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Teachers College, Columbia University
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ALUMNI SPOTLIGHTS

Sarah Schramm
Class of 2010

The arts have been a persistent passion in Sarah's life. Sarah studied flute performance and later worked as a freelance musician. Sarah pursued the Arts Administration Program at Columbia University in order to further explore the connection between arts and social justice. While in the program, Sarah recalls benefiting from the invaluable connections she made with her inspiring classmates and professors and the access to the Business School, which led her to interest in social enterprise. Sarah recently left her position at a San Francisco-based social enterprise company called Spark, which seeks to combat the high school dropout crisis.  Sarah is now is the Chief of Staff at Square, a San Francisco-based tech company where she leads social responsibility efforts. She also continues as an active performer, most recently playing in the Barber of Seville with the San Francisco Conservatory.



Elizabeth Sullivan
Class of 2009

Elizabeth Sullivan started dancing at age 8 and danced professionally with the Cleveland and Boston Ballet companies. After retiring from dance, Elizabeth got her Bachelor's degree at Dartmouth College and moved to Italy to run the Dartmouth College Rome Center. While writing her master's thesis for the Arts Administration Program at Columbia University, Elizabeth found her next calling: working with young performing artists. Elizabeth developed a wellness curriculum and started her own company--Creative Compass--to promote her work, which is now piloting in select ballet schools. Sullivan credits the opportunity to pursue independent research for the master's thesis and the experience of working with an outstanding group of peers, as some of the most valuable aspects of her experience in the Arts Administration program.


Eric Oberstein
Class of 2009

Eric Oberstein is a GRAMMY-nominated producer, arts administrator, musician, educator, and consultant. Eric currently serves as Executive Director of the nonprofit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, which supports the work of the GRAMMY Award-winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra directed by Arturo O'Farrill. He served as Producer on the Orchestra's latest album, 40 Acres and a Burro, which has been nominated for a GRAMMY Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. Eric authored a chapter on the topic of the Creative Campus and university arts engagement that appears in the critically acclaimed anthology 20UNDER40: Re-Inventing the Arts and Arts Education for the 21stCentury.  Eric has worked at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Duke Performances, the Office for the Arts at Harvard, and the Research Center for Arts and Culture at Columbia. He also has a Masters in Arts in Education from Harvard University.The Columbia Arts Administration Program gave Eric the structure to learn about the many facets of managing an arts organization at the highest level.  He found his engagement with faculty, classmates, and his internship experiences to be invaluable in developing the instincts to be a sensitive arts administrator prepared to lead in a constantly evolving arts ecology.   


Ivy Julease Newman
Class of 2008

Ivy Julease Newman is the founding Principal of The Viney Group, LLC - a boutique marketing management firm that services arts and cultural institutions. Her clients have included Stick Fly Broadway, Studio Museum in Harlem and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, among others. She has held various administrative positions at the Virginia Performing Arts Foundation, Richmond Ballet, Kaufman Center, Harlem Stage and the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. She served as a panelist for the 2007 NYC Social Theory, Politics and the Arts Conference (New York University) and 2012 Videmus @ 25 Conference (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Ivy is also the author of A Space Called Chastity, which received the iUniverse Editor's Choice Award, the Rising Star Award and a feature on ESSENCE.com. While serving as a researcher with Columbia University Research Center for Arts and Culture, Ivy completed her thesis on black arts organizations and their intersection with black philanthropy. Of her time in the program, Ivy said: "the numerous experiences acquired in addition to my classes -- working alongside my advisor on a leading research study, and obtaining a work study position that suited my professional interests -- afforded me valuable hands-on opportunities under one roof. These experiences helped me to recognize the breadth of my skill sets, honing in on exactly what I wanted to do as an arts administrator."


Sarah Bolson Barnett
Class of 2008

As the Associate Vice President for Foundation Relations at The New York Botanical Garden, Barnett is responsible for managing a department of six individuals, raising more than $3 million in annual operating support for the institution, and cultivating and stewarding a diverse portfolio of foundation and government funders to the arts, science, children’s education, community development, among other areas. She joined the Garden as Manager of Foundation Relations in 2008, after finishing the ARAD program.  Thanks in large part to the knowledge and experience that she gained while earning her Masters, Barnett had the skill set needed to assume increasing responsibility at the Garden within a short period of time.  Prior to her tenure at the Garden, she worked in the Development Department for Playwrights Horizons and interned while at Columbia for the Guggenheim and the New York City Parks Department. 

Barnett said that the ARAD program provided her with a strong professional network in the arts. She also had the ability to pursue many unique experiences that she believes made her a more effective fundraiser and manager, including working on a symposium on Georgian Art with arts administrators from the Republic of Georgia; working alongside Martin Vinik on a large scale cultural redevelopment project in Canada; writing her first government grants for the Guggenheim; and planning events for thousands of New Yorkers for the Parks Department. Barnett feels that she would never have had access to any of those incredible opportunities without the ARAD program.  Finally, the program’s focus on group work and on the analysis of the successes and failures of real organizations helped to prepare her for my current position at a complex and constantly evolving cultural institution.