Meet our exceptional BSARs!
Abby Abrams, Class of 2015, hails from St. Louis, Missouri, where she graduated from Ladue Horton Watkins High School. She is majoring in English with a possible minor in history. Outside of class, she serves as Editor in Chief of the Columbia Daily Spectator and is on the staff of Echoes, Barnard’s literary magazine. She also helps plan Friday night dinners for the Columbia/Barnard Hillel and is an active member of the Jewish community on campus. When she’s not working as a BSAR or hanging out with friends in the beautiful Diana Center, Abby spends her free time exploring all the concerts, bookstores, food trucks, and film screenings New York City has to offer!
Olivia Aylmer, Class of 2015, considers herself a city girl at heart, having grown up in Queens, but learned to love the south while attending high school in Richmond, Virginia. As an avid writer, reader, and performer, she plans to major in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, while also pursuing a double minor in Dance and French. A devoted reader of all publications focused on fashion and culture, she currently serves as Blog Director for Columbia's fashion magazine, Hoot, contributes arts pieces to The Columbia Daily Spectator, writes features for The Eye and The Barnard Bulletin, and maintains her own blog. She performs each semester with Columbia's dance ensemble, Orchesis, and considers her perfect evening seeing the New York City Ballet perform at Lincoln Center. Outside of the classroom, Olivia loves to explore Manhattan's endless array of quaint coffee shops, bookstores, and vintage boutiques with friends. Since coming to Barnard, she's taken Simone de Beauvoir's words to heart: "There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless."
*Olivia is currently studying abroad in Oxford, England!*
Maame Yaa Buckman, Class of 2015, comes from the sunny city of Accra, Ghana. She is excited to serve as a BSAR and to help other strong beautiful and inspired women make that pivotal decision about attending Barnard College. She is a prospective Political Economy Major and enjoys kicking back with a good political book. She is very interested in exploring the various niches New York City has to offer. She likes to hang out with and make new friends, share experiences, eat good food, hairdressing, doodling and simply having a good time. She is a passionate member of the African Students Association and the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
Zoe Camp, Class of 2014, hails from Catonsville, Maryland, and attended Catonsville High School. She is majoring in English, with a minor in Environmental Science. When she isn't studying, she can be found in the basement of Reid Hall, playing music for her radio show on WBAR, Barnard College's underground radio station, where she also serves on staff. She also works as an Arts and Entertainment editor and writer for The Eye, The Columbia Spectator's arts magazine. On weekends, Zoe likes to venture out with friends to catch a show, find a cool new thrift store, or check out the local farmer's markets.
Jillian Cardona, Class of 2016, is from Chappaqua, New York, where she attended Horace Greeley High School. Jillian is SO excited about being a BSAR! She is a very undecided major and is also part of the Athena Scholars Program. In addition to her studies and being a BSAR, Jillian is involved with the Relay For Life Committee and is a member of the sorority Sigma Delta Tau on campus. In her spare time, Jillian loves exploring yummy restaurants and bakeries throughout New York City, taking long walks along Broadway with friends, and doing yoga.
Elana Cohn was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. A member of the class of 2014 studying Neuroscience and Behavior, she plans to hopefully go to medical school after college and someday become a neurosurgeon. In addition to being a BSAR, Elana is very involved in Kesher (Reform Jews on Campus), her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, and McAC community. She loves to put on some of Barnard's biggest traditions such as Big Sub and Midnight Breakfast. With a passion for traveling and exploration, Elana loves to get out and explore all the exciting aspects of New York City, whether it be an undiscovered museum, a new show on Broadway, or a great yummy restaurant.
Ama Debrah came to Barnard from Ewa Beach, Hawaii. A member of the class of 2014, she is majoring in Political Science and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. In addition to being a Barnard Student Admissions Representative (BSAR), aka one of those overly enthusiastic tour guides you’ll meet on your next visit, she is also part of Barnard’s Bartending Agency and a sister of Alpha Chi Omega sorority. When she's not studying in the Diana, exploring the city, or looking up pictures of Grumpy Cat on Tumblr, she also participates in the Barnard Flute Choir and writes for the Nine Ways of Knowing blog. She absolutely loves Barnard and can’t wait to see some of you on campus in the upcoming weeks/months/years!
