Until We Meet Again…

This past Saturday we said our final goodbyes to one another at Columbia University. We shared fun times, late nights, and amazing food! This summer was one to remember. We’d like to think that lifelong friendships were made and that it will only be a “see you later”. New York City will be here waiting for your next adventure, of course!

We look forward to hearing about the future leaders that come from this program. Until we meet again…

– SummerFuel at Columbia Staff






“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” -Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder

A Night in the City

Here at Summerfuel, we are especially grateful for our hardworking RAs. Anastasia, for instance, organized a scavenger hunt around Columbia’s campus. Last night, the winning team accompanied her to Midtown for a delicious dinner and some quality time together before heading home on Saturday. We loved seeing the adorable photos they all took together!

Let the Final Week BEGIN!

While the first CAP group departed Columbia Friday afternoon for what will hopefully be some well-deserved rest at home for the rest of their summer, Leadership and Innovation is still going strong for another week! On Friday evening, students got to put the leadership skills they’ve been learning in class to the test at an escape room. Many groups were able to navigate a series of challenging clues to victory, including that led by RAs Kordell and Anastasia pictured below. Students also enjoyed some tasty treats in midtown with the Summerfuel staff.

A Delightful Dinner

Greetings, Summerfuel family and friends!

We are speeding ahead into our last few days on campus! Although students are hard at work perfecting their final presentations that will be given over the final few days, there is always time to pause for a fun evening spent with friends.

Last Wednesday, each floor group teamed up to create a dish for a collaborative dinner, facilitated by our lovely staff. With ingredients from the wonderful Westside Market down the road, the two mens’ floors wowed with a steak and chicken main course, and desserts. Meanwhile, the girls provided their take on appealing appetizers such as guacamole and bruschetta. Even CAP was able to pause from their schedule stuffed with SAT prep and college tours to provide the drinks!

After finishing their parts of the meal, the students enjoyed eating it together in one of Schapiro Hall’s lounges. It was a delicious pause in a busy day.

Week one… DONE!

Hello SummerFuel at Columbia Friends and Family!

Our first week is officially over and it has been an adventure. From Columbia University’s campus… to Times Square… to class… to Independence Day in SoHo… to Columbus Circle and Central Park… to class again! We’ve learned, we’ve explored, we’ve shopped… and there is still more to come.

Leadership and Innovation is fully in gear with debates, self-reflection assignments, and exciting projects to develop skills in entrepreneurship. Students are also adjusting to their home for the remaining two weeks while getting to know one another. When we weren’t in class, we embraced the hot, humid New York City summer by traveling to fun destinations and practicing communication skills with one another. During our breaks, we had study hours and relaxed in the lounge. What a week.

We can’t wait to show you what we do next!

Stay tuned to hear about the fun we have this coming week. Enjoy some pictures we took this week in the meantime!

Reminders and Meet the Staff!


Hello everyone!

We are so excited to meet all of the students tomorrow! Just a few things to remember regarding arrivals:

  • Students will be checked in at Broadway and 115th Street at Schapiro Hall. If you are dropping off your student, please use this address!
  • If your student is arriving at the airport, a staff member will bring them back to campus.
  • Please call our program number if you have any difficulty: 929-437-9217

Now, meet our wonderful RA staff!

Meet the Staff

Ashley Cuevas

Hey everyone, my name is Ashley Cuevas and I’m Dominican and Puerto Rican but grew up in The Bronx, NY. My favorite breakfast food is French toast – it’s so yummy! I can binge watch Grey’s Anatomy at any time, I love it. I just graduated this past May from Buffalo State College. A fun fact about me is that I was born on the fourth of July!

Ellen Hietsch

  1. Hometown: Well…..I spent my whole life in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, but my family is currently living in the Fake Canada part of Upstate New York. I, however, have lived in Madrid, Spain for two years going on three.
  2. Favorite Breakfast Food: I can make a wicked porridge. It’s best with bananas and blueberries but anything sweet is yummy in it.
  3. Netflix Binge: Parks and Recreation
  4. Alma Mater: I graduated from Dickinson College
  5. Fun Fact: I play ukulele, write funny short stories, and draw brutally honest greeting cards.

