Leadership

BAC Executive Board Members 2017

Kevin C. Matthews, '80CC | President

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Kevin was elected President of the BAC after serving two terms as vice president and having chaired the BAC Scholarship Fund Committee. He is a 1980 graduate of Columbia College and his wife Ingrid Ciprián-Matthews is Barnard College 1981. Both are proud graduates of the Higher Education Opportunity Program, the precursor to Academic Success Programs (ASP). Their two daughters are Columbia College graduates, Classes of 2010 and 2012.

Kevin is a veteran of pre-professional, youth development, and pre-college preparation programs, specializing in work with low-income and first-generation college youth and students of color. He has the distinction of serving as the fifth and eighth full-time executive director in the nearly fifty-year history of Columbia College’s Double Discovery Center, the college prep program known for its summer residential academic program on the Morningside campus.

 

 Michael Rain, '10GS | Vice President

Rain2.jpgMichael is a digital product manager and content developer. He is co-founder of ZMedia Tech Group, a tech a media enterprise that builds mobile media products. The group’s first product is ZNews Africa, a mobile app that makes it easy to find stories about the African diaspora. He is also a fellow with the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism. T

Michael has been involved with the BAC since 2010, serving as vice president, communications chair, and organizer with student groups, service projects and mentoring initiatives. As a student, Michael was a news reporter for WKCR, served on the editorial board of Columbia Daily Spectator and was vice president of policy for the General Studies Student Council. He was recognized for Outstanding Leadership by the Dean of Students and served as a junior and senior marshal for GS Class Days. 

 

Tiffany Bryant, '08CC | Treasurer

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Tiffany Bryant currently serves as the Treasurer of the BAC and chairs the BAC Scholarship Fund campaign. Previously Tiffany served two terms as the BAC Secretary. She has been involved with the group since graduating from Columbia College in 2008. As a John Kluge Scholar, Tiffany was active with the Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program, serving as its president during her junior year. As a past scholarship recipient, Tiffany looks forward to fundraising for the next generation of Columbia students. 

Tiffany is currently special assistant to the president and CEO of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, working in both New York City and Albany. Prior to this she was community liaison for Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, U.S. House of Representatives (D) from Brooklyn. 

 

Ganiatu Afolabi, ‘12CC | Secretary 

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Ganiatu joined the Board of the BAC after years of committed service to the Columbia student community, including three years on the Executive Board of the Black Students’ Organization, President of the BSO, President of the Rho Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Policy Representative on the Columbia College Student Council, co-chairperson of Women’s History Month, and volunteer and staff member of the Double Discovery Center. Upon graduation, Gani joined Teach For America and taught high school on the South Side of Chicago. While in Chicago, she volunteered with The Metropolitan Board of the Chicago Urban League and was a member of the DuSable Museum of African American History. She is currently a law school student at NYU School of Law and lives in Harlem. Gani, is a Nigerian-American who has lived in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. 

 

 Justin Ifill, '06CC | Events Chair

IfillJustin Ifill has served as events chair for the BAC since 2010. He has worked on the planning and promotion of the annual BAC Homecoming and Heritage Award and Scholarship Fund Reception events since 2008. Justin has also been President of Columbia College Young Alumni and is a member of the Columbia College Alumni Association. He has also served on the board and executive committee of The Columbia University Club of New York

As a student majoring in Latin America Studies, Justin was active on campus in a capella (Notes and Keys), the Columbia Daily Spectator, the New Student Orientation Program (NSOP), and Greek life (Zeta Psi). He was also the recipient of the prestigious John Kluge Scholarship and the Amsterdam Scholarship. Since graduation in 2006, Justin founded and is president of Ifill Events, LLC, an event planning company that provides services to private individuals, corporations and non-profit organizations. He consults regularly with colleagues in the industry to create successful and innovative events. Raised in Queens, New York, Justin continues to live there remaining true to his NYC roots. 

