Senior Snapshot: Julia Qian

The Nine Ways of Knowing has decided to profile some of the amazing women of the class of 2015, and we’re so sad to see them leave! If you’d like to be featured on the blog or know someone who should definitely be profiled, email us at

Name: Julia Qian
Hometown: Hangzhou, China
Major: History, Athena Scholar

What are You Involved In?
SGA (A LOT of SGA), Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Club Q, Senior Interviewer, Global Symposium Fellow, etc

Guilty Pleasure?
Gilmore Girls… or the swings at Riverside Park.

Favorite Memory from Barnard?
I loved convocation this year. Seeing hundreds of people, students, faculty, alumnae and administrators, gather together at Riverside Church to celebrate our 125th anniversary gives me a glimpse into the global community that I am apart of.
I genuinely enjoy every second with people in this community. it is pretty insane how amazing everyone is. People will challenge you, encourage you, inspire you and push you to achieve the potential that you didn’t even see in yourself. It’s a magical land.

Biggest Leap of Faith During College?
Running for SGA President was definitely a “bold and beautiful” leap of faith for me. As an international and a transfer student, I didn’t think I would one day become the student body president. It was my friends who encouraged me to dream bigger and to imagine better. It was the same friends who showed me tough love: they were always there to support me, but at the same time they were always the first ones to call me out and to challenge me to do better. It was absolutely a privilege to serve as SGA president. It gave me an unparalleled opportunity to interact with different groups of students from various backgrounds and interest. I was constantly inspired because Barnard students proactively and actively engage in and contribute to important conversations and processes, from admission policy on trans students, to the design of the Teaching and Learning Center, to the curriculum review, and to support our peers in tough times after the non-indictment and events in Baltimore. Being SGA President is by far the biggest challenge for me in college but also a rewarding and transformative experience. If I could say something to the class of 2019, that will be “get uncomfortable, make mistakes, take risks, dream big, stay curious and take actions.”

What Will You Miss?
Of course the people, these passionate, dedicated, committed, curious and extraordinary individuals.

What Won’t You Miss?

Favorite Place On or Off Campus?
Liz’s Place and Lehman Lawn

In 5 Words or Less, What’s Next?
Learn, lead, love, serve


The Third Presidential Debate: Liz’s Place Edition

by Sarah Lipkis

Barnard students gather in Liz’s place to watch the
third presidential debate.

Monday night was the third and last Presidential debate. Nikila Kakarla, BC ’15, who worked for the Obama campaign this past summer registering voters, teamed up with Athena Center director Professor Kathryn Kolbert to organize a debate watching party at Liz’s place for the last presidential debate.

Before the debate began, Professor Kolbert passed out a bingo bored with certain key phrases such as “Libya,” “Israel” and “Iran.” Professor Kolbert also encouraged students to pay particular attention to when the President talks about his success, when Romney brings up his policies on Libya, Israel, Iran and Russia, as well as the body language of the two Candidates.

Within the minutes leading up to the campaign students grabbed slices of pizza and soda and arranged themselves on the floor and on chairs by the TV. With the exception of one outburst of laughter, when President Obama was asked by the moderator, “What do you believe is the greatest future threat to the U.S.?” and one student’s shout-outs at Governor Romney, students were relatively quiet and focused on watching the debate, while simultaneously doing homework.

At the end of the event Nikila Kakarla said she was, “surprised about the amount of people and how reserved everyone was.” Overall, she was happy with the around sixty-people turn out and how excited and interested people were about watching the debate.

Sarah Lipkis is a Photography Editor for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Second Annual Athena Film Festival

By Olivia Goldman

Whether you’ve heard the buzz or seen the banners, you probably know that the second annual Athena Film Festival is coming to Barnard’s campus. Last year, the first Athena Film Festival saw 2,500 attendees, and more are expected to come this year.

Founders Katheryn Kolbert, Director of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies, and Melissa Silverstein, founder of the blog Women and Hollywood (hats off to a fellow blogger!), have brought the cream-of-the-crop of over 200 films, prepared workshops on the nuts and bolts of filmmaking, and grabbed ahold of film legends and celebrities like Diablo Cody, Katie Couric, Julie Taymor, and Gloria Steinem–all to be hosted by our humble little campus. All this, to bring some diversity to the “white male vision” that dominates popular and contemporary film. (Only 5% of Hollywood directors are women.) The festival seeks to promote and recognize women in the film industry (all the award winners are women), but also to promote women on the big screen and to inspire filmmakers of both genders to make more films about women.

The festival, however, is no Sundance. The trend is clear, and some of us at Barnard might be a little inclined to look over the festival as a typical “feminist hoorah.” Although a little different than last year’s qualifications, the movies were chosen according to general, but strong guidelines.

1. The woman has to be active in the movie.
According to Silverstein, during the selection process for the festival, “if there wasn’t a woman on the screen in the first twenty minutes, it was out.” In order to bring about some subconscious change for that white male that’s always seems to be jumping for more screen time (later, Tom Cruise), you’re going to be seeing a lot of your female protagonist.

2. It has to be a good movie.
The Athena Film Festival isn’t for premieres and it’s not a competition, like some other festivals. This gives the festival a good leg up for picking films that pertain to its objective, while also enabling it to maintain a certain quality level across the board.

3. It has to inspire others.
Director Kolbert and Ms. Silverstein provided the Emma Goldman quote, “If I can’t dance, it’s not my revolution!” While you’ll get your share of dark melodramas from the selected films (it’s true that woman leadership can be “kind of intense”), the idea is for the films to be inspirational, and for the most part upbeat.

The logic? The more women leaders on the screen, the more women leaders we’ll start to see in real life. The real objective of the Athena Film Festival is to use film as a way to greater social change– to inspire women to realize their potential to effect the world, and to credit the women that already have.

Ticket Policy for Students
$30 for festival pass for all three days
$7 for each individual film screening (selected ones are free)
Group discount for buying nine tickets at a time
Free for screenings assigned for class

Olivia Goldman is a sophomore at Barnard College and Senior Editor of The Nine Ways of Knowing.