Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences announced their valedictorians and salutatorians. Kathy Fang was chosen as the CC valedictorian and Mrinanlini Sisodia Wadhwa was chosen as the CC salutatorian. For SEAS, Andrei Coman was chosen as valedictorian and Tina Liu as salutatorian.

CC announced their honors recipients in a statement on Monday, May 13 and SEAS released a similar statement on Wednesday, May 8. Each statement detailed the achievements of each student during their time at Columbia. 

Columbia College

Fang and Sisodia Wadhwa were chosen by the Committee on Honors, Awards and Prizes “based on the strength, breadth, depth and rigor of their academic achievements, as well as on evidence of their intellectual promise, character and achievement outside the classroom.”

Kathy Fang is a double major in Comparative  Literature and Society and Drama and Theatre Arts. She plans to pursue a PhD in theater and performance at Stanford University. She mentioned in her bio that the recent protests have shaped her experience at Columbia, since her study of theater, performance, and language as well as student demonstrations have “give[n] her scholarship on the cultural and political efficacy of performance.”  Speaking from her background in student journalism and artistic praxis-as-research, she “applauds her classmates in their efforts to challenge, document and remake history.”

Barnard Department of Theatre chair W.B. Worthen, one of Fang’s former professors, described her as demonstrating “power as a thinker and writer,” having “entered undergraduate study with a clear sense of purpose, and has pursued it with astonishing success ever since.”

Mrinanlini Sisodia Wadhwa is a double major in History and Mathematics. She will begin an MPhil in intellectual history at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. She hopes to complete a PhD in History and pursue a career as a historian, “investigating the intellectual and cultural history of empire and global dimensions of Enlightenment thought.”

Susan Pedersen, the Gouverneur Morris Professor of History, saw Sisodia Wadhwa as “one of the field’s top historians in formation.” Her history thesis, which explores “the relationship between spirituality and Enlightenment political culture through the writings of Jesuit missionaries in Pondichéry, a French colony in southeast India,” received departmental honors and the Albert Marion Elsberg Prize. Her mathematics thesis which “examines the generation of the mapping class group and the broader relationship between visualization and abstraction in 20th-century mathematical practice,” also received departmental honors. 

Pedersen described Sisodia Wadhwa’s history thesis as “a piece of mature scholarship.”

The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

SEAS valedictorian Andrei Coman is a computer science major and one of nine Egleston Scholars. He was also chosen as the Illig Medal winner. Coman is originally from Bucharest, Romania and also received the Class of 1985 scholarship and the Lewis G. Burnell Memorial Scholarship. Burnell aimed to support engineering students with Eastern European roots.

During his undergraduate career, Coman joined the Columbia engineering honors society, Tau Beta Pi, and the inaugural chapter of the Upsilon Pi Epsilon Computing Honor Society. 

Salutatorian Tina Liu is a biomedical engineering major and is originally from Shanghai, China. During her time at Columbia, she conducted summer research specializing in neuroscience and immunology. She was a research assistant at Shirley ShiDu Yan’s lab in Columbia’s Department of Surgery and Chi-Min Ho’s lab at Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Liu also served as the president of Columbia’s badminton club and the host of the Good Fight podcast. She will continue at Columbia Engineering in the integrated BS/MS to earn her masters in biomedical engineering. 

Low Library via Bwog Staff