SPS in the Community: Harlem Children's Zone

Columbia's School of Professional Studies continues to collaborate with the Harlem Children's Zone for inspiring professional panels featuring SPS alumni and faculty.

For the 2017 SPS Professional Workshop Series with Harlem Children’s Zone, SPS has a series Professional of Color career panels for HCZ Elite Scholars. For January's edition, Joel Ruffin, a Vice President in the technology division at Goldman Sachs, spoke to the HCZ about careers in STEM. Ruffin attended the Information and Knowledge Management program at SPS, where he received his M.S. degree. Students, who attended the panel in person and online, called his presentation "inspiring," and another student appreciated that he was a "role-model who teach students how to be successful, what success is, why being successful is crucial, and how to take analytical approaches. It is a constant reminder that being successful is possible, it is worth trying to achieve, and there are people out there that have done it.” ­

In another panel, Jesse Scinto, the Associate Director for Curriculum Development for the M.S. in Strategic Communication Programs, led the Elite Scholars Workshop on "The Influential Speaker: Essential Skills for Class and Career." Students from HCZ stood in front of their peers to give two minute, persuasive presentations on topics of their choosing. Scinto, an alumnus of the M.S. in Strategic Communications program himself, encouraged the students to give critical feedback, and provided strategies to strengthen delivery and reduce speaking anxiety. After the workshop, the students remarked that they were much less intimidated by public speaking, and have a plan for how they will prepare for upcoming presentations.

SPS at the Harlem Children's Zone

Upcoming SPS/HCZ collaborations include a Spring 2017 panel on Professionals of Color in Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice Symposium and a Summer 2017 panel on Professionals of Color in Sports and Athletics Symposium.

Read more about the Harlem Children's Zone and learn more about graduate programs in Strategic Communication.