The David Bartsch and Joan Haffenreffer Bartsch Fellows to the UCGT
Each year, UCGT Fellows work alongside the faculty and staff of the CGT to lead and help cultivate the Undergraduate Committee, and to plan events and initiatives specifically for undergraduates, such as workshops related to the World Leaders Forums, “Talks With Professors,” “Global Thought Labs,” and so on. Fellows also contribute to the expansion of the undergraduate Global Thought curriculum.
Kayla Zhu | General Studies (’22) | UCGT Chair
Kayla Zhu is a junior in the Dual BA Program Between Columbia University and Sciences Po studying Middle Eastern studies and government. She is passionate about humanitarian issues and conflict resolution. Prior to her time at Columbia, Kayla attended the Middle East and Mediterranean-focused campus of Sciences Po. At Sciences Po, Kayla served as the Vice President of the Babel Initiative, a research initiative working to bring student researchers to the Middle East and North Africa. She also spent time working at a refugee camp on the French-Italian border. Beyond UCGT, Kayla serves on the executive board of the Columbia Journal of Politics & Society and is involved with the Bias Training Task Force Working Group. In her free time, Kayla enjoys making coffee, playing guitar, and learning languages.
Olivia Sieler | Columbia College (’24) | UCGT Vice-Chair
Olivia Sieler is a first-year student in Columbia College studying economics and theater. She is interested in international business and trade. Beyond the UCGT, Olivia serves on the executive board of Columbia Academic and Foreign Affairs and is a member of the Model UN travel team. She also enjoys being involved in theatrical productions.
Avalon Zborovsky-Fenster | Barnard College (’24) | UCGT Vice-Chair
Avalon Fenster is a first year student at Barnard College, a proud first generation American woman, and serves as the First Year Class President of Barnard’s Student Government Association. She has spent most of her teenage years working in politics and activism as both a voice on the ground and a vision builder nationally. She currently serves as the Policy and Community Outreach Fellow at nonprofit organization Pay Our Interns, working on policy and outreach projects pertaining to the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. State Department, the White House, and more. Most recently, she was selected as 2020 Bank of America Student Leader by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. Formerly working on national organizing and digital strategy at March For Our Lives, and as a United States Senate Page after being nominated to serve in this position by Democratic Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer, she uniquely understands the collaborative relationship that advocates and policymakers maintain. She was honored with the Puffin Prize for Creative Citizenship by Type Media Center, and was named the 2019 Harry Chapin Young Humanitarian of The Year by Long Island Cares.
Beom Joon Baek is a senior at Columbia College studying computer science and physics. Coming from Seoul, South Korea, Joon took two years off after his freshman year to serve in the Republic of Korea Army. He served at the Joint Security Area along the Demilitarized Zone between South and North Korea, performing his duties as a part of the security detail for high profile VIP visitors like the Secretary of State and IMF Managing Director. After getting discharged from the army, Joon returned to Columbia in Fall 2018. He currently serves as the international student representative for the Columbia College Student Council, voicing international student’s problems on visa requirements, academic accommodations, and xenophobia. He also is on the Committee on the Core Curriculum as the student representative. His extracurricular involvements include his role as an actor and treasurer for the Latenite Theater Group, a camp counselor for the non-profit Camp Kesem, and a brother of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Academic-wise, he is a John Jay National Scholar, and served as a Kraft Global Fellow for Spring 2019.
David Chen is a junior at Columbia College studying economics and pursuing the pre med track. He is interested in global health policy and geopolitical issues. Beyond UCGT, David is a resident advisor for first year students in John Jay Hall and enjoys singing acapella music with his group The Columbia Clefhangers.