• April 14-16, 2017

    Host: Columbia University in the City of New York

  • Welcome Delegates!

    Love, your IPC 2017 e-board.




    The Ivy Council was established in 1993 by prominent student leaders and members of the student governments. The student organization exists as a network of chapters spread across all the eight Ivy League schools. It provides a collective social space for students from different universities who strive to engage and develop themselves and their peers, raise awareness of specific, ongoing issues, debate topics that reflect the current political situation, and create policies that serve to improve the status quo. As a result of the students’ enthusiasm and determinacy to create strategies to tackle issues not only locally, but globally, the Ivy Council traditionally has had an immensely positive impact on the environment over the past 24 years.


    Every spring, the Council hosts The Ivy Policy Conference (IPC), a forum that emphasizes in-depth, candid conversation on public policy solutions to the social, intellectual, political, and cultural issues facing today’s college students. The IPC allows for a platform to collaborate in accordance with the Ivy value of fellowship. Ivy League schools take turns hosting IPC on their respective campuses.

    This year, our milestone 10th-annual 2017 Ivy Policy Conference will be hosted by the Columbia Ivy Council in New York, NY. In a special effort to foster our fellowship, this year's theme is Organize for Social Change. The conference will address mobilization as a community to better campus culture and distribution of resources that facilitate our educational journey in today's politically charged climate. We aim to motivate and educate student-leaders through breakout sessions, peer-led discussions, and keynote speakers that take advantage of our collective momentum in order to affect palpable change.


    The Columbia team developed track options to focus delegate participation on current, pressing issues that affect our communities. Within each track, teams of delegates will attend two breakout sessions on Saturday: the first breakout encourages developing tangible policy solutions within the purview of each track; the second session will bring advisors and delegates together to hash out administrative barriers that could stunt the progress of proposed policies.


    The goal of the weekend is to walk away with policy-creating experience and a takeaway mindset. We want the delegates to leave the conference with policies in-hand that can be easily adapted to fit their school’s bureaucratic and political structures. We hope that they can present complete policy proposals to their respective administrations.


    Mental Health: Ivy League Stress Culture

    The Ivy League is a rigorous, rewarding experience that enriches the lives of countless individuals. However, this Ivy impact can be negative and anxiogenic because of the incredibly high standards placed on students at the academic, social, and cultural level. The consequences of these sustained tensions are unhealthy, manifesting in mental and physical deterioration. Every semester, too many students end their lives due to consistent, compounding stress, concurrent depression, and increased social isolation. How can students support each other better and mobilize institutional support? The answer is not fixed, and this track will help delegates consider improving access to wellness resources, managing mental health in triggering environments, and modifying campus cultures and stigmas.


    Sexual Violence: Prevention and Response

    The statistics for sexual violence are disheartening given the trend of high percentages of sexual assault on Ivy League campuses. The development of gender and sexuality politics, hook-up culture, and substance use are some of the factors which contribute to the complexity of navigating sexual experiences and spaces. The discernible reality is that improvement is wanted and needed at the institutional and individual levels to attain more empathy and efficacy. This track focuses on the tangible ways in which policy can create and ratify systems to develop safer campuses.


    Civil Liberties: Achieving Equity

    The Ivy League is centered around a notion of community, but this notion is being tested by today’s volatile political climate. Many students face the risk of religious persecution and racial discrimination, which is threatening to their acceptance as students, citizens, and people. How can our community establish protection for every member? Which other liberties are at stake? This track will aid delegates in bolstering a defense for the ultimate goal of attaining an equitable Ivy League, regardless of identity.


    Sustainable Campus Resources: Innovation and Allocation

    Waste is an understandable reality on any college campus, but the realization of the economic and social significance of waste is a compelling motivation for advancement. More often than not, food and resource (clothes, toiletries, paper goods, etc.) waste are not from net surplus since many students struggle to obtain these same resources. In what ways can this waste be reallocated for the economic and social benefit of the students? Delegates will be tasked with brainstorming creative measures to enhance the circulation of resources within the student population and overall community.


    Friday, April 14


    7:00 - 9:00 pm: Registration & Check-In, Schapiro Hall Lounge




    All events in Hamilton Hall unless otherwise specified.

    Please, check program for room assignments.

