2014 Kenneth Cole Fellows
Details coming soon!
Bill Nguyen is a person of few words and many appetites—a product of growing up in the ever-placid San Jose, California. As a sophomore in Columbia College, Bill is pursuing a course of study that mixes human rights, math, and linguistics. Some call it ambitious; he calls it indecisive. Thankfully, however, he does have some idea of where his life is going. He wants to become a public defender by day and a writer by night, and ultimately hopes to give back to the community that has propelled him to where he stands today. Thus, he works with organizations like Columbia Community Outreach and the Quest Scholars Network on campus, and he has even interned at Eden Housing, a low-income housing company. The blessings that Bill has received from his community—a place to call home, a full scholarship to attend college—he will no doubt repay in kind.
Ellie Kirk is a sophomore at Columbia College, pursuing a major in Neuroscience and Behavior, with a concentration is Sociocultural Anthropology. Ellie comes from a family of musicians, and plays harp in the Columbia University Orchestra, chamber ensembles on campus, the Varsity Show pit orchestra, and various musical theater pit orchestras. Her love of music fueled a passion for the arts in general and for arts advocacy. This past summer, Ellie interned at the Southwestern Association of Indian Arts to bring Native arts to the world in a spectacular celebration of all forms of visual and performing arts, and increase outreach to native youth in the Santa Fe area. Ellie is involved with multiple education-related organizations to teach conflict resolution in public elementary schools in Harlem, tutor students one-on-one, and bring engaging science curriculum to third graders. As part of the Kenneth Cole Community Engagement Program, she hopes to continue her work with nonprofit organizations and engage meaningful change in the New York community.
Kate Joo Hyun Lee
Sharon Liao is a sophomore in Columbia College majoring in History and concentrating in Economics. She is from Cincinnati, Ohio, where she has worked with Breakthrough Collaborative for the past four years as a middle school tutor and math and science teacher. She cares deeply about education and social justice, and hopes that through the Kenneth Cole fellowship she can gain an interdisciplinary perspective on community building and learn about the intersecting social issues that impact schools. On campus, Sharon is a Columbia College Student Ambassador and enjoys working with Community Impact. She is a Coordinator for the Community Impact Leadership Program (CILP), and guides juniors and seniors at Frederick Douglass Academy through the college application process as a Lets Get Ready volunteer. Outside of the classroom, Sharon enjoys embarking on NYC food adventures and watching political dramas.
Tanika Lynch is a junior in Columbia College studying Political Science with a minor in Educational Studies. In her hometown of Baltimore, MD, she spent the last six weeks of high school as a full-time student teacher at the local elementary school she once attended. There, she found her passion for teaching and became interested in schools as a site for community building and social change. This passion guides her at Columbia where she tutors with the Prison Reform and Education Project (PREP) at youth detention centers in the Bronx and serves on the executive board of the Education Umbrella. She plans to pursue a Master’s of Education to teach low-income elementary school students. She looks forward to using the knowledge and skills acquired from the Kenneth Cole fellowship to be an exemplary teacher and social justice advocate. Eventually, she hopes to work on national education policy.