typical’ Barnard student.  Barnard women are diverse in so many ways, coming from a huge variety of backgrounds and bringing with them an equally huge variety of interests.  With the help of my immediate friends and fellow students, I have broadened my horizons to learn about cultures different from my own, other languages, and individual experiences that challenge me to consider my worldview, and that’s just a sampling.  While Barnard women are quite diverse, I also enjoy observing the traits that we all share, like a passion for learning and an interest in the world around us.”

 

Julia Qian

Hometown: Hangzhou, China

High Schools: Ontario Christian High School, The Marvelwood School, Hangzhou Number Two High School

Major: History

Concentration: War, Revolution, and Social Change

Additional Designation: Athena Scholar

Activities: Representative for Diversity and President of Barnard’s Student Government Association, Global Fellow for Global Symposia—Women Changing China, outreach leader for Columbia University Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority, 125th Anniversary Steering Committee, Multicultural Admissions Advisory Committee, facilitator at Peace for Africa and Economic Development, Sunday school volunteer for Redeemer Presbyterian Church

Internships: Human Rights Watch, Education Update, United States District Court

“The best things about going to school in New York City are the convenience and the opportunities to meet world leaders. My two favorite events of the year are College Night at the Met and the World Leaders Forum. This year I attended the ‘Ink Art’ panel and College Night’s exclusive exhibition in the Metropolitan Museum. I had the privilege of talking to some of the leading artists from China. Also, I had the opportunity to meet three female prime ministers in my first semester at Barnard. Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee has told me in person that a girl could not dream what she could not see. Thus, meeting female leaders in person has absolutely empowered me from the heart to be a bold and beautiful leader myself.”

 

Betsy Wade

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

High School: Lakeside School

Majors: Religion and Psychology

Activities: President of the Columbia Canterbury Club, research assistant in the Barnard Psychology Department, office assistant in Columbia’s Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life, Barnard Alumnae and Donor Sponsored Internship Grant Program, Vice Chair of Greek Judicial Board, Executive Assistant of Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity, Barnard Babysitting, Volunteer Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Advocate with St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Crime Victims Treatment Center

Internships: Hughes Science Pipeline Project, Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program at Mount Sinai, Recovery Café

“I chose to attend Barnard because I was torn between wanting a small, liberal arts college that would provide close academic support and attention, and wanting a research-focused university with the resources that only larger institutions can offer. I was thrilled when I realized that Barnard offers the best of both worlds.  Additionally, I had my heart set on attending a school in a large city because I knew that during college I wanted to take advantage of internships and volunteering.  The last reason I chose to attend Barnard only became clear to me when I toured the College before making my decision. I realized that on Barnard’s campus, I was surrounded by strong, independent women who were true leaders, both in and out of the classroom. While I hadn’t initially set out to attend a women’s college, I realized that my college experience could help me grow not only academically and socially, but also as a female leader in our largely male-run world.”

 

Delaney Wing

Hometown: Greensboro, North Carolina

High School: University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Major: English

Minor: Dance

Additional Designation: Athena Scholar

Activities: Co-Chair for Barnard’s Senior Fund, Assistant Artistic Director and dancer in the Columbia Ballet Collaborative, Recruitment Director of Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity, Orientation Leader in the New Student Orientation Program (NSOP), Barnard Dances at Miller, Senior Dance Thesis Showcase, interviewee on “Oprah’s Next Chapter with Gloria Steinem,” babysitter

Internships: Creative Artists Agency, Carolina Herrera, Warner Music Group, American Ballet Theatre, Barnard Communications Department

“When I first walked through the Barnard gates, I was intimidated and unsure if I belonged. My experience showed me otherwise. Barnard gave me a voice and taught me to own it. The English Department has taught me the power of communication, while the Dance Department has given me the power of performance and ownership of my body. The Athena Scholars Program has given me the tools I need to pursue leadership unabashedly. My Barnard experience has challenged me to do better by providing new perspectives on my beliefs and showing me how to think critically and creatively in all things. It has taught me to live boldly and embrace my failures and successes equally as learning opportunities.”