Only tense faces like these get Rhodes Scholarships

Gotta squint a lil bit to get a Rhodes Scholarship

Thinking about studying abroad? Last night’s CCSC meeting brought up some troubles the Office of Global Programs might be facing, which brought Rhodes Scholarships and the Spectator together in close conversational proximity for probably the only time ever. Charismatic CCSC correspondent Joe Milholland outlines here for you what went down with CCSC and the OGP last night. 

Dean of Undergraduate Global Programs Michael Pippenger came to Sunday night’s CCSC general body meeting to talk about the Office of Global Programs and fellowships at Columbia. University Senator Marc Heinrich asked about the difficulties students have to get meetings at the OGP. Pippenger admitted that the situation at the office has been “chaotic” since Paul Bohlman left in October and that the office has had to use a triage method. “Is that normally the case? No,” said Pippenger of the triage. “Do I think were are understaffed? No,” he continued.

Class of 2016 Representative Richin Kabra said that a list of fellowships for international students in the office has not been updated for a long time, and much of the information is out of date. “Those should be updated,” said Pippenger, who said that OGP, in general, needs an “audit.”

University Senator Jared Odessky asked about the OGP publicizing itself. Pippenger said that the OGP has a lot of events, talks to student groups, and wants to use newsletters and personalized emails as ways of publicizing the OGP.

VP of Communications Abby Porter asked if the OGP interacts with CSA. Pippenger said the OGP works closely with CSA as well as CCE. When the office meets with CSA at the beginning of the school year to share what the two offices are working on.

Academic Affairs Rep Grayson Warick asked if the office reaches out to past winners of scholarships. “Of course we keep in touch with alumns,” Pippenger said, and he told Warrick that he had also read the Spec article that indicated a lack of alumni contact with the OGP. Pippinger brought up a password-protected site (he didn’t name it) where past applicants talk about their experiences in the interview. He also said the office uses CU grad students who got Marshall/Rhodes scholarships when they were at other undergraduate schools.

Class of 2016 Representative Sameer Mishra asked about Columbia’s relative lack of success at Rhodes and Marshall scholarships. Pippenger, who called that the “$64,000 question,” registered his surprise that it took that long for someone to ask this question. “I think it’s the wrong question to ask,” Pippenger said because he wants to focus on improving student interactions with fellowships rather than produce winners. He mentioned an under-reported fact about fellowships at Columbia is that in 9 of the 11 years Columbia has been in the top 10 of Fulbright Scholarships. He mentioned that this was reported on by the Chronicle of Higher Education, which he called a “legitimate news source.” He later clarified he didn’t mean to “bash the Spec,” but rather point out that smaller scholarship wins do not get media attention.

Pre-professional Rep Chris George asked about the difficulties for pre-med students to study abroad. Pippenger said it was possible for both pre-meds and engineers to study abroad, and the numbers who do so have been rising in recent years. According to Pippenger, while it is difficult for pre-med students to schedule study abroad, studying abroad makes medical school applications more attractive.

After Pippenger left, the council had an off-the-record discussion about the OGP. According to CCSC President Peter Bailinson, the discussion was off-the-record so that council members could speak without being “worried about retaliation in general.”


  • For CCSC’s surplus, the council got requests for $47,413 but only gave out $22,500. The council funded group co-sponsorships for ABC and SGB, SGB’s request to have a board surplus, and Postcrypt Coffehouse. The requests not funded where usually because they could be funded through other means, the council did not want to pay off student group debt, or because the group did not have a “dire financial situation.”
  • The Class of 2017 is having an Undeclared No More event from 2-3:30 in the Carman Lounge on Friday.
  • Warick is working with the Registrar on a program that would take the capacity Course@Cu and Course@ADI and “chock it up to 11.”

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