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Student Advising



Founded in September 2005, the CUSP Alliance became a structure through which Scholars are empowered in their own Program under the direct guidance and supervision of the CUSP Executive Council (comprised of CUSP administratiors, CUSP BOA members, Scholar Alumni, and former presidents of the CUSP Alliance), and encouraged to be active collaborators in brainstorming and implementing new projects.  This Scholar leadership upholds the CUSP Leadership Pillar and was initially conceptualized and implemented by the CUSP administration as a natural extension and enhancement of the original Scholars Advisory Board (a panel of twelve Scholars appointed to the Board by application, who acted as liaisons between the Scholars and the Office and helped brainstorm ideas for the Program). Scholars immediately participated and assumed leadership roles with an unforeseen vigor.  Formerly known as the Scholars Governing Board & Scholars Advisory Council, the CUSP Alliance renamed itself to distinguish the organization as a collective of like minds inclusive of not only Scholars, but also their growing supporters in the Columbia community.  Currently, the CUSP Alliance consists of 9 officer positions.


The purpose of the CUSP Alliance is to place the Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program in the hands of the Scholars by recognizing and formalizing a core of proactive Scholar leaders who desire to play an integral role in developing the Program.  The CUSP Alliance offers the Scholars creative and constructive opportunities to serve as ambassadors between the CUSP administration, the Scholar population, and the greater Columbia, New York City, and global communities. They integrate the ideals of the four pillars--Academic Excellence, Leadership, Civic Engagement, and Global Awareness--into their processes of thought and action, promoting awareness and pedagogical engagement within and beyond the Scholar community.  The Scholars in the CUSP Alliance develop invaluable leadership skills through a series of training sessions. They gain experience organizing and facilitating long-term community and civic programming that serves not only as an opportunity to foster a sense of community within CUSP but as one of many examples of the powerful results possible through application of CUSP ideologies.


Nicole Bleuel, President – Nicole is a third year C.P. Davis Scholar studying engineering management systems, economics, and entrepreneurship. Her interests span consulting, marketing, and business development/strategy. On campus, Nicole is an RA and founder of the Columbia Undergraduate Consulting Club. Off campus, Nicole enjoys working in the start-up world and exploring NYC. Nicole is excited to be this year’s CUSP Alliance President and hopes to continue fostering the scholar community and providing engaging programming.

Eric Tong is a first year CP Davis Scholar planning on majoring in biomedical engineering. He also works in the Biomedical Engineering Lab at Columbia University. Some of his hobbies include playing the piano, practicing Martial Arts, and engaging in community service. Having previously worked in several community service projects and interned at Habitat for Humanity in Florida, he hopes to share his love of community service with the members of the CUSP community.

George Zhao is a current junior studying Operations Research. Over the past two summers, he has interned at a manufacturing and an investment consulting firm, and this year self-initiated a series of open workshops on developing analytic and programming skills in Microsoft Excel. In his spare time, he enjoys cycling and looking into the geographies of various regions. George can be reached at

Gabriela Safa is a current sophomore in CC planning to major in economics and political science. She is from Paris and her hobbies include, but are not restricted to, travelling, eating, working out, engaging in community service and taking artsy pictures. She is very excited for the year ahead, working on the CUSP Alliance.

Erman Sener is a first year engineering student planning to study either Operations Research or Civil Engineering. He is very interested in social affairs and civic engagement, and he wants to get involved in politics when he goes back to his home country, Turkey. His hobbies include running, biking, travelling and taking an active role in community service projects. He is delighted to be a part of this year’s CUSP Alliance and already excited for the upcoming scholar events.

Dennis Dacarett-Galeano is a sophomore in Columbia College studying Comparative Ethnic Studies with interests in constructing a career that merges medicine and public health. A ballet dancer from Austin, TX, Dennis lived his childhood dreams by relocating to Manhattan last year - dancing with both Sabor and Columbia Ballet Collaborative and seeing 38 shows in the city. Because of CUSP Summer Funding, Dennis had the incredible opportunity of conducting an independent analysis of Spatial Predictors of Retention in Pharmacologic Efficacy Trials for Meth-dependency as a Research Analyst Intern at the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s HIV Prevention Section. On campus, Dennis currently facilitates discussions on issues of power, privilege, and identity in ROOTEd and coordinates the organization SHOUT to address multifaceted health disparities.

Charles Sanky is a first year Kluge Scholar from Valley Stream, NY. He plans on studying biology, music, and eventually medicine. He enjoys playing various instruments, including the piano, trumpet, euphonium, trombone, and harmonica, and also enjoys singing, running, swimming, biking, reading, debating, and learning. Charles is also a proud member of Columbia University’s Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Columbia Faith and Action, the Gospel Choir, the Wind Ensemble, the American Medical Students Association, and other groups. Charles believes in approaching every task with an attitude of service, and he is honored to have this ability to serve through the CUSP Alliance.

Anu Akinbamidele is a sophomore in the college and is a proud Kluge scholar! She reps the Bronx, NY but spent her high school years in Northern NJ at a boarding school. She plans to major in Economics, and perhaps minor in English. Her hope for the CUSP Alliance this year is to put more focus on civic engagement. She would like to help connect scholars with community service opportunities both on and off campus. To help with this, she encourages all scholars involved in a community service group on campus to email information on what they are involved in, and how other scholars can join. The Alliance’s goal is to create a database that contains all this information, making it easier for new scholars to get involved with civic engagement. Scholars can email or the Alliance’s email.

Tabitha Cohen is a sophomore Kluge Scholar in the college studying East Asian Languages and Cultures with a discipline in Political Science. She teaches public speaking and debate with an organization called Youth for Debate and prepares students for the SAT and SHSAT exams with Kaplan, Inc. With the tremendous aid of CUSP summer funding, Tabitha interned at UBS this past summer, which was an invaluable experience. Her biggest hobby is exploring New York City and taking advantage of all of the incredible opportunities that CUSP, Columbia, and NYC have to offer!

Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program


403 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: (212) 854-6378

Fax: (212) 854-2562

Office Hours
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.