Summer Programs Connect Pathways Students

A diverse group of future academics enjoyed opportunities to network, share research, and attend a barbecue as part of Columbia pathway programs.

September 07, 2023

Students participating in Columbia University Pathways Programs have had a busy summer. In addition to conducting research with their program supervisors, these high school, undergraduate, and  graduate students interested in careers in academia had the opportunity to attend three events hosted by the Inclusive Faculty Pathways portfolio of the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement.

Learning LinkedIn

The first event in the series, held in late June, was “Connect @ Columbia: Using LinkedIn as a Student.” The three panelists were Jordan Alexander (SPURS, 2022), a senior at Howard majoring in Nutritional Science; Jade Carter (Amazon SURE, 2022), a senior in biomedical engineering at Syracuse; and Deja Logan (GSAS Leadership Alliance Program, 2017), a research analyst at Child Trends. In a discussion moderated by Adina Brooks, Associate Provost for Faculty Diversity and Inclusive Pathways. the panelists shared advice on getting the most of their summer experience and building a network of mentors. 

The discussion was followed by a short workshop on LinkedIn basics for students. Using panelist Jordan Alexander’s profile as an example, Jen Leach, Associate Director for Faculty Advancement, reviewed strategies for building a compelling profile, finding connections, and creating high-engagement posts. Jordan described the changes that he made to his profile after attending the session in 2022. The workshop ended with students connecting with each other on LinkedIn to expand their professional networks.

Campus Cookout

This July, the second annual Columbia University Pathways Program (CUPP) cookout brought together over 250 high school, undergraduate, and graduate students representing 24 different summer research programs across the university. Students gathered on the Math Lawn to play lawn games, pose in a photo booth, and—of course—to eat delicious al fresco treats. DJ Roman’s music created a festive vibe as students mingled to find common interests and complete match cards for a chance to win raffle prizes. Pathways program directors and mentors volunteered to help make the event a success.

More than Just a Research Symposium

The final event of the summer had something for everyone. Part research symposium, part professional development session, and part admissions fair, the CUPP Symposium offered students the opportunity to showcase their research and get an inside look into the admissions process. A Columbia photographer was on hand to take professional headshots. 

Pathways programs high school students and current undergrads attended concurrent sessions on applications led by Columbia admissions staff. Later that evening, 100 students representing 16 summer programs shared their research in a poster session, speaking informally with each other about their methods, findings, and the significance of their work. Tables flanked the perimeter of the auditorium with representatives from undergraduate admissions and graduate programs across the university, and interested students were able to speak with them directly about opportunities.

In his remarks, Interim Provost Dennis Mitchell congratulated the students for conducting valuable research and presenting their posters, and expressed gratitude for the many mentors and program staff who supported their work. In thanking the admissions officers from 22 Columbia schools and programs, he addressed the students directly, adding, “I hope to see many of you back here as full-time students.”