Sometimes it’s good to take your own advice, and that’s what Lena Denbro did…
Name, School, Major, Hometown: Lena Denbro, Barnard, Econ, San Francisco
Claim to fame: My dedicated service to Lefrak library and Nightline Peer Listening.
Where are you going? In the words of MJ Murphy (PNP-BC, MSN, MPH, Executive Director of Barnard Student Health and Wellness Programs) when she heard my answer to this question, I am “running for the hills.” For the summer I am headed to a remote island in Canada to cook meals for 200 children every day.
What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2023?
1. Always ask for extensions when you need them, which might be all the time for every paper, and that is totally ok. I asked for an extension for this very senior wisdom! My best academic decision was taking some incompletes last semester to give myself time to recover. I find it helpful to have my friends write the request email for me when I am really panicking, and I just send it in.
2. It’s can be helpful to spend some time learning how to self-advocate (or practicing) because it is really hard to feel like you deserve to have your needs met, but you do, in fact deserve that! You can do this by asking your friends how they do it if they know how, by going to the speaking center, by planning out conversations ahead of time, and by calling Nightline, to name a few.
3. Care for your friends and seek care from your friends deeply and humorously.
4. You can get almost everything you need by going to the Barnard Library, Give & Go Green, the Diana Computer Lab, and stealing Diana sushi.
“Back in my day…” Hewitt late night was the social event of the season literally every night.
Favorite Columbia controversy? No one should ever shush another person in the library. The library should be an anti-oppression space of mutual respect and community care. Do your part.
Also, someone tried to publicly call out the person they had hired to take care of their plants over winter break on Barnard Buy Sell Trade, which was a bizarre and privileged thing to do???? Respect plant caretakers!
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: “I have never been the stereotypical figure skater.” -Tonya Harding
What was your favorite class at Columbia? Prof. DasGupta’s “Narrative Health and Social Justice” and “Visionary Medicine.” She is an incredible and radical educator. Prof. Ananat, who teaches Econ of the Public Sector, is the best econ professor I have ever had. I am so lucky to have learned from both of these professors. Happy to email their syllabi!
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Giving up oral sex would be bad for my masculinity.
Whom would you like to thank?
My sisters and brother
Eliza HoMo and my other wife Kayla Levy
600 5B & 12F ily all
Desiree Rodriguez & Quincy Williams of Barnard Library
Goya Black Beans
All of my Hats
One thing to do before graduating: Call 212-854-7777 between 10pm and 3am.
Any regrets? Realizing I loved critical theory a little too late