Alumni News and Stories
Alexandra Cooper '17 along with a Columbia classmate and two Brazilian entrepreneurs have won a $20,000 EdTech Competition for a proposal aimed at improving the delivery of services to special education students within the Brazilian public school system.
Organized by the Columbia Entrepreneurship Design Studio and the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), the competition drew students from across seven Columbia-affiliated schools to work with 12 Brazilian entrepreneurs selected by Fundação Lemann. The objective was to generate tech-based solutions to problems within Brazil's public schools.
Cooper's team focused on special education. The seven-month challenge began in October when the Brazilian participants came to Columbia for a week of intensive design-thinking work. The teams conferred by video chats during the fall. In the spring, Cooper took a graduate course at SIPA called "Creating a Social Enterprise" to supplement her work on the project.
In May, the project, Olhares, received first place. The $20,000 award will allow the team to continue to develop the concept.
While at Riverdale, Cooper gained experience in design thinking while working on the Purpose Project, a concept developed by Riverdale and IDEO to provide a digital platform to help students develop a sense of purpose.
In addition to Columbia Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Design, the School of International and Public Affairs Tech & Policy Initiative, and Fundação Lemann, sponsors included the Center for Development Economics & Policy, Teachers College, UNICEF, and the Nasdaq Educational Foundation,
Riverdale has joined the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Caring Schools #CommonGood campaign, which launches nationwide on March 6.
The purpose of the campaign is to encourage middle schools and high schools to prepare students to be positive community members. Participating schools agree to take a new action or build on an existing action that deepens students' care for others and their communities, increases equity and access for all students in the college admissions process, and reduces excessive achievement pressure.
In a letter to parents, Head of School Dominic A.A. Randolph said: "This campaign allows us to deepen and renew our commitments to ensuring that joy, wellbeing, and character, as well as the intellectual development of our students, are at the core of what constitutes a Riverdale education. We are proud to be part of national and global movements that commit to the truly human endeavor of teaching and learning."
Riverdale Is A Caring School Because ...
What makes a caring school? Members of the Middle and Upper School communities weigh in.
Head of School Dominic A.A. Randolph and more than 100 heads of New York independent schools published a full-page ad in The New York Times on Sunday condemning gun violence.
"We implore you, Mr. President and our national legislative leaders, to do everything necessary to stem this tide of senseless gun violence," read the statement, published on Feb. 25. "Address, and ultimately deny, unrestricted access to weapons and ammunition that have no legitimate sporting, recreational or protective purpose. Recognize that the proliferation of military-grade guns and ammunition leads to more gun violence and more gun deaths. The statistics are compelling and cannot be ignored."
The heads of schools took out a similar ad in The Times five years ago after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Conn. According to The New York Times, since Sandy Hook there have been 239 school shootings in this country, injuring 438 and killing 138.