Chelbi Dickens, Class of 2015, is an Athena Scholar double majoring in Dance & French with a minor in Africana Studies. In addition to working for Barnard Admissions, Chelbi also works for Barnard Student Life and Residential Life & Housing. She is currently on the executive board of Sabor, Columbia’s finest Latin dance troupe, as Barnard Liaison. She is also a member of the Multicultural Admissions Advisory Committee and Take Back the Night. Chelbi is passionate about art of all mediums including dance, music, theatre, photography, and film. She indulges in the artistic scene of New York City regularly. Amongst her favorite events off-campus, are poetry and spoken word performances at the Nuyorican Cafe, art exhibits at the Met, musicals and plays on- and off-Broadway, and dance classes at Ailey. Chelbi loves to travel; she has toured all over Europe with her dance company from Scotland to Italy to the UK. She plans to return to France for a semester abroad and attend law school after Barnard. She loves Barnard because it is a place where intellectual stimulation and artistic expression coincide incredibly to promote curiosity, discovery, and innovation.
Emily Edwards, Class of 2016, was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She attended Corvallis High School in Oregon where she played varsity golf, usually in the rain. Emily is majoring in Urban Studies and studying Arabic. She has been involved with the Emerging Leaders Program, the Constellations program, and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. She also holds two on-campus jobs -- as a tour guide and as an assistant in the college's Development Office. On the weekends, Emily loves to discover new restaurants or coffee shops throughout the city, using Yelp recommendations as an excuse to explore! She hopes to study abroad in North Africa or the Middle East and would like to work for a non-profit or NGO that focuses on international economic development.
Cinneah El-Amin, Class of 2016, hails from the charming city of Baltimore, MD. A city girl at heart, she plans to major in Urban Studies with a minor in English. Cinneah can be found on the sidelines of Columbia football and basketball games as a Columbia University Cheerleader. She also serves as a peer educator for the Columbia/Barnard Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center and as secretary for BOSS (Barnard Organization of Soul Sisters). Cinneah loves exploring the hidden gems of the city, from trendy boutiques in SoHo to fantastic restaurants on the Upper West Side. She cannot wait to share her immense love for Barnard as a BSAR!
Sarah Esser, Class of 2015, hails from San Francisco, CA, where she attended Lowell High School. She is a Dance major and French minor, spending as many hours in rehearsals as she does doing homework. It was the book The Creative Habit, written by choreographer and Barnard alumna Twyla Tharp, that sparked her initial interest in Barnard’s dance program and subsequently Barnard itself. Sarah choreographs for and dances with both the Columbia Ballet Collaborative and Raw Elementz, a hip hop team at Columbia. Additionally, she started her own contemporary dance company, e r a Dance Collective, in January of 2012. When not dancing or studying, she enjoys exploring the city, thrift shopping, and scrapbooking to document all of her college adventures.
Hilana Ezekiel is a proud member of the class of 2015. She is in the Double Degree program with the Jewish Theological Seminary. At Barnard she is an English major and Education minor and at JTS she is a Bible major. Outside of class, Hilana is the co-editor Echoes, Barnard's literary magazine, involved in Hillel, the Jewish community on campus, and is an enthusiatic member of the Macintosh Activities Counil. Hilana also enjoys haunting New York's many independent book stores and searching for that perfect cup of coffee.
Lizzy Feldman, Class of 2014, is so excited about being a BSAR! She hails from Chevy Chase, Maryland, took a gap year in Israel, and is currently a sociology major with a religion minor. Lizzy is an active member in Columbia University Performing Arts League, which includes CU Players, and Columbia Musical Theater Society. She is also a proud member of the Columbia University Marching Band, where she plays the bass drum and the magic wand (as she is the Band Fairy). Her favorite things in New York include Strand's bookstore (which is 18 miles worth of books), eating Junior's Cheesecake downtown, and general exploring. Lizzy could not be happier here at Barnard, and cannot wait to meet all the prospective students, and hopefully share her love of Barnard with them!
Chinue Foreman, Class of 2015, grew up in Atlanta, GA. She has also lived in Brookline, MA, right outside of Boston for three years during her adolescence. Exploring these two cities gave her the incentive and courage to explore New York City for college. Though still undecided, she hopes to major in Film and minor in French. She hopes to use these degrees to produce award winning movies or create critically acclaimed television shows. But for now, she'll stick with becoming a full member of The Philolexian Society of Columbia University and more clubs on campus.
