During your time at SIPA you will have three primary advisors. You will be assigned a Dean from SIPA’s Office of Student Affairs whose primary responsibility is to advise you on the Core requirements and to connect you to both SIPA and Columbia resources. Students in the MPA-DP, PESP, and PEPM program will be advised by designated staff members from each program. 

We recommend that beyond the beginning of your time at SIPA, that you set up a time during your first semester to sit down with your Dean to discuss in more depth your academic and professional plans.

OSA Advising Office Hours


OSA Deans

Deans in the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) advise students on academic matters related to the MIA and MPA Core Curriculum and assist students with general questions related to their studies (course load, grading options, university services, etc.)  For advising related to concentrations or specializations, students should consult with the relevant concentration/specialization director and/or program assistants.

Tsuya Yee

Associate Dean for Student Affairs

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Tsuya Yee joined SIPA in July 2021 as Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Dean Yee comes to SIPA from The New School for Social Research where she has served in student affairs roles for twenty years. In addition to general advising duties, Dean Yee is responsible for leading the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) to support student academic success by delivering robust support services, student life programming, and advising for all students at SIPA.
Dean Yee is also deeply engaged in community justice initiatives, including serving as co-chair of the New York Day of Remembrance Committee, and on the leadership council of Tsuru for Solidarity. Tsuya earned her BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her MA in Political Science from The New School.

Stefan Brown

Senior Assistant Dean

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Dean Brown joined SIPA in 2001 and has been an Assistant Dean in the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) since 2005. In addition to general advising responsibilities, Dean Brown oversees International Travel and Risk Management, Leaves of Absence and Withdrawals, and Academic Policies and Status Monitoring. He provides operational and logistical support to internal OSA services, including enrollment data and reporting, and works closely with other deans and university departments to improve delivery of student-centered services to SIPA students.

After leaving Columbia University, School of General Studies, where he majored in East Asian Studies, Dean Brown worked in Japan as an ESL teacher, education administrator, translator and editor. He came to SIPA believing that by helping students achieve their academic and professional goals in public service he is participating in the collective dynamic of improving the lot of all humankind. This keeps him hopeful about the future.


Urbano T. Garza

Senior Assistant Dean

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Areas of Responsibility: Student Assistantship and Scholarship process at SIPA, FGV dual degree program and AUC exchange program.

Dean Garza has been a member of the SIPA Office of Student Affairs (OSA) since 2006. He provides general advising in addition to being responsible for the Global Public Policy Network (GPPN), under whose umbrella SIPA students are able to obtain dual degrees with our international partners.

Dean Garza holds a Bachelor's degree from Columbia University, a Master of Arts in Higher Education from Teachers College, and a Doctorate of Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to SIPA, he worked as Senior Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Columbia College and also as Assistant Dean and Director of Admission and Financial Aid at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health.


Desmond Beirne

Assistant Dean

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Dean Beirne has been a part of the Columbia University community since 2003.  He is responsible for development and coordination of student activities and events at SIPA, as well as major events including New Student Orientation, Commencement, and Graduation.  In addition to his general student advising responsibilities, Dean Beirne manages SIPA's ungergraduate dual degree programs and serves on multiple university-wide committees.  

Prior to joining SIPA, Dean Beirne worked as the Director of Education Programs for the Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability (EICES) at Columbia University, where he managed international study-abroad and executive education training programs.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Columbia College, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from SIPA, and is currently enrolled at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law where is pursuing a Juris Doctor (JD).

Shaquana Queenie Gadsden

Assistant Dean

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Shaquana Queenie Gadsden (She/Her/Hers) joined SIPA in August 2021.  In addition to serving as an academic advisor to MIA and MPA students, Shaquana will serve as OSA’s liaison for issues of diversity, equity and Inclusion (DEI), along with managing student life activities at SIPA. Shaquana joins us from Pace University, where she managed event logistics, student leader training, office operations and leadership development for the Student Engagement Office. During her time at Pace, she founded the People of Color Collective, an affinity group for staff & faculty of color and served on the Presidential Advisory taskforce for DEI which strived to make the University a more inclusive place.  She obtained her BA in Africana Studies, and MA in African American History from the University at Albany.  

Tan Nguyen

Assistant Dean

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Areas of Responsibility: SIPA Assistantships, Housing liaison, Student Affairs.

Tan Nguyen has been part of the Columbia community since 2002, where he worked at Columbia’s International Students and Scholar’s Office (ISSO) as an assistant director. He joined SIPA in 2006, where he managed the Global Public Policy Network (GPPN) when it was first launched. Currently, in his role as an Assistant Dean at the Office of Student Affairs, he administers the SIPA Assistantship process.

Dean Nguyen graduated from Yale University with a BA in Philosophy, spent 3 years in Germany as a Robert Bosch Tutor and Fellow after graduation, received his MA at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies SAIS (did the Bologna program in Italy – which partly explains his enthusiasm for the value of study abroad), was born in Vietnam and grew up in Orange County, CA.

Alleyne Waysome

Assistant Dean

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Dean Waysome has been a part of the Columbia University community since 2002 and has served in multiple capacities in OSA. She is currently responsible for registration services at SIPA.  In addition she oversees SIPA's International Dual Degree and Exchange programs and partnerships.  Her previous professional experiences include, admissions, international programming and counseling.

Dean Waysome holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Elmira College and a Master of Arts in International Education from Columbia University, Teachers College.  She is originally from the Caribbean  and has lived in New York City for many years.