Student Advisory Board

The Student Advisory Board meets bi-weekly with Sarit Abramowicz to ensure the program is fulfilling its goals and meets the needs of scholars. Applications open at the end of each academic year, and board members serve two-year terms. If you have questions or suggestions about the Athena Scholars Program, please contact or you can also contact one of the advisory board members. 

2016-2017 Student Advisory Board


Kirsten Cabacungan ( is a junior at Barnard College majoring in Economics. She is an intern in the Athena Center for Leadership Studies, works as the managing editor of On Our Terms, Barnard’s women and leadership academic journal, and dances in student run dance companies. In 2015, she received a scholarship to participate in the Italia Innovation Program as an innovation consultant led by Stanford professors and Italian entrepreneurs. In 2016, she was selected as one of 30 scholars of the inaugural class of Girls Who Invest, a rigorous four-week finance program taught by leading US business school professors from Wharton, Columbia Business School, and Yale School of Management. With a budding passion for asset management, she worked this past summer as a summer analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the Global Wealth and Investment Management business. 
Melina Dunham ( is a junior majoring in Political Science. The Athena Scholars Program is why she applied ED to Barnard. She is excited to be a part of the Student Advisory Board to work to make the Athena Center a stronger community, as it an incredible program that encourages Barnard students to pursue anything and stop at nothing. Outside of class, she loves to dance, take advantage of New York City, and go for walks in Riverside!
Demme Durrett  ( is a sophomore at Barnard majoring in Political Science. When not in the classroom, Demme is a representative for the Class of 2019 and an active member of the McIntosh Activities Committee, the Barnard Bulletin, Alpha Chi Omega, Smart Women Lead, the Barnard Babysitting Agency, and SGA’s Committee on Arts and Culture. Demme also leads an active life off campus as the founder of a nonprofit focused on Human Rights Education, Youth for Human Rights – USA. 
Alyssa Hsing ( is a sophomore majoring in Economics and Mathematics. She is also an Athena Scholar and an intern in the Athena Center for Leadership Studies. Over the summer, she published her research on A Novel T55A Variant of Gsα Associated with Impaired cAMP Production, Bone Fragility, and Osteolysis. In addition, she is also on Columbia University's Sailing Team and a member of Columbia Women's Business Society. She is an avid sports fan and loves attending Broadway shows.

Alana Koenig ( is a junior at Barnard majoring in Sociology. She is currently very involved with performing arts on campus as the president of the Columbia University Performing arts league and secretary of the Columbia Musical Theatre Society. This past summer she interned for Music Theatre International as the marketing intern coordinating publicity materials, promotional events and online media. She is currently interning at Viacom at Nickelodeon as the the consumer retail marketing intern. She is very excited about being on the student advisory board and getting to work with such incredible Barnard women. 
Emmi Marolda ( is a senior double majoring in Political Science and Human Rights. Emmi has interned with her State Assemblyman Thomas J. Abinanti, the Westchester Supreme and County Court, Dynamic Strategic Resource Group (a political campaign fundraising firm), and Nonviolence International (a human rights NGO). She is also a member of the Westchester County Democratic Committee. Currently, she works as a bankruptcy paralegal at Belluck & Fox law firm in downtown Manhattan. She hopes to obtain an international law degree and eventually work in conflict resolution and peacebuilding. 
Daniella Philipson ( is a senior majoring in English. She is the editor-in-chief of On Our Terms, Athena's academic journal on women and leadership and loves being an Athena Scholar. In the past, Daniella has interned at The Daily Show, the Athena Center, Girls on the Run, a nonprofit that provides an after-school program for girls around New York City. She also served as a student fellow for Barnard's Global Symposium and had the opportunity to travel to Paris with a small group of students and faculty. Daniella is very excited to be on the advisory board and work with such a passionate group of Barnard women!


Rathna Ramanathan ( is a junior from Congers, NY.  She is a RA for the 600s as well as a member of Columbia Sur, a South Asian a capella group.  This past summer, she interned with Active Media Services, a corporate trade company.  In her free time, she enjoys long walks in the park and spending time with friends and family.  She is excited to be involved with the Student Advisory Board in her first year as an Athena Scholar. 



Andromeda Urquilla ( is a junior at Barnard College majoring in Chemistry and she is doing research on the reactivity and dynamics of chlorocarbene additions to dibenzocyclooctyne with Dr. Merrer. She is an active member of the Barnard Chemical Society and Skip Stop Committees. In addition, she helps out as a mentor in the L.O.V.E program that guides young latinas in public school to achieve success and volunteers at ASPCA adoption center.



Evie Zavidow ( is a member of the Barnard class of 2017 studying Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with a concentration in Race and Ethnicity Studies. Born and raised in South Pasadena, California, she now cannot imagine living anywhere other than New York. On campus, Evie demonstrates her commitment to safe, diverse, and inclusive spaces—foundational for fostering progressive and challenging dialogue—by facilitating a student-led discussion group on gender and sexual identity called AllSex. Invested in a deeper knowledge of transnational feminisms, she has traveled to South Africa to conduct research on post-apartheid gender politics as well as Argentina to study human rights and gender diversity. Professionally, Evie has applied an unpacking of the intersections between gender, race, and incarceration by working in prison reform/abolition and immigrant and LGBTQI non-profit service and organizing.