Columbia University

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

2017 Public Voices Fellows Announced


2017 Public Voices Fellows Announced

New York, NY – Twenty Columbia University faculty members are among the newest class of Columbia Public Voices Fellows. The fellowship funds participation in the OpEd project that scouts and trains under-represented experts to take thought leadership positions in their fields through connecting them with a national network of top-ranking media mentors in order to provide direct access to media gatekeepers.

The fellowship program is a collaboration of Columbia’s Department of Medicine, Mailman School of Public Health, the Humanities Division in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and the OpEd Project to cultivate national thought leaders among scholars, scientists, and clinicians who can influence the larger public debate beyond the university. The program was created through the support of Robert L. Burch.

"To participate effectively in public debates, professors must learn how to talk about their areas of expertise to non-experts. What better place to start than with a group that unites medical researchers, public health experts, and humanities faculty?” said Humanities Dean in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Sharon Marcus. “As Dean, I'm grateful to Dr. Henry Lodge for bringing the OpEd project to Columbia and for recognizing the importance of the humanities."

Columbia Public Voices fellows will participate in workshops to learn how ideas spread, when and why minds change, how credibility is built, and how impact is created and measured. The program also introduces participants to high-level media insiders and connects them with journalist mentors for dedicated coaching throughout the year. The combination of seminars and mentorship is intended to provide fellows with the tools to communicate their scholarship and ideas in all areas of the public sphere—in print, on television and radio, via social media, and through other channels.

“Columbia faculty are research leaders and experts on important issues including the biomedical sciences and health care,” said Henry Lodge, MD, the Robert L. Burch Family Professor of Medicine at CUMC and director of the Health Sciences Communication Project, which oversees the fellowships. “We are delighted that this partnership will help bring their expert voices and perspectives to the larger world.”

The 20 newest Columbia fellows join the 60 who have completed the program since 2014, as well as a national network of fellowship alumni, allowing for continued knowledge-sharing and innovation after the fellowship ends.

The work of OpEd Project program fellows has been published in a wide range of media, including The New York TimesWashington Post, the AtlanticForbesU.S. News and World ReportAl Jazeera, and USA Today. The fellows have appeared on CNN, CNBC, and NPR.

The new fellows include 7 faculty members in the Division of Humanities. The 20 Columbia fellows for 2017, chosen through a competitive application process, are:

Craig D. Blinderman, Director of the Adult Palliative Care Service (P&S)

Melanie Elyse BrewsterAssistant Professor of Psychology and Education Counseling and Clinical Psychology (Teachers College)

Carol L.M. Caton, Professor of Sociomedical Sciences (Mailman)

Raygine DiAquoi, Director of the Office of Diversity, Culture, and Inclusion and Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences (Mailman)

Mirjana Domakonda, Postdoctoral Research Fellow (P&S)

Marcus Folch, Associate Professor of Classics (Morningside)

Pablo Goldberg, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry (P&S)

Marianne Hirsch, Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (Morningside)

Seth Kimmel, Assistant Professor of Latin American and Iberian Cultures (Morningside)

Elisabeth Ladenson, Professor of French and Comparative Literature (Morningside)

Susan Michaels-Strasser, Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology (Mailman)

Debashree Mukherjee, Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (Morningside)

Beth W. Rackow, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and of Pediatrics (P&S) 

Anupama Rao, Associate Professor of History (Barnard) and Associate Director of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (Morningside)

Virginia A. Rauh, Professor and Vice Chair of Population and Family Health (Mailman)

John Santelli, Harriet and Robert H. Heilbrunn Professor of Population and Family Health (Mailman)

Lindsay Stark, Associate Professor of Population and Family Health (Mailman)

Joseph D. Terwilliger, Professor of Neurobiology (P&S)

Elisha Waldman, Medical Director of Pediatric Palliative Care (P&S)

George C. Wang, Assistant Professor of Medicine at CUMC (P&S)

Jennifer Wenzel, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature and of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (Morningside)


Links to the articles published by the 2017 Fellows, and the articles from previous Fellows, are available here.