Anastasia Anastasopoulos 

  1. Hometown: Allentown, PA / USA
  2. Favorite Breakfast Food: Chocolate Chip Pancakes 
  3. Favorite show: Jane the Virgin 
  4. Graduate of Moravian College, Class of 2017 
  5. Fun fact: I speak 3 languages fluently: English, Spanish and Greek

Kordell KeyAndre

  1. Hometown/Country of Origin: Bay Shore of Long Island, NY 
  2. Favorite breakfast food: In the morning he enjoys fruits, particularly red grapes or cherries.
  3. Favorite show to binge watch: Designated Survivor on Netflix
  4. Current university or alma mater(if graduated): The State University of New York at Fredonia, English B.A. class of 2019 
  5. Fun Fact! Kordell is happy when landscaping or planting in his garden.

Isaiah E. Hayes

Hi everyone, my name is Isaiah E. Hayes and I am from Long Island, NY. Last month, I graduated from Eastern University in Saint David’s, PA with a bachelor’s degree in Theology and minor in Pre-Law. My favorite breakfast food is leftover Domino’s pizza and I love binge watching Grey’s Anatomy. I can’t wait to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience with you all. Fun fact; I love roller coasters and I think I set the record for the most time riding EL Toro (Six Flags) in a single day (about 15x’s, someone fact check that for me).

Introducing our Senior Staff!

We have a wonderful senior staff here at Columbia! Here is a little more about them!

**Just a quick note: Please make sure that your student brings a laptop to their program!

Lawrence Alexander

Summerfuel Columbia Director

Lawrence works as the lead search consultant for CS&A’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practice. He facilitates in-house training on best practices around implicit bias and equitable decision making. He also develops educational opportunities for school partners and keeps our firm on the razor’s edge with regard to trends and changes in the profession. This is Lawrence’s fifth summer as part of the Summerfuel staff, and his third summer as Director at Columbia.

Lawrence has spent a decade as a college counselor in both public and independent schools. He has worked for The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria, The Business of Sports School, Ross School (NY), and The White Mountain School (NH). For the last three years, he has also served as the Director of Equity and Inclusion at The White Mountain School and has established himself as an industry leader through his work in with East Woods School (NY), Brown University, the Association of Independent Schools in New England (AISNE), and CS&A. Lawrence also serves on the editorial board for Insight Into Diversity magazine.

Lawrence received his bachelor’s degree from Kean University in finance and his graduate degree from Montclair State University in Counseling in Higher Education.

He lives with his wife, Monique, and together they have five children. Lawrence is also an avid fitness enthusiast and loves Crossfit. He is a three-time Tough Mudder finisher.

Kaity Beaumont

Academic and Administrative Director 

Kaity is very excited to start another summer with Summerfuel! This is her third summer with Summerfuel, and first year in this role! She is from Andover, Massachusetts, and teaches middle school special education in Malden. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Saint Anselm College in English and Secondary Education, and her M.Ed. in Moderate Disabilities from Merrimack College. Her favorite shows to binge watch on Netflix are Parks and Rec and any type of crime show. One of her goals this year is to compete in a triathlon!

Kathryn Lige

Residence Life and Activities Director

As a California native, Kathryn has lived in some of America’s most popular cities. Kathryn is from the Bay Area, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Los Angeles, and calls San Diego her second home. Recently, Kathryn graduated with her master’s degree from Columbia University. She is passionate about social work, education, and traveling. Kathryn is an advocate for multiculturalism, college/career preparation, and mental and emotional wellness for youth. She is happiest when she is eating vegetarian, Latin American food!

Get Ready for Columbia!

Hello everyone! This is Kathryn, the Residence Life and Activities Director at Summerfuel Columbia! I can’t wait to meet all of the students on Sunday! Here are some things to keep in mind for arrival:

  • Arrivals take place on Sunday, June 30th from 9 am-5 pm. Students will check in at Morris Schapiro Hall!
  • A Summerfuel staff member will meet students at the Arrivals gate. Staff will be wearing blue Summerfuel t-shirts. Once the whole arrival group has met, the staff member will then take students to campus.
  • If your student cannot find the Summerfuel staff member, please call the Columbia program office at +1- 929-437-9217 or the NYC office at +1- 212-796-8340.

In the coming days, I will be introducing you to our wonderful staff! Stay tuned!