Summer Fellows 2021

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Nonprofit & Public Management

Christopher Alvarez, ’20JRN, was an editorial summer fellow at THE CITY, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, digital news platform dedicated to hard-hitting reporting that serves the people of New York. Christopher pursued his goal of becoming a well-rounded journalist by getting his feet wet in different types of journalism through collaborations with colleagues. He also strived to use lessons learned to positively impact the communities the organization serves. 

Lucila Arias ’22 interned with Gender IDEAL, a nonprofit that works to create workplaces that are inclusive, diverse, and equal in access and leadership (IDEAL) for all races and genders. During her internship, Lucila helped to launch the startup. This included work on the strategic plan, ways to raise funds, strategies for scaling and partnership, as well as communications (website design, content development, managing social media, etc.). She also worked on conducting analysis, designing data visualizations, and creating benchmark reports, which drew from her prior experience in consulting, as well as her passion to push towards diversity and inclusion.

Shan Bannirchelvam ’22, Nandita Pandit ’21, and Jed Rooney ’22 worked with the alumni board of directors of Microlumbia, the student-run impact investing fund at Columbia Business School, to develop a strategy and design a growth business plan for the fund. This included fundraising targets for overall assets under management (AUM), the annual budget, the average deal size, the annual number of deals/due diligence opportunities, feasible student team size, and other relevant dimensions. In addition, they drafted a strategic fundraising deck.

Daniel Bi, ’22SIPA, and Kate Highstrete, ’22SIPA, interned with Social Ventures Foundation, a nonprofit developing an incubator competition to facilitate investment in social ventures through a microfranchising model to address Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 — no poverty — in low-income communities. In stage one of the incubator project, Daniel developed a governance structure, financial models, and budget for the End Poverty Innovation Challenge. In stage two, Daniel worked with the Costa Rica team coach to pilot the EPIC model in Costa Rica. Daniel also provided input to develop the End Poverty Fund and provided fundraising support over the summer. Kate worked directly with the executive director to expand the number of participating universities; identify potential corporate, foundation, and private sponsor support; and increase awareness of the competition.

Elizabeth Bielen ’22 worked as a summer associate with the Robin Hood Foundation, New York City’s largest poverty-fighting organization. Robin Hood provides financial, real estate, and management support to more than 200 nonprofits and uses a system of metrics, cost-benefit ratios, and counterfactuals to rigorously evaluate poverty interventions and select its investments. She researched initiatives and produced research-backed recommendations and concepts for programs and community engagement plans. Elizabeth assisted Robin Hood’s senior leaders in assessing opportunities and recommending directions on a set of key initiatives.

Ken Burchfiel ’22 interned with Seton Education Partners, a nonprofit that operates charter schools in the Bronx and other regions, to support the organization’s data management and analytics efforts. During his fellowship, Ken helped Seton implement a new student information system, which entailed assisting with data migration and system setup/configuration. He also worked on the implementation of a new business intelligence and data warehouse solution and helped set up a data sync tool.

James Harvey Elliott II, ’23GS, interned with FLIP National, a nonprofit that promotes equal opportunity for first-generation and low-income students in institutions of higher learning. James worked with the chapter establishment and development team, focusing on cultivating community, raising awareness, and establishing campus-based resources to assist students. James also worked with the finance team to assist with grant writing to acquire future FLIP National Programs funding.

Kartika Fitrianingsih, ’22CSSW, interned with Trust for Youth and Child Leadership (TYCL), a nonprofit based in New York focusing on providing safe and participatory spaces for youth, children, and indigenous communities to eliminate suicide, abuse, and anti-environmentalism. Kartika supported TYCL on various projects, including organizing and moderating virtual forums as part of the United Nations’ programs to raise awareness on youth mental health and indigenous issues amid COVID-19, providing assistance in research on decolonizing social work practice, developing STEM education curriculum for indigenous children in India, and writing a grant proposal for possible funding.

Kyleigh Leddy, ’22CSSW, interned with Lumiere Health International Inc. to develop impactful social entrepreneurship projects that address human rights violations and health care inequities both internationally and within the United States. Kyleigh worked on psychosocial evaluations for asylum seekers, leading to many favorable court outcomes. She also designed a prescription program for forced migrants and immigrants in the United States who experience medication insecurity while awaiting asylum or refugee status.

