My name is Drew X Coles, and I am delighted to serve as the President of the Teachers College Student Senate. I am a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, producer, entrepreneur, educator from Buffalo, NY, by way of Clifton Park, NY, who is also an Ed.D.C.T. student in the Music and Music Education Program. One of my main goals for the year is to set the Senate on a sustainable path of growth for the years to come while instilling in every student in the College an understanding of their capability to have an impact on their local community, their peers, and the larger global community.
Hello! My name is Brett Shanley and I am excited to be returning to the Student Senate for my third year, making me the group's seasoned veteran and de-facto historian. More officially this will be my final of a two-year term as Vice President, where, in addition to running external and internal elections, I strive to foster an environment that is both welcoming and driven. When not at T.C. I can be found teaching writing at Pace University, watching Netflix with my fiancé Tara or playing with a little white dog named Huxley.
Hello Friends! My name is Chloe Wright and I am Senate's Parliamentarian. I am a night owl and second year Ed.M. student in the Adult Learning & Leadership Program. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and I'm the youngest of 4. In my free time, I like to think of things to do with my free time.
Hi, my name is Cassandra Ziegler, but you can call me Cassie. I am a second year Master's student in the International and Transcultural Studies Department and it will be my second year serving on the TC Student Senate. This year I was elected as your University Senator, which acts as the Teachers College liaison to the Columbia University Senate and Student Affairs Committee. This year I hope to continue building upon as well as create new relationships between TC and CU students; we have so much to learn from and share with each other! Fun fact: I have my Advanced Scuba-diving certification.
My name is Abhijit Tagade and I study Economics and Education. Having worked with the Senate for a year, I am excited to serve as the Treasurer this year. In my role as Treasurer, I plan to streamline financial processes that are integral to the smooth running of the Senate by installing uniform and enforceable practices, creating an easy-to-follow template for budget spreadsheets for this and coming sets of Senators, and most importantly ensuring that we are fiscally prudent. I have come to understand that regardless of place, a dollar saved is a dollar earned — understanding the difference between consumption and investment changes the world.
Hi! My name is Zach and I’m a first-year student pursuing an EDM in Music and Music Education here at TC. I’m honored to serve the senate as Communications Officer this year, and will do my very best to ensure that our student government is visible and accessible to everyone inside and outside of the college. We will be jump-starting a whole new approach to both how we show off the incredible talent that is the TC student body and how we communicate with you, so please feel free to contact me with anything you’d like to say about your experience here. Thank you so much!
My name is Sara M. Yllescas, and I am one of the Operations Coordinators for the Student Senate. My current concentration is Clinical and Counseling Psychology. Born in Lima, Peru, I came to the United States at the age of six with my parents. Amongst my diverse interests I favor understanding the development of public policy implementation that aims to enhance the academic opportunities for children whom come from disproportionate backgrounds. The high caliber professionals currently spearheading the dynamic programs evolving in the student senate is a reason why I chose to join the team. The excitement for enriching our community through blossoming projects resonated with me and my academic goals. A fun fact about me is that I was a practicing Emergency Medical Technician for about 4 years!
I am Nick Moran, pursuing an Ed. M. in Psychological Counseling: Mental Health, and elected to Senate as the University Affairs Chair. I am from Hanover, PA and ran for senate last year to improve alumni and student engagement. This year I am excited to be collaboratively tackle a wealth of student concerns and interests through university-wide programming. Additionally I look forward to expressing the concerns and interests of the student body to administrators and faculty alike, while continuing to improve connections between Teachers College and the greater Columbia University community.
My name is Sheila Serafino and I'm the Institutional Affairs Chair. I'm a second year MA student in Cognitive Studies (HUD). I initially joined the Senate as the Financial Aid Senator (now the Student Resources Senator), because I figured being involved in Senate would help me meet some pretty phenomenal people-- and I wasn't disappointed! I also had the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the inner workings of TC, as well as work on an initiative with the Office of Institutional Studies to collect data on student satisfaction. In addition to supporting the Institutional Affairs Committee members in their goals for the year, I want to continue to focus on student employment, and making sure we have the resources available to support our students in all aspects of their job searches, whether it is a Federal Work Study position or gainful employment upon graduation. I also hope to bring a renewed focus to the institution's role in the greater Harlem community.
Faizal Badat, Student Life Affairs Chair, MA Clinical Psychology.