    8:30 - 9:30 am: Breakfast, Held Hall

    9:30 - 11:00 am: Opening Ceremony, Held Hall

    • Opening Remarks:

      • Mary C. Boyce, Dean of Engineering, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, Columbia University

      • Suzanne Goldberg, Executive Vice President, Columbia University Office of Student life

    • Keynote Speaker: Joseph Levin, Co-Founder, Southern Poverty Law Center

    11:15 - 12:15 pm: Breakout Session #1

    12:15 - 1:00 pm: Lunch

    1:00 - 2:00 pm: Breakout Session #2

    2:00 - 2:45 pm: Strategy Meeting in Groups (Drafting Policy Proposal)

    2:45 - 4:00 pm: Judging by speakers and breakout session leaders

    6:00 - 10:00 pm: Ivy Banquet

    • Keynote Speaker: Louis Venturelli, Permanent Secretariat, World Summit of Nobel Peace

    • Leyla Martinez, President and Founder of Beyond the Box Initiative @ Columbia University

    • Announcement of Policy Competition Winners



    8:30 - 9:30 am: Breakfast, Held Hall

    9:30 - 11:00 am: State of the Ivy, Held Hall

    11:00 - 12:45 pm: Closing Ceremony, Held Hall

    • Keynote Speaker: Mr. Phil Satow and Mr. John MacPhee, The Jed Foundation
    • Keynote Speaker: Mr. Vishavjit Singh, SikhCartoons.com

    12:45 - 1:30 pm: Delegate Group Photos, Low Library Steps


    Joseph J. Levin

    Joseph J. Levin is a native of Montgomery, Mr. Levin is co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center. From 1971 until 2004, he served the Center in various capacities, including Legal Director, Chair of the Board, President & CEO, and General Counsel, retiring in 2016. He continues to serve the Center as an emeritus member of the board

    In 1976, as a member of the Carter Presidential Transition Team, Mr. Levin supervised the Department of Justice transition and oversaw preparation of briefing books identifying critical issues for the incoming Attorney General. He had special responsibility for analysis of Department of Justice national security oversight of the CIA, FBI, NSA, and Military Intelligence functions. As Special Assistant to the Attorney General, he superintended final wrap-up of Department of Justice transition affairs and advised the Associate Attorney General on the Department of Justice reorganization efforts.


    In 1977, Mr. Levin was appointed Chief Counsel of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In that capacity, he represented and advised NHTSA in dealings with the Department of Transportation, Congress, the courts, federal and state agencies, and the private sector. He had principal responsibility for the massive recalls of defective Firestone “500” steel-belted radial tires and for the Ford Pinto due to defective fuel tanks.

    Mr. Levin’s extensive litigation experience includes numerous jury and non-jury cases in state and federal courts and proceedings before federal administrative panels. His better-known cases include the landmark sex discrimination case of Frontiero v. Richardson, 411 U.S. 677 (1973), and the private segregated school case of Gilmore v. City of Montgomery, 417 U.S. 556 (1974).

    John C. Liu

    John C. Liu is the former Comptroller of the City of New York (2010-2013) and a former member of the New York City Council (2002-2009). In 2013, John was a candidate for Mayor of New York City, in lieu of running for re-election as Comptroller. Currently, John teaches municipal finance and public policy in Masters programs at the City University of New York (CUNY) and Columbia University

    The 43rd Comptroller of New York City, John Liu established an impressive record as the chief financial officer for 8.4 million residents and overseeing municipal government with an annual budget of $70 billion. John saved taxpayers $5 billion through rigorous audits of City agencies, detailed scrutiny of contracts with private companies, and refinancing of $20 billion of outstanding City bond debt. During his four-year term of office, he achieved an enviable total investment return, increasing the City’s pension asset portfolio to $150 billion. John created the nationally acclaimed online application “CheckbookNYC.com” providing unprecedented transparency in government spending. He facilitated economic development and new job creation with acceleration of City capital projects, capturing low interest rates in the bond markets.


    Always emphasizing that “it’s not just about numbers, it’s about people”, John Liu championed fairness and equality. An early and staunch opponent of stop-and-frisk tactics, John highlighted the risks to communities and taxpayers alike due to damaged police-community relations. John presented daily-updated M/WBE Report Cards for City agencies to monitor and encourage greater government contracting opportunities for minority entrepreneurs. John also proposed sound economic policies to create real economic growth and narrow the ever-widening wealth gap, protected wage standards and recouped back wages and fines on behalf of cheated workers from contractors who just don’t want to play by the rules, and exposed the billions of dollars in publicly-subsidized corporate welfare doled out by the City that failed to deliver on promised new jobs and fair housing. He published numerous reports analyzing and issuing recommendations on a wide range of public priorities, including education and the need to take students beyond high school, affordable housing and family support, retirement security and protection of pension benefits, and the fiscal and social benefits of legalizing marijuana.