Jean Lee, ’21JRN, interned at The 19th News, a newsroom dedicated to hard-hitting news stories centered on a woman's experience and on the many intersections of gender. Jean reported, gathered news, wrote, and participated in news production to help bring in-depth stories, breaking news, and other information to the public.

Stephanie Lin ’21 worked with CP Unlimited, an organization that advocates for and supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the New York metro area. Stephanie created a template for analysis of palliative care impact in order to reduce hospitalization rates and lengths of stay, as well as other factors to achieve an overall improvement in medical care.

Ilica Mahajan, ’21JRN ’21SEAS, was a data fellow with The Marshall Project, a Pulitzer-prize winning nonprofit news organization focused on criminal justice reporting. She worked on processing and analyzing data, and reporting on various long-term Marshall Project initiatives. She also contributed to large-scale parsing and analysis of court records, helped build visuals for stories, and pitched and produced smaller pieces as well.

Aedan Macdonald, ’21GS, worked with the ReEntry Acceleration Program and Justice Through Code initiatives of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise and Columbia’s Center for Justice, which are focused on providing educational and career-track opportunities to currently and formerly incarcerated individuals.

Brian Roxas ’22 and Becky Shin ’21 interned with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, a nonprofit that partners with individuals, families, and institutions to help make philanthropy more thoughtful and effective. Brian worked directly with the chief operating officer on the firm's five-year strategic outlook, and provided insights and recommendations based on an analysis of the firm's financial documents. Becky provided support towards the development of case studies on approaches to impact and connected them with other thought leadership on how donors catalyze change.

Kristen Saldarini, ’23SIPA, worked with the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School. The center trains the next generation of business leaders to address social and environmental challenges. Kristen developed a comprehensive social media strategy for raising brand awareness, increasing the center’s online presence, and supporting digital marketing efforts. The strategy reflected comprehensive research on effective digital marketing tactics and a six-month content calendar proposal for priority social media channels, such as Instagram.

Shefali Sharma, ’22SIPA, interned with the Health Finance Institute, a nonprofit that aims to eliminate suffering caused by non-communicable diseases, and to increase human potential by building public-private finance partnerships. Shefali worked as a business development intern, where she supported the creation of potential client lists and funding targets, drafted several materials for economic modelling and blended finance training offerings, identified and tracked grant/proposal deadlines, and supported other business development and partnership meeting agendas.

Ziheng Song, ’20GS, interned with RisingStarEdu, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to closing the education gap in under-resourced regions through a variety of initiatives in China. During the fellowship, Ziheng worked with the outreach manager, IT analysts, and other volunteers to support and enhance the efficiency of outreach activities through technical and business analysis.

Khadija Ann Tarver, ’23GSAPP, worked as an architectural design intern at Breaker Gallery, a nonprofit exhibition and convening platform focused on audiences of color and the creators and innovators who engage them. Khadija worked with the directors to create a proposal to transform a vacant building into the Breaker Gallery headquarters.

Social Entrepreneurship

Ellen Chiu ’22 interned with Shift Capital, a Philadelphia-based impact investing firm that uses real estate to tackle intergenerational poverty by investing holistically and at-scale in and around a neighborhood catalytic project. Ellen worked with Shift to underwrite real estate transactions and source capital for new development opportunities and strategic initiatives.

Kim Loan Chu, ’22BUS ’21SIPA, worked with NaTakallam, a social enterprise connecting refugees to employment opportunities using the power of technology. Utilizing their native skills, displaced people offer language lessons, cultural immersion, and translation services to clients all over the world through NaTakallam. Kim Loan was a product manager and drove the launch of the new front-end and back-end platform for all of NaTakallam’s B2C language learning offerings, enabling the organization to scale and better serve its clients. Furthermore, Kim Loan developed a data-driven content marketing strategy and advised the senior management team.

Charlotte Keys ’22 interned with Veris Wealth Partners, a certified B Corp and an independent impact wealth management firm recognized as both a pioneer and leader in the field of responsible and sustainable investing. Veris provides solutions for clients seeking to create change through their wealth across key investment themes of climate solutions, sustainable agriculture, racial and gender equity, and community wealth building. As an impact investing research intern, Charlotte was responsible for conducting investment manager and fund due diligence, preparing analysis, making recommendations to the research team/investment committee, and preparing thematic research and impact metric monitoring and reporting.

Margaret Knowles ’21 served as the impact investment summer fellow at SmartJob, LLC, the first global company singularly dedicated to closing the disability wealth gap by catalyzing employment through impact investment. She focused on tracking SmartJob's dealflow and pipeline, performed diligence on potential investments, and developed SmartJob's impact metrics.

Nicolas Lama, ’24CC, interned with BallotReady, an organization that provides non-partisan voter guides in all fifty states to ensure that all voters are informed. By linking back to original sources, the BallotReady guide provides voters with the ability to verify any piece of policy before their decision to vote. Nicolas played a key role in providing research for upcoming elections in 2021, as well as helped BallotReady develop a product that will enable their voters to keep their elected officials accountable year-round between elections, and to make it easier for people to engage in civic participation and advocacy.

Alexandra Lobel ’21 interned with Neale Godfrey, executive-in-residence at Columbia Business School, and an inspiring thought leader and best selling author in the field of financial wellness and multi- generational financial literacy. Neale is the creator of the topic of “kids and money” and a trailblazer of financial literacy in the United States and globally. Alexandra worked with Neale to promote her latest (and 28th) book, Be Money Smart in Tough Times: For Parents and Grandparents, and developed a marketing strategy to raise awareness about Neale's expertise on this important topic.

Amali Nassereddine ’22 worked with YY Ventures, an organization that incubates and invests in social entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. Her project was centered around the entrepreneurship ecosystem and the global social business movement. The primary purpose of her role was to conduct research on investment and impact thesis and develop the seed fund foundation structure.

Claire Nishioka ’22 interned with Phare Bio, an early-stage biotech organization that is using artificial intelligence and deep learning approaches to develop new classes of antibiotics. Phare Bio launched in collaboration with the Collins Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and its mission aims to address the growing global health crisis surrounding antimicrobial resistance. Claire worked directly with the CEO to develop Phare Bio’s corporate strategy and business plan. She also helped create the company website and various promotional materials.

Christiana Rosales ’21 supported the new venture studios team within Newlab. Christiana’s primary role was to research new company opportunities by performing deep dives and delivering reports. She led customer discovery and partnership development for the ventures. The first project was the formation of a company for long-term Alzheimer’s prevention technology/services in collaboration with Enigma Biomedical Group and Cerveau Technologies. Christiana also leveraged her prior venture experience to help shape the studio’s processes and frameworks for all future studio ventures.

Christopher Wilkinson ’21 and Leilani Tiara, ’22MPH, interned at the Catalytic Impact Foundation, a nonprofit VC foundation that invests in companies working on early-stage health care therapies and technologies, especially those that would otherwise likely go unfunded because they target rare diseases. Christopher worked on diligence for potential investments, formalizing the foundation's investment memo process, producing impact reports for the portfolio, and on donor communications. Leilani worked on different areas of focus, including participating in due diligence, writing investment memos, updating the progress of portfolio companies, assisting digital marketing and communication efforts to strengthen CIF's online presence and visibility, and managing fundraising and donor outreach.

Mona Ziaei, ’21SEAS, interned with Flextrapower, a Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio venture that uses graphene technology and remote monitoring to improve health and well-being, most notably in their application of graphene sensors in insoles for early detection of ulcers. Mona conducted research in an interdisciplinary team to optimize the wearable sensor system with a focus on muscle activities and the diabetic insole. Additionally, Mona contributed to drafting patent applications and reviewing provisional patents and claim language.