Hello! My name is Faizal. I am South African, from Cape Town. I joined the Senate because I want to organize events that bring our community together. I am excited about a number of social events we plan on hosting over the year such as a Halloween party, Elections Day gathering, Comedy nights, Non-Profit Org week, and another beautiful Community Mural Project just to name a few! I am always open to hearing suggestions about events that people would like us to organize so please feel free to contact me.
Fun fact: Dogs are the greatest thing on earth. Fact, not opinion!
Sarah van den Berg
My name is Sarah van den Berg. I'm the Academic Affairs Chair for Senate, and pursuing a doctorate in Curriculum and Teaching. I joined TC Student Senate last year as a representative for my Department to help build community as well as to better understand and find solutions for pressing student issues. This year in particular, I'm excited to work on increasing access to academic opportunities, supporting Student Advisory Councils, and fostering academic connections across departments and programs. Fun Fact - I grew up near the shore in New Jersey, and one of my favorite things to do is to go for an early morning run along the ocean.
Diversity and Community Chair
My name is Adriana Reyes, feel free to call me Nana if you would like, and I am this year's Diversity and Community Chair. I am a first year doctoral student in the Health Education program. I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA (shout-out to Colin Kaepernick and his continued fight for social justice). I joined Student Senate to build a community within TC and make strides towards moving the college in a progressive direction that places emphasis on equality and social justice. I am excited to hear all the ideas that people have that they may be too scared to share. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE. Lets make it happen together. FUN FACT: I LOVE cooking and photography. Lets cook together and I guess share it on social media!
Hi, my name is Kendrick Anderson and I am pursuing a MA in Developmental Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. I am excited to hold the position of Student Resources Senator for the 2016-2017 academic year. I was born and raised in Louisville, KY, but lived in Los Angeles, CA for the past 2 years prior to moving to New York City! My goals for this year are to provide more ease of accessibility to the financial resources available to graduate students of TC other than student loans or resorting to full time work during graduate studies, in an effort to make graduate education as affordable as possible. I want to work with staff and faculty in an effort to push for more federal work study positions to students, as demand exceeds availability as it stands. I am excited to be a part of this organization and the greater New York City community, and I look forward to working with you all!
Community Outreach Senator
I am a first year MA candidate in International Educational Development and I am excited to be the 2016-2017 Community Outreach senator.
I am passionate about building a community on campus that fosters collaboration and inclusion! My goal this year is to ensure that all of you enjoy a series of educational and social events and give back to our local communities. Feel free to reach out with any comments or suggestions!
Born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador, I moved to New York City 8 years ago. I've lived in Aspen, Colorado and São Paulo, Brazil and I speak Spanish, Portuguese and basic Arabic. My research at TC focuses on education and technology and the role of social enterprises in places such as Brazil, Ecuador and Detroit.
I am a WIN Associates Committee Member and I live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Residential Life Senator
My name is Lauren Percy, and I am excited to be serving on the Teachers College Student Senate as the Residential Life Senator! I am a MA candidate in the Higher and Postsecondary Education program. I am from Bow, New Hampshire, and recently graduated with a degree in History from the University of New Hampshire. I wholeheartedly believe that the purpose of government, especially student government, is to support people in as many ways as possible. I am honored to be a part of an organization that focuses on helping students thrive! As the Residential Life Senator, I hope to voice the concerns and ideas of students living on campus. I also want to make our community a "home" for all students at Teachers College.
Fun Fact: In my family, I round out six generations of women in education!
Go Green Senator
Hello, I'm Olivia Tandon and I'm excited to serve as TC's Go Green Senator this year! I am currently pursuing a MEd in Private School Leadership. Though I have never been on a student council before, I am extremely passionate about sustainability and particularly look forward to dealing with issues of energy efficiency, recycling and food service on the Teachers College campus. I'm also eager to learn from my predecessor and continue his work. This year, in addition to classes at TC, I am taking a class on designing small farms through GrowNYC and I hope to bring what I learn to future senate meetings!
International Student Senator
Hi there. I'm Jarod Yong, your International Student Senator, a second year MA TESOL candidate and a Fulbright scholar from Malaysia. I believe in the power of novel experiences and human interaction to inspire and transform lives. Additionally, I believe that international students want to develop lasting friendships with local students and vice versa. I want to make all of the above possible and foster an appreciation for cultures through the sharing of kinship, food and experiences from around the world. In Malaysia, I am known as “The Jungle Teacher.” Ask, and I’ll tell a story you’ll never forget!
Special Projects Senator
I am Saisai Song, majoring in International Education Development. This is my first semester in TC, and I am truly honored to be the Special Projects Senator for the 2016-2017 academic year. My job is to coordinate between TC communities on events and projects. This year, I endeavor to start an exchange program between TC and one foreign institute, to send TC stduents abroad for short-term visiting. I cannot wait to meet and learn from new friends of different backgrounds at TC. Looking forward to being part of the big family!