 

Wayne Turner, Esq., ‘77CC | Foundational Class Engagement Chair

Wayne_1.jpgWayne has been connecting Columbians to resources and each other for many years. In addition to the BAC he is active in The Society of Columbia Graduates and Barnard-Columbia Jam. His civic engagements have included his beloved fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi, Brooklyn Rising Stars Lions Club, Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc., Corriverton Cricket Club, and Flatbush Catholic Academy Board of Directors. Wayne manages EEOC inquiries and agency training for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He is also a principle in TLC, Turner, Liverpool Consulting that specializes in advising Brooklyn judicial candidates. He received a B.A in Religion from Columbia and attended Law School at Whittier College School of Law. Rather than an attorney he describes himself as a counselor. Wayne has four children. He and his wife Hazel live in Brooklyn. 

 

Blondel A. Pinnock, Esq. '90CC | Representative to Columbia College Alumni Association

Blondel_1.jpgBlondel is Senior Vice President and Chief Lending Officer for Carver Federal Savings Bank, the nation’s largest African-American operated bank. She is responsible for the Bank’s overall lending and investment initiative and was previously President of Carver’s Community Development Corporation. At Carver she has been involved in structured finance for several projects including a charter school, health care facility, affordable housing, mixed-use retail and community facilities for youth and family services. Blondel was previously at Bank of America and its predecessor, Fleet Bank. Blondel earned a B.A. in History and Sociology from Columbia College and a J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law. She is BAC representative to Columbia College Alumni Association and has worked with the BAC Scholarship Fund campaign. Among her civic engagements Blondel is active with the Rho Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., has served as the chair of the 125th Street Business Improvement District and was recently appointed by Mayor deBlasio to sit on the City’s Community Advisory Investment Board.  

 

Carlos Barksdale ‘14SEAS | Young Alumni Engagement Chair

Carlos_1.jpgCarlos is a recent graduate of Columbia's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences with a major in Operations Research in Engineering Management Systems, with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He was an active student, serving in the leadership of National Society of Black Engineers and as president of Alpha Phi Alpha Inc. In his current role Carlos is coordinating communications and engagement with young alumni. Carlos has recently joined DayBlink Consulting as a Management Consulting Analyst.

  

Christopher L. Jones, '07CC | Past-President 

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Chris became involved with the BAC in 2003 as a student mentee through the Alumni of Color Outreach Program (ACOP) and was active as a general member upon graduating. As a past BAC President from 2013-2015 Chris supervised and recruited committee chairs and led fundraising initiatives that secured $150K in endowed scholarship funds and more than $160K in current use scholarships for undergraduate students. As President, Chris's goal was to lead the BAC to its full organizational and fundraising potential by establishing national chapters, increasing visibility and membership amongst alumni of all schools of the University and pre-2000 graduates.

Chris graduated from Columbia College in 2007 with a BA in Economics. Chris is an account executive with Google, living in San Francisco. Prior to this he worked at Citi Private Bank where he provided customized wealth management strategies. Outside of his career Chris has volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters and has taught middle school students in underserved communities about the basics of saving and credit through Project BOOF (Banking on Our Future). 

 

Armond Adams, '06CC | Past-President 

Armond Adams

Armond is a Past-President of the BAC and serves on the Executive Board focusing on on strategic partnerships, including Columbia Arts Access and the bi-annual Barnard-Columbia JAM. He is also a board member of the Columbia Alumni Association. He has been part of BAC leadership since graduation, first as secretary, then president until 2011.

As a student, Armond majored in American Studies and was involved in several organizations. He was a member of the Columbia Gospel Choir, Black Students Organization, and Black Graduation planning. In his junior and senior years, Armond worked at the Center for Race and Ethnicity and was also a tutor for Double Discovery Center.

Armond works in digital advertising sales for industry leading companies. He is originally from Cleveland, Ohio and has lived in Harlem since graduation.

 

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