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The Power of Being Together

On Tuesday, March 31, the M.S. in Information and Knowledge Strategy (IKNS) program at Columbia University held its first virtual Open House and Cohort Reunion. Sixty-one people attended, spanning students from the class of 2010 to the class of 2024, as well as faculty and friends of the program. It was an enthusiastic, energetic, and diverse group that shares core values and a commitment to making work and life better.

The IKNS community has always been a warm and lively one. But during this reunion, a strong sense of gratitude for life and the lifelong friendships created by the IKNS program shone through.  Students and alumni shared their stories of formative experiences and valuable lessons.  They also told inspiring stories of how they have used their IKNS education to create opportunities for others and for themselves.

One of our alumni spoke compellingly of the value of our program’s commitment to cognitive diverse.  Our students are chosen from a wide range of industries and roles. They bring an extraordinary breadth and depth of experience. Our cohorts have included doctors, lawyers, engineers, technologists, educators, business leaders, and representatives of every branch of the armed forces. As a result, every discussion inside and outside the classroom is rich and likely to open new vistas of understanding for all. While it might be easier to cater to just one industry or function, I doubt any of our IKNS students would trade the richness of their educational experience for the potential efficiency of a less diverse model.

As we were ending the evening, another alumnus of the program offered the following call to action:  "Continue to thread the needle between the IKNS past and present. Be the mirror that reflects who we are, the problems we are called to solve, and the difference we can make in the world.

This is the core of IKNS: We strive to make work better and make life better, together.

 - Mary Abraham