Molly Forgang, Class of 2015, hails from Larchmont, New York (Westchester County), where she attended Mamaroneck High School. Molly is an American Studies Major, concentrating in Women & Gender Studies, a Psychology minor, and an Athena Leader Scholar. Outside of the classroom, Molly is on the Student Advisory Board for the Athena Center for Leadership Studies and is the Special Events Coordinator for the Columbia Musical Theatre Society. She is also a member of 3 theatre groups on campus: CMTS, CUP, and KCST. While not on stage or in rehearsal, Molly can be found exploring New York's amazing culinary scene and taking advantage of all the student discounts that Barnard and NYC have to offer!
*Molly is currently studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark!*
Carly Ginsberg, Class of 2015, grew up in Los Angeles, CA, where she graduated from Viewpoint School. She’s studying English with a Theatre concentration and Philosophy. In addition to guiding prospective students around this beautiful school, Carly does a lot of theatre on campus, and is a member of the NOMADS student theatre group. She coaches high school students through The Future Project, a new initiative aiming to turn young students’ passions into action, and recently started interning for Arts for All, a non profit that offers arts education to in-need schools in NY. Carly loves yoga, babysitting, getting lost on long walks in this sensational city, and smiling.
Rayna Gittelman, Class of 2015, is from Chappaqua, New York, where she graduated from Horace Greeley High School. She has an interest in government and public policy, which has been strengthened through Congressional internships she has done both in Washington D.C. and in her local District Office. As such, Rayna is double majoring in Political Science and Economics. Formerly, a competitive synchronized ice-skater and figure skating coach, she enjoys spending her time on the ice, with her sorority, with her business fraternity, seeing movies and shows, getting coffee in Liz’s Place, and exploring New York City with friends.
Qingqing (Hilary) He, Class of 2014, was born in Chengdu, China, the home of the lovely pandas. She grew up in the historical capital city Beijing, where she graduated from Beijing (IB) Huijia Private School. She considers family, travels, cuisine, music and animals as the most important elements in life. She came all the way to New York to engage herself in a challenging academic and social setting that is culturally diverse and has chosen to major in Anthropology. She is fluent in English, Mandarin and Sichuanese Chinese, is currently learning Korean and plans to study French during her years at Barnard. She hopes to pursue a career in either journalism or international relations and work for more effective cross-cultural communication.
Lisa Huang, Class of 2016, is everywhere! She was born in the cold land of Toronto, Ontario, before quickly relocating to the tropical Hong Kong, where she grew up. She went to the Cate School in Carpinteria, California, where she discovered her passion for Art History, her major. Lisa can't imagine herself attending college anywhere else; Barnard and all that New York City offers is her Wee Bear's bed--just perfect. When she's not making videos for the Columbia Spectator's Multimedia department, you can find her wandering through the MET, DJ-ing in the WBAR radio station, or eating in East Village (she likes to eat, a lot).
Aisling Hunt (Head BSAR), Class of 2014, is a class act, hailing from Cambridge, MA, with a second home in Paraguay where she lived for one summer. This strong, beautiful Barnard woman graduated from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School with a lot of aspiration, gusto, as well as serious confusion about what she wanted to do with her life. A future Sociology or Russian Studies major, Aisling has found a way to incorporate her love of Russian history, people watching, and fashion design through her studies and through being a member of Hoot, Columbia University’s first fashion magazine. An active member of the Barnard Activities Council (McAC), Aisling is always thrilled to talk about the exciting things that will make you fall in love with Barnard the way that she did.
Triana Kalmanoff, Class of 2015, grew up in Berkeley, CA where she graduated from Berkeley High School. She's planning on a sociology major with a minor in psychology. In addition to being a BSAR, she interns for New York-based entertainment company, Moscow 57. The child of a true California hippy, she is a member of the CUFSP (Columbia University Food Sustainability Project) and is currently involved with getting composted implemented in the University's dorms and dining halls. She's a photographer for Barnard's magazine "The Barnard Bulletin" and has participated in the CU intramural soccer tournaments. She can be found exploring new neighborhoods in this endless city, walking through the parks (because they remind her of home), visiting museums (The Met, the Studio Museum of Harlem and AMNH being her favorites), rushing Broadway tickets, thrifting and in the basement practice rooms writing music. Triana is so excited to be a BSAR and share her Barnard experience!
