Barnard College Appoints Lisa Yeh as VP of Development

NEW YORK, Dec. 4, 2017 — Barnard College has appointed Lisa Yeh as vice president for development, effective Jan. 22, 2018. Yeh comes to the College from Columbia Business School, where she has worked since 2002, and served for the past 11 years as vice dean of external relations and development. In this role, she has been a principal gifts fundraiser and has overseen a department of 66 full-time professionals, including teams focused on major gifts; annual and corporate fundraising; alumni relations; advancement services, and strategic communications. Under Yeh’s leadership, the School exceeded its goal of $600 million for its 2004 to 2013 capital campaign, and has increased average annual fundraising from $21 million to $72 million.

At Barnard, Yeh will lead the development team and work closely with senior staff to advance the College’s strategic goals. In a letter to Barnard College’s faculty and staff, President Sian Leah Beilock said, “[Lisa] will be engaged in the vital task of building on Barnard’s fundraising efforts, including our ongoing capital campaign [The Bold Standard], which has raised over $320 million to date, while exploring ways to achieve even greater levels of success and support for our academic programs and initiatives.”

Prior to her career at Columbia University, Yeh worked in event planning and fundraising, as well as in the investment management and insurance industries. She has also given time to many boards and associations, including the All Souls School Board of Trustees where she served for 14 years as a member and as board president from 2010 to 2014. Yeh is also a volunteer on the Barnard Parents’ Council—her daughter is a member of the Barnard Class of 2019.

Founded in 1889, Barnard was the only college in New York City, and one of the few in the nation, where women could receive the same rigorous and challenging education available to men. Today, as the world-renowned liberal arts college for women at Columbia University, Barnard remains devoted to empowering extraordinary women to become even more exceptional. For more information on the College or Lisa Yeh’s appointment, contact Barnard Media Relations at 212-854-2037 or



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Barnard College Affiliates with the Worker Rights Consortium

activism President Sian Beilock announced that Barnard College will join more than 190 other colleges and universities nationwide as an affiliate of the Worker Rights Consortium. The WRC is an independent organization devoted to helping colleges and universities improve the conditions of workers around the globe who produce their apparel. The affiliation will assist Barnard in implementing a manufacturing code of conduct, with which apparel vendors contracting with Barnard will be asked to comply.

The decision to affiliate with the WRC arises from semester-long conversations with Barnard’s Student Government Association and the student organization Student Worker Solidarity. Chief Operating Officer Rob Goldberg, who will oversee implementation efforts, has worked with students since September to discuss the benefits of joining WRC and how best to enforce fair labor standards as part of Barnard’s vendor agreements.

“Joining the WRC is consistent with Barnard’s commitment to the ethical purchasing of goods and services,” Goldberg said. “We appreciate students’ willingness to work with us on this important issue.” Barnard’s vendor code of conduct is nearly final.

Once complete, it will be integrated into The Barnard Store’s apparel practices, as well as shared with any group planning to purchase Barnard apparel.

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Prof. Séverine Autesserre Wins Red Cross Award, Testifies Before Congress on Innovative Peacekeeping Research

africaelectionspolitics Sevérine Autesserre, Professor of Political Science, is the recipient of the French Red Cross Fund’s Special Jury Prize award, which is bestowed—along with €5,000—annually to “young researchers presenting an innovative or daring humanitarian perspective,” and has testified before Congress about the political and humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Autesserre, also a Carnegie Fellow, specializes in international relations and is an expert on civil wars, peacekeeping, and humanitarian aid. She has written extensively and spoken frequently about improving peacekeeping efforts around the world. Her book Peaceland, which won the International Studies Association’s “Best Book of the Year” award in 2016, makes the case for involving the people of a troubled region in all aspects of peacekeeping efforts, thereby preventing foreign actors and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from assuming they are better equipped to heal a region than its citizens.

