Ambassador Profiles

Get to know the Mailman Ambassadors, who will serve as peer liaisons that support incoming students over the course of the summer and during orientation.

They will provide their colleagues with a broad view of the Mailman School experience by welcoming them to Columbia University, speaking on student panels, organizing campus tours, and leading community engagement programs and activities. They will connect with incoming students through virtual sessions over the summer and through in-person programs during orientation week, providing honest and constructive feedback to support their Mailman School experience.

Name

Hometown

Mailman Moment

Nida AliDallas, TX"I felt part of the Mailman community when my ISP professor invited us to his apartment and provided us with a space to socialize with one another. This was one of the first times when I felt like I was finally getting to know people on a more personable level."
Fatema BegumNew York City, NY"In the moments after the election, hugs, words of compassion, and notes of support, made me realize how supportive our University was. Mailman built dialogue during a time where students needed a platform to speak. It stood up for who we were as a community and I valued that immensely."
Bowen ChenShanghai, China"I first feel I am part of this community when I came to the admitted student day as a prospective student last year, where I received a warm welcome, a detailed introduction and a fantastic campus tour. I began to imagine the life of studying and hanging out with friends since that time."
Christina ChesnakovEphrata, WA"I would have to say that Admitted Students Day was when I first felt part of the Mailman community. Going to one of the mixers during that time and speaking with current students about Columbia helped crystallize my decision and made me feel like I belonged here."
Elizabeth DankenbringSaint Louis, MO"Prior to joining Columbia, I visited Mailman on a personal trip. Without notice, I knocked on Dr. Terese McGinn's door to see if she and I could set a time to speak. Impromptu, she invited me and wowed me by answering my 1 million questions in a generous 2 hour conversation that I will never forget."
Alexandra DereixCenterville, OH"The post-election Teach-In, held by the administration, highlighted the capacity for the Mailman community to unite and collaborate. I appreciated engaging in insightful discussions with individuals in a variety of departments to generate solutions for promoting public health in an uncertain time."
Ashley DominicLong Island, NY"My favorite Mailman moment so far occurred at the end of our Fall 2016 semester when we were undergoing e-board transitions. It was a great experience learning from the experience of the second year students as they "passed the torch" down to the next generation of student government leaders!"
Shea DoyleSan Diego, CA"I most felt part of the Mailman community when I went to my first Food Policy & Obesity Prevention (FPOP) meeting. I have had an interest in food policy for many years and it is why I decided to go back to school to get my MPH. Meeting like-minded peers in FPOP really made me feel welcome!"
Derek FinePlymouth, MI"My biggest "Mailman Moment" happened the day after the 2016 election, when Mailman faculty, students, and staff held a community gathering. Everyone had the chance to speak, listen, and support their fellow community members, and dozens stepped forward. It was empowering, moving, and deeply needed."
Samy Galvez de LeonGuatemala City, Guatemala"After the passing of a dear friend, my classmates and professor came together to support, commemorate, and mourn together. We also reflected on what this meant for our future in public health and how to continue to serve everyone, and how everything we do at Mailman helps us work towards that goal."
Stephen GamboaAlbuquerque, NM"I first felt like I was a part of the Mailman community when I went on the Spirit Dinner Cruise for new students. This was the first time I got to engage with other students outside of the classroom and I walked away from the event feeling inspired by the meaningful connections that I made."
Amber GipsonBoca Raton, FL"I felt most welcome into the Mailman community during our first group assignment in Public Health Interventions. Discussing strategies with the eclectic students in my group quickly solidified friendship outside of the classroom and how community-oriented our student base is!"
Shengnan HuangChina"The time I first felt part of the Mailman community is when I took activities during orientation week. Students and faculty introduced themselves and told us the information about how to get accustomed to the life in Mailman. That's the time I had the feeling that I would literally live here!"
Nitika KaulMadison, NJ/ Basel, Switzerland"I felt most part of the Mailman community the day after the Presidential election, as I felt that the staff, professors and other students were willing to change our course schedules in order to accommodate the need for discussion."
Janice MaAtlanta, GA"I felt the most a part of the Mailman community when I had my first out-of-class hangout with some of my classmates. It was at that moment when classmates became more like friends and we got a chance to talk about something other than schoolwork, and really get to know one another."
Linda MeiMadison, WI"Coming into Mailman, I did not expect to make close friendships and thought of my time here as just getting my degree and finding a job. On the contrary, I've met a group of friends that I can connect and explore the city with."
Mike NguySacramento, CA"I felt part of the Mailman community when faculty and staff really provided support when I needed it the most. In addition, the people that I have met here have been wonderful, where I know that they will be my lifelong friends."
Toyosi OyeLagos, Nigeria"I most felt part of the Mailman community during my second semester after getting over the adjustment period and connecting with the endless resources at Columbia - including involvement with student groups, speaking with administrators and faculty, and working in New York City."
Angelica RusilowskiChicago, IL"My first time feeling as though I was a part of the Mailman community was during orientation week. The orientation experience left a very good impression on me. After orientation, I was certain that Mailman School of Public Health was the right place for me."
Erica SantosPateros, WA"My Mailman Moment was when I came back in January from winter break. I started getting involved in student organizations, I had established relationships with faculty members, and I even found a small group of students that shared a passion for farmworker justice."
Sneha SoniIndia"I most felt part of the Mailman community when I participated in Dr. Fullilove's Community Walk during orientation week. I had the opportunity to meet first-years from different departments and learn about their backgrounds and experiences. I also learned about the WaHi community and its history."
Natasha SoodTroy, MI"My "Mailman Moment" was when Faculty and students of the Environmental Health Sciences Department came together in a "Chili Cook Off" at the beginning of the year. The entire department welcomed the incoming class with great food and a great time!"
Ridhima SuntewariBangkok, Thailand"After election day, a Mailman wide meeting or "safe haven" was called for and all students, staff, faculty and admin were invited to share thoughts, feelings, and concerns with one another. In that hour, everyone was equal and every opinion important, it was a moment of solidarity and community."
Bhavish VoraGujarat, India"My Mailman Moment is getting to know people from diverse personal and professional backgrounds.In my class, there are students who have worked in banking and also students who have served in the army and getting to collaborate with them is an everyday learning experience for me."
Jacqueline WallFairfield, CT"I first felt a part of the Mailman community in the beginning of the semester when I was in the library studying. There were so many students who I recognized from my classes, and we all created impromptu study groups. While there, we each learned from the diverse academic backgrounds of our peers."
Marc ZavarellaRochester, NY"I first heard about Mailman at an informational session and felt the connectedness from the staff immediately.  I felt a part of the Columbia community as soon as I arrived on campus for my first day of orientation.  Everyone from the administrators to the student group leaders we very welcoming."