2008 Summer Fellows

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Nonprofit and Public Management

Katrina Simon-Agolory '09 and Bonnie Schwartz '09 both worked with the Harlem Children Zone (HCZ), a nonprofit, community-based organization that works to enhance the quality of life for children and families in some of New York City's most underserved neighborhoods. HCZ's 15 centers serve more than 12,500 children and adults, including more than 8,600 at-risk children. Katrina interned in the Human Resources Department, where she analyzed staff turnover rates and developed a retention strategy. She also worked for the Community Pride Department to develop a strategic and operational plan for the Community Advisory Board. Bonnie combined her Columbia Business School experience with her background in fitness by developing a strategy and implementation plan for HCZ's Obesity Prevention Program.

Sarah Barack '09 interned with the Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC), a nonprofit organization that supports a wide range of cultural groups and individual artists as well as provides programming for public arts. Sarah split her time between the BAC’s Development office and the Arts in Education (AIE) initiative, which provides programs for teachers, students and communities in digital, literary, performing and visual arts. The AIE asked Sarah to implement structural solutions to streamline its communications with all teaching artists. Sarah also assisted BAC’s Development department in fundraising, grant management and research regarding ideas for earned income projects.

Laura Bogomolny '08 spent her summer with the Big Apple Circus (BAC), which stages a traditional circus and also provides structured community outreach and afterschool programs for kids in New York City. First introduced through the Social Enterprise Program’s Nonprofit Board Leadership Program, she worked to establish a permanent summer home for BAC on Governors Island, which will include a restaurant, performance space and camp for underprivileged children. Over the course of the summer, Laura completed financial projections and cost-benefit analysis, drafted a proposal for the new site and began outreach to potential investors.

Kerry Ann Edwards '08 interned with the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) this summer. She helped young people from low-income communities build skills and unlock their entrepreneurial creativity by designing a volunteer program for NFTE’s New York Metro Program Office. Kerry built the structure for volunteer recruitment and training, streamlining the volunteer process. She also designed metrics for measuring the success of the program.

Daniel Fountenberry '08 worked with the W.E.B. DuBois Scholars Institute, a nonprofit organization with a mission to develop a cadre of young leaders committed to giving back to their communities. Daniel worked closely with students, faculty and parents to develop an implementation plan for the Institute’s new strategy to generate additional income by adjusting the mix of youth served.

Three students were granted Education Pioneers Fellowships this year. These fellowships strive to develop leaders dedicated to transforming the educational system so that all students receive a quality education.

    Jessica Hendrix '09 worked with the New York City Department of Education’s District 79 during her Education Pioneers Fellowship. District 79 works with students throughout New York City who require alternative routes to quality education, including pregnant and parentingstudents. Jessica created a"best practices" toolkitfor principals and guidance counselors throughout the school system on supporting pregnant and parentingstudents. This comprehensive guide will focus on the students—not only documenting the obligations of the schools to them, butpreparing schools to take an innovative approachin their efforts to raise the graduation rate of teen parents.

    Lisa King '09 worked with The New Teacher Project (TNTP), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving teacher quality in high-need schools. Lisa researched and designed a set of services and tools to help school leaders with staff planning and vacancy identification — including a support process and an online system for staff planning and vacancy management. Her work is part of a broader TNTP initiative to build an innovative strategic human capital support center for district and charter schools, launching this fall.

    Deniz Ozgenc '09 worked at Uncommon Schools, Inc. (USI), a nonprofit designed to start and manage outstanding charter schools that focus on eliminating the achievement gap. Deniz built a centralized model to measure success at both an organizational and school level. Her metrics helped to measure the success of schools in areas including: student academic achievement, enrollment, attendance and attrition statistics, teacher performance, parent satisfaction levels and student recruitment.

David Huh '09, an experienced IT professional before attending Columbia’s Business School, spent the summer with Donorschoose.org. A nonprofit organization, Donorschoose.org addresses the scarcity and inequitable distribution of learning materials and resources to public schools in the United States. They've created an online marketplace where teachers describe their needs, and individuals can fund specific student projects. David implemented process innovations that better connect donors with the students and teachers they are assisting. This project helped donorschoose.org adapt to the rapid growth it is experiencing while accommodating its limited resources. David’s final recommendations enhanced the process while saving the organization more than 50 percent of the program’s current costs.

