Administration

 

STRATEGIC INITIATIVES AND ENGAGEMENT

Sharon Sputz
Executive Director of Strategic Programs
Contact Information:
ssputz@columbia.edu
212-854-6966 (Office)
201-787-6746 (Mobile)
1401 Northwest Corner Building

Sharon has combined experience in business strategy and technical research. Prior to joining the Institute in 2014, Sharon spent 11 years at BAE Systems identifying and pursuing new business opportunities in leading edge technology. She began her career at Bell Laboratories managing and coordinating material characterization as well as developing new and innovative tools. Sharon moved on to become the Strategic Marketing Manager at Lucent/Agere with a variety of responsibilities: from leading the technical evaluation of merger and acquisition candidates to defining product planning for the optical networking group and components. Sharon received a Bachelor of Science in Physics from State University of NY at Binghamton and a Masters of Science in Physics from Stevens Institute of Technology.

 
 

DEVELOPMENT

Ralph Scala
Ralph Scala
Director of Development
Contact Information:
rs3842@columbia.edu
212-853-1360
622 West 113th Street

Ralph joined the Office of Alumni and Development in November of 2017 with specific responsibility of leading a comprehensive cross-campus fundraising effort for Columbia's Data Science Institute (DSI). Working in close partnership with DSI Director, Jeannette Wing, as well as DSI faculty and staff, Ralph will be responsible for creating and managing a development plan to support the strategic mission and goals of the Institute/Columbia.  He has over 28 years of development related experience at five leading universities, as well as two prestigious arts organizations.  Ralph received his Bachelor of Science, Industrial Engineering, and a Master of Business Administration from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

ACADEMIC PROGRAMS, STUDENT SERVICES & CAREER MANAGEMENT

Brianne Cortese
Assistant Director of Admissions & Academic Affairs
Contact Information:
bc2640@columbia.edu
212-854-0310
431 S.W. Mudd

Brianne is the Assistant Director of Admissions and Academic Affairs for the Data Science Institute, having initially joined DSI in 2014 as the Program Coordinator. Brianne promotes the Institute’s academic offerings through recruitment activities, information sessions, and advising prospective and current graduate students. Brianne provides strategic day-to-day support for the Institute's academic affairs, and she also contributes to the ongoing expansion of the Institute's educational offerings. Prior to joining DSI, Brianne was an Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions at William Paterson University of New Jersey.

Open Position
Assistant Director of Student Services & Career Development

 

Contact Information:
datascience@columbia.edu
212-854-5660
NWC Building, 14th Floor

 

Violet Yin
Student Affairs Officer
Contact Information:
zy2286@columbia.edu
212-854-9325

Violet joined the Data Science Institute in July 2019 as the Student Affairs Officer. She works closely with the Assistant Director for Admissions and Academic Affairs and the Assistant Director of Student Services and Career Development. Violet graduated from the Master of Arts in Higher and Postsecondary Education Degree from Teachers College (TC), Columbia University in May 2019. While she was studying at TC, she worked as a Graduate Assistant for the Office of Graduate Student Affairs for the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. Violet is always dedicating herself to work with diverse student populations. She wishes to use her own international student experiences to support international students success in the American higher education system. Besides her passion in student engagement, Violet is an oil painter, she paints after work. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2017. You can find her wandering around in various galleries and museums in New York City.

INSTITUTE OPERATIONS

Jonathan Stark
Chief Administrative and Operations Officer
Contact Information:
jrs2139@columbia.edu
212-854-6370
1401 Northwest Corner Building

Jonathan has fifteen years of professional experience working in higher education. As the Institute’s Chief Administrative & Operations Officer, he has managerial responsibilities for HR, Finance, Space, Facilities, and I.T., and supports the Institute's broad portfolio of educational, research, and outreach programs. In this role, Jonathan also serves on the Institute's leadership team helping with strategic planning and execution. From 2013-2017, he had served as the Institute's Director of Operations.  Prior to joining the Institute, he served as the Assistant Dean of Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Affairs (2011-2013) and Student Affairs Officer (2005-2011) for the Office of Graduate Student Affairs for the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. His expertise includes academic administration, student development and advising, conflict resolution, university admissions, event planning and management. Jonathan holds a B.A. in Psychology from Western CT State University, an M.A. Applied Organizational Psychology from Fairfield University, and an M.A. in Higher Education from Teachers College of Columbia University.  He is currently pursuing his Ed.D. in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania. In his spare time, Jonathan performs regularly as a bassoonist and clarinetist with a number of local community orchestras and music ensembles.

Brendan Feifer
Assistant Director of HR and Operations
Contact Information:
bf2272@columbia.edu
212-853-0935
1401 Northwest Corner Building

As the Assistant Director of Human Resources and Operations, Brendan is responsible for ensuring the Data Science Institute’s talent pool and administrative practices and policies are delivered efficiently and effectively. Prior to joining the Institute, Brendan worked as the Director of Human Resources and Operations at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). Brendan holds a BS in Business Administration from Towson University and a Masters Degree in Labor Relations and Human Resources Management from New York Institute of Technology. In 2016 Brendan also received his Certified Professional accreditation from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). In his spare time, Brendan enjoys spending time with his family, traveling and fishing on the Great South Bay. 

Leslie Barna
Executive Assistant
Contact Information:
lb2715@columbia.edu
212-853-1785
1401 Northwest Corner Building

Leslie is Executive Assistant to the Avanessians Director of the Data Science Institute, Jeannette M. Wing. She initially joined the Institute as Assistant Director of Operations in August 2014. Leslie has been with Columbia University since 2010 when she started as Executive Assistant to the Vice Dean of The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. In 2011, she was promoted to Assistant Director of Academic and Faculty Affairs and in 2013 served as Department Administrator for the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering. Prior to joining the Columbia community, she spent five years in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, serving as a Support Specialist with Raymond James Financial Services and later as a Curriculum Support Specialist with St. Petersburg College, before deciding to return to her hometown of Brooklyn, New York. Leslie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from SUNY Albany. In her spare time, she enjoys Netflix binges, perfecting her golf swing, traveling, and adoring her rescue dog, Lucy.

Sharnice Ottley
Program Coordinator

Contact Information:
so2506@columbia.edu
212-853-1322
407 S.W. Mudd

Sharnice Ottley joined the Institute as a Program Coordinator in September 2016. She provides support for the Institute's day-to-day operations and special events. Sharnice earned her Bachelor's degree in Visual Arts Administration and Communications from Baruch College. Before coming aboard at Columbia, she has had experience working in education, museum studies and event planning. In her spare time, Sharnice enjoys taking ballet classes, fantasizing over the latest fashion trends and learning as much as she can from the world around her.

Jessica Rodriguez

Jessica Rodriguez
Manager of Events and Special Programs

Contact Information:
jr3056@columbia.edu
212-853-1787
1401 Northwest Corner Building

Jessica joined the Data Science Institute in January 2018.  She provides oversight of all events & special programs in the Institute’s portfolio.  Prior to this she was with the Electrical Engineering Department at Columbia Engineering for eight years, serving as the External Relations & Communications Manager before her departure. In 2007, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Literature from the UCLA. She began her higher education administration career as Faculty Support Staff at the UCLA Anderson School of Management shortly after graduating. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys reading, writing, exploring NYC’s small neighborhood gems, and spoiling her dog BooBoo and cat Rosie as much as possible.

COMMUNICATIONS

Robert Florida
Assistant Director of Strategic Communications and Media Relations
Contact Information:
rsf8@columbia.edu
201-725-6435 (Mobile)
320I Interchurch

Robert is a writer who delights in turning complex scientific research into plain and simple English. It’s his job to promote the Institute’s myriad successes, which include pioneering research, educating the next generation of data scientists and collaborating with industry partners. As Assistant Director of Strategic Communications and Media Relations, Robert focuses on the Institute’s harnessing of data to foster innovation, solve societal problems and develop New York City as a thriving tech center. Before DSI, Robert was a staff writer for Columbia University’s Teachers College, where he promoted the college’s effort to improve education and eliminate inequality in America’s schools. And before Teachers College, he worked at New Jersey Institute of Technology for 15 years as a writer and public relations director. He wrote about STEM research, humanitarian engineering and the success of first-generation students. He has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism and a master’s in literature from Middlebury College. He also studied English Literature at Oxford University’s Lincoln College. While a journalist, he worked at daily newspapers, weeklies and magazines in the metro region. He also taught journalism and writing at three colleges.

FINANCE AND RESEARCH

Daniel Alicea
Associate Director of Finance and Grants Management
Contact Information:
da228@columbia.edu
646-745-8470
320E Interchurch

Daniel has been with Columbia University for over 10 years working in various positions at the Universities Medical Center & Morningside Campus. As Associate Director of Finance and Grants Management for the Institute, he works closely with the Director of Operations, managing the financial aspects of the institute, including setting up the financial structure of the Institute, assisting with sponsored project proposal budgets, coordinating with the Institutes centers on their financial needs and other day-to-day financial matters.

Mark A. Habana
Associate Director of Research and Grants Development

Contact Information:
mh2987@columbia.edu
646-745-8469
320D Interchurch

Mark joined the Data Science Institute in January 2016 tasked with building the Institute's grants portfolio in both public and private sector funding. He began his professional career as an Analytical Chemist at Nabisco and later Kraft's R&D organization, where he was involved in both research projects and company diversity initiatives. An eventual career transition led to positions at Liberty Science Center, Columbia University and NYU School of Medicine in the areas of grant fundraising and sponsored projects administration. Mark received a Bachelors Degree in Biology and English from The College of New Jersey. He also received his MPA in Non-Profit Management from Seton Hall University and a Master of Science in Fundraising Management at Columbia University.

Eileen Irizarry
Finance and Grants Analyst
Contact Information:
eyi2102@columbia.edu
212-851-2727
431 S.W. Mudd

Eileen joined the Data Science Institute as the Financial Coordinator in January 2015. She works closely with the Business Manager assisting with grants management and the day-to-day financial needs of the Department. Eileen started at Columbia University in 2012 as the Administrative Assistant in the Earth and Environmental Engineering Department. In 2013, she assumed the role as the EEE Department's Financial Assistant. Prior to joining Columbia University, she spent two years as a College Assistant in the Psychology Department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, while working towards earning a BA/MA in Forensic Psychology.

Deepti Attavar
Deepti Attavar
Financial Coordinator
Contact Information:
da2736@columbia.edu
212-854-7996
320-I Interchurch Building

Deepti holds a BA in accounting and information systems from Queens College, City University of New York. She started working at National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University in August 2016 as a junior accountant where she worked closely with the center’s administrative director to ensure that NCCP’s financial transactions are in compliance with Columbia University policy and the government of New York. Before joining NCCP in August 2016, she held accounting and administrative positions in healthcare and academia, including working as a junior accountant for the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. During my free time Deepti practices yoga and meditation.

Deepti AttavarChristian Addie 
Financial Coordinator

Contact Information:
ca2837@columbia.edu
212-854-7996
431 S.W. Mudd

Christian joined the Columbia team in 2018 at the Irving Medical Center and has since transitioned to the Data Science Institute as a Financial Coordintor. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from Colorado Mountain College in 2018 and is currently pursuing his Master's Degree. In his free time he enjoys reading, weightlifting, cyclng, learning and investing.

 

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Michael Holve
Assistant Director of Information Technology
Contact Information:
mh3698@columbia.edu
212-854-6611
1004 Northwest Corner Building

Michael is responsible for the design, implementation, and maintenance of the internal IT infrastructure for the Data Science Institute. He is a business-oriented technology leader with proficiencies in IT infrastructure solutions architecture, technology management, strategic planning and implementation, project management, business process integration and standardization. Prior to joining the Institute, Michael has helped a variety of organizations ranging from small startups to larger corporations achieve their Information Technology goals, employing best of breed practices in both eCommerce and Enterprise spaces. His experience started at the dawn of the personal computer age and has for the last 20+ years been deeply involved the next epoch - the Internet age. Specializing in the architecture of fault-tolerant, highly-available infrastructures utilizing Unix systems, networking and a variety of mass storage. He’s been a proponent of the Linux operating system since its beginning - and a contributor to Open Source Software.


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