Center on Organizational Innovation

Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy

Columbia University

Columbia University
803 International Affairs
MC 3355
420 West 118th St
NY, NY 10027
212-854-5999 (P)
212-854-8925 (F)
José Atria
Philipp Brandt
Pierre-Christian Fink
Luciana de Souza Leao
Byungkyu Lee
Moran Levy
Kinga Makovi
Rosemary McGunnigle
Olivia Nicol

Maria Pilar Opazo
Iva Petkova
Joan Robinson
Alix Rule

Sarah Elizabeth Sachs
Magdalena Ureta
Mathijs de Vaan


José Atria   send email    
Jose Atria José Tomás Atria is a phd student in the Sociology Department at Columbia University. He is interested in mathematical and analytical sociology, and in the application of this approaches to the study of institutions and political action in a comparative perspective. His current work explores the way in which institutions can be represented as formal systems of rules, and in the application of these models to characterize collective actors in different social contexts, including games, sports, markