CUSP Structure and Staff
Senior Assistant Dean, Student Affairs
Director, Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program
Born and raised on the Columbia campus, Lavinia Lorch earned her B.A. summa cum laude from Barnard College as a Senior Scholar and her PhD in Classics from Columbia University where she taught both Latin and Literature Humanities. Lorch’s teaching career includes Latin and Greek at Vassar College and French at New York’s New School for Social Research as well as language and literature classes in several private city high schools. She is the recipient of the Mary Isabel Sibley Fellowship for Greek Studies, the Lawrence H. Chamberlain Fellowship, the President’s Fellowship, the Murray Fellowship for the Humanities, and the Mary Allison Prize for General Excellence in Scholarship. She has published on Euripides as well as Ovid and Dante, has translated poetry from Greek, Italian, and French, has lectured both in the States and abroad, and played the lead role in Euripides’ Medea performed off Broadway in ancient Greek. In 2008, in recognition of her contribution to French education, the French Republic bestowed on her the honor of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques.
Lorch’s academic interests lie in relating and applying the lessons of classical literature and philosophy to real world issues.
In the Fall of 2000, Lorch was hired to design, implement, and direct the Scholars Program at Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. Until 2005 she also directed the university’s Fellowships office which prepares and advises students for prestigious national fellowships. Lorch’s previous experience in educational administration includes ten years working in New York City's private school system, specifically in bilingual bicultural settings. She served as the founding Headmistress of La Scuola New York (now La Scuola d’Italia), and later worked at the Lycée Français de New York as Director of the English Program, Director of Admissions, and Academic and Administrative Director. Believing in the philosophy of educating the complete individual, Lorch focuses on implementing interdisciplinary projects and paracurricular programs in collaboration with colleagues and professionals in diverse fields.
Lorch spends weekends at her Catskills New York farm with her husband, Michael van Biema, and their children, Fiamma and Tristan, raising a barnful of animals including llamas, alpacas, a donkey, peacocks, and chickens.
KRISTIN GAGER, Ph.D. (email@example.com)
Advising Dean, Center for Student Advising
Assistant Director, Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program
Kristin was born in New Haven, Connecticut and spent her first few years living in Germany and Switzerland. She was raised in Princeton, New Jersey. Kristin received her B.A. from Barnard College and then went on to pursue a Ph.D. in European History (with a specialization in French history), at Princeton University. She spent two years in Paris working in the archive and manuscript divisions of the National Archives and the Bibliotheque Nationale. Kristin joined the History Department at the University of New Hampshire as an Assistant Professor where she taught courses on the Renaissance, the Reformation, Western Civilization and the History of the Family and Sexuality in addition to advising history majors and honors students. She won a prize for her dissertation, which gave her a semester’s leave to edit the dissertation for publication as a book. She published her book, Blood Ties and Fictive Ties: Adoption in Early Modern France with Princeton University Press in 1996. She is a recipient of the Fulbright, the Chateaubriand and the Rollins and Davis Grants for graduate study and research.
In 1996 Kristin moved to Paris and spent three years working as an independent scholar. Her next project (still underway) tells the story of the only female court jester in the French Royal Court in the 17th century. In addition to living in Paris, Kristin spent her Junior Year abroad studying at the University of Florence and a year studying German in Berlin, Germany. She returned to the U.S. and accepted a position as Trade Science acquisitions editor at Princeton University Press where she worked with scientists to publish their work in book form and for a broad, general public audience. Kristin then pursued a Master’s degree in Information and Library Science at Pratt Institute in NYC, specializing in academic librarianship. Upon completion of the degree she was hired at the Watson Library at Emory University as the “European History and Humanities Librarian.” Here, she taught courses on library research skills and advised students on term papers.
After a brief interlude in the business world working for a consulting firm based in Paris, Kristin realized how much she missed working with students and was lucky enough to join the Center for Student Advising at Columbia as an Advising Dean and Assistant Director of CUSP in January, 2011.
When not working with students at the CSA and attending CUSP events, Kristin runs with her dog in Central Park, practices yoga, reads widely and continues to explore the many facets of New York City.
Program Coordinator, Center for Student Advising
Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program
Sophia Sattar is the new Program Coordinator for CUSP. She joins us from the Columbia University Medical Center where she worked in the Office of Development for a short time. Previously, she was a Program Officer at the Institute of International Education where she managed the Foreign Fulbright Program for South East and Central Asian country programs. She received her B.A. in Political Science and English from George Washington University.
Vivian, long of the Morningside Heights area, is currently a second year student at the School of International and Public Affairs studying International Security Policy and East Asia. She is motivated by the goal of understanding the trials and challenges of the United States’ security relationship with China, informed by both study and travel in the region.
Over the years she has had the chance to intern all over the world, from Shanghai to New York to Washington to Taipei. Most recently, she worked in the Political Section of the American Institute in Taiwan, and before that was a Cybersecurity Intern at EastWest Institute.
She graduated cum laude from Columbia College in 2013, majoring in Political Science. Through Columbia, she spent one summer in Beijing studying Chinese and another in Shanghai studying business Chinese and interning with a local company. As an undergraduate, she was Vice President of the Political Science Students Association and a tutor and college mentor at the Double Discovery Center. At SIPA she is the treasurer for the Defense and Security Student Organization. She is a member of Columbia’s Kon-do Goju-Ryu Karate Club.