Student Organization Senator
I'm Zifan, the Student Organization Senator! This is my one and only year in the M.A. program for Private School Leadership. I was born in China but mostly grew up American in the Chicagoland area. I joined Student Senate to ensure smooth communication and operations between various student organizations. Like I mentioned in my candidacy platform, my goal is definitely putting on a Capture the Flag tournament inside our buildings between the various organizations within TC. As a testament to the efficiency I hope to bring to student organizations, I live a minimalist lifestyle. In what ways? You'll have to find out!
Hi! My name is Chantel Diamond, close friends call me Chan. I have been elected as Alumni Senator of the Teachers College Student Senate. I am currently pursuing my MA in Developmental Psychology here at TC and I hope to one day work in therapy and mental health counseling. I was born in Brooklyn, NY but raised Upstate in Syracuse, NY so that is home to me. I joined the TC Student Senate because I wanted to network and create ways in which alumni and current students could further interact and learn from one another. I also wanted to be a part of an organization where I would be able to grow as an individual while assisting my school and community. I am excited to plan events with my fellow Senate members. I cannot wait to implement fun and amazing events for the student body as well as our community. While under this position I want to push myself to fully represent the student body to the best of my abilities. A fun fact about me is that I graduated undergraduate school a year early. I cannot wait to get to work!
Health and Well Being Senator
Hello, my name is Justin Nie Cox and I am the Health and Well Being Senator for 2016-2017 year. I come from Los Angeles and I am a first year MA student in the ITSF Department's IED program. The reason I joined TC Senate as the Health and Well-being Senator is that I believe that physical, emotional and spiritual well-being are key factors that contribute to a student's higher achievement in their academic career as well as in their social life. Specifically, my goals are to bring a better environment of Physical Fitness, Emotional Well-being and Spiritual Positivity to campus, and the TC Student Senate offers the perfect platform to serve all TC students to achieve these goals.
Greetings everyone, my name is Ruth Aguirre, and I am pursuing an Ed.D. in Music and Music Education. I am from San Antonio, TX where I taught K-12 and college over the span of 17 years. It is my privilege to serve as the Doctoral Senator for the Arts and Humanities Department, and on the University Affairs Committee. I look forward to providing ideas and solutions to best represent the students, faculty, and staff of the Arts and Humanities Department. Fun facts: My primary musical instrument is the clarinet, and I’m also an avid salsa dancer.
Larrolyn Patterson Parms-Ford
Department Chair - Arts & Humanities (Masters)
My name is Larrolyn ‘Larri’ Mariola Patterson Parms- Ford. I have been elected by my peers to be the Arts and Humanities Master's Senator for the 2016-2017 academic year. I am a Music and Music Education with initial certification MA student. I was raised in Oakland, CA and this is my first time in New York! I am super excited to see musicals on Broadway and explore the Big Apple. I joined the Senate to make sure there is a connection between the Student Senate and the A&H students, staff and faculty. I hope to bring any concerns, questions or praises from the A&H department to the Student Senate and serve as a reliable liaison.
Department Chair - Biobehavioral Sciences (Masters)
Hello! My name is Sarah Torres and I am the doctoral senator for the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences and a first year student in the Neuroscience and Education program. I'm a native Texan, but have fallen in love with New York (despite the horrible winters!) I am very excited to be on the Student Life Committee and look forward to helping plan all of the wonderful events that are in store for this year. One goal I have for this year is to promote inter-program and inter-departmental friendships and networking between students through events here at TC. We have so much to learn from each other! My fun fact is that I can recite the entirety of Jurassic Park from memory, acapella versions of the soundtrack included. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any comments or concerns. We are going to have an awesome year!
Department Chair - Biobehavioral Sciences (Masters)
My name is Gary Singh. I am a first year applied physiology student here at TC. During the orientation here at TC, I really enjoyed the portion where we were able to have conversations with others from our specific program. We spent that time sharing our journeys to one another about how we made it to TC and talked about what our goals are once we eventually depart. I felt that I learned a lot in that small session, not just about these specific individuals, but about what I wanted out of my experience here at TC. I joined Student Senate to be able to bring students together (specifically in my department) so we can share more like-minded ideas, vent about our workload, and share our future goals with one another, which will hopefully help us grow as a community.
Department Chair - Counseling & Clinical Psych. (Masters)
Hello! My name is Ashana Badlani and I am currently pursuing an EdM in Mental Health Counseling. I am Indian and I was born and brought up in Dubai. As a student representative for the counseling and clinical psychology department, I aim to create an open space to allow the students to express their thoughts and concerns to make their experience at TC memorable. I am very excited to see what the year has in store for us! Lastly, my fun fact is that I was a member of a competitive dance team at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign.
Department Chair - Counseling & Clinical Psych. (Masters)
Hello everyone, my name is Zeyu Wen (aka Tyger) and I am currently a first year EdM student in the Bilingual Mental Health Counseling program. I will also be your Clinical & Counseling Psych Master's Senate for 2016-2017 academic year. My goal as a senate is to build up a sense of community in the psychology department and to connect all the students together through organizing meaningful events. I want to let students feel that even though it is full of excitement in the city, there are also exciting and meaningful things to enjoy within our TC community. As an international student from China and a world-traveler, I look forward to connecting with all of you and gaining another perspective in life from your stories. Finally, one fun fact about me is that my hometown Chengdu is also the hometown of pandas (panda, panda, panda...).
Department Chair - Curriculum & Teaching (Doc.)
My name is Elizabeth and I moved from North Carolina two years ago, after working in the fields of Social Work and Early Childhood Education. I’m a doctoral student in the Curriculum & Teaching department, with a focus in Early Childhood Education and a specialization in Teacher Education. I completed the M.A. Early Childhood Education program at TC last May and am excited to continue studying here with the amazing students and faculty. As the C&T Doctoral Senator and a member of the Academic Affairs Committee, I wish to act as an advocate and mediator for students who are seeking opportunities to make connections within and across departments. Some of my goals for the year are to connect students and faculty members through departmental events, to provide a platform for student-led sessions on research interests, and to facilitate mentoring sessions where masters students interested in doctoral studies can connect with current doctoral students and faculty members.
Department Chair - Curriculum & Teaching (Masters)
Hello TC! My name is Rachel Samuels and I am a senator for the C&T Department. I am currently pursuing my Master's in Early Childhood General and Special Education. I am originally from Roslyn Heights, New York, but currently live on the Upper West Side. I’m very excited to plan fun events for TC students and to help students get to know students in other programs besides their own. A fun fact of mine is that I am a twin! He does not go to Teachers College though. Looking forward to a great year!
Department Chair - Education Policy & Social Analysis (Doc.)
My name is Yang Zhou (Rachel) and I am a first-year PhD student in Economics and Education at Teachers College. I am excited to be the EPSA Doctoral Senate for the 2016-2017 TC Senate! I would like to serve as a liaison between doctoral students, faculty and staff in my department and the broader TC and CU communities. Additionally, as an international student, I am dedicated to promoting the diversity and contact within the student body, and to building a more cohesive and collaborative community.
Department Chair - Education Policy & Social Analysis (Masters)
My name is Melissa Durity and I am one of EPSA's Departmental Senators. I am pursuing a Master's in Politics and Education and am excited to continuing serving the students of my department. This year, I am hoping to strengthen the EPSA community, improve inter-departmental collaboration, help prepare students transition out of TC, and make sure that the various perspectives of of the students in my department are recognized. I'm excited to better learn how to do that and meet all of the new students.
Department Chair - Health & Behavioral Studies (Doc.)
My name is Krystal Cruz, I am originally from Dallas, TX and I am the Doctoral Senator for the Department of Health and Behavior Studies; I also participate on the Student Affairs Committee in Senate. I joined Senate because I believe that my previous year as a TC Senate Associate refined the requisite transferable skills through collaboration, leadership and teamwork, to adequately prepare me to take on the role of becoming a student senator with utmost professionalism and capability. I am passionate about contributing to the TC community and excited about the opportunity to enhance the #TCWay experience for all.
Department Chair - Health & Behavioral Studies (Masters)
Hello! My name is Raquel Jacquez and I am currently pursuing my Master’s in Health Education at Teachers College. I’m very excited to be one of your department senators this year. I hope I can elevate the HBS department and its resources in order to make your experience at TC spectacular! I’m excited to get to know more students in the department and I would love to hear from you about your needs and concerns. I'm looking forward to a wonderful year with all of you!
Department Chair - Human Development (Doc.)
