Under the Helm of Dean Melissa Begg

Melissa Begg, a population health scientist and outstanding senior-level administrator at Columbia, assumed the deanship of CSSW at the start of the 2019–2020 academic year. By the spring, she was facing the unprecedented challenge of moving the School online as New York City became the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic and Columbia shifted to virtual education. And the arrival of COVID was just the beginning. As Dean Begg herself has put it:

“We have borne witness to a tidal wave of profound events: from the emergence of COVID; acts of discrimination against Asian and Asian American communities; the heartbreaking loss of life from the virus, especially among the Black, Latinx and Indigenous communities; the extreme economic damage being wrought on the most vulnerable among us; and the horror of the murders of George Floyd and so many others.”

In response, Dean Begg has been deepening and broadening the School’s mission to address social injustice through education, scholarship, and public advocacy. Please follow the links to read the announcement of her appointment along with the reflection piece she produced for Columbia News on “lessons learned” from the pandemic (from which the above quote is taken).