In sub-Saharan Africa, 650 million people lack access to electricity. In Sierra Leone in particular, only 5% of the population is on the grid. That means that six and a half million people can’t study, cook, eat or work after the sun goes down except by dim candlelight or expensive kerosene lamps. To charge their mobile phones, most Sierra Leoneans have to go to public charging kiosks.
Three Columbia alumni from the School of International and Public Affairs found a solar solution to this challenge. Their startup, Easy Solar, hopes to introduce solar-powered products into Sierra Leone households, replacing the kerosene lamps that have negative environmental and health impacts.Read more
We often like to talk about how our alumni reach grand heights in their successes and go far in their contributions to society. And not many have gone quite as far as Business School alum Timothy Kopra '13BUS. That is...as far as outer space.
Kopra is a NASA astronaut with not one but two space trips on his resume. He has lived on the International Space Station for a total of 244 days, completing three spacewalks and Instagramming with captions like #citiesfromspace and good night from @ISS. Once he got back to Earth, he visited Columbia to speak with students about engineering, teamwork, and what he looks for in an aspiring astronaut.Read more
But here’s a quick refresher:
StorySpace @ Columbia is a new storytelling project that presents personal and inspiring stories from students across Columbia.
Today, we wrap up the theme of identity with stories about perseverance, confronting challenges, and finding inspiration in unusual places.
Advisory: We want to warn our listeners that some of today’s content deals with sensitive topics.Read more
This week is the second installment of StorySpace@Columbia from the Office of University Life. If you haven’t heard Part I, go back to last week’s episode and listen to it.
But here’s a quick refresher:
StorySpace@Columbia is a new storytelling project that presents personal and inspiring stories from students across Columbia.
So, today, we continue with our theme of “identity” with three stories about learning. Not the academic kind of learning that we find in the classrooms across campus - this is learning that comes from overcoming our fears and discovering our strengths.Read more
Today, we’re tuning in close by—on campus, in fact.
For this episode, we’re partnering with the Columbia Office of University Life. The Office was created in 2015 and it convenes students, faculty, and administrators to work together on pressing issues within the University and our broader society—from inclusion and belonging to mental health and wellness to sexual respect and gender-based misconduct prevention, and much more.
It also produces University-wide events and opportunities for the Columbia community. For this episode, we’re shining a light on one of those events. It’s called StorySpace@Columbia, and it’s a new storytelling project that presents personal and inspiring stories from students across Columbia.Read more
This episode is a little different. In honor of a marquee event that the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) has coming up in October, we decided to gather some thoughts from prominent Columbia alumni about leadership. What it means to them, what makes a good leader, and how Columbia has contributed to the ability to lead. These are some of the many questions that alumni will consider when they attend the annual Columbia Alumni Leaders Weekend on October 7-9.
The weekend is a time for Columbia’s top alumni volunteers and leaders to convene and brainstorm exciting forms of alumni engagement and new ways of developing the next generation of volunteer leaders. Jam-packed with panel discussions and breakout sessions, it is the ultimate opportunity to meet and interact with Columbians from across the University and around the globe.Read more
Every once in a while, we like to shake things up a bit at The Low Down and give you a peek at some other Columbia-related podcasts out there.
In this preview, we’re featuring an episode from the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast. The Columbia Energy Exchange is a weekly podcast series by the Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy at the School of International and Public Affairs. Each episode explores the most pressing energy issues with top leaders in government, business, academia, and civil society to enhance the global energy policy dialogue.
In this episode, host Bill Loveless sits down with a Columbia expert to discuss the effects of the Iran nuclear deal, since its implementation in January 2016. The landmark deal between Iran, the US, UK, France, China, Russia, and Germany was developed to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and lift the nuclear-related economic sanctions on Iran.
You can hear more interviews about current energy issues and trends by subscribing to the Columbia Energy Exchange through their website at energypolicy.columbia.edu or through iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud.
Trent Dimas graduated from the Columbia School of General Studies in 2002. He also worked for an advertising agency in New York, graduated from law school, coached gymnastics at Yale, and now works as a fundraiser for the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
But before doing all that, Trent won a gold medal in gymnastics at the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona, Spain.Read more
One of the most pressing and universal issues of our day is how to address climate change. Although most do agree that the environment has evolved tremendously over time, many are not aware of how rapidly the recent changes are occurring and what the consequences can mean for us in the years to come.
That’s where researchers like Hugh Ducklow come in.Read more
For most Columbia students and alumni, when you hear the words "jazz at Columbia" it's almost impossible not to think of Christopher Washburne '92GSAS, '94GSAS, '99GSAS. Washburne is an Associate Professor of Music and the Director of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Performance program at Columbia. In addition to being a jazz scholar, he's a jazz musician in his own right. He has performed with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Tito Puente, Justin Timberlake, Marc Anthony, Celine Dion, and the list goes on. His most common instrument of choice is the trombone, though he also plays the tube, the didjeridu, and percussion.
In this episode, we play you a mashup of two talks that Washburne gave at Columbia. One he gave as part of the School of Professional Studies (SPS) T@lks Columbia series. The other was delivered to Columbia staff members. In both talks, Washburne explores the creative process of jazz, paying particular attention to the role that collaboration and improvisation plays. And in this exploration, he delves into how this process can inform your everyday decisions in the workplace, from leadership and adaptability to innovation and risk management.
Who knew jazz was so useful? Well...Washburne did.Read more