The OADI Student Delegation comprises MA and PhD students who share an expressed interest in supporting diversity, inclusion, and equity within GSAS. Serving year-long appointments, delegates represent the Office of Academic Diversity and Inclusion by participating on student panels, speaking at admissions and recruitment events, promoting student activities, and leading discussions about topics related to diversity, inclusion, and equity.
Below are the delegates for the 2019-2020 academic year. Applications for 2020-2021 will be available in September 2020. Please write to us at gsas-diversity [at] columbia.edu with any questions.
Anayvelyse received her BA in Comparative Literature at Barnard College, and is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. Her dissertation explores late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century cultural production in Argentina and in the Southern Cone more broadly. She examines photographic records and textual accounts of state building, with a focus on labor and race in the context of industrialization. She has won numerous grants and fellowships for her academic work, including a Fulbright Hays Doctoral Dissertation Abroad Fellowship and an Institute for Latin American Studies Pre-Dissertation Research Grant. Anayvelyse was born and raised in New York. In addition to her research and teaching work, she is a freelance writer and translator.
Shakti Castro is a PhD student in the History Department. She is a Bronx-born Boricua, historian, and mother. She holds a BA in English Literature and Media Studies from Hunter College and a master's in history with a certificate in public history from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is an alumna of the Smithsonian's Latino Museum Studies Program, through which she spent six weeks as a fellow in the Medical & Science division at the National Museum of American History. There, she created a collections plan to document the history of the long opioid epidemic, harm reduction, and drug policy reform in New York's Puerto Rican and Latinx communities. This collections plan forms the basis of her anticipated dissertation project at Columbia.
Shakti's work examines public health and racialized surveillance, the history of the Puerto Rican diaspora in the United States, and the postwar urban “crisis” period in New York City. Shakti is proud to be a part of the OADI Student Delegation, and to share her experiences as a first-generation Latina mother in graduate school with prospective students, especially "nontraditional" students interested in balancing parenting with their professional and academic goals.
Oral History master’s candidate Darold is the University Senator for the Social Sciences and leads the taskforce to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the University Senate, which resulted from the 1968 protests. He also serves on the Arts and Sciences Graduate Council, and as the Ivy League’s first Wikimedian-In-Residence, Wikipedia Fellow, and Visiting Scholar. His research, #MappingFreedom, centers on the "international phenomenon of freedom colonies": the palenques, macombos, quilombos, maroons, and other "freedmen settlements" founded by those resisting colonialism.
He co-founded Disrupt Wikipedia with the Columbia and Barnard libraries to “disrupt, dismantle and eliminate the settler colonial bias causing the digital and tech colonialism on the world's largest site for knowledge” and is incubating the WikiHBCU/DIO initiative to establish a “wiki presence” at every “historically ‘black’ college, university, department, institution and organization on the planet” at the Washington National Cathedral, where he also serves as the inaugural Oral History Fellow. Additionally, Darold is an entrepreneur and journalist, incubating the social initiative #HackingRacism through the Columbia Business School’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship program and founding the International Association of Freedom Colonies (iAFC). He is an alumnus of The New York Times, Vice Media, TriBeCa Enterprises, and Fox Home Entertainment.
Next year, Darold will study public administration at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he was recently named a Center for Public Leadership Fellow.
Es-pranza is a master’s student in the American Studies program in the Center for Ethnicity and Race. Her research focuses on the history of fashion/costume of Black female performers as a form of activism during the interwar period.
When she began her studies at Columbia in 2017, she knew that the graduate student experience would differ from her undergraduate experience in terms of representation. Therefore, after a meeting about the campus climate in regards to race, class, and gender, she was inspired to join the OADI Student Delegation in order to assist with the representation of Black women on campus. She also appreciates this opportunity to guide prospective students to the most appropriate resources to make their experience in GSAS welcoming and inclusive.
Dyala is a master’s student in the American Studies program at Columbia University's Center for Ethnicity and Race (CSER). She received her bachelor’s degree in English, Communication, and Writing and Rhetoric from Villanova University. At Columbia, Dyala is studying the intersection of ethnicity, race, and gender in multicultural American literature. She is focusing specifically on space and social theory within contemporary Middle Eastern-American literature, examining how individuals utilize literature as a way to transgress boundaries.
At Columbia, Dyala is a part of the Office of Academic Diversity and Inclusion's Diversity Research Collective. Here, she is examining the phenomenon of white passing among Middle Eastern immigrants within the Arab-American community. She is also a Saturday Academy Educator at the Museum of the City of New York. There, Dyala teaches a course entitled “Checking the Box: Immigration, Identity, and the Census in New York,” which examines the United States Census, personal identity, and multiple racial/ethnic patterns of immigration to the city.
Dyala is grateful to OADI's Student Delegation for providing her with this opportunity because multiculturalism and education have always been extremely important in her own life. She is excited to continue to participate in OADI’s events and information sessions for current and prospective Columbia students, as well as the community of greater New York City.
Samuel is an MA candidate in Regional Studies–East Asia at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, focusing on US grand strategy, the US-ROK military alliance, and inter-Korean relations.
Outside the classroom, Samuel is a cadet in the US Air Force ROTC program at Manhattan College-Detachment 560 and will serve as an intelligence officer upon graduation.
Spencer is a double-degree master's student in International and World History, hailing from Chicago. Her research explores the historical trade of embroidered textiles between Austria and Nigeria beginning in 1960. She traces the form of decolonization as articulated through the political languages of fashion and dress, contributing to larger historiographical debates in the global history of capitalism, the global history of commodity culture, material culture, and African-European trade history. She is interested in decolonization in global fashion systems, and understanding how increased historical context could improve diversity and inclusion efforts in the fashion and beauty industries, both socially and economically.
Spencer graduated with general and departmental honors from the University of Chicago in 2017. She spent two years working in Austria as a Fulbright Austria Fellow.
Lucas is a Modern Europe PhD student in the History Department, with research interests in Italian fascism, racial codes, neo-fascism, LGBTQIA+ social movements, and “gender ideology.” Originally from South Florida, Lucas received his AB in History from Princeton University, where he studied Creole separatist literature in Puerto Rico, urban city planning in Rome, and fascist propaganda in Milan. He works for the Sexual Violence Response Center as a graduate assistant, the Research Collective for Public Scholarship as a member, and the Columbia Research Initiative on Global Sexualities as a graduate affiliate. He is a Mellon Mays Fellowship Program alumnus, Provost's Diversity Fellow, and a Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellow who wants to make intellectual and social history accessible and meaningful to the public, to intersectionalize and decenter European studies, and to create a meaningful and empathetic community of diverse individuals in and out of the academy.
Brendane Arrica Tynes
Brendane is a first-generation college graduate from Columbia, South Carolina. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Duke University, where her honors thesis focused on the intersections of political activism and gender-based violence in the Black student community. After graduating, she taught high school science in Charlotte, North Carolina, while working as a Student Engagement Organizer at Know Your IX, a nonprofit dedicated to ending sexual violence.
Now Brendane, a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow, studies the affective responses of Black women and girls to multiple forms of violence within the Movement for Black Lives. Her research interests lie at the intersection of Black feminist cultural studies, trauma and affect studies, and anthropology. In her spare time, she dances and writes poetry. After completing her PhD, Brendane plans to become a professor and to lead community-based programs for low-income girls and non-binary youth of color who are survivors of gender-based violence.