    As a member of the New York City Council, John Liu represented his hometown of Flushing and northeast Queens. He secured millions of dollars in additional funding for schools, libraries, parks, senior citizen centers, and youth programs. John served as chairperson of the Council’s Transportation Committee overseeing operations of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Department of Transportation, and Taxi and Limousine Commission, and enacted legislation boosting efficiency and efficacy of key City agencies. John also served on the committees on Education, Consumer Affairs, Contracts, Oversight & Investigation, Land Use, Lower Manhattan Redevelopment and Health.


    John’s significant accomplishments as a legislator included exposing financial irregularities at the MTA, enacting legislation like the Equal Access Bill mandating on-demand language services in health and human services agencies, the School Zone Engine Idling Bill limiting engine idling near schools, and the Dignity for All Schools Act requiring the Department of Education to track bullying and harassment in schools. John used his office to fight hate and bigotry, and in too many instances denounced violence against immigrant workers such as restaurant delivery workers. John’s battles with radio shock-jocks and their corporate sponsors successfully brought an end to extreme racist and misogynist broadcasts in the New York market.


    Hailed as a “Trailblazer” and “Pioneer", John Liu’s historic elections – as the first Asian American to win legislative office in New York and then the first to win citywide office – were milestones for Asian Americans in New York and across the nation. Although he wishes Asian Americans had been elected long before, John is honored to be the first and embraces the opportunity to broaden representation and public service.

    Prior to being elected to office, John worked in the private sector for 14 years as a professional actuary, most recently as a manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers. John has drawn upon his real world fiscal expertise to root out waste and mismanagement in government.

    Febin Bellamy

    Febin Bellamy is a senior in the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University majoring in Business Management. He has a passion for social entrepreneurship and aspires to leave a positive impact on the world through his viral initiative, Unsung Heroes.

    A DC registered non-profit organization, Unsung Heroes promotes awareness and appreciation for the workers on college campuses who we often overlook and fail to recognize - such as cafeteria workers, sanitation workers, and janitors. Unsung Heroes highlights the workers that play a large role in keeping the university running by sharing their stories on social media and establishes projects to help the workers achieve their dreams through fundraising, acts of kindness, and by promoting others to get involved with the cause.

    Unsung Heroes has been featured on prominent news media including the Front Page of The Washington Post, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, CNN's Headline News Live with Michaela Pereira, BBC News, FOX5, ABC7, Forbes, among many other major news outlets. What started off as a class project at Georgetown University - has now evolved into a movement that is active in a dozen universities nationwide including Notre Dame, UCLA, UNC Chapel Hill, among others. To date, Unsung Heroes has crowdfunded over $10,000 to help workers achieve their dreams of starting a business, going on vacation and reuniting with long lost family members. Through this initiative, Febin and his team ultimately seeks to break the barrier that exists between students and workers and unite our campus communities! For his efforts, Febin was recently selected as 1 of 6 finalists for the United Nations Outstanding Youth Delegate Award from a pool of over 1,000 social entrepreneurs, young leaders and changemakers from over 95 countries.

    Aspen Matis

    Aspen Matis is the author of the internationally bestselling memoir Girl in the Woods, published by HarperCollins in 2015.

    Called "a powerful read” by O, The Oprah Magazine, the book made The Guardian's annual top 50 list. The New York Times named Aspen Matis “a hero.” After being raped on her second night at college, Matis dropped out. Depressed and shocked that her school didn't believe and protect her, she sought solace in a remote wilderness; she found the Pacific Crest Trail and hiked the footpath’s entire length, over 2,000 miles from Mexico to Canada.


    Inspired by the beauty and turmoil enveloping her on the trail, the author wrote poems, personal accounts, and dispatches from her tent. After moving to New York City, she published a popular account of her experiences in The New York Times’ Modern Love column to outstanding praise, which led to her memoir.


    Matis's writing has been published in The Times, The Atlantic, Tin House, Psychology Today, Salon, Lit Hub, and Marie Claire. She appears frequently on national radio and TV, including CBS, Al Jazeera, HuffPost Live, and NPR. The face of RAINN’s 2015 campaign and a member of PEN America, RAINN’s Speakers Bureau, and HarperCollins’ Speakers Bureau, Matis has become an advocate for trauma survivors. She is donating 5% of Girl in the Woods’ profits to the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network.


    Television rights for Matis’s memoir were purchased by New Normal, and a scripted TV series is in the works. She now lives in New York City, where she is working on a novel, and studying philosophy at Columbia University.

