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Vanessa Feng is a Philosophy and Political Science major at Columbia College. Born and raised in Beijing, China, she loves New York City but is always suspicious whenever someone calls it the greatest city in the world (which is every single day). She loves meeting different people, having long conversations, and sharing her fierce passion for humanities with whoever willing to listen. On top of Symposium, she advocates for effective altruism with One for the World Columbia, works with social enterprises in Columbia Social Entrepreneurship Group, and serves on the secretariat of Columbia’s annual collegiate Model United Nations conference. She’s also always on the search for discount tickets to weird off-broadway experimental plays. 

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Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Caroline is a Political Science major with a special interest in international relations. On campus, she leads Girl Up @ Columbia as Co-President and serves on the Law Review's Editorial Board. In her free time, Caroline enjoys playing a variety of sports, experimenting with baking recipes, and traveling as much as possible. She is excited about participating in Symposium because of the opportunity to collaborate with other students to engage with diverse texts and develop a more open-minded perspective on global questions.

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Born and raised in Hangzhou, China, Tiancheng “Tim” Lyu fell in love with the English language after he became a freshman at a U.S. boarding school in 2013. Ever since, guided by his passion for storytelling in various forms, ranging from poetry to investigate journalism, Tiancheng has been pursuing his dream to become a bilingual writer. He is currently a sophomore at Columbia University majoring in English. Outside of the classroom, Tiancheng is a omnivorous reader, an amateur squash player, and is constantly on the lookout for the perfect metaphor for his creative writings. Tiancheng looks forward to reading and discussing an exciting group of texts - Persian peotry, an existentialist play, and a Chinese novel - in his hometown this summer!

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Jean is a sophomore studying political science at Columbia University. On campus, she serves as an editor at the Journal of Politics and Society, a board member of the Political Science Student Association, and a mentor for international students at the Columbia Mentoring Initiative. Outside the campus, she is a student ambassador of Columbia University at the Carnegie Council of Ethics in International Affairs. Originally from Seoul, she loves exploring Manhattan and trying new cuisines! 


Margaret Corn (马睿珍) is a senior at Columbia University studying Classics and Art History. Her academic interests include consciousness and linguistic constructions of conscious thought, conceptions of self (particularly as examined in political philosophy and epic poetry), and the politics of space and architecture. She has presented at conferences and published work on topics ranging from the neuroaesthetics of satyric images in Attic pottery to the role of atmospheric mist in delineating temporal spheres in the Odyssey. She has excavated at Hadrian’s Villa with Columbia’s Advanced Program of Ancient History and Art, studied paper and textile conservation with the Balkan Heritage Field School, and is currently curating an exhibit for U.S. Consulate General Cape Town. She is also producing a video series for U.S. Embassy Beijing, was the research assistant for U.S. Embassy Bangkok’s 2018 "Great and Good Friends" exhibition (which displayed gifts given and received by Thai Kings), and designed a series of 3D-printed coins for U.S. Embassy Rangoon. With her own production company, she has published photographs and created films which have been showcased at museums and Academy Award-qualifying, international, and domestic festivals. In her free time, she enjoys journalism, animation, and graphic design, and her (individual and collaborative) work has received recognition from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Society of Professional Journalists, Sony World Photography Awards, and the National Center for Women and Informational Technology. She is excited to teach in Beijing this summer as a 2019 Symposium Fellow and to begin her PhD in the fall.

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I am a rising sophomore at Columbia University who plans to study philosophy and mathematics. Originally from South Korea and Canada, I first became interested in philosophy when, as a child, I successfully annoyed my parents with questions and ideas I read about in Michael Sandel’s Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?. Ever since then, I decided that philosophy is an extremely useful study to pursue. My interests include Nietzsche, Foucault, contemporary epistemology, and language along with more literary fascinations with the concept of grace, tragedy, and tragic dynamics of life in particular. Some of my other fascinations are Saint-Saëns and Phantom of the Opera and Lalaland (in which I find some tragic elements!) While I am interested in tragedy and plan to organize a seminar around that theme, please rest assured that I am not that pessimistic; I am just a bit nihilistic only.

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Jetasri Gupta is a sophomore studying Computer Engineering in Columbia Engineering, who lives and grew up in Dubai. She likes to take as many opportunities as she can to take non-technical classes in between all the math and coding, but loves all forms of puzzles and problem-solving. She also loves musical theatre and any work related to the holistic study of civilization (and advertises Columbia's Contemporary Civilization class to everyone!). Apart from Symposium, Jet plays the flute in Columbia University Wind Ensemble, coordinates events and programs for middle schoolers with Women in Computer Science, and volunteers to tutor young children in Math.

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Amanda is currently a sophomore in SEAS studying computer science. She was born in Shanghai, China and has lived in New York since she was six years old. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching TV, and trying new restaurants with friends. Her favorite books include Ender's Game, The Catcher in the Rye, and Song of Solomon.

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Shefali Kumar is a sophomore at Columbia College studying Economics. On campus, she is also involved in Columbia Women's Business Society, CORE Impulse, and Club Zamana. In her free time she enjoys exploring the city, especially around the Lincoln Center area. Fun Fact: Shefali is a huge fan of Columbia's Core Curriculum! 

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Hey! I’m Krishi majoring in Neuroscience/Behavior and Economics/Philosophy class of 2021 at Columbia. I love exploring my academic, athletic, and social limits by committing to a philosophy of 0 or a 100 without anything in between. Reach out if you want to learn more!



Moshan Guo is a sophomore in Columbia College majoring in English and Biology. She loved to read fantasy series such as Magic Tree House and Harry Potter as a child. In junior year of high school, she took a life-changing English class which further inspired her to pursue literature in higher education. Now in college, she is a hard-core fan of authors of modern literature including Ezra Pound and Anzia Yezierska. She is very excited to embark on a teaching journey to Taiwan where she hopes to spread her love for literature to others.