Community Assistants

Skip to content Skip to main navigation
Teachers College, Columbia University
Printer-friendly Version
Teachers College, Columbia University Logo
Residential Services

Office of Residential Services

Community Assistants

Community Assistants (CAs) are part-time staff members who serve as a resource to all residents. Community Assistants are responsible for programming, community development, crisis intervention, and fostering a living environment that is supportive of and productive for all groups and individuals in the residence halls. 

Whittier Hall

Abbas  Abbasov

Abbas Abbasov

Floors 2-4

aa3741@tc.columbia.edu 

Abbas is a second year M.A. student in the Higher and Postsecondary Education program transitioning into a Ph.D. in Comparative and International Education. He is originally from Baku, Azerbaijan. Before coming to TC, Abbas worked as a student affairs professional in his hometown after deciding to make a major career shift from foreign affairs into higher education. He holds a B.A. in International Relations from the Australian National University in Canberra, ACT. Abbas aims to pursue research and teaching as a way to challenge the status quo and give voice to the marginalized and oppressed. During his leisure time, Abbas likes to explore the food scene in New York. Apart from being a major foodie, he enjoys singing in the Spark Notes a cappella group. Abbas also regularly plays tennis but needs a lot of practice to improve his game. Abbas is thrilled to be the Community Assistant and help his peers get the best out of their time at TC.  

 

Omar  Rodriguez

Omar Rodriguez

Floors 5-7

or2232@tc.columbia.edu

Omar is a first year Masters student in the department of Education Policy and Social Analysis pursuing a degree in Economics and Education. An Army Veteran that was born in Mexico, but raised in the State of Georgia. He studied economics and political science at Georgia State University and proceeded to work with government institutions in banking and education. One of his biggest passions is PEOPLE! He aims to connect with people of diverse backgrounds and support students gain a positive university experience. He enjoys running and exploring new trails, dancing to Latin music, and loves coffee. His partner, Meredith, will join him. Both are excited to meet and serve the residential community at Teachers College.

Shannon  Martin

Shannon Martin

Floors 8-10

smm2301@tc.edu 

Shannon is a second year Masters student in the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages program. She holds a bachelors degree in English Literature and English Language Arts from Plattsburgh State. After teaching English in Japan and tutoring international students and immigrants in undergraduate school, Shannon decided to pursue a career in teaching English as a second language. Born and raised in New York, Shannon hopes to travel and teach English after she graduates before returning to her home state and family here in the U.S. In her spare time, she loves reading fantasy novels, visiting museums, and watching documentaries on Netflix. She also loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking, swimming, running, and traveling. Shannon is excited to be a Community Assistant this year and is looking forward to meeting and getting to know the new residents!

New Residence Hall

Tonya  Bushway-Flynn

Tonya Bushway-Flynn

South Tower

tmb2154@tc.columbia.edu

Tonya is a doctoral student pursing a PhD in Applied Anthropology. She is originally from Massachusetts, where she split her time between Boston and Northampton. Growing up, both of Tonya’s parents were early-childhood educators, and she followed in their footsteps, working as an early educator in a variety of settings. She graduated from UMass Boston in 2010, with a Bachelors degree in Cultural Anthropology. In 2012 she earned her Masters degree in Child Development and Psychology from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Tonya loves being outdoors, especially hiking, swimming, and skating. She also enjoys photography, rock climbing, traveling, and exploring museums and historic buildings. She is joined in Whittier by her partner, Vijay. They are both very excited to be part of the TC residential community!  

Asha  Gipson

Asha Gipson

North Tower

gipson@tc.edu

Asha is a third year Ph.D. student in the Social-Organizational Psychology program, where her interests revolve around the areas of organizational development, diversity, leadership, and group dynamics. Although Asha was born in Colorado, she considers herself a California girl. She grew up in San Diego and attended Pomona College in Claremont. After college she taught English and Physical Education on a Fulbright Fellowship in the Czech Republic. In her spare time, Asha enjoys riding her bike, exploring New York's many parks, listening to live music, attending Broadway shows, making art, ​staying active, and watching new​ SyFy shows on​ Netflix. As a ​second time Community Assistant, Asha is thrilled to serve the residential community here at Teachers College. 

Grant and Sarasota Halls

Matthew  Dallefeld

Matthew Dallefeld

mad2258@tc.columbia.edu

Matthew is a doctoral student pursuing his PhD in Behavioral Nutrition here at Teachers College. He earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Nutrition and Dietetics and has been a Registered Dietitian for the last eight years. Before coming to TC he worked in northwest Florida as a Clinical Nutrition Manager and Clinical Dietitian in addition to working as adjunct faculty at a community college where he taught undergraduate nutrition for three years. Helping him serve as the Grant and Sarasota Community Assistant is his wife Mary Jane, who is also a Registered Dietitian and worked in both the clinical and community settings while living near the beach in Florida. Mary Jane currently works at a long-term care facility in the Bronx as a Dietitian. Matthew and Mary Jane met in an undergrad nutrition course at Southern Illinois University and are both originally from Illinois. They have loved being part of the TC residential community over the past couple years and enjoy food, beaches, northern winters, and the variety of entertainment NYC has to offer! 

Bancroft Hall

Ranjana  Srinivasan

Ranjana Srinivasan

Floors 5-8

rs3359@tc.columbia.edu

Ranjana is a Doctoral student in the department of Counseling Psychology. Before joining Teachers College, Ranjana attended Berklee College of Music in Boston M.A. where she studied to become a Music Therapist. Ranjana's research looks at the intersections between race, socioeconomic status, and body image development for the South Asian community. She also hopes to explore how music therapy and psychotherapy techniques can be combined to treat individuals with body image issues. In her spare time Ranjana loves to work out, create music, cook, and explore the city. Ranjana is very excited to start her second year as a Community Assistant, and looks forward to meeting all of the new residents.

Makila  Meyers

Makila Meyers

Floors 1-4

mm3579@tc.columbia.edu

Makila Meyers is a third year doctoral student in the literacy concentration in the department of curriculum and teaching. A former middle school teacher, she did her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan and her Masters at New York University.