    Suzanne B. Goldberg

    Suzanne B. Goldberg is a renowned expert in discrimination law and in sexuality and gender law. As the Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, her work has focused on procedural and substantive barriers to equality.

    At Columbia, she also founded and directs the Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic and the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law. Professor Goldberg is also the University’s Executive Vice President for University Life, where she focuses on student life, intellectual life and community citizenship issues at the University.


    Prior to joining Columbia, Professor Goldberg was on the faculty of Rutgers School of Law-Newark and, during the 1990s, was a staff attorney with Lambda Legal, the legal advocacy group focused on the rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV. While there, she was co-counsel on two cases that became landmark gay rights victories before the U.S. Supreme Court (Romer v. Evans, which struck down a Colorado antigay amendment, and Lawrence v. Texas, which brought an end to state criminalization of sexual intimacy between same-sex partners). Her work for decades has focused significantly on understanding and responding to discrimination. A sampling of her scholarship in the area includes Discrimination by Comparison (Yale Law Journal), Sticky Intuitions and the Future of Sexual Orientation Discrimination (UCLA Law Review) and Equality Without Tiers (Southern California Law Review). She is also co-author of Strangers to the Law: Gay People on Trial. Professor Goldberg has won numerous awards for her scholarship, teaching and advocacy and is widely quoted in media around the U.S. and the world. For more, please see http://web.law.columbia.edu/faculty/suzanne-goldberg and http://universitylife.columbia.edu/about/staff/suzanne-goldberg.

    Dr. Steven Cohen

    Dr. Steven Cohen is the Executive Director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and a Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He is also Director of the Master of Public Administration Program in Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Director of the Masters of Science in Sustainability Management at Columbia University’s School of Continuing Education, and the Director of the Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management.

    He is a 1970 graduate of James Madison High School in Brooklyn, New York. Cohen received his B.A. in Political Science from Franklin College of Indiana (1974), and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the State University of New York in Buffalo (1977; 1979). In 1976-77, Cohen was a Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Environmental Policy; in 1978-79, he was a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow in Public and Environmental Policy and Implementation.


    Dr. Cohen is a former policy analyst and consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Board of the Pew Faculty Fellowship in International Affairs, the Executive Committee and Committee on Accreditation and Peer Review of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Technology. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Homes for the Homeless, Board of Directors of the Willdan Group, Inc., and Advisory Board of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment. Dr. Cohen also sits on the judging committee for the Yidan Prize Foundation.


    Dr. Cohen is the co-author of Sustainability Policy: Hastening the Transition to a Cleaner Economy (2015), The Responsible Contact Manager (2008), Strategic Planning in Environmental Regulation (2005), Tools for Innovators: Creative Strategies for Managing Public Sector Organizations (1998), Total Quality Management in Government (1993), and the author of Understanding Environmental Policy (2006, 2014), Sustainability Management (2011), and The Effective Public Manager (1988, now co-authored in its fifth edition). He has written numerous articles on public management, sustainability management, and environmental policy. Dr. Cohen also is a weekly contributor to The Huffington Post.

    Vishavjit Singh

    Vishavjit Singh is a New York City based cartoonist, writer, performance artist and creator of www.Sikhtoons.com.

    He is also a Media Fellow at SALDEF (Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund) based in Washington DC. He began cartooning during the hate/bias crime-wave following the tragedy of the 9/11 attacks. In the midst of being targeted with fear and intolerance from fellow Americans, Vishavjit armed with turban, beard and humor creates art to build bridges connecting not just with those who empathize with his plight, but also those who judge him based on his countenance & perceived immigrant roots. His work is guided with the deep belief in the inter-connectedness of our stories.


    Vishavjit travels across the U.S. as a speaker, hosting presentations and workshops at universities, schools, libraries, museums, conferences, culture festivals to challenge stereotypes expounding the core virtues of our nation’s diversity, social justice and compassion. In order to challenge what it means to be ‘American,’ he has donned the uniform of quintessential American superhero, Captain America, on the streets of many American cities. His most recent missions have been to Washington DC for the Presidential inauguration plus Women’s March and Cleveland for RNC convention. He was also the subject of a widely acclaimed short film, 'Red, White & Beard,’ which launched online in early 2015. He has been featured in Facebook and AdCouncil campaigns. His message and work has been covered by myriad of outlets, including the New York Times, NPR, BBC, The Atlantic, Washington Post, Huffington Post, The Guardian, MSNBC, Time, Marvel and Teaching Tolerance.

    Brian Neff

    Brian Neff is a Research Scientist at Columbia University's Global Mental Health Program where he contributes to an array of research, training, and advocacy initiatives worldwide, including the 11th revision of the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases.

    He holds an MA in international affairs (MALD) from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts and a postgraduate certificate from the Harvard Program on Refugee Trauma, and has broad expertise in international conflict resolution, human rights, and psychosocial interventions in complex humanitarian settings.

    In a diverse career focused on strengthening high-impact social enterprises, Brian has served in strategic consultant or senior leadership capacities at many international NGOs, media companies, and nonprofit organizations, including The United Nations Mission in Sudan, the International Center for Transitional Justice, the Community Alliance for the Ethical Treatment of Youth, Adopt Change, the Newsweek Daily Beast Company, Tribeca Film Festival, the New York City Housing Authority, and New York Insight. From 2011-13, he was US Chief Executive of London-based global conflict resolution organization Peace Direct, and from 2014-15 he was Chief Operating Officer of arts outreach nonprofit Sing for Hope.

    Brian worked for four years as a broadcast journalist (ABC News, CNBC) before entering the social sector, and will begin his doctoral work in clinical psychology this September at the City College of New York. He received his BA with distinction in history from Yale in 2001, where he was a tenor in the Whiffenpoofs.

    Leyla Martinez

    Leyla Martinez is the President and Founder of the Beyond the Box Initiative (BTB) @ Columbia University. She is also a senior undergraduate at Columbia’s School of General Studies, majoring in Human Rights

    Ms. Martinez is also a criminal justice reform advocate and has traveled around the country to speak at The Obama White House, Google, UCLA and other Law Schools to discuss inequality issues that are impacting our society.

    She is a member of the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls (NCIFIWG), a Program for Academic Leadership and Service Scholar, Justice in Education Scholar, Gilman Scholar, Joey O’Loughlin Scholar, Mother’s Day Scholar, Women’s Forum Education Fund Fellow, Beyond the Bars Fellow, Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability Fellow and Women’s Independence Scholar.

    Mary C. Boyce

    Mary C. Boyce is Dean of Engineering at The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University in the City of New York and the Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor of Engineering.

    Her research focuses on materials and mechanics, particularly in the areas on multi-scale and nonlinear mechanics of polymers and soft composites, both those that are man-made and those formed naturally. Her leadership in the field of mechanics of materials has expanded understanding of the interplay between micro-geometry and the inherent physical behavior of a material, which has led to innovative hybrid material designs with novel properties. Her research has been documented in over 170 archival journal articles spanning materials, mechanics, and physics. She has been widely recognized for her scholarly contributions to the field, including election as a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Engineering.

    Phillip M. Satow

    Phillip M. Satow is an American business leader and philanthropist, and the co-founder of the Jed Foundation, the country’s leading resource and advocacy organization on preventing mental illness, health, and substance abuse among college students. ​

    Over the last fifteen years, the Jed Foundation has helped protect the emotional health of America’s 21 million college students with award-winning programs for practitioners, and outreach and awareness efforts that are changing the way campuses, communities, and families promote mental health and prevent suicide. Its many partnerships include those with MTV, Facebook, Medscape, the NFL and the Clinton Foundation. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of JDS Therapeutics, an innovative healthcare company, and a leader in the nutritional supplement industry. His professional background includes leadership positions within the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Mr.Satow graduated from Columbia College and holds an MA in Economics from Georgetown University. He served for four years as a U.S. naval officer.​

    John MacPhee

    John MacPhee serves as the executive director and CEO of The Jed Foundation (JED), a leading non-profit that exists to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for teens and young adults. In addition to his work at JED, he is a board member of Bottom Line New York, an organization that provides guidance counseling to low income, New York City youth to help them get into college and graduate.

    He also advises several organizations including the S. Jay Levy Fellowship for Future Leaders at City College, Trek Medics, Crisis Text Line, the Health Policy and Management Department at the Mailman School of Public Health, and HIV Hero. John also serves as a board member of BlackThorn Therapeutics and Adamas Pharmaceuticals.


    Earlier in his career, John was executive vice president of Par Pharmaceutical, Inc. and vice president of Forest Laboratories where he helped launch new medications for depression, anxiety and Alzheimer's disease.


    Over his career, John has led or participated in the successful launches of more than 30 new products, programs, and organizations. He earned a B.A. and M.P.H. from Columbia University and an M.B.A. from New York University.

    Janeen Mantin

    Janeen Mantin joined the staff of Columbia Health in 2015 as a Prevention Coordinator for the Sexual Violence Response & Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center.

    She is an alumna of Wells College where she received a B.A. in cross-cultural anthropology and sociology. She is also an alumni of Hunter College where she received an M.S. in Urban Affairs.

    Prior to her arrival at Columbia Health, Ms. Mantin worked at the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC) as a project coordinator on the Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Demonstration Initiative, a white house initiative to reduce intimate partner violence homicides and near homicides

    Louis Venturelli

    A champion of youth advocacy in international peace and humanitarian efforts, Mr. Venturelli has assisted in the recruitment of university students and young professionals for the annual World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates since he first attended the Hiroshima Summit in 2010.

    He helps to lead the coordination and facilitation of youth activities for the Leading by Example youth program, and assists in the coordination of the youth delegate alumni network following the conclusion of the summits. Mr. Venturelli has helped lead service trips of high school students to Nicaragua in partnership with the Rotary Club of New York. He received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Quinnipiac University, and a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Columbia University. Mr. Venturelli was recognized as a finalist for the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for his role in shaping education policy in January 2016.

    Zhan Okuda-LIm

    Zhan Okuda-Lim’s passion for mental health advocacy is rooted in his personal mental health journey as a Princeton undergraduate, struggles against a stigmatizing campus culture of “effortless perfection,” and aspiration to leave campus a better place for future students. He served as founding Chair of the Princeton Mental Health Initiative Board and collaborated with colleagues to successfully advocate for reforms to mental health policies.

    After his first election to serve on the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Senate in 2012, Zhan joined the Mental Health Initiative project to organize programs that counteracted stigma. In partnership with colleagues, Zhan sponsored the 2014 resolution formally establishing the Mental Health Initiative Board as a full Senate committee.


    In spring 2014, as student outrage and mistrust grew toward the administration’s treatment of undergraduates who withdrew for mental health reasons, Zhan joined fellow Board members and students to successfully advocate for policy transparency and reforms: (1) publication of an authoritative “Frequently Asked Questions” document describing protocols for withdrawal, readmission, and confidentiality; (2) revision of the University’s “readmission not guaranteed” student-standing policy to indicate that students on leave for mental health reasons were expected to be readmitted; (3) overhaul of readmission paperwork to protect students’ confidential clinical information and reduce the number of pages from 6 to 1; and (4) scheduling time during fall 2014 Orientation for the incumbent counseling director to address the entire incoming class (of 2018) about mental health and campus resources—a first in Princeton’s history.


    A three-term member of the USG Senate and the Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC), Zhan concluded service during his senior year as U-Council Chair and member of the Senate and CPUC Executive Committees. As a young alumnus, Zhan continues to support student-led initiatives to foster more welcoming and supportive campus communities.

    Michael Higgins

    Co-Founder and Chair of the Columbia University Food Bank

    Michael Higgins is a second-year undergraduate at Columbia in the School of GS - majoring in Urban Studies with a Geographic Information Systems specialization. He was previously the Chief Policy Representative for the Columbia General Studies Student Council (GSSC). He is the Co-Founder and Chair of the Columbia University Food Bank. The CU Food Bank provides nutritious non-perishable food to any student who has any level of food insecurity issues.

    Paul Carbini

    Paul Carbini is currently a Survivor Advocate with the Sexual Violence Response & Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center.

    Prior to joining the Columbia Health team in 2014, Paul conducted trainings on bystander intervention and the dynamics of sexual violence at universities and military installations around the world.

    Anne Goldfield

    Dr. Anne Goldfield joined Columbia Health in 1994. Prior to Columbia, Anne was a clinical psychologist at North Central Bronx Hospital and the Bronx Psychiatric Center. She attended the CUNY City College of New York, the University of San Francisco. She was also part of the graduate faculty at the New School for Social Research.

    Anne's professional interests include individual and couples counseling, the treatment of students with alcohol and other drug concerns, and developmental issues of early adulthood.

    John Kotey

    John Kotey is a C. P. Davis Scholar at Columbia University studying Electrical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. He previously served as co-chair of FLIP at Columbia's Food Insecurity Committee, which has launched several initiatives such as CU Meal-Share to address food insecurity on campus.

     John is the co-founder and Vice President-External Affairs for Nsesa Foundation, a social enterprise incubator in Ghana. He recently served as Director of Programs at Enza Academy where he coordinated development of the Men of Color in Technology and Innovation program endorsed by President Obama's My Brother's Keeper Initiative. John has been named a Millennium Fellow, Google CS Edge Fellow, Google Code Next Fellow, and received Columbia University's King's Crown Leadership Excellence Award twice for Community Building and Civic Engagement. With over 5 years of experience in the non-profit sector, John is excited to join FLIP National, a non-profit seeking to provide equal opportunity for first-generation and/or low-income students,  as the Executive Director of External Affairs. He is excited to join a movement fighting to provide resources, advocate for policy changes and create safe spaces for first-generation and/or low-income students.

  • Columbia University's Executive Board

    We've got a top notch team! Scroll down to bios to learn more about them!

    Nina Emilie Bechmann

    Executive Director


    Hanya Qureshi

    Executive Director


    Robert Godfried

    Executive Director


    Director of Technology


    Justin T. Deal

    Director of Content


    Katarina Skoko​

    Director of Content


    Caroline Braga

    Director of Speaker Outreach


    Tracy Ting Cao

    Director of Finance


    Tony Zheng

    Director of Finance


    Mary Kate Currey

    Director of Marketing


    Crystal Lee

    Director of Entertainment


    Meghna Gorrela

    Director of Applications


    Nicho Villalobos

    Director of Applications


    Jennifer Kim

    Director of Food


  • Columbia's E-Board Bios

    Learn more about us!

    Nina Emilie Bechmann

    Executive Director

    Year: 2019 Major: Political Science and French


    I love working with people, and since our team is so incredibly passionate and driven, it makes it even more rewarding. I hope that by creating platforms where the different Ivy's can come together to discuss shared challenges, we can present a greater diversity of voices. We need be better at forming alliances and look to each other for help when we want to create change on our campuses, and I hope the Ivy Policy Conference will be a chance for us to come up with policy changes that can affect students at all 8 Ivy's.



    Academically I am very interested in gender equality, immigrant rights and political theory. Outside of school I love to listen to jazz and go dancing!

    Hanya Qureshi

    Executive Director

    Year: 2019 Major: Neuroscience & Behavior; Concentration in Business Management


    Most of all I love the unique opportunity conferences, like the Ivy Leadership Summit and this upcoming Ivy Policy Conference, provide to network with other students, hear their perspectives on various issues, and collaborate with them on impactful inter-Ivy initiatives. Some of my most meaningful relationships have been forged at these events as each of us strives to create actionable change as a larger community.



    Most of my time is spent as the Founder and Project Manager of an international program with the United Nations' Girls Education Initiative. Not only have I gotten the chance to share my ideas with international partners, but I have also gotten to share in the journey's of each of the students in the program, fundamentally changing the way I perceive global collaborative initiatives.

    Robert Godfried

    Executive Director

    Year: 2018 Major: Sociology


    I am excited to have the chance to talk about important policy issues with my fellow students from across the Ivy League. I am also excited to work with my team here at Columbia to create the best conference we can create.



    I am interested in jazz music and urban planning!

    Director of Technology

    Year: 2018 Major: Architecture and Visual Arts


    "An ex-traveling, human-centered designer studying to address contemporary issues through the intersection of architecture, visual arts, and technology.​"


    A Californian of Chinese and Russian ancestry, Elizabeth simultaneously worked and studied abroad in Asia for almost 3 years after finishing high school early. With professional experience across Asia in international liaison, journalism, and corporate training - she returned to the US in December 2015. Thus, after relocating to Boston in January 2016, Elizabeth developed digital tech startups in adjacent to being Boston Richi Foundation's first ever entrepreneur-in-residence. With interests in human-centered-design at the intersection of architecture, visual arts, and technology - she moved to New York in September 2016.

    Justin T. Deal

    Director of Content

    Year: 2018 Major: Philosophy


    I am thrilled to help student leaders obtain hands-on policy experience that will affect the Ivy community in a progressive, positive manner!



    I am on the premier board of the GS First-Generation Student Advisory Board that works with administration to create solutions to first-gen issues like adaptation to Ivy League and university culture and financial insecurity.

    As a philosophy major, I am interested in the merging of Western and Eastern philosophical arguments about the ethics of our globalized, human society and how recognition of the soul and metaphysics of human beings generally should prompt us to compassion and override political differences.

    Katarina Skoko​

    Director of Content

    Year: 2019 Major: Socio-Cultural Anthropology and Human Rights


    There are so many ongoing issues that Ivy League students are experiencing: food insecurity, the notorious stress culture, or compromised visa statuses, among many others. I am both grateful and excited to work with and learn from individuals who acknowledge these plights, and who are willing to devote their time and energy in order to find appropriate strategies for tackling these matters. I believe that this conference is unique in a sense that it will bring beneficial solutions not only to the current students, but to the future generations who will never have to experience such difficulties. It is exactly this possibility of leaving a legacy that motivates me to ensure that this conference is a success.



