Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

AHA Students Get a Glimpse of Life at Columbia

Demarest, NJ: Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science recently opened its doors to students from the Academy of the Holy Angels. Three engineers and a panel of women who currently attend Columbia shared their experiences with the Holy Angels Robotics Team, the AHA engineering class, and the AHA Society of Women Engineers. 

The tour included visits to three university laboratories led by Raimondo Betti, Shiho Kawashima, and Steve Sun.

Betti, a civil engineer, guided the students in the Carlton Lab, where he discussed structural dynamics, earthquake engineering, and dynamic control of structure.

“Students were able to analyze a large piece of the Manhattan Bridge… (which incorporates) the largest cables ever built in a laboratory,” AHA’s Antonia Thompson said. “We learned about the new materials and technology being developed at Columbia University for infrastructure testing,” she added.

Betti explained how scientists use magnets, sensors, and “smart devices” to simulate atmospheric conditions and examine deterioration. The results of these studies are used by engineers, manufacturers, and the Federal Highway Administration. Kawashima, a civil engineer who works in engineering mechanics, shared her knowledge of infrastructural materials. Kawashima focuses on cement research and is currently studying 3D concrete printing. She showed AHA students some of the materials used to produce cement and cement additives, and presented the visitors with “Star Wars” figures fashioned from cement.

Sun covered his work in theoretical and computational solid mechanics and multi-physical systems. He spoke about the observation of earthquakes, landslides, strong winds, and corrosion and the ways soil is affected by frost, water, and heat.
Three women who attend Columbia provided the AHA students with an insider’s view of the college experience. The panelists touched on student life, the course load, and some of their extracurricular activities.

AHA students who participated in this trip included Isabelle Akinyemiju of New City (NY), Veronica Andrade of Woodcliff Lake, Aprile Bertomo of Bergenfield, Jillian Busetto of Pomona (NY), Christina Colan of New Milford, Victoria Colan of New Milford, Milena Correa of Edgewater, Nicole Dattolico of Emerson, Myriam Dubuisson of Nanuet (NY), Molly Doyle of Pearl River (NY), Julia Giampiccolo of Haworth, Olivia Hagopian of Oradell, Emily Halloran of Congers (NY), Maria Hannoush of Wyckoff, Palak Hazrati of Little Ferry, Katarina Katzarov of New Milford, Katherine Kohler of Mahwah, Mary Kunz of Fair Lawn, Da Young Lee of Norwood, Kerry Limberg of Mahwah, Anika Maurer of Tuxedo Park (NY), Stephanie McCarten of New Milford, Martha Merriam of Tenafly, Julia Nuñez of New Milford, Demitria Poulos of Englewood, Kayla Pringle of Suffern (NY), Samantha Ryan of Orangeburg (NY), Rachel Ann Silvestri of Old Tappan, Antonia Thompson of Cliffside Park, and Devin Toolen of Midland Park.

Since 1879, thousands of women have passed through the portals of Academy of the Holy Angels high school, the oldest private girls’ school in New Jersey. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts and athletics. Our goal is to provide each girl with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially and physically, by offering a first –rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity and giving service to others.

Academy of the Holy Angels

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Demarest, NJ 07627

Phone: 201.768.7822

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