Ink to Paper

If the Oceans Were Ink, by Carla Power ’95JRN, was named a finalist for the National Book Award in the nonfiction category. The book chronicles the year Power spent studying the Koran with the Islamic scholar Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi. A journalist who grew up in both the American Midwest and the Middle East, Power has written about Muslim societies, global social issues, and culture as a correspondent for Time and Newsweek.

A Taxing Debate

CNBC correspondent Sharon Epperson ’93SIPA was chosen as a host of the October 28 Republican presidential debate in Boulder. Epperson, who studied in SIPA’s international media, advocacy, and communications program and is now an adjunct faculty member there, has covered personal finance for CNBC since 1996. Epperson’s financial expertise was considered an asset for this particular debate, which focused on jobs, taxes, and the national debt.

Court Order

Thomas Sprankling ’12LAW was hired to clerk for Supreme Court justice Anthony M. Kennedy in the 2016 term. Sprankling is currently an associate in the Washington, DC, office of Wilmer Hale, where he recently worked on a gerrymandering case against the Arizona State Legislature that was argued before the US Supreme Court.

Nurse First

Theresa Brown ’88GSAS

Theresa Brown ’88GSAS wants to deconstruct the notion that “nurses are just an appendage of doctors.” In her new book The Shift, the registered nurse and New York Times contributor takes readers behind the scenes of a twelve-hour shift in a hospital’s cancer ward. In the course of one workday, we follow Brown as she navigates a diverse patient load and an unimaginably large stack of paperwork.

Following the book’s release in September, Brown, who earned an MA in English from Columbia, sat down with School of Nursing dean Bobbie Berkowitz at a Columbia Nursing alumni event to discuss The Shift and issues in nursing today. In order to combat what she calls the nursing field’s “internalized low self-esteem,” Brown says that nursing programs should give students greater confidence in their abilities, and medical schools should teach doctors how to work in partnership with nurses.

A Capital Induction

Crain’s New York Business has inducted three Columbians into the Crain’s Hall of Fame, which recognizes outstanding lifelong achievement in business. Rochelle B. Lazarus ’70BUS, the chairman emeritus of the advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather, rose to the top of an industry that has not traditionally been kind to women: “Every woman who was in an executive position — there weren’t many — but everyone who was at Ogilvy had started as a secretary. They had worked their way up. It was like a Mad Men script. I had no role models, so I just kind of did things spontaneously,” she says.

A pioneer of venture capitalism, Alan Patricof ’57BUS helped paved the way for the startup economy, and particularly the recent technological boom in New York City. Before business school, Patricof worked as a stockbroker — a job that he says he got by walking down Wall Street and going from building to building and floor to floor until someone made him an offer. Later, he founded two venture-capital firms — Apax Partners and Greycroft LLC — and was an early investor in Apple, America Online, and the Huffington Post, to name just a few.

Richard Ravitch ’55CC is known as someone who “solved fiscal problems no one else could,” particularly in urban development. Over the years, he has built forty thousand units of affordable housing in New York and Washington. As chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority starting in 1979, he infused fourteen billion dollars into a failing system and created the Metro-North Railroad. “I was able to accomplish what I did because there are two things I understand well: finance and politics. I could always explain politics to the business world, and business to the political world,” he says.

Health and Culture

Susan B. Scrimshaw ’74GSAS was awarded the Adam Yarmolinsky Medal for her contributions to the National Academy of Medicine. Scrimshaw has been a member of the academy for thirty-eight years, and focuses on health disparities and health equities in the global community. She and her father, Nevin Scrimshaw, were the first father-daughter pair to become members of the academy. Susan Scrimshaw studied cultural anthropology at Barnard and Columbia, where her mentor was the renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead. As a medical anthropologist, Scrimshaw has investigated the cultural factors that lead to health disparities around the world, and has worked to promote healthy pregnancies, prevent domestic violence, and develop health-related jobs in underserved populations. Scrimshaw is the president of the Sage Colleges, in upstate New York.

Making a Splash

Clemens Auersperg ’14CC / Photograph by Gene Boyars / Columbia Athletics

Clemens Auersperg ’14CC competed in the 2015 World Rowing Championships in September, representing his native Austria and advancing to the semifinal round. While he didn’t win a spot on the Olympic team at the competition, Auersperg hopes to earn one this spring, competing either with Austria or with his rowing team in Cambridge, England, where he currently lives and trains.

Swimmer Katie Meili ’13CC won a gold medal for the 100-meter breaststroke at the 2015 Pan American Games, in Toronto. During the race preliminaries, Meili also set a Pan American Games record for the same event, beating the previous record by two full seconds. Meili was a standout swimmer at Columbia and a two-time member of the All-American collegiate team. Her 2012 Olympic dreams were dashed when she broke her hand shortly before the games, but she hopes to compete in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The Emmy is All Right

Lisa Cholodenko ’97SOA

Lisa Cholodenko ’97SOA won the Emmy Award for outstanding directing of a limited series, movie, or dramatic special for her work on the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge. Based on a Pulitzer Prize–winning story collection by Elizabeth Strout, the series focuses on a cantankerous middle-school math teacher, her long-suffering husband, and their neighbors in small-town Maine. Cholodenko, who studied directing and screenwriting at Columbia, is well known for her films High Art, Laurel Canyon, and The Kids Are All Right.

Smart Money

Marina Rustow ’04GSAS

Two Columbians were recipients of this year’s MacArthur Fellowships, commonly known as “genius grants.” Marina Rustow ’04GSAS, a professor of Near Eastern studies and history at Princeton, was honored for her work using the Cairo Genizah — a cache of thousands of legal documents, letters, and literary materials that were collected in Cairo’s Ben Ezra Synagogue beginning more than a millennium ago — to shed new light on Jewish life during the Middle Ages. Kartik Chandran, an associate professor of earth and environmental engineering at Columbia, was recognized for his work integrating microbial ecology, molecular biology, and engineering to transform wastewater into useful resources such as fertilizers, energy sources, and clean water. (For more on Chandran’s work, see Columbia Magazine’s Fall 2015 cover story, “Liquid Assets.”)

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