Hi, I'm Brian Kinghorn. I'm a Ph.D. Candidate in Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics. I am the Doctoral Student Senator representing the Department of Human Development. I have been at Columbia University for many years, previously in GSAS and currently TC, and am well acquainted with the culture here. During this time, I have come to know many faculty, staff, and a diverse student body. I am on the Autism Spectrum and a staunch advocate for Neurodiversity, i.e. the philosophy and civil rights movement that conditions like Autism, Dyslexia, and ADHD are not pathologies but rather natural human variations of the brain and mind. To that end I gave a TEDx Talk "Educating a neurodiverse world" and created the student organization NeurodiversiTC. As a senator, I strive to further TC’s values of equality and community service by reaching students, faculty, and staff across many departments to change the paradigm on how we teach, treat, and assess people with atypical minds and perceptual styles. My other interests include martial arts (I have a black belt in Aikido), mindful practices like meditation and Tai Chi, and I love karaoke.
Department Chair - Human Development (Masters)
Hi, I'm Sharmeen Islam and I am the Masters Department Senator for Human Development. I am a second year masters student in Cognitive Science in Education with in interest in educational games. I'm involved with SQE, and so my goal for this year is to help establish a Student Advisory Committee for the Human Development department. Fun fact: I have a weakness for Korean food.
Department Chair - International & Transcultural Studies (Masters)
Howdy! Im Nate Mullen and I moved to NYC from Denver, Colorado. I have always found that the more that you put into an institution, organization, or event- the more that you get out of it. Experiences are defined by our investment into them; Senate will allow me to become involved on campus, while advocating for the peers in my program. I look forward to helping create a legacy of meaningful change on campus. While serving as Senator, I plan to work to provide adequate resources to international students, brainstorm innovative ways to bridge academic departments together, and make sure that students have fun! A fun fact about me is that I am a Triplet!
Department Chair - International & Transcultural Studies (Masters)
My name is Jonathan Carmona and I am a first year in ICE’s IED program, with a concentration in Leadership. I was born and raised in Anaheim, California, and attended UCLA as an undergraduate student. I am absolutely thrilled and inspired to have been selected to be part of TC’s 2016-2017 Student Senate, and even more so filled with gratitude -and a sense of responsibility- for having been elected as the Masters ITS Senator. As an ITS Senator, I hope to highlight and leverage one of the most eclectic student bodies at TC with programming that is both sensitive and responsive to student diversity and inclusion. I am looking forward to life in a new city, and a year of success and significance for our student body at Teachers College!
Department Chair - Math, Science, & Technology (Doc.)
My name is Ariel Fleurimond and I am the Doctoral Senator for the Math, Science and Technology Department at Columbia University, Teachers College. I was born and raised in NY and currently live on Long Island. I am currently an administrator at SPS Columbia University, so feel free to pop in and say hi when I'm on campus! My parents are from Haiti, with most of my relatives being from there and the Dominican Republic, so expect to see many Caribbean foods if we have a potluck anytime soon :) I joined the TC senate because I think it's important for our department to have a voice and representative at these college meetings to help shape the future of TC. I am excited to be our departmental representative this year and I can't wait to get involved with all the events! Fun facts about me: I can recite the alphabet backwards (on a good day) and I play several musical instruments. I look forward to working with you all!
Department Chair - Math, Science, & Technology (Masters)
My name is Akira Wong and I am in the advanced Master's program in Teacher for Science Education at Teachers College. I am honored to represent my department of Math, Science and Technology as the Master's Senator! I do not have specific goals in mind, but I would like to get to know all of you guys in person and be friends with you! I am a great team player and a fun guy to hang out with! Some of my pastimes inlcude playing squash and tutoring high school students in math and science. We can definitely get to know each other well and make this year a great year for all TC students.
Department Chair - Organization & Leadership (Masters)
Hi, my name is Nicole Rogers and I am pursuing a Masters in Social and Organizational Psychology. I am one of the Masters Organization and Leadership Department Senators at Teachers College. I was born in California, but grew up in Connecticut about 30 minutes outside of New York City, so Manhattan is like home to me. I am excited to continue to explore New York City as well as learn from some of the best Professors. My goals as senator are to ensure I am an active representative and to plan great events to really bond the departments across the TC community. A fun fact about myself is that I graduated from Undergrad at University of Maryland one year early!
Department Chair - Organization & Leadership (Masters)
My name is Meghna Vanjani and I am pursuing a MA in Social-Organizational Psychology here at Teachers College. I am excited to be the Departmental Senator for the Organziation & Leadership department for the year 2016-2017! My goals for this year include serving as a liasion between the O&L department, the Student Senate, encouraging the exchange of ideas between our department and other departments at TC, and helping to create a strong community within the Senate. This is going to be my last year at TC and I'm looking forward to making a lasting impact.