Kelsey Kephart, Class of 2014, grew up in Kent, Connecticut where she graduated from The Kent School. Currently, she is an Anthropology major also pursuing Art History, which was influenced by her visits to the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, New York as a child. She is a change-ringer and served as a tower captain, and now rings bells down at Trinity Church on Wall Street. For Kelsey, attending Barnard was a life-altering experience and she hopes to inspire prospective students to feel the same way about Barnard.
Kavisha Khanuja comes from all the way across the Hudson River, from the town of Rutherford, New Jersey. She attended Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, New Jersey for high school and her time there allowed her to develop a passion for the sciences. A member of the class of 2014, She is currently a declared biochemistry major and is looking forward to spending the next two years in labs. Outside of class, she is part of Barnard’s Speaking Fellows Program and involved with Health Leads (Community Impact Group at Columbia). In her free time, Kavisha enjoys spending her time going to performances at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and concerts throughout the city. Attending Barnard has been a worthwhile experience for Kavisha and she’s excited to share her enthusiasm with others.
Rebecca Lieberman, Class of 2016, hails from Dobbs Ferry, New York (Westchester County), where she graduated from Dobbs Ferry High School. She has not yet solidified her major, but is seriously considering Urban Studies and has a passion for all things involving New York City. When she’s not studying or obsessing over Barnard, Rebecca can most likely be found kayaking in Columbia’s Uris Pool with the Columbia Whitewater Kayaking Club, of which she is the Vice President. Rebecca is also interested in the fashion industry and has had internships at Harper’s BAZAAR, Women’s Wear Daily, and New York Fashion Week. Formerly a second-degree black belt and karate instructor, Rebecca enjoys exploring the City, late night trips to Pinkberry, and running in Riverside Park.
Lauren Lipsyc, Class of 2016, grew up in Beachwood, Ohio, where she graduated from Beachwood High School in 2012. She plans on majoring Economics and minoring in Science, Policy, and Ethics with a strong interest in pursuing a career in law. In her free time, Lauren loves playing tennis, listening to music, exploring NYC, volunteering at an animal shelter, and spending time with friends and family. On campus, she serves on a few Student Government committees and is part of a sorority, Sigma Delta Tau. Lauren is so excited to be a BSAR and can’t wait to show you all of the incredible opportunities that Barnard has to offer!
Becca Litvin, Class of 2014, grew up in Rumson, NJ but attended boarding school at Blair Academy, where she spent her high school years rowing and playing soccer. She is an English major who particularly enjoys creative writing. Becca has many hobbies including cooking, distance running, photography, holding a position in her sorority, Sigma Delta Tau, and drinking entirely too much coffee. On campus, Becca can usually be found having lunch with friends in the Diana or at the Dodge fitness center across the street at Columbia. Becca is so excited to be a BSAR and help represent the college she has come to appreciate and love so much!
Claudia Mack, Class of 2015, grew up in Houston, Texas, Paris, France, and Moscow, Russia, but nonetheless calls Texas home, having spent most of her life there. She is an Environmental Science major and loves animals and ballet. She does research at Columbia's Earth Observatory, is a Visiting International Students Ambassador, and is on the board of the French Cultural Society. She has also studied Arabic for two years. She loves walking through Barnard's gates each day and considers herself incredibly fortunate to be able to study at such an amazing place in New York City. She can be found drinking green tea lattes at Starbucks or wandering aimlessly through Central Park on a sunny day.
Kassidy Meck, Class of 2014, is from North Potomac, Maryland where she graduated from Thomas S. Wootton High School. She is a Physics major and is part of the Education Program. Kassidy hopes to become a high school physics teacher in a high needs area. On campus, she is involved in Orchesis, a student run dance organization, Columbia's InterVarsity Christian Fellowship group, and is a Barnard Babysitter. Kassidy also loves to explore the city and often can be found volunteering at the All Stars Project, watching a Broadway show, or just simply taking a walk through central park.
Alexandra Mitchell, Class of 2015, is majoring in Spanish and Latin American Cultures with a minor in History. Originally from New York City, she is a sister of Alpha Chi Omega, Theta Psi at Columbia University and plays the bass drum in the Columbia University Marching Band. Alexandra also volunteers at Sanctuary for Families, a nonprofit agency for victims of domestic violence and their children. In her free time, she likes to run in Central Park, spend time with friends, and try new coffee and tea shops throughout New York City.
