Bwog Staffers highlight the people on campus who they could not have survived their first year without knowing.
Name: Pamela “Pam” Cobrin
Position: First-Year Writing Professor and Director of the Barnard Writing and Speaking Programs
What She Did: Professor Cobrin was super lenient and supportive of me when I had Women & Culture FYW second semester. I went through a lot of things (like a fucking LOT) during that time and couldn’t keep up with the schoolwork from her class, but she was always super helpful with finding ways of getting it done and giving me as much time as I needed to catch up. In general, she’s a fantastic professor and super kind person and made every person in our class feel valued and loved.
Name: Anne Herlick
Position: Nurse Practitioner with Barnard Primary Care
What She Did: I had a lot of health problems this year. Like, there was a point in time where I was in Barnard Primary Care every other day for a month. Anne was always supportive of me and everything I was going through, and gave me the ability to have someone to talk to who wouldn’t judge me or sugarcoat the things that I needed to be told straightforwardly (does that make sense?). She was the friend and parental figure that I needed and could confide in.
Name: Fabrizio Spagnolo
Position: Frontiers of Science Instructor, Research Scientist at the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology
What He Did: The only reason I could bring myself to care about FroSci. It is a ridiculous class but its staff are so caring and genuinely passionate, particularly Dr. Spagnolo. He was really clear with his expectations, didn’t ask for much, and was super silly and entertaining. For example, he saw our attention in class was slipping one day, so he derailed his lecture to tell us a 20-minute story about him skiing. It was a way more effective tactic than it might sound. His earnestness and encouragement went a long way to making up for FroSci’s many other faults (sorry, FroSci).
Name: Dean Natalie Friedman
Position: She was my advisor this year
What she did: I would show up to her office once a week in the early part of the fall, and weep about college. She was so sweet and helped me get my act together. She was one of the first people who made me think that I really could do well at college.
Name: Jessica Cannon, Ed.M
Position: Director of Health Promotion and Education, BC ’03 (aka the director of Well Woman)
What She Did: A kinder soul I will never meet. Well Woman is the backbone of Barnard, and Jessica is the backbone of Well Woman. Having an alum in this role was so helpful as I was struggling with the adjustment to college; she gives great advice because she understood exactly what I was going through.
Position: She makes the smoothies in the mornings at Hewitt
What She Did: Gloria has such a sunny personality. She makes excellent smoothies and hands them out with love and encouragement (I miss hearing her say “Greens for the queens!”) Without her, I think I would have contracted scurvy, in both a literal and emotional sense.
Name: Cecelia Lie-Spahn
Position: FYW professor
What She Did: My actual mother. She was so supportive of all my extension requests, questions about the reading, and tangential concerns, and I had a lot of these during FYW. She taught me that academic writing is not as scary as it looks: that even as someone new to higher education, I had important things to say and the skills I needed to say them. Professor Lie-Spahn is also a Barnard alum, so when I was experiencing tunnel vision in the stress of my first year, I would look to her to see that I would in fact be good at college and that it would all be okay.
Name: Kallin Spiller
Position: She was my wonderful RA on John Jay 14
What She Did: I really expected an RA to be a narc-y authoritative figure that only existed to get you in trouble, but Kallin was nothing like that! She was so sweet and kind and welcoming, and I felt like we actually became friends during the year after a semester of random chats in the floor lounge. Kallin was always positive – through midterms, finals, and all the craziness of leaving Columbia, she always had a smile and a hopeful thought to share.
Name: Lisa Rosen-Metsch
Position: Dean of the School of General Studies
What She Did: Dean Rosen-Metsch is an actual angel. She gave me her personal phone number and seriously said to call her should I ever need anything. I’ve never seen a faculty member with that high of a position actually take time to learn not only the names but specific facts/preferences about me and my friends. She will approach you whenever she sees you on campus just to chat and ask how your day was going and how your classes are. Honestly, no one else can put a smile on my face like she can when she singles me or one of my friends out from a crowd to say hi. She also tries to meet as many people as possible and genuinely get to know her students as I’ve seen personally and will introduce herself to you before you even know who she is!
Position: Liz’s Place Staff Member
What She Did: She always served me my drinks with a smile, and we bonded over Candy Crush. We would compare levels and help each other if need be. She is sweet and sassy, and she always put a smile on my face because she had one on hers. I have missed her dearly, and I know my first year would not have been as lovely without her!
Position: Liz’s Place Staff Member
What She Did: Claudia lights up the room when she’s doing her thing at Liz’s. No one can walk away upset after interacting with her because she radiates light and happy energy. Claudia is always upbeat, and I swear I can TASTE the love she puts into the drinks she makes. She’s been working for Barnard Dining for 36 years, and the place would genuinely be so different without her. She treats everyone like family and makes you feel as though you’ve known each other for years. She’s truly everyone’s mom.
Name: Terryanne Maenza-Gmelch
Position: Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science
What She Did: I always thought I could never become a STEM person, and I never imagined that I would veer away from majoring in english/art history/another humanities type department. Terryanne was my professor during the fall semester for Intro. to Environmental Science at Barnard, and I rediscovered my love for the subject. Then, in the spring, I took her course called “Forests,” and we would literally take walks to Riverside Park during class and marvel at the different kinds of winter buds on trees. Essentially, Terryanne taught me how to nerd out about leaf scars, and I am eternally grateful. She steered me in the right direction, and I fell in love with environmental science because of her.
Name: Christina Kuan Tsu
Position: Sophomore Class Dean, Transfer Dean, and Senior Associate Dean of Studies, Office of the Dean of Studies
What She Did: She is a great resource for students, particularly transfer students. She’s so organized and helped me a lot when I first transferred to here. Her best advice: add variety to your course schedule! You will get bored just writing essays or working out problem sets all day!
Name: Leslie Grinage
Position: Dean of the College
What She Did: Dean Grinage is incredibly kind. She really cares about the student experience and tried to interact and get to know the student body.
Claudia via Barnard Dining Facebook