The More You Know

To finish our first weekend in New York, we visited the Museum of Modern Art, also known as MoMA. With 6 different levels and an outside garden, the museum carried works depicting police brutality, social injustices, sculptures and abstract pieces. With much to do and so little time, we journey off to Central Park and Columbus Circle to enjoy some quiet time, as well as grab a bite to eat and shop. Back to business as usual tomorrow at Leadership and Innovation Columbia!

Six Flags: The Great Adventure

What a way to start off the weekend! We traveled to New Jersey to enjoy Six Flags: The Great Adventure amusement park. From the twists, twirls and drops of the rollercoasters to the old school arcade games, program staff and students had a fun filled day.

Escape Room NYC


What a way to end a great first week of classes! Tonight we had a blast at Exodus Escape Room NYC. Grouped into four teams, we were given the challenge to escape a room with little information in each scenario. Still confused? Just ask our students and they can say it’s truly a unique experience, one you have to participate in to fully understand. All in all a great time!

Leadership & Innovation

Today students were able to engage in a classic team building exercise after they completed the StrengthsQuest test as homework for their class today. StrengthsQuest allowed for students to realize their strengths and weakness, and personality styles. Utilizing this test assisted students in how to work with others who are different, and how best to attain a common goal. To finish off the day, the boys headed to Riverside Park to play fútbol.

Happy Fourth!

While classes have just started for our students, we had to embrace our celebration of Independence Day! We started out at Brookfield Place, located in the Financial District, where students were able to shop or catch a movie. Some of our team members went with the students to Pier 15 to go on a cruise around some monumental sites such as the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Ellis Island, Governors Island, Wall Street, and more! On our adventures today we also were able to view the Freedom tower and spend time at the sites of where North and South Tower were, now waterfall memorial sites with the known names of those who lost their lives on 9/11. To top off our night, we took a short train ride to see the fireworks on East River. It’s crazy to think we still have three more weeks; it seems like we have already created memories to last a lifetime!

Oh the places you’ll go!

Today we started off the day by exploring some hot spots in New York! Of course we had to go into Times Square, and were even able to go to SoHo. Students were able to get the best of both worlds: the typical hustle and bustle on 42nd Street, and the more sophisticated atmosphere near Spring Street. Despite the humidity, we still had smiling faces by the end of it. Overall, a 10/10 experience and great way to kick off the next three weeks.

Meet Your Resident Advisors!

Kordell KeyAndre is from Bay Shore, New York and is an undergraduate student at Fredonia State University. Some of his guilty pleasures include Grey’s Anatomy, pancakes and waffles.

Kathryn Lige is a Bay Area native, currently residing in San Diego, CA. Her favorite breakfast foods are breakfast burritos/sandwiches or Huevos Rancheros. Kathryn’s most recent binge watches were Black Mirror and Sense8. She is a recent graduate from California State University, Los Angeles, where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and minor in Spanish. Kathryn is also an incoming graduate student at Columbia University for the Master’s of Social Work program.


Kaity Beaumont is from Andover, Massachusetts and has completed her Bachelor’s degree at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, and completed her Master’s degree at Merrimack College. She is a 5th grade special education teacher in Malden, Massachusetts and loves pancakes, Parks and Recreation , and Game of Thrones


Jacquelynn Akins is from Cicero, New York and is currently completing her Masters degree at SUNY Buffalo State College for Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration. This past year she has traveled to three different countries and loves to drink iced coffee!

We Can’t Wait to See You!!! Leadership and Innovation at Columbia University

Hello Students and Parents!

My name is Lawrence Alexander and I am excited to serve as your director for the Leadership and Innovation Program at Columbia University. We are working hard to ensure that you have the best learning experience possible. Our residential staff have organized wonderful activities on and off-campus so that you can develop a strong community here as well as experience the culture of New York City. Our faculty members have developed a rich and engaging curriculum and I believe that you will be pleased with your academic experience. Lastly, we are ready to welcome you on Sunday, July 1st to your home for the next three weeks. We will have our staff out at the airports to meet and transport students to campus. I will be here at Columbia with Shanita Ray, our assistant director, greeting families who will be traveling by car. Families can begin checking in at 2pm.

We will be checking you into John Jay Hall on campus. If you look at the image above in this blog, John Jay Hall is just to the left of the library, which is in the far right of the photo.

If you’re traveling by car use 514 w.114th street, New York, NY  as the drop off location.

In the event you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me, or call me at 917-853-5013.

See you soon!


Lawrence Alexander II, M.A.


Leadership and Innovation Program