* A Tragic Loss*
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Dear Mailman Community,

It is with profound sadness that I write to inform you that Malar Balasubramanian, an MPH epidemiology student from Ohio, has died. Malar was a very engaged student with a passion for improving the health of the most vulnerable populations. A pediatrician and public health student, she was committed to social justice and action. She was also a thoughtful and compassionate student who contributed greatly to vibrant discussions both in and outside of the classroom.
I have personally spoken to Malar’s family, who shared with me how welcomed Malar felt here at Mailman. She connected with so many of our faculty and students and felt that Mailman and Columbia was a place of hope for her.
When we lose a member of our community, we are all affected. During this extraordinarily painful time, I encourage you to rely on one another and to utilize all available University resources:
  • Hess Commons will be open today as a gathering space from 1-3 p.m. Staff from Mental Health Services, the Center for Student Wellness, and the Office of the University Chaplain will be in attendance.
  • In addition to their regular hours, Mental Health Services (305-3400; x1) and the Center for Student Wellness (304-5564/304-5560) will be available for extended hours: up to 8 p.m. today at Mental Health Services (60 Haven Ave., Ste. 1D), from 1-3 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday at the Center for Student Wellness (Bard Hall: 50 Haven Ave., Ste. 107), and for walk-in appointments.
  • The Office of the University Chaplain (854‐1493) is also available for ongoing support.
  • Members of the Office of Student Affairs (305-3927) may also be reached throughout the coming days.
I know that all of you will join me in sending our heartfelt condolences to the Balasubramanian family for their tragic loss, and I ask that you keep them in your thoughts in the days ahead.


Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH

Dean and DeLamar Professor of Public Health
Mailman School of Public Health
Senior Vice President
Columbia University Medical Center
Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine