2014-15 Officers and Committees

Co-Presidents: Zachary Levine and Caroline Marris

Zac and Caroline are responsible for coordinating the activities of the GHA. They are the primary student contacts on issues related to graduate students for faculty, staff, and students alike. They attend GEC meetings and are also responsible for aiding and advising the various ad-hoc initiatives developed by faculty, students, and staff during the course of a normal academic year. They are involved in organizing the annual Spring Symposium, orientation, and the Department’s visiting day, as well as improving the effectiveness of Departmental communication, bettering teaching and working conditions, and generally improving the experience of being a graduate student.

Social Chairs: Brianna Nofil and Jake Purcell

Brianna and Jake are responsible for planning the GHA’s social events. These include happy hours, parties, and much else besides. There is a special focus on making sure that new students feel welcome, integrating PhD and MA students, and generally promoting a convivial atmosphere.

M.A. Program Representative: Jason Dibble

Chosen by GHA members including students participating in the M.A. program in International and Global History, the M.A. Program Representative is responsible for the interests of students in the Department as they complete the first year of their studies in New York. The Representative works with the Executive Director, Dr. Line Lillevik, to ensure that M.A. students enjoy the best possible academic experience and quality of life while in residence at Columbia.

EALAC Representative: John Thompson

John is the EALAC Representative, serving the historians who sit at the juncture between the Departments of History and East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALAC) at Columbia. The History-East Asia Representative coordinates between the two departments to ensure seamless communication and to make available relevant resources from one to the other.

Students of Color Coordinator: Jessica Méndez

Jessica is in charge with recruiting, advocating for, and supporting underrepresented graduate students of color within and outside the History Department. She organizes events to promote the interests of students of color, and additionally she collaborates with other university offices on relevant social and academic initiatives and events.


Anna serves as a sounding board and contact point for LGBTQ students in the Department. She organizes events for students and allies to promote the interests and concerns of these students, both at Columbia and in the wider New York City area.

TA Coordinators: Suzie Ferguson and Sean O’Neil

Suzie and Sean coordinate the Teaching Committee, which looks after GHA members who serve as Teaching Assistants (TAs). They organize and run training workshops for first-time TAs, support TAs throughout the year, and also update the Teaching Wiki. They monitor adherence to the Department’s teaching guidelines, and act as advocates for graduate teachers.

Graduate Education Committee Representatives: Eric Herschthal and Fr. Stephen Koeth CSC

Eric and Stephen are the elected student representatives serving on the Department’s Graduate Education Committee (GEC), which also includes the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), the Chair and Vice-Chair, other faculty, and the GHA Co-Presidents. This committee meets regularly to discuss issues pertaining to graduate student education, such as the curriculum, teaching assistantships, language and oral examinations, funding, and transparency. Student participation ensures that the perspectives and experiences of a broad range of graduate students is taken into consideration as departmental policy is formed.

Graduate Student Advisory Council Representative: Adam Matthews

Adam is the History Department’s representative to the Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC), the official body that represents the interests of all graduate students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). GSAC facilitates communication between graduate students and administrators about a wide range of graduate student concerns, such as housing, campus and study space, computer services, health care, and stipends. It also sponsors social and academic events, as well as GSAS-wide workshops.