International Development

Nadine Bibawi, ’22SIPAHannah Clifford, ’22SIPA; Jessica Peck, ’22SIPAJulia Tauscher, ’22SIPA; and Kevin Vu, ’22SIPA, interned with IMAGO Global Grassroots, a nonprofit that collaborates with entrepreneurs at the base of the pyramid and supports scaling their social enterprises. Nadine assisted the creation of IMAGO’s first online social enterprise scaling course, and worked on developing a strategy to support dissemination of its knowledge products and services by leveraging technology. Hannah worked with the Washington, DC office on research, the creation of knowledge products, and supported active projects focused on gender and human rights. Jessica collaborated with the southern cone office in Latin America to scope potential partners in the region, and also developed a model for scaling RUDI — a social enterprise of the Self-Employed Women Association (SEWA) — leveraging a government program called the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM). Julia worked closely with the Poverty Stoplight to design manuals to help organizations across the world to implement a tool to assess and address multidimensional poverty at the household level. Kevin worked with IMAGO’s various clients to improve health care systems that provide affordable health care to high-need, high-cost vulnerable populations in Houston, and consulted in scaling up the SEWA project design.

Kobe Familara, ’22MPH, interned with Two Oceans in Health, a global research organization. Two Oceans in Health focuses on developing and analyzing health data to empower communities in the Dominican Republic, especially vulnerable and underserved groups. The organization also uses the data to design and implement health programs throughout the country. Kobe assisted Two Oceans in Health in their mission by analyzing public HIV data to ultimately provide evidence for HIV funding, testing, and treatment for people of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic.

Yasuaki Inada ’22 interned at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The OECD is an intergovernmental economic organization with 38 member countries, aimed at sharing and improving policy insights. Yasuaki worked for the financial markets division covering infrastructure investment and fintech-related issues. Utilizing his MBA skills and knowledge, Yasuaki conducted preliminary research and managed logistics for an international conference on sustainable finance in September, as well as for another event on digital finance. He also participated in formulating an official report on digital finance activities in Asia.

Tim Lee, ’23BUS ’23SIPA, interned with the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the United States government's development bank. DFC partners with the private sector to finance solutions to some of the most critical challenges facing the developing world. Tim worked within DFC's social enterprise finance team, which provides financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs to create jobs in emerging markets. He helped execute impact investments to advance DFC priorities like the 2X Women's Initiative and the Portfolio for Impact and Innovation. In doing so, Tim contributed financial modeling, operational support, research, and project management.

Rebecca Manning ’22 interned with TechnoServe, a nonprofit focused on relieving poverty by working with people in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses, and industries. Rebecca worked remotely for the organization’s Catalisa Program in Mozambique. Under the Catalisa Program director, Rebecca conducted a P&L analysis for both poultry and horticulture products, supported the Catalisa team in understanding the viability of horticulture and poultry products at demonstration sites, and documented lessons learned and findings for each site.

Catherine Martini, ’24DM; Rachel Utomo, ’24DM; and Ishani Guha, ’22MPH, interned with Praava Health, a Dhaka-based patient experience-driven company whose ethos is centered around bringing quality health care to Bangladesh. Catherine developed clinical protocols for the most common dental disease presentation, in an effort to improve the standard of Bangladesh's oral health care. Additionally, she executed an evaluation of the journey of a Praava patient, focusing on the patient's experience traversing through online and offline activities. Rachel worked on developing the dental suite’s management strategies and improving patient experiences at Praava Health. Ishani helped design a patient experience platform and developed data-driven tools to help guide Praava's journey's into the AI space, while also conducting market research to assist Praava as they look to partner with other organizations in the field.

Rola Saleh ’21 was an investment research intern at Calvert Impact Capital (CIC), a nonprofit investment firm that works with investors to move capital into communities around the world. Rola created an agricultural technology investment strategy focusing on access to finance for smallholders and environment sustainability, specifically for CIC’s investment notes track. Rola also assisted investment officers throughout the investment cycle, as needed.

Michael Simpson ’22 interned with Clinton Health Access Initiative, a nonprofit that aims to save lives and reduce the burden of disease in low- and middle-income countries around the world. He supported the global vaccines delivery team leading strategy development on vaccine network extension, identifying methods to reach zero dose children and underserved areas. Additionally, Michael assisted the vaccine markets team monitoring supply chains during the COVID-19 vaccine roll out.