    Anthropology and Comparative Literature, social activism regarding human rights and animal rights

    Caroline Braga

    Director of Speaker Outreach

    Major: Political Science Year: 2017


    I am excited to collaborate, learn, and exchange ideas with some of the brightest students and leaders in the country, and use that knowledge to work towards bettering our communities.



    Professional Opera Singer, will be going to law school in the fall.

    Nicho Villalobos

    Director of Applications

    Major: Mechanical Engineering Year: 2018


    I'm excited for the opportunity to lay the foundations for pervasive solutions to pressing policy issues across the eight Ivy League campuses.



    I'm interested in technology utilization as a means to improve public education, and I have a passion for the pursuit of human spaceflight.

    Meghna Gorrela

    Director of Applications

    Year: 2020 Major: Operations Research


    I'm very excited to help organize the conference and meet amazing people from diverse backgrounds!



    ISEF Finalist, traveling

    Tracy Ting Cao

    Director of Finance

    Major: Biochemistry and Mathematics Year: 2017


    I am super excited to engage in conference planning with my fellow team members to make this year’s Ivy Policy Conference the best one yet!



    I love travelling, learning new languages and meeting new people!

    Tony Zheng

    Director of Finance

    Major: Computer Science and Physics Year: 2019


    I am most excited about working with other like-minded and talented students on impactful projects.



    I love camping and kayaking

    Crystal Lee

    Director of Entertainment

    Major: English and Political Science Year: 2020


    The Ivy Policy Conference seems like a great way to discuss areas that our schools can improve and meaningful policies that we can implement to do so while also meeting new people!


    Interests/Accomplishments:One of my greatest accomplishments to date has been baking a seven layer matcha and vanilla bean sponge cake for my mom's birthday! I also am really proud of an initiative I worked on called "Arts for Alzheimer's" that looked to connect high school students in the arts with Alzheimer's patients for music and art therapy.

    Mary Kate Currey

    Director of Marketing

    Major: Human Rights Year: 2019


    I am excited to work with students from other schools and discuss the issues that are facing college campuses today. It is always interesting to gather a group with many different perspectives. I met some incredible people with amazing ideas for the future at the Ivy Leadership Summit at Yale this past November. It will be great to continue to share ideas for the future with this group, as well as try to come up with concrete plans for addressing the issues we see today as college students.



    I really love to travel and meet people from other countries. I spent this past Summer in Paris at Columbia’s Global Center, Reid Hall. I truly enjoyed experiencing another culture, exploring Paris, and working to learn the French language. I look forward to traveling more in the future. I also really love volunteering, and my work with Columbia Youth Adventurers has allowed me to explore New York City with a great group of local children. My proudest accomplishment is working with my family to raise over one million dollars for pediatric cancer research, all of which has gone directly to fund research. The project we have supported is close to becoming just the fourth pediatric cancer research project approved for clinical trials in thirty years.

    Jennifer Kim

    Director of Food

    Major: African American Studies, Pre-Law Year: 2018


    This is the first conference that Columbia's Ivy Council chapter has hosted in a long time, so I am excited to have people bring their different energies to our campus!



    I am most interested in criminal and gender justice, specifically the relationship between black and brown trans femmes/women and the carceral state.

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    Download Guidebook and search "Ivy Policy Conference 2017"

  • The Ivy Policy Conference 2017 was made possible by the following members.

    Executive Directors

    Nina Bechmann

    Hanya Qureshi

    Robert Godfried


    Technology Committee:

    Elizabeth L Ulanova, Director


    Content Committee:

    Justin Deal, Co-Director

    Katarina Skoko, Co-Director

    Ralitsa Kalfas

    Soo W Lee


    Finance Committee:

    Tracy Ting Cao, Co-Director

    Tony Zheng, Co-Director

    Ufon Umanah


    Marketing Committee:

    Mary Kate Currey, Director


    Entertainment Committee:

    Crystal Lee, Director


    Speaker Outreach Committee:

    Caroline Braga, Director


    Applications Committee:

    Meghna Gorrela, Co-Director

    Nicho Villalobos, Co-Director

    Kamya Arora


    Food & Ivy Banquet Committee

    Jennifer Kim, Director

    Zachary Richards