Nominees for the French Red Cross Fund’s research awards are selected by recommendation from members of the International Scientific Council and the Fund’s board of directors; the committee focuses on the impact of the nominees’ work in the fields of humanitarian action, development policies, or international charity. The award ceremony was held in Beirut on November 17. A French-language video portrait of Autesserre discussing the award and her work is found here.

In her testimony before Congress on November 9, Autesserre stressed the necessity of integrating local forces into international peacekeeping endeavors. The global development news site Devex noted in an article about the hearing that Congo’s president, Joseph Kabila, has exacerbated political tensions by refusing to step down—his term ended in 2016—and postponing the democratic elections process. Autesserre acknowledged these tensions, but noted that other abuses in Congo, including repression of political speech and widespread violence instigated by both military forces and rebel militias, are also of urgent concern. Rather than calling on foreign NGOs to step in, she urged Congress to fund and bolster “bottom-up” peacekeeping efforts, run by Congolese citizens “who have the right knowledge, capacity, and skills to better address the challenges than international actors.”

Autesserre has also been an advocate for more diversity among peacekeepers on the ground. An interview in the South African news outlet The Daily Vox highlights her research showing that only five percent of UN peacekeepers (and only two percent of peacekeepers in Congo) are women. She argues that deploying more female peacekeepers would help advance gender equality in the regions they serve.

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Force of Nature: 35 Years of Environmental Science

climate changeenvironmental sciencenew york citySTEMsustainability Barnard’s Department of Environmental Science was founded 35 years ago. Its origins, however, reach as far back as Barnard’s first year, 1889, when students studied geology, geography, and mineralogy with Columbia University professors. Below we share the history of the department as it grew from one course to a department that is leading innovation in environmental research and education.

The Rise of Environmental Science

On November 14, 2017, the Barnard community will celebrate the anniversary with a day-long event that honors its environmental leadership and innovation. Keynote Speaker Annie Leonard ’86, executive director of Greenpeace USA, will discuss, “The State of the Environment: How to Get to a Better Future?” The day will also include workshops on creative approaches to advocacy, education, outreach, research, and technology. Panel discussions, featuring faculty and students from the department, will range from our global ecology to hydrofracking.


1889: Barnard students interested in geology, geography, and mineralogy study with Columbia University professors.
1902: Barnard brings geology to its own campus with the hiring of Ida H. Ogilvie—who heads the department from 1911-1941—to teach the first course on the subject. The first summer field course is offered in 1905.
1911: The Department of Geology becomes official. In 1913, New York City is used as a classroom for the first time when “The Local Geology of New York” is taught.
1944: “Natural Resources” first appears as a course.
1953: The New York Times writes, “Nine [Barnard graduates] are employed in scientific laboratories” from a class of 234.
Department Beginnings

1961: When the shift from studying Earth’s resources to studying humankind’s dependence on natural resource occurs, students now major in Conservation of Natural Resources.
1968: Environmental Science is taught for the first time under the Geology, Geography, and Botany departments.
1970: The Conservation of Natural Resources major becomes Environmental Conservation and Management—one of the nation’s early Environmental majors—with a focus on issues crucial to human survival.
The First Decade

1982: The Department of Geography dissolves. Environmental Science, led by adjunct assistant professor Richard Bopp, is created and offers both a major and a minor in Environmental Science. The department has no full-time faculty.
1984: The department graduates its first two students.
1987: Professor Peter Bower becomes the department’s first full-time lecturer. The following year, with Bower as chair, students flock to register for the Environmental Case Studies class, which enrolls 45, compared to just 12 the year before.
The Second Decade

1991: Professor Joe Liddicoat joins the department (through 2006) to co-teach and co-direct Intro to Environmental Science Labs, and to teach in the Harlem Education Activities Fun program and the Pre-College Summer Program (Brownfield Action).
1992: Environmental Science majors and Professor Bower (now also Mayor of Teaneck, NJ), with support from President Ellen Futter and other faculty, create a tenure track line which gives the department equal standing with the other science departments.
1993: Stephanie Pfirman, Professor of Environmental Science and the Alena Wels Hirschorn ’58 and Martin Hirschorn Professor of Environmental and Applied Sciences, becomes chair of the department.
1995: In collaboration with Columbia’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Professor Stephanie Pfirman


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From The Ground Up: The Centennial of Barnard Hall

architecturecolumbiaconstructiondesignhistory Barnard Hall Through The Years

One hundred years ago, in November of 1917, Barnard Hall officially opened its doors. At first known as Students’ Hall, it was renamed in 1926 in honor of Frederick A. P. Barnard, Columbia University’s tenth president (1864-1889), who had fought unsuccessfully to admit women to Columbia and after whom the College is also named.

In the early days, when Barnard College was founded in 1889, it was located in a rented brownstone at 343 Madison Avenue, with a faculty of six and a student body of fewer than 40. In the 1890s, Barnard followed Columbia College to Morningside Heights, purchasing an acre of land on Broadway between 119th and 120th Streets, with donations from Elizabeth Milbank Anderson, Mary Brinckerhoff, and Martha Fiske. In 1897, Milbank and Brinckerhoff Halls were completed, with the Ella Weed Reading Room and its core collection of 120 books located on the second floor of Millbank Hall. Fiske Hall was constructed a year later, completing the initial Barnard campus. In 1903, the College extended the campus south to 116th Street, and in 1907, Brooks Hall was completed.

Barnard Hall was conceived in 1915 as the College grew beyond what the Milbank Hall complex could accommodate. Jacob H. Schiff, the College’s first treasurer and one of its original trustees, gifted $500,000 to create the Hall to house “all physical and social activities of students,” according to an October 6, 1915 article in The New York Times. “This building has been most urgently needed” because of overcrowding with “the greatly increased enrollment of students.” When the final brick was laid and trimmed in limestone, it housed a lunchroom, classrooms, gymnasium with swimming pool, and parlor.

The gymnasium, which doubled as a public lecture hall, hosted hundreds of historical figures over the decades, including Democratic Senator Herbert H. Lehman in debate with Republican Congressman Jacob K. Javits—along with former First Lady, and then United Nations spokesperson, Eleanor Roosevelt (1954); Malcolm X delivering his final public speech (1965); and authors Isabel Allende (1989) and Amy Tan (1994).

Today, Barnard Hall comprises 79,000 square feet and houses classrooms, dance studios, the Barnard Center for Research on Women (BCRW), Public Safety, Facilities, event spaces, departmental and faculty offices, the Lefrak Center, and the Fitness Center. Sulzberger Parlor features portraits of Barnard presidents and founders, period furniture, a 1923 Steinway concert grand piano, harpsichord, and fireplace. The James Room, where commuting students ate lunch for many years, features a grand piano and archival photographs of alumnae.  

In the years since Barnard Hall was completed, construction of new buildings continued with Hewitt Hall (1925) and Reid Hall (1961)—along with Brooks Hall they are known as “The Quad”—Lehman Hall (1958), Plimpton Hall (1968), Altschul Hall (1969), Sulzberger Hall (1988), The Arthur Ross Greenhouse (1998), and The Diana Center (2010). In the fall of 2018, The Cheryl and Philip Milstein Teaching and Learning Center is expected to open as a new academic hub in the heart of the Barnard College campus. Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, the 128,000-square-foot building—with a


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BCRW Researcher Andrea Ritchie Examines Police Violence Against Marginalized Women

activismfeminismimmigrationrace and ethnicitywomen As Researcher-in-Residence for the Barnard Center for Research on Women (BCRW), attorney and community organizer Andrea J. Ritchie researches and has developed a framework for the philanthropic community to support new models of activism for the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and criminal justice. She is also part of the first cohort of Barnard’s Social Justice Institute, which launched last year. Ritchie’s expertise on police violence, highlighted in her latest book Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color (Beacon Press, 2017), has been featured in several articles and op-eds. Her research will also be the central focus of the BCRW Invisible No More conference November 3-4, 2017 in the Barnard College Diana Center, Event Oval.

Ritchie—a 2014 Soros Justice Fellow—started the public conversation with a New York Times op-ed (which was later cited by Glamour), pointing out the disproportionate impact that the enforcement of anti-marijuana laws—a recent source of renewed focus by the U.S. Department of Justice—has had on women of color. She recounts the stories of several women subjected to humiliating public searches, protected in even the most shocking cases by warrants, as well as sexual assaults and fatalities.

She writes:

“These encounters do not reduce violence; they contribute to it. Critics of police violence and mass incarceration have rightfully shed light on the pain of families separated by long prison terms, of women torn from partners and children. But women’s suffering isn’t restricted to heartbreak: They have been raped, choked and killed, all in the service of public safety. Sadly, the recommendations of D.O.J.’s task force are likely to be a recipe for more of the same.”

In The Washington Post’s popular newsletter The Lily, Ritchie examines an additional factor affecting women of color caught up in drug enforcement: immigration. She writes that the “dangerous intersection of highly subjective and discriminatory ‘gang policing,’ increased presence of police in schools, and growing collaboration between local police and immigration authorities” places women at risk of “collateral arrests—individuals who came to the attention of immigration officials targeting others.” She cites the case of a 16-year-old girl arrested and held in detention for a month after a casual conversation with a friend suspected of belonging to the MS-13 gang, and notes that immigrant women are also at increased risk of abuse by law enforcement agents. Ritchie later praises the efforts made by municipalities, such as Los Angeles, to decriminalize nonviolent offenses or eliminate policies that affect undocumented populations and other immigrants.

In an interview with Rewire, Ritchie shares her personal experiences as an immigrant woman of color who was harassed and assaulted by police officers. She explains that including these stories in the book isn’t typical—“women who lead movements against police violence, and Black women or women of color researchers and scholars who write on police violence tend to focus on the experiences of Black men and men of color”—but that her book and her story will shed light on these underrepresented groups. She also discusses the complicated process


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The Attack on Lower Manhattan

The following message was sent to the Barnard community.

Dear Members of the Barnard Community, 

Together, we join the City and the nation in mourning the victims of yesterday’s act of terrorism in Lower Manhattan. Our hearts ache for all who have been touched by this unthinkable tragedy.
At difficult times like this, we remind students of the following on-campus resources:

Dean of Studies Office
105 Milbank Hall
(212) 854-2024

Furman Counseling Center
100 Hewitt Hall
(212) 854-2092
After-hours psychological emergency line: (855) 622-1903

Primary Care Health Services
Lower level, Brooks Hall
(212) 854-2091
After-hours clinician on call: (855) 622-1903

Faculty and staff are encouraged to utilize Humana, the College’s Employee Assistance Program.  Information is available at 800-448-4358,

In the face of these hateful acts, I hope we can come together as a community in support of one another.


Sian Leah Beilock 

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Professor William Sharpe First Barnard Professor Honored with Fulbright Visiting Professor Award

europefellowships & grantsliterature & poetry Professor of English William Chapman Sharpe is one of three senior scholars honored with a Fulbright Visiting Professor Award—and the first from Barnard—which, according to the US-UK Fulbright Commission, is “viewed as among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar programme” and honors those who “have significant teaching and publication records.” Sharpe will teach and conduct research at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland from January to July 2018. His research will focus on Scotland’s role in the cultural history of walking, which he plans to publish in an upcoming book.

Sharpe, who joined the faculty of Barnard in 1983, specializes in the art, culture, and literature of the modern city, particularly New York. He teaches courses in urban literature, modern poetry, Victorian literature, and literary criticism. His current project examines the cultural history of walking in cities, as well as the emergence of walking as an artistic practice since the 1960s. In his course, “Walk This Way,” he explores pedestrian milestones from ancient Greek peripatetic philosophers to contemporary performance art. 

His most recent book, Grasping Shadows: The Dark Side of Literature, Painting, Photography, and Film (2017), analyzes dozens of artistic shadows in images and texts and proposes a method for understanding how shadows function in all artistic media.  

Sharpe received his Ph.D. and B.A. from Columbia University, and his M.A. from the University of Oxford.

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President Sian Beilock Leads the Conversation on Combatting Performance Anxiety

college presidentpsychologySTEM Barnard’s eighth president, Sian Beilock, is a cognitive scientist by training and the author of two books on the mind-body connection (Choke and How the Body Knows Its Mind). She has focused much of her research efforts on discovering strategies and tools to improve individuals’ performance in high-stakes scenarios, such as a season-clinching basketball game or an important exam. A sampling of interviews and op-eds published since her arrival at Barnard provides valuable insights about her expertise.

In an interview with the American Psychological Association’s PsychIQ blog, President Beilock discussed her academic background and her tenure as executive vice provost at the University of Chicago where she created programs to help graduate students find careers and to better engage the university with its neighborhood communities. She plans to take the lessons she learned in those endeavors and apply them to the Barnard community, equipping students and alumnae alike with “the tools they need in their first job, second job, eighth job, and graduate school.” Some of those tools, gathered from her research, include cognitive skills that help dismantle the psychological barriers that deter success in key areas, such as test-taking, giving an important speech, and studying and entering STEM-related fields.

President Beilock was the keynote speaker at the Booth Women Connect Conference, hosted by the University of Chicago, in October. The Chicago Tribune covered her speech on improving performance and explained how the brain’s frontal cortex—responsible for integrated behavioral functions such as decision-making and problem solving—can malfunction when an individual experiences stress. This malfunction, she noted, is also responsible for the phenomenon of only concocting a perfect response or comeback well after the moment has passed. She offered the crowd of more than 1,200 professional women several simple solutions, which included taking short breaks and journaling, that are proven to improve future performance.

Much of President Beilock’s research has investigated the factors specifically affecting girls and STEM opportunities. In an opinion article for The Washington Post that ran on the first day of school in many districts, she shares with parents a new, research-based road map to develop “STEM-competent and -confident young women.” She responds to the summer’s infamous “Google memo,” where an engineer questioned the biological ability of women to succeed in tech fields, by calling his supporting research “shaky at best” and noting that societal reinforcement is a more proven factor in such matters. It is up to parents, then, to combat stereotypes and cognitive bias in order to help their children succeed in whatever paths they choose, and President Beilock lists simple suggestions—like focusing on efforts instead of results, or finding relevant and positive role models—to aid parents in search of a more equitable learning environment.

President Beilock also appears in a guest editorial for Education Update, addressing the uncertainties inherent to new beginnings. No matter one’s place in academia—student, faculty member, or Barnard’s eighth president—feelings of nervousness are natural, she writes, and “finding ways to manage those nerves is as important as recognizing that they exist.” She highlights Barnard’s


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Barnard Raises Nearly Half a Million Dollars on Giving Day 2017


During Giving Day 2017, Columbia University’s annual 24-hour online fund drive, Barnard received over $474,000 in support for financial aid and faculty research, and $9,000 in challenge funds, for a total of $483,000.


Thanks to generous alumnae, students, and friends of the College, the College received 1,613 gifts and had the fourth-highest alumni participation rate of all 19 schools and programs that took part. Members of Barnard’s Class of 2018 had strong participation for this year’s Senior Fund, an excellent start to the year.


Gabrielle Bullard ’18 shares her Giving Day story about being involved in the Senior Fund.


Alumnae gathered to celebrate Giving Day around the country, with special happy hours taking place in Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.


“The College is grateful to everyone who made a gift on Giving Day,” says Amy Leveen, Director of Annual Giving. “The Barnard community came together, helping us earn generous challenge grants and making sure that donations support students and faculty. Giving Day is a special time, but of course it is not the only time to make a gift to Barnard. Gifts are welcomed every day!”



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Professor Reshmi Mukherjee Named American Physical Society 2017 Fellow

fellowships & grantsphysics Reshmi Mukherjee, the Helen Goodhart Altschul Professor of Physics & Astronomy, named to the prestigious American Physical Society.The American Physical Society (APS) has selected Reshmi Mukherjee, the Helen Goodhart Altschul Professor of Physics & Astronomy, as one of its 2017 Fellows.

The APS Fellowship Program was created to recognize members who may have made advances in physics through original research and publication or made significant innovative contributions in the application of physics to science and technology. They may also have made significant contributions to the teaching of physics or service and participation in the activities of the Society.>

Each year, no more than one half of one percent of the Society membership is recognized by their peers for election to the status of Fellow in the American Physical Society.

Professor Mukherjee is cited by the APS for advancing multifrequency strategies for the identification of gamma-ray sources and contributing significant leadership in blazar studies between the GeV and TeV gamma-ray bands. She is the second Barnard College professor in the APS’s history to be selected for the Society; Professor Janna Levin was the first in 2014.

Professor Mukherjee also recently received funding from NASA’s Space Fund grant program for an ongoing collaborative project with Cornell University.

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Professor Paige West Named Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar

education Paige West, the Claire Tow Professor of Anthropology, has been named a Visiting Scholar for the 2017–2018 academic year, by the Phi Beta Kappa Society. This is the second consecutive year a Barnard professor has received the honor; David Weiman, the Alena Wels Hirschorn ’58 Professor of Economics and Faculty Director of the Empirical Reasoning Center, received the 2016–2017 disctinction. West is one of 15 scholars chosen from a range of disciplines that include chemistry, history, and planetary science. 
The Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program was founded in 1956 as a way for undergraduates “to spend time with some of America’s most distinguished scholars…to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students.” 
As a Visiting Scholar, West will spend two days on each of the Phi Beta Kappa campuses across the country by participating in the academic life of the institution. Scholars meet with students and faculty members, collaborate in classroom and seminar discussions, and give a public lecture. There are 286 campuses with Phi Beta Kappa chapters, and schools can apply for a visit from a Visiting Scholar. Throughout the course of the year, the Visiting Scholars will travel to a total of more than 100 colleges.
Prof. West joined Barnard’s faculty in 2001. Her research interest explores the relationship between societies and their environments. Specifically, she writes about the intersections between indigenous practices and conservation science, the connection between environmental conservation and international development, and other anthropological ways in which the natural world is understood and produced. She has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Australia, Germany, England, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the United States and is a co-founder of the PNG Institute of Biological Research, which builds educational and research opportunities for Papua New Guineans.
In addition to this honor on September 28, 2017, West was awarded the Columbia University Press Distinguished Book Award for her book Dispossession and the Environment: Rhetoric and Inequality in Papua New Guinea.

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The Schomburg Center: Prof. Karen Fairbanks Redesigns Harlem Treasure

architecturenew york cityrace and ethnicity The Schomburg Center for Research in Black CultureThe Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture—an institution integral to Barnard’s Harlem Semester—has been newly renovated, thanks to the architecture firm led by Claire Tow Professor of Professional Practice and Department of Architecture Chair Karen Fairbanks. Her architecture firm, Marble Fairbanks, reimagined the Harlem center so that it now displays a portion of its collection to the street. Part of the New York Public Library and a National Historic Landmark, the Schomburg Center is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and providing access to materials documenting black life in America and worldwide. A ribbon-cutting ceremony marking this event takes place on Monday, October 16.

“The Schomburg Center is a vital resource for the Barnard community,” notes Tina Campt, the Ann Whitney Olin and Claire Tow Professor of Africana and Women’s Studies and Director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women. “Not only does it serve as a vast repository of archival materials that sustains both student and faculty research, it is also an invaluable collaborative partner. As part of The Harlem Semester, the Schomburg archivists have trained our students in digital archiving practices as well as hosting events that bridge the Harlem community and the Barnard campus. It is one of the gems of our neighborhood and we are excited to continue to benefit from this monumental institution moving forward in the new post-renovation era.”

Fairbanks, with strong interests in education and sustainability, has been a leader in library design across New York City. “Public libraries are undergoing transformations in the range of services they provide and are critical parts of our civic infrastructure,” Fairbank explains. “The Schomburg Center had a significant need to upgrade its archival spaces, reading rooms, galleries, gift shop, staff spaces, and its relationship to the street.”

The Schomburg Center is a National Historic LandmarkThe design team she leads developed a larger design study called Re-Envisioning Branch Libraries to support New York City’s library systems, and her firm received World-Architects’ Building of the Year 2013 award for its work on the Glen Oaks Branch Library in Queens. Her newest library project, the Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center, is about to start construction and was recently honored by the New York City Public Design Commission for excellence in design. The project is funded in part by a grant the community received as settlement from the Greenpoint oil spill. Her team has also led the redesign of Hunter College’s Cooperman Library.

At Barnard, Fairbanks has expanded the architecture department’s faculty and curriculum, for which she was honored with a New York State American Institute of Architects Educator of the Year award. She and Professor of Professional Practice in Architecture Kadambari Baxi are recipients of a Barnard Teaches grant to work with the NYPL Maps Division to develop a new course they are offering this spring—“Environmental Visualizations of NYC: Toxic Territories and Future Possibilities.”

Says Fairbanks, “We will develop new visual representations of the impact of two catastrophic events and sites—the 1978 Greenpoint oil spill


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Prof. Mary Gordon Published in Best American Short Stories of 2017

literature & poetry Photo credit: Christopher GreenleafMary Gordon ’71, the Millicent C. McIntosh Professor in English and Writing, who published her eighth novel There Your Heart Lies in May, returns with her personal short story “Ugly” in The Best American Short Stories 2017.

The anthology series, first published in 1915, “compiles a collection of remarkable writing that celebrates the best short fiction of the moment” across the country. To learn more about The Best American Short Stories 2017, click here.

To read more of Gordon’s writing, visit The New York Times where she also published a book review for the novel The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott.

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Professor Paige West Wins Distinguished Book Award

columbiaendowmentrace and ethnicity Pictured at the 2017 Columbia University Press Distinguished Book Award ceremony (from left to right): Jennifer Crewe, Associate Provost and Director, Columbia University Press; John H. Coatsworth, Provost, Columbia University; Jane Gaines, Co-Chair, Distinguished Book Award Jury and Chair of Columbia University Press’s Faculty Publication Committee; and Paige West, Claire Tow Professor of Anthropology at Barnard College and Columbia University.Paige West, Claire Tow Professor of Anthropology and author of Dispossession and the Environment: Rhetoric and Inequality in Papua New Guinea, was the recipient of the Columbia University Press Distinguished Book Award and was honored on September 28, 2017. Recognition is given annually to “the Columbia University faculty member with a book published by the Press in the two years prior that brings the highest distinction to Columbia University and Columbia University Press for its outstanding contribution to academic and public discourse.”  

West’s research interest explores the relationship between societies and their environments. Specifically, she writes about the intersections between indigenous practices and conservation science, the connection between environmental conservation and international development, and other anthropological ways in which the natural world is understood and produced. She has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Australia, Germany, England, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the United States and is a co-founder of the PNG Institute of Biological Research, which builds educational opportunities for research in PNG for Papua New Guineans.

With a focus on PNG, Dispossession reveals how a range of actors produce and reinforce inequalities in today’s globalized world. The book grew out of lectures West gave in 2013 at the annual Leonard Hastings Schoff Memorial Lecture series, in which a member of the Columbia faculty is invited to deliver three lectures on a topic of their choice before a general audience.

West received the award at a prize ceremony at the Casa Italiana at Columbia University. For more information on the Columbia University Press Distinguished Book Award, click here.


Click here to read more about Papua New Guinea, where Prof. West has worked since 1997, and a recent Atlas Obscura article in which she argues conservation efforts are better executed when indigenous populations and environmentalists collaborate.



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