Student Advisory Board

The Student Advisory Board meets weekly with the Athena Student Programs team to ensure the program is fulfilling its goals and meets the needs of scholars. Student Advisory Board meetings take place at 9am on Mondays at the Athena Center located in the Milstein Center, 4th floor, and all Athena Scholars are welcome to attend. Applications for SAB 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. 

Spring 2019 Student Advisory Board

Natasha Cox ( is looking forward to serving alongside Claire Walter as President of Athena's Student Advisory Board! A Political Science major who is passionate about fighting for social justice, particularly as it relates to women's rights, Natasha uses her extracurricular involvement as an opportunity to better the community and world at large. From curating discourse and debate as an editor at Columbia Spectator to serving on the board of three women's empowerment organizations, Natasha has used her time on campus to shed light on important conversations and carve out spaces for students to come together over shared interests.  With graduation right around the corner, she endeavors to leave her mark on the community through active engagement and an effort to create an even more inclusive, diverse, and accessible student life experience for Barnard students. In her free time, when Natasha is not out exploring the city or dining with friends, she is most likely curled up for a midday nap. 


Claire Walter ( is honored to spend her senior year as Athena SAB co-head alongside Natasha Cox. She is an Economics major at Barnard and is also cross-enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music, where she studies violin. In part thanks to her experience as a Girls Who Invest Scholar in 2016, Claire is particularly passionate about increasing the percentage of women in buy-side leadership roles— she believes one of the most powerful ways to effect change in the world is through investing. Athena has been an integral part of her time at Barnard, and she hopes to make sure other scholars feel that way, too. 


Shambhavi Chadha ( is a junior majoring in Economics and Mathematics. Originally from New Delhi, India, Shambhavi enjoys the outdoors. She is passionate about investing and financial markets and enjoys reading articles on Investopedia or in the Wall Street Journal. She is also fond of music and art, often taking a friend and going to the Met museum or the opera. In her spare time, she can be found binging on a Netflix show, experimenting with different kinds of food or spending time with friends.


Julia Delgado ( is senior at Barnard majoring in Urban Studies with a Political Science Specialization. She's excited to return to the advisory board to connect more students with wonderful Athena opportunities like the Williams Fellowship she received this summer to work with the Manhattan Borough President's Office on sustainability efforts in Harlem for children. On campus, Julia is also involved with Peace by PEACE and the Senior Fund. She now hopes to continue a sustainable agenda highlighting youth development for her senior year for the city and create new platforms for communities.


Demme Durrett ( is thrilled to spend her final year at Barnard as part of the Student Advisory Board.  She is a senior at Barnard majoring in American Studies and Human Rights with a double minor in Art History and Political Science. As an active member of the McIntosh Activities Committee, Alpha Chi Omega, Meet Me at the Museum, and SGA’s Committee on Arts and Culture, Demme feels most at home when serving cookies to her fellow students as part of an on-campus event.  Additionally, she is the Senior Fund CO-Chair, a Senior Interviewer, and serves as a representative for the class of 2019.  Demme also leads an active life off campus as the founder of a nonprofit focused on universal human rights education, Youth for Human Rights – USA. In her free time, Demme loves checking out the latest brunch spots around the city. As the 2017-2018 President of SAB and an intern at the Athena Center, Demme loves all things Athena and could not be more grateful for the support, opportunity, and community Athena provides. 


Sophia Houdaigui ( is a sophomore studying History with a concentration in the Middle East. She is from Mclean, Virginia. Sophia is the Vice President of Columbia Musical Theatre Society, writes for the Columbia Political Review, and is an active member of Delta Gamma sorority. Sophia also works with the organization Running Start, a nonprofit committed to empowering and equipping young women with the tools to run for office. She is passionate about the intersection of politics, law and international affairs and is excited to serve on Athena’s Student Advisory Board this semester.


Apolline Jonckheere ( is a junior at Barnard College majoring in Political Economics with a minor in English. Other than volunteering with several on-campus organizations, she submits creative writing and photography to various zines and magazines in her free time. She is an avid news follower, always has a fiction novel to read, and will watch just about any sitcom or stand-up.  Apolline has interned with non-profits, worked in political development, and is interested in pursuing law. Her favorite things to do in the city include going to see plays, visiting new museum exhibitions, reading in the parks, and getting coffee with friends.


Zakiya Lahka ( is a sophomore from Nebraska, and she is currently interning at a tech start-up company. Zakiya's major changes depending on what day you ask her. Even though she never quite finds time for it, she loves playing piano and has been playing since she was six years old. She is also capable of binge watching multiple seasons of a tv series in one day. 



Flosha Liyana ( a sophomore majoring in Psychology and minoring in Political Science. Although she was born in Sri Lanka and raised in the UAE, her family currently lives in Maryland. She is on the board of First-Generation/Low-income Partnership as the co-chair for the Q-FLIP mentorship program where she hopes to build community for FLI students. She also happens to the secretary for the sophomore council at Barnard and an Global Ambassador for international students. She often finds herself procrastinating on work by irresponsibly spending time on subtle asian traits and subtle curry traits meme pages.


Floriana Milazzo ( is a sophomore majoring in English and double minoring in Philosophy and Education Studies.  Along with being an Athena Scholar, on campus, Floriana is currently working towards becoming a Writing Fellow.  She is also a member of Columbia Daily Spectator's Opinion section and part of the SGA committee on Academic Affairs. This past summer Floriana interned for the Athena Center and had an amazing time learning more about the Center's work.  In her free time,  she loves adventuring through the city for delicious food and navigating the aisles of Strand Bookstore. 


Simran Shah ( is a junior at Barnard majoring in Economics with a concentration in Political Economy. She is from Mumbai, India, and this will be her second year serving on the Student Advisory Board. She loves creative things and almost every TV show on Earth. Simran is really passionate about food, haute couture, and fiction writing. Her motto in life is a quote from George Eliot's novel, Middlemarch: "It is never too late to be what you might have been". 



Alexis  Tsapralis ( is a junior studying Political Science with a concentration in International Relations. This past summer, Alexis interned at the American Hellenic Institute in Washington, D.C. which is a non-profit public policy think tank that works to strengthen relations between the U.S, Greece, and Cyprus. She is specifically interested in human rights and international security, and hopes to eventually work in the Foreign Service. On campus, Alexis is president of Hellas, Columbia's Hellenic heritage club, and is an active member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority. In her spare time, you can catch Alexis watching one too many Netflix original documentaries, artfully cooking Kraft mac and cheese, or sifting through her collection of Shakespearean sonnets. 


Yunxiao Cherrie Zheng ( is a sophomore majoring in Economics, and potentially minoring in Environmental Science and Psychology. She is from Beijing! Cherrie is a photographer for the Columbia Daily Spectator and the secretary of She’s the First Barnard/Columbia, an NGO aiming to help girls in impoverished areas gain higher education. Interested in performing arts, she has worked on Addams’ Family and Spring Awakening with Columbia Musical Theater Society. You can also find Cherrie in all kinds of fun but not too advanced dance classes, and she is in Orchesis this semester! She loves running at Riverside Park, and once in a while, she will travel to the edge of Upper Manhattan for tennis.