*Alex is currently studying abroad in Madrid, Spain!*
Adriana Moore, Class of 2015, after having spent most of her life in Sacramento, California, moved to São Paulo, Brazil at the beginning of high school. Despite the warm Latin American tropical climates, she has fallen in love with New York City. What's her major? Get ready... it's a mouthful - Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and Human Rights, with a concentration in Race & Ethnicity Studies. Adriana is passionate for the empowerment of women, especially in developing countries. On campus she has been involved in the Black Heritage Month Committee for the past two years and Barnard's Global Symposium 2013 which took place in Brazil. She enjoys: being a First-Year Focus Resident Assistant, Diana's flatbread white pizzas, and collecting new items from the Barnard Store where she also is employed.
*Adriana is currently studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa!*
Shaterra Overton (Head BSAR), Class of 2014, comes from the great, shiny state of Texas where she graduated from Georgetown High School (not the Georgetown you’re thinking of). She is studying Economics and Mathematics because, in addition to silent films and 90’s television shows, they’re her two favorite things. After graduation, she’d like to become a fabulous accountant. In addition to being a BSAR, Shaterra works in the Barnard library, is a member of the Barnard Organization of Soul Sisters, plays trombone in the Columbia Marching Band, and dances in Orchesis, Columbia’s student run dance organization. She loves Barnard with all her heart and believes that here, you can be whatever you are and whatever you want to be.
Sally Phillips, Class of 2015, grew up in Charleston, SC, where she developed an interest in history. Her passion for cities grew in her time at Barnard, and she has since become an Urban History major. Sally attended Porter Gaud School and has been figure skating since she was twelve. She now serves as the president of Columbia's Figure Skating Club. On campus, Sally enjoys showing her school spirit as a BSAR and is a proud sister of Alpha Chi Omega. She has interned at the US House of Representatives and in fashion production at DKNY. She loves scouting out sample sales, reading at the MoMA, and finding new vegetarian restaurants.
Abigail Pope-Brooks, Class of 2015, is from Brooklyn, New York, and is a graduate of Millennium High School. She is majoring in Anthropology and is an Athena Scholar. In addition to her studies, she has interned with WNET (Thirteen) helping with the wildlife documentary series Nature. Abby is thrilled to be a BSAR and to share her knowledge of all that Barnard College and New York City have to offer!
Bella Pori, Class of 2015, is majoring in History and Human Rights because it turns out you can't literally major in Unafraid. She is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico (yes, of Breaking Bad and High School Musical fame). In addition to being a BSAR, she works in the Office of Financial Aid. She also tutors middle and high school boys through the African American Male Initiative, a job she initially got through America Reads. When not working or studying, Bella kayaks (poorly) with the Kayaking Club and is a member of the Philolexian Society, Columbia's oldest literary and debate society. She does theater with Columbia's performing arts groups whenever she can and loves to take advantage of everything New York has to offer. She loves talking about Barnard, and loves to be a BSAR!
*Bella is currently studying abroad in Rabat, Morocco!*
Stefani Priskos, Class of 2016, comes to Barnard from the Heart of Dixie as a happy representative of Huntsville, AL. She is delighted to be a BSAR, as little pleases her more than sharing with others the school that she calls home! She is currently majoring in Unafraid with a concentration in Undecided. With academic interests ranging from linguistics to religion, anthropology, and beyond, she enjoys experiencing those amazing moments when all of her interests seem to collide. When she's not studying or in class, Stefani enjoys volunteering as a Visiting International Student Amabassador, innovating with Barnard-Columbia Design for America, hiking with the CU Hiking Club, knitting, and attending every single Uptown Vocal performance.
Danah Screen, Class of 2015, traveled far and wide from Queens, New York. Ever since Spring '12 she has yearned for a yellow BSAR t-shirt and to be a key player in what makes Barnard amazing. A Biological Sciences major by day (and a handful of nights) she spends her time in lab working with top of the line professors and is so excited to start on her independent project as a junior. She makes it her mission in life to experience one new arts performance at either Barnard and Columbia each month with her equally art-driven friends. She loves to cook, draw, play violin, study (because she loves all her classes), attempt water-kayaking (in the fall of '13), and decorate her room with her beloved suitemates.