Ryan Kinney '09 interned with the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC), a community-building organization focused on advancing responsible development to revitalize Jamaica, Queens, and to strengthen the region. Ryan worked on Jamaica Pathways, a project to improve the pedestrian environment in downtown Jamaica. Ryan assisted in developing a budget and a new marketing package for Jamaica Pathways and participated in real estate development initiatives.

Anna Pakman '09 interned for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in the PBS Kids division. PBS Kids is a leading provider of commercial-free educational programming targeted at pre-schoolers and grade school students. Anna worked on a new media distribution strategy, developed a business plan for an online video initiative and investigated acquiring rights to show library content on the internet.

As a summer associate Summer Poole '08 worked for the McCarton Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on increasing the educational opportunities of children diagnosed with autism and autism spectrum disorder and aiming to better life for these children and their families. She developed a sustainable business plan for research and training initiatives.

Kathleen Fregeau '09 spent the summer with Uncommon Schools, Inc., a nonprofit organization that starts and manages outstanding charter schools with the mission of eliminating the achievement gap. Kathleen created marketing materials providing a data-driven overview of the impact of USI’s charter schools, which can be shown to audiences ranging from the media to potential donors. These materials will also serve as a basis for USI's future communications.

International Development

Francisco Albano '09 traveled to Peru as a consultant for Technoserve, which helps entrepreneurs in poor rural areas of the developing world build businesses that create income, opportunity and economic growth. Francisco identified target sectors in which Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) strategies can be employed in Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela.

Beverly Chung '09 worked with Ventures in Development (VID), a nonprofit social enterprise promoting economic and social development in western China through the incubation of sustainable, for-profit enterprises. Yaks, abundant in rural China, serve as an opportunity to provide income to rural communities. Beverly helped VID expand Shokay, a rising lifestyle brand featuring items made from yak down, a luxury fabric with properties similar to cashmere. She also helped VID introduce Mei Xiang Yak Cheese to the Shanghai market. Her work for VID focused on developing a metrics and evaluation methodology that can be applied to VID’s current portfolio as well as future investment opportunities.

Melissa Floca '09 spent August in Bahia de Banderas, Mexico, working for P.E.A.C.E Mexico. P.E.A.C.E is a nonprofit umbrella organization that works with non-governmental organizations and community groups to facilitate sustainable programs and nurture self-empowerment throughout Mexico, by providing communities and individuals with tools to improve their quality of life. Melissa worked with a coalition of NGOs and municipal governments to create municipal recycling programs. She was responsible for a cost/benefit analysis and creating a business model for the program.

Carla Franklin '08 worked with two organizations over the summer: the Center of Enterprise Development Services (EDS) at Pan-African University and the African Service Committee (ASC). EDS is a Nigerian-based nonprofit organization focused on supporting small and medium enterprises. At EDS, Carla worked as a consultant to provide business development consulting and training services. Through ASC, she worked on business strategy and a financial model for an organic honey business to support HIV/AIDS programs in Ethiopia. Originally based in New York City, ASC is a grassroots, nonprofit organization that is dedicated to improving the health and self-sufficiency of the African Community in New York City and abroad.

Kelly Miksa '09 and Danielle Noto '09 were both Island Fellows with the US Department of Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs traveling to some of the most beautiful, yet underdeveloped, places in the Pacific. As part of a team comprised of eight Fellows, they implemented a multifaceted private sector development project by training entrepreneurs on proprietary web-based networking and marketing applications in order to connect with the international investment community. They led marketing efforts via this online platform with the long term goal of fostering sustainable private sector development. The team also developed an international marketing strategy for the March 2009 Island Business Opportunities Conference.

Since its inception in 2002, the Clinton Foundation HIV/Aids Initiative (CHAI) has slowed the spread of AIDS and improved the quality of life of people suffering from this disease. Two students worked for CHAI this summer. Irene Obiero '09 was a Policy Development Intern in Kenya, working in conjunction with government health officials to improve the facilities, reach and scope of aids treatment. Irene focused specifically on women and children in rural areas and created a model to improve the design and delivery of the current health care system.

