Campus Initiatives

GCA coordinates many programs in which Columbia faculty, staff, and students are involved. These initiatives are coordinated by Junior Benjamin, Assistant Director, Campus Initiatives, Community Relations and Finance.

Campus-wide Blood Drives
The University-wide blood drives are coordinated through the Office of Government and Community Affairs. We partner with the New York Blood Center in hosting life-saving blood drives across our various campuses during spring, fall, Black History Month, summer and new student orientation.  Anyone can volunteer to host, promote, or serve on days of each drive.

Read Ahead Lunchtime Reading Program
GCA works with Read Ahead to match interested faculty, staff and students with students at nearby elementary schools for fun reading and conversation in weekly sessions from September to May. Mentors’ critical one-on-one attention gives children the confidence, motivation, and skills to succeed.

Bone Marrow Drives
In response to request from the Columbia community, GCA plans and oversees the semi-annual bone marrow drives, in collaboration with the Icla da Silva Foundation, and Columbia’s Chapter of “Be-the-Match.

Annual Lou Gehrig 'Ride for Life'
In remembrance of Columbia alumnus Lou Gehrig, and to celebrate the research work of the medical center, every year GCA coordinates – in conjunction with the Provost’s office, and the ALS Ride for Life Foundation – and hosts the ‘Ride-for-Life’ activity, where persons afflicted with ALS are welcomed on campus to use the facilities, celebrate mass at the Chapel and hand over donations for continued research in the field of ALS.

Skin Cancer Screening
As part of GCA’s community initiative, we organize and host the Skin Cancer Foundation’s annual skin cancer screening that alternates between the Morningside and CUMC campuses (alternate years).  The SCF provide all the equipment and supplies, and Columbia makes available dermatologists from our medical facility.

'Columbia Care' Series
GCA coordinates with students from NYC medical centers including CUMC, NYU, Cornell, and Einstein, as well as transplant recipients and physicians in celebrating Organ Donation Awareness month (April), to raise awareness about organ donation.

For more information on any of the above initiatives, or to become involved by volunteering and/or hosting same on campus, please contact:

Junior Benjamin, SHRM-CP, CPHR, Notary Public
Assistant Director, Campus Initiatives, Community Relations and Finance

(212) 854-3716
jb2058@columbia.edu