Meet the Office of University Life

The Office of University Life is led by Executive Vice President Suzanne Goldberg. A leading expert in sexuality and gender law, Professor Goldberg is also the Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law, founder and director of the Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic, and co-director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School, where she has been on the faculty since 2006.
Since her appointment to executive vice president for University Life in January 2015, Professor Goldberg has focused the office’s efforts on Columbia as community, working actively on student life, intellectual life and community citizenship across Columbia’s many schools.  Among the programs she has spearheaded are the nationally-recognized Sexual Respect and Community Citizenship Initiative, University-wide task forces on gender-based misconduct prevention and on race, ethnicity and inclusion; and Columbia’s Awakening Our Democracy series focused on race, ethnicity, disparities and justice and other pressing issues of our time.

Joseph Defraine Greenwell is vice president for student affairs in the Office of University Life. A leader and community partner in student affairs for over 20 years, Joseph has served at San Francisco State, Stanford, Colgate and Vanderbilt universities and most recently as the associate vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students at University of California, Berkeley. During his time at Berkeley, Joseph oversaw a portfolio of 12 departments providing key student services and led important work on a wide range of student affairs and campus climate issues, including wellness and mental well-being, equity and inclusion, sexual violence and sexual harassment, campus speech, and organizational change while supporting the campus community through matters involving deaths, campus protests, and community safety. 

Joseph received his doctorate of education in higher education leadership and policy from Vanderbilt University, where he also earned his bachelor of music and master's in education degrees. He is passionate about the arts, plays piano, enjoys working out and hiking, and is excited to partner with all members of the University community to continually enhance the student experience at Columbia.

His favorite spot on campus is anywhere where he gets to engage with students.

Ixchel Rosal is associate vice president for student life in the Office of University Life, developing and implementing programs across Columbia’s undergraduate and graduate schools and collaborating closely with students, administrators and faculty university-wide on student-life issues and student-driven projects. She formerly served as executive director of student diversity initiatives at the University of Texas at Austin and oversaw its Gender and Sexuality Center and Multicultural Engagement Center. Ixchel also worked with community-based arts organizations serving historically marginalized communities, and has been a diversity educator, strategic planner and grant writer for several nonprofit organizations. She holds a B.A. in history from the University of California, Berkeley and her master’s in public affairs with a focus on cultural policy from the University of Texas at Austin.
Born in New York City but raised in California and Spain (she once aspired to be a flamenco dancer), Ixchel is enjoying re-exploring the city starting with College Walk. Before motherhood, Ixchel also wrote poetry.


Radhika Patel is chief of staff to the Executive Vice President for University Life, Suzanne Goldberg. Radhika has wide-ranging experience in operations, strategy, and building teams. She previously worked for the American Red Cross as New York state director of administration for long-term recovery from Hurricane Sandy, and also expanded operations across the region, finally serving as director of recovery for New York State. Prior to this, Radhika worked on large-scale economic development projects and in real estate investment advisory in New York City and abroad for 10 years. Radhika holds master’s degrees in urban planning and international affairs from Columbia University, and earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
She enjoys Sakura Park when the cherry blossom trees are in full bloom and regards Istanbul as her home away from New York.


Jie Zeng is the director of special projects for the Office of University Life. She previously worked in PK-12 education for the NYC Department of Education, with a focus on system-wide instructional supports for school leaders and teachers. She holds a master's of Public Administration from Columbia University and a B.A. in mathematics and psychology from the University of Rochester. 

Her favorite spot on Morningside campus is Revson Plaza where one can take in some art while enjoying the urban scenery of Amsterdam avenue. She meditates regularly and appreciates time outdoors hiking in the Hudson Valley and exploring Prospect Park.

Jody Drafta manages Title IX research and operations for the Office of University Life. She has broad experience in executive support and special projects. Jody comes from Seton Hall University where she managed the renovation of the library and redesign of its signage. She previously worked for the Columbia University Librarian and Vice President for Information Services. 

Jody is also a licensed New York City tour guide specializing in art. She holds an MFA, a BFA and a BA in German literature and humanities from Reed College, in Portland, OR and spent a year studying at the Universität Tübingen, one of Germany’s oldest public research universities. Jody also is learning Romanian.

Melissa Mayard is the Associate Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in University Life. She has served in a number of programmatic roles focused on access and multicultural affairs in the higher education space. Melissa previously served as the Assistant Director for Student Services and Special Projects in Opportunity Programs at New York University, where she assisted traditionally underrepresented NYC students with academic, financial and counseling support. Melissa holds a B.A in English from Stony Brook University and a M.S.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership & Policy Studies from Hofstra University. She's been involved in a variety of organizations including her sorority Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and many community projects surrounding social justice.
Melissa is still discovering her favorite places on campus but loves Harlem for its rich history and culture. When she's not walking the grounds at Riverside Park, she is working on music as a DJ, traveling the world, or being a fun aunt to her niece and nephew. 

Bryant Roman is program manager for the Office of University Life. He previously served as a district representative for Rep. Nita Lowey (D) in New York’s 17th Congressional District covering education, immigration and income tax regulation, and before that led voting registration and other community outreach for the Westchester Hispanic Coalition. Bryant holds a bachelor’s in English from Boston College and a master’s in Spanish language translation from NYU. He taught English in Madrid, where he also indulged in a diet consisting largely of tapas.

Bryant’s favorite views of Columbia and the city can be seen from the upper floors of the Mudd Building and Schermerhorn Hall.



Laura Migdal is the departmental administrator for the Office of University Life. She previously worked in Columbia’s Office of the Provost as the executive assistant to the Vice Provost for Administration and Planning, and has extensive experience in office operations, management and events coordination in the nonprofit sector, recreational programs and higher education. Laura holds a B.A. in cultural anthropology from the State University of New York at Potsdam, is a U.S. Sailing-certified skipper and loves the outdoors, arts and culture.

Her favorite spot on Morningside campus is College Walk where she enjoys the beauty of the trees in each season.

Antonia Forika is the administrative coordinator for the Office of University Life. She previously led learning programs focused on social justice at New York University, her alma mater. Antonia also taught third grade, and coached speech and debate students at The Bronx High School of Science. She holds a degree in childhood and special education with a concentration in psychology.

Antonia's favorite Morningside spot is the Hungarian Pastry Shop, and she is working on learning her grandmother's Hungarian dessert recipes. You can also find her petting friendly dogs on campus.


Nina Khampha is the assistant director of student engagement for the Office of University Life. She previously served as program coordinator at Vanderbilt University, advising its student programming board and performing arts council. Nina holds a master's in counselor education with an emphasis on student affairs from Clemson University (where she witnessed the Tigers win the NCAA championship in 2016!). She is a proud Idahoan who earned her bachelor's degree in K-12 physical education from Boise State University.

Nina enjoys helping students find their passions in life, watching reruns of The Office, and being active.


Ramona Rose King is the Content Strategist & Editorial Coordinator for the Office of University Life. Her background is in theatre, having worked previously at HowlRound Theatre Commons, Company One Theatre, ArtsBoston, and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. During lockdown, she and her husband co-created the web series Home Office about working remotely from their small apartment. Ramona has a BA in English and Theatre from Boston University and a Masters Certificate in Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy from UMass Boston.

A recent transplant from Boston, Ramona has yet to visit Columbia’s campus, but she looks forward to getting to know it!


Caroline Hirsch is the executive assistant for the vice president for student affairs and the associate vice president for student life in the Office of University Life. Caroline formerly worked at Manhattan School of Music as an executive assistant to the executive vice president and provost where she worked with all faculty and students on academic projects and programs. Caroline has also worked in theatre management at Shakespeare Theatre Company, New York Musical Festival and other local theatres. She holds a B.A. from Barnard College in Psychology.

Caroline was born and raised in New York and excited to be back on campus where she will revisit her favorite spots: Low Library Steps and Lerner Hall.


Lauren Silva is the executive assistant to Suzanne Goldberg. Prior to University Life, Lauren was a coordinator at Columbia Law School, where she also supported Professor Goldberg. Originally from the California Bay Area, Lauren earned her bachelor's summa cum laude from UCLA, where she studied art and theater. She received her MFA in visual arts from Columbia's School of the Arts and has instructed painting and served as a visiting critic for Columbia's Visual Arts department.

Lauren loves running through Central Park, dancing with friends, cooking spicy vegan food, and painting while listening to audiobooks.