Stacey McKeever '08, who pursued an MBA and MPH while at Columbia, worked for CHAI’s Global Pediatrics Team. Worker with treatment and program managers in 33 countries, Stacey designed and implemented an online forum to share best practices in pediatric aids treatment and developed a series of workshops based on specific interventions to be held in various countries. The forum and workshops will be used by doctors around the world, towards CHAI’s long term goal of ensuring that more HIV-positive children receive care and treatment.

Two Summer Fellows interned with the Earth Institute’s Millennium Village Project (MVP), Dr. Jeffrey Sachs’ initiative to lift rural Africans out of extreme poverty through improvements in health, water, agriculture, education and more, per the mandates of the United Nations eight Millennium Development Goals. Andrew Umans '09 interned with MVP in Senegal and Mali. Andrew helped to foster business development by testing the feasibility of business plans aimed at maximizing agricultural output and value by optimizing production and marketing efforts.

Sandy Eapen '08 led a small-scale market trial for solar LED lanterns in Mwandama, Malawi, as part of the Earth Institute’s Millennium Villages Project (MVP). Eapen worked for the MVP’s Energy Sector which aims to create sustainable energy technologies and supply chains, improving the health and livelihoods of village communities. She assisted with the development of a business model and conducted a market feasibility analysis through vendor interviews and village focus groups. Sandy trained vendors, leading to the initiation of sales, and conducted household lighting surveys, which demonstrated the cost savings and benefits of transitioning from inefficient and unhealthy kerosene to solar lanterns.

Endeavor, an organization that seeks to transform the economies of emerging markets by identifying and supporting high-impact entrepreneurs employed two Social Enterprise Fellows this summer. Sakura Takano '09 worked with Emre Mermer, owner of a specialty meat distributor, a premier butcher shop and Turkey’s only steakhouse, Dukkan. She worked on the strategic and operational challenges of expanding the business throughout Turkey, including developing new store concepts and setting high quality standards.

Julio Giraut '09 went to Buenos Aries, Argentina, as a Summer Fellow with Endeavor. Julio was paired with AMClean, a marketer, vendor and distributor of hygiene products. He was responsible for developing strategic recommendations for the franchise’s expansion targets across South America and internationally. This included examining feasibility studies, resource allocation issues, and marketing strategies, as well as finding ways to improve existing business lines.

Sawa Nakagawa '09 was a Summer Associate for South Africa’s Glenhove Fund Management, which manages the Women’s Private Equity Fund, the first private equity fund to focus on increasing entrepreneurship amongst black South-African women. Sawa evaluated and structured investment opportunities for the fund and developed a strategy and metrics for reporting on the social impact to investors and stakeholders.

Carmen Perez Solano '09 traveled to Peru this summer to intern with Save the Children, an international nonprofit organization working to ensure the wellbeing of children around the world, concentrating in education, health, emergencies, protection and creation of economic opportunity. Carmen built a performance evaluation system and personal development program for its employees as part of the program’s launch.

Frederic Ruaz '09 traveled to Burkina Faso to work with Freedom from Hunger on its Microfinance and Health Protection (MAHP) initiative. MAHP works with partner microfinance institutions to design innovative and sustainable services for health protection. Based on his analysis of microfinance institutions offering health loans in three northern towns, Frederic developed recommendations and guidelines for a national launch of a program financing health loans.

Shoko Yanagisawa '09 interned with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), reporting to the Human Resources learning and recruiting team. The IFC is currently decentralizing to become more client focused. As part of this strategy its HR group is developing a new Global Career Framework. Shoko developed corporate communication and strategy tools in support of this effort — including a learning curriculum based on core job streams and corporate competencies, on- and off-line material to support this curriculum and a system to disseminate career opportunities. She assisted in the design and implementation of a career opportunities portal.

Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Matthew Balestrieri '09 was a summer associate for Bemporad, Baranowski Marketing Group (BBMG), a marketing and branding agency dedicated to serving forward-thinking brands that target socially conscious consumers. Matt focused on the agency’s strategic business development and cause-related programs, and he developed methodologies to measure the success of socially responsible metrics such as social return on investment (SROI).

Joanne Greenstein '09 interned with the American Express Philanthropy Department, which provides grants in three main areas: historic preservation, community service and nonprofit leadership. Her work focused on the American Express Members Project, an online program that gives card members the opportunity to create positive social impact by submitting and supporting project ideas. Winning projects will be funded by American Express and executed by the nonprofit and other appropriate organizations. Joanne’s responsibilities included researching and matching chosen projects with nonprofits, as well as managing the relationships with the nonprofit organizations involved in the initiative. In addition, Joanne assisted with proposal review, processing and follow-up; program implementation and marketing materials.

Giselle Leung '08 worked with Enterprise Solutions to Poverty (ESP) — a start-up organization that works with leading companies to promote inclusive, competitive business strategies that incorporate low income people as suppliers, distributors and consumers of products that build income and assets. ESP aims to mobilize 50 million low-income people by 2012 by engaging private sector collaborators in six developing countries. Giselle completed the budget to accompany the business plan, identified leading companies to serve as collaborators and further developed the ESP’s existing relationships within the private sector.

Katie Leonberger '08 worked for Enterprise Solutions to Poverty (ESP). She assisted ESP as it seeks to provide strategic advice, analysis and cross-learning opportunities for business executives and entrepreneurs, by preparing 40 live cases of leading companies from India, China, Mexico and Colombia already engaged with the organization. Katie also worked to advance ESP’s mission by contributing to the preparation of ESP’s strategy and business plan, developing and formalizing relationships with industry partners, and developing and aligning ESP’s online presence to its strategic goals.

Stephanie Nadeau '08 interned with Bioregen Systems, LLC (BRS). A sustainable wastewater company, BRS provides final treatment and disposal solutions for wastewater facility by-products. This facility will offer an environmentally responsible alternative to traditional wastewater management. Stephanie investigated market opportunities for BRS and participated in client management initiatives. She also contributed to the business plan for Natural Systems International, a start-up organization looking to provide clean-tech solutions to wastewater management for communities with centralized systems.

Mica Odom '09 interned with the Clinton Foundation’s Climate Initiative in Houston, TX. Founded in 2006, The Clinton Climate Initiative applies a business-oriented approach to the fight against climate change in practical yet significant ways. Mica built a business plan for a residential energy efficiency retrofit program as well as drafted legislation around carbon emissions reductions. In addition, she assisted in the creation of a grassroots community outreach program that educates Houston residents about environmental sustainability and energy efficient lifestyle changes.

Social Ventures

Frank Buchanan '08 interned with Sweetriot this summer. Sweetriot is a double bottom line business that makes chocolate ‘peaces,’ high quality all-natural treats with ingredients from fair trade suppliers in Latin America. As part of a marketing team looking to drive Sweetriot into the mainstream chocolate market, Frank created and implemented revenue generating marketing plans to increase product recognition.

Kate Grossman '09 spent her summer working with Honest Tea. Honest Tea, a triple bottom line business focused on profit, people and the planet, with a commitment to social responsibility, put the first “just a tad sweet” and unsweetened organic iced tea on the market. Kate’s responsibilities included analyzing the viability of two new products and working on the manufacturing process of a sustainability project. She also supported community marketing efforts to grow the relationship of the brand with its consumers at a grassroots level.

Laith Kalamchi '09 interned with SJF Ventures, a venture capital firm that provides capital to high-growth companies in clean technology. Laith evaluated companies seeking venture capital money, conducted due diligence on companies of interest, co-developed financial models of companies, conducted market segmentations and researched potential grantees for SJF Advisory Services, the nonprofit arm of SJF ventures.

Richard Rosenblatt '09 joined SOUND, a nonprofit start-up organization promoting increased consumer awareness toward and consumption of socially and environmentally sustainable apparel and soft goods. Richard managed operational, financial and structural aspects of the company’s launch. He also developed metrics to rank sustainability amongst apparel producers for socially minded consumers.