CSR and Sustainability

Malachi Coleman, ’22CC; Juliet Brooks ’22; Olivia Feld ’21; and Ananya Misra, ’22BUS ’22SIPA, interned with Professors Bruce Usher and Geoffrey Heal to quantitatively analyze pledges by US companies to transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions. The project aims to categorize carbon neutral plans made by US companies based on their effectiveness and overall impact on net greenhouse gas emissions at large, and discern the overlaps and gaps in company records of emissions. This work will also help identify how markets respond to company announcements related to emissions and what the potential implications are for shareholders.

Sally Ho, ’23CC, interned at Dandelion Energy, a Google X incubated company providing geothermal heating and cooling systems to New York and Connecticut. Dandelion aims to facilitate the adoption of geothermal energy, which is significantly safer, longer lasting, and more environmentally friendly compared to traditional fuel-powered heating and cooling. Sally worked at the intersection of government incentives and business strategy, analyzing customer data across projects and preparing rebate applications. Additionally, she helped lay the foundation for expansion through researching potential markets and analyzing relevant loans, rebates, and other incentives in the renewable energy space.

Jennah Jones, ’23GSAPP, interned with the Center for Zero Waste Design, an organization that develops and implements design strategies within the built environment to help cities achieve zero waste. Jennah worked alongside architects and engineers to design zero waste systems for Oceanix, a pioneering prototype for floating cities. She researched ways to integrate circular economy frameworks into the existing waste streams of affordable housing units, and developed diagrams to support residential composting pilot studies. Additionally, Jennah assisted the center in crafting a proposition to incorporate food waste reduction and diversion into NYC's Local Law 97 carbon trading program.

Dean Meisel ’22; Aaron Schifrin ’21; Igor Rios ’21; and Bengusu Ozcan, ’21GSAS, interned with Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member Plentify, a sustainable energy startup in Cape Town that aims to enable South Africans to switch to reliable and sustainable energy sources while minimizing utility bills by harnessing the power of AI and advanced grid technology. Dean developed an initial B2B marketing strategy, and developed key criteria to help Plentify select its ideal offshore jurisdictions. Aaron helped set technical and business requirements for new product and feature development as a product management intern. Igor was responsible for evaluating opportunities in new channels and products, defining product and business requirements to be successful in these channels, and identifying the ideal off-shore jurisdiction to achieve Plentify's growth objective. As a product management intern, Bengusu worked on a new feature that provides detailed monitoring of Plentify clients' smart home devices, conducting user research and bridging the data availability in the product. She also conducted global industry research for a newly established sensory feature in order to better represent the value of this feature to the existing clients.

Garrett Modeste, ’23GS, worked with SetPoint, a climate intelligence company, to help reduce commercial energy consumption and implement artificial technology into climate and air quality systems. He worked directly with clients of Setpoint to help implement their technology and achieve the goal of using energy more efficiently and minimize waste.

Romke Rozendaal ’22 interned with, a nonprofit scaling up waste management and recycling in developing countries through an approach that focuses on the entire value chain from source segregation to stable offtake. Romke worked directly with organizational leadership to drive scaling the operations in Argentina through the codification of best practices and internal knowledge and identifying the optimal way (e.g., digital, in-person learning, hybrid models) to distribute this information to relevant stakeholders.

Kush Sompura, ’21SEAS, was a chemical engineering intern at Folia Materials, a Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member. The mission of Folia is to provide high quality antiviral and antibacterial water filters, masks, and food packaging at low cost. Folia's slogan is "Paper for pennies, water for billions." Kush performed bench scale chemistry and assisted the R&D team on the production trials of Folia's premier products.

Yuxiao Zhou, ’21SEAS, interned at the Changing Room, a startup that aims to bring environmental transparency to the fashion industry by empowering consumers to make more sustainable purchases by providing a solution where consumers can find the environmental ratings of their favorite brand’s fashion products and receive more eco-responsible product suggestions. Yuxiao's responsibilities included improving the current scoring algorithm, collecting data, creating a clustering algorithm for similar garments, and building a deep learning neural net to extract features from garment images to give consumers the tools to make better shopping decisions.