Kenzy Seifert, Class of 2016, is from Portland, Oregon, but graduated from Lebanon High School in Lebanon, Oregon. She is a proud French major and prospective Russian minor who will be studying abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia next year. In the fall you can usually find her watching college football on her laptop (go Ducks!), but you can also find her with her with her nose stuck in a book, at the movies, or exploring the city. She is very excited to be working as a BSAR so she can share her experience at Barnard with others.
Rohini Sengupta, Class of 2016, is from South Brunswick, NJ, where she attended South Brunswick High School. She is really excited about being a BSAR and sharing her Barnard pride with prospective students! She is a definite Spanish & Latin American Cultures minor and considering majoring in Political Economy. On campus, she is a dancer on Columbia University's Indian classical fusion dance team, Columbia Taal, and also the Vice President of Club Zamana, Columbia's South Asian student's association. Outside of campus, she is a passionate FC Barcelona fan and when she isn't in class you can probably find her huddled over her computer screen watching highlights of the most recent game.
Aria Sharma, Class of 2015, hails from McLean, Virginia. She is a pre-dental, Biology major. On campus, she plays in the Columbia University Marching Band, is a sister of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, as well as teaches with Peer Health Exchange. She enjoys traveling and adventuring around New York City.
Melanie Silverman, Class of 2015, jetted across the country from the small town of San Anselmo, California to experience Barnard College and big city life. She is a neuroscience major and Spanish minor and enjoys hounding the city’s idyllic libraries. Outside of the classroom she assists both as a Resident Assistant in Elliott Hall and as a Research Assistant in neuroscience laboratory. In addition, she often tutors, dances, sees dance performances, and can found enjoying sushi in the Hogwarts-esque Quad. She loves the Barnard community and feels so lucky to be able to discuss this remarkable place with prospective students.
*Melanie is currently studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina!*
Rachel Silvern, Class of 2014, grew up in Santa Monica, California and graduated from Santa Monica High School. She is happily majoring in Environmental Science and minoring in Dance. In addition to running from class to class, Rachel dances in a student led dance group, Columbia Ballet Collaborative, is a member of the Library Learning Task Force, and works as a research assistant in an environmental science laboratory on campus. In her rare moments of free time, Rachel has enjoyed exploring New York City through its food and incredible concert venues, as well as all of the unique quirks the five boroughs have to offer. Barnard has provided her with an incredible opportunity to connect her academics to the larger New York City.
Sabrina Singer, Class of 2015, is pursuing a major in History with a double minor in Spanish and Political Science. Born and raised in Miami Beach, FL, she attended Ransom Everglades School. Sabrina has no free time. In addition to being a BSAR, she is the Managing Editor of The Federalist (Columbia’s satirical newspaper), the Publicity Director of the Barnard Bulletin, the program assistant for the Reacting to the Past Summer Institute, a Crisis Analyst for CIRCA (Columbia’s Model UN club), and Alumnae Chairwoman for her sorority, Sigma Delta Tau. Sabrina drinks a lot of coffee. When not in club meetings or in class, she may be found loitering around the History Department seeking out a professor with whom to discuss the American Revolution.
Amrita Singh, Class of 2015, was born in India, raised in Kuwait, and resides in Chicago where she attended the University of Chicago Laboratory High Schools. She plans to major in film studies and pursue filmmaking. Interested in the arts, Amrita also enjoys discrete mathematics, calculus, and microbiology. In addition to writing and directing with Columbia University Film Productions, Amrita is a contributing artist for the Barnard Bulletin, and does media coverage for the Columbia Spectator. In her spare time, Amrita can be found reading, doodling, watching a movie, listening to music, and exploring the city with her friends. Secretly hoping for the nickname DJ Singh to catch on, she also loves crafting mixtape CDs for others! She is thrilled to attend Barnard in New York City, where she has the support from her inspiring peers to cultivate her passion, and to tackle new challenges!
Olivia Sirianni, Class of 2015, cherishes growing up in Maplewood, New Jersey and attending Mount Saint Mary High School. She has loved Barnard since her first tour back when she was a junior in high school. She only wishes she could major in the Nine Ways of Knowing because she has loved talking classes in many different disciplines. Her concentrations reflect this interest in diversity, she is a Psychology major, English minor, and Athena scholar. Olivia is also a First Year Focus Resident Assistant who could not imagine life without her enthusiastic, talented, and inspiring residents. Now that she is a BSAR she is thrilled to think that she is giving tours to women who could become her residents next year!
*Olivia is currently studying abroad in London, England!*
Leah Sodowick, Class of 2016, grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where she attended Council Rock High School North. Leah is incredibly excited to be living in the big city and attending her dream school. At Barnard, she is pursuing her interests in Psychology and French. Outside of the classroom, Leah is a volunteer for Peace by Peace, a Barnard Babysitter, and member of the sorority Kappa Alpha Theta. In her free time, Leah enjoys traveling, listening to music, exploring local shops and restaurants, and sharing laughs with friends!
Hannah Steinhardt, Class of 2015, hails from the foggy city of San Francisco, CA and she grew up in the nearby suburb of San Mateo, CA. She is beyond excited to be serving as a BSAR and to help spread the Barnard love to all of the prospective students and families. She is a Psychology major with minors in Sociology and Educational Studies. Beyond being a BSAR, Hannah is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and Camp Kesem Columbia University, and she serves on two SGA appointed committees. During her first year at Barnard, she made it a goal to explore somewhere new in the city every weekend so it's basically impossible to choose a favorite spot in NYC!
Charlene Thrope, Class of 2014, grew up in Arlington, MA and graduated from Gann Academy — the New Jewish High School of Greater Boston. She is majoring in Economics and Mathematics and is also in the Double Degree program with the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she is majoring in Talmud and Rabbinics. Charlene is an active member of the Columbia/Barnard Hillel and the McAC Multicultural Committee. From running in Riverside Park to teaching at a local synagogue, Charlene loves taking advantage of the many opportunities New York City has to offer. She is so excited to share her love of Barnard with prospective students!
Amanda Thum, Class of 2014, transferred to Barnard in the Spring of 2012. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and is majoring in Religion with a concentration in Judaism. Having spent a significant amount of time in Israel (both prior to and since coming to Barnard), Amanda's academic interests tend to revolve around faith, religious conflict, and Israel. Amanda absolutely loves anything acrobatic--trapeze, gymnastics, dance, all of it. She hopes to become a licensed Skydiving Instructor one day, and loves to fly. On breaks, she can usually be found traveling, eating excessive amounts of Thai food, and enjoying Brooklyn. After Barnard, she plans to go to business school and get her MBA.
Dhvani Tombush, Class of 2015, is a citizen of Nigeria, born and raised, though her mother is Indian and her father Nigerian. She loves both my countries passionately. Before she came to Barnard, she moved from Nigeria to South Africa to study A-Levels at the African Leadership Academy for two years. Dhvani loves being at Barnard and if she had the choice to be admitted again, it would be a higher pick on her list, probably first, than it was when she chose to come here. Dhvani will probably major in political science with a minor in economics and African history. She is a tutor at America Reads, and a member of the African students Association. She is very interested in politics and plan to go to law school someday.
Sara Vallancourt (Head BSAR), Class of 2015, is from Middletown, New Jersey and graduated from Middletown High School South. She is double majoring in Psychology and Religion and has a particular interest in how religion manifests itself in the United States. On campus, she is a member of the McIntosh Activities Council and plays badminton with the CU Badminton Club. She has also worked as a Resident Intern for the Pre-College Program at Barnard during the summer. In her free time, Sara loves going to museums, cooking, and tasting all of the wonderful types of food that New York City has to offer. She loves Barnard and can't wait to share her love with prospective students!
Olivia Vehslage, Class of 2016, is from Hartford, Connecticut, although she attended the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor. She’s planning on a double major in English with a concentration in creative writing and Italian. She is also on the pre-law track. In addition to being a BSAR, Olivia has a steady job as a Barnard Babysitter, which mainly involves chasing little children all over Manhattan. She is also a member of the Columbia Democrats and the Columbia Political Union. When she’s not working, she can be found avidly working on her novel in some outdoor area, cheering on a favorite sports team or finding a way to lug her golf clubs up to Van Cortland Park. Barnard has been a dream come true for her and she is immensely grateful for all of the opportunities that have come her way as a result.
Jess Whitlum-Cooper (Head BSAR), Class of 2014, grew up in London, England, and moved to New York with her family four years ago. She is thrilled to have found Manhattan and, most importantly, Barnard. She loves writing for the Columbia Spectator and Barnard Bulletin, as well as participating in Athena Leadership Labs. She also served on the board of 85 Broads. She is a Comparative Literature with a concentration in Hispanic Studies. When she isn’t madly running from one side of campus to the other, Jess is generally to be found in coffee shops, art museums and theaters, or just hanging out with her friends.
Elizabeth (Ellie) Williams, Class of 2016, was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. Despite having attended the Latin School of Chicago on the city’s north side, she is a committed White Sox fan. Elizabeth recently joined the Athena Scholars Program and is a prospective Women, Gender and Sexuality major with Pre-law. In addition to being a BSAR, Ellie is a graduate of the Emerging Leaders Program, she is a member of the Barnard/Columbia Choir, and Alpha Chi Omega sorority. In her free time, Ellie loves to travel with her family, sing, and play with her dog.
Hye-Jin Yun, Class of 2015, hails from San Francisco, CA, where she graduated from Lowell High School. She is majoring in Neuroscience & Behavior. She has interned with NY1 News in the Living Unit and is striving to pursue a career that combines health and broadcasting. She is the Vice President of Programming of CTV, a member of the Athena Scholars Program, the Junior Class Secretary, a VISP Ambassador, and an e r a Dancer. She also had a fantastic opportunity to study abroad in London during Summer 2012 when the Olympics was going on! She is ecstatic to be a BSAR and cannot wait to share her love for Barnard with the prospective students!
These bold, beautiful Barnard women not only guide our visitors on tours of campus, they also manage the reception desks in our Visitors Center and Milbank Admissions Office.
In this role, they answer phones and student emails, respond to questions via our facebook page, blog, and through their anecdotes and experiences, provide prospective students with a taste of what life is like as a Barnard student.
If you would like to contact a BSAR for student perspectives on your questions, send your question via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 212-854-2014!
I have 30 chickens and have kept a diary since I was 10 years old
I lived in Sierra Leone for six months.
I am currently in the developing stages of my first novel
Even though I love NY, I absolutely love nature. The best way for me to relieve stress is to choose a random trail in the woods and see where it leads me.
I have a strange addiction to and talent for playing Tetris.
I did research at NASA in high school.
I played tackle football when I was 8.
I hiked into a glacier in Patagonia, Argentina.
My mother is a Barnard alumna and took my Art History class with me for an entire semester.
I cut my own hair
I spent two summers living with families abroad- one in Greece and the other in Italy
I have spent almost a year and a half of my life at camp (adding up all the hours!), I am obsessed with games and you will never see me not wearing a watch
I'm not allergic to anything.
I am obsessed with dogs and memorized every recognized breed with I was 12 years old
My organizational tactics are a little over the top. I have had a planner since I was 13 and love to make to-do lists and hour by hour schedules when I am stressed out
I am a member of the CU hiking club
I have over 10,000 songs on my iPod
I like to beat box
I can lick my elbow
I am a born and raised vegetarian... So yes this means I have never eaten meat!
I have a collection of ugly rooster paraphernalia
I have had three pet snakes in my life (Squirmy, Squirmy II, and Squirmy III, all of which escaped within a week.)
I secretly love to organize; I find it therapeutic
I am a lefty and I play the accordion
I hiked the highest peak in Costa Rica, Mount Chirripo.
When I was in second grade, I gave my friend candy in exchange for her teaching me Korean during recess.
When I was 3 years old I was interviewed on NPR about Barney (the TV show).
I spent this past New Years Eve in Edinburgh at the biggest New Years in festival the world.
I have over 60 pairs of shoes, but that might be underestimate. I am a shoe-aholic.
When I participated in Barnard’s PCP, I had my own radio show called “The Big Picture”
I once hiked to the top of an active volcano in Guatemala and roasted marshmallows over the cooling lava coming out of it.
I have a fear of ketchup
I am a stand-up comedian
I have been blessed by the Dalia Llama
I learned the alphabet backwards before I learned it forwards.
I became a black belt in Shotokan Karate when I was 11 years old.
Though I am from LA, I have never learned to swim or surf. I am tackling my fear by taking beginners swim at Barnard.
I have an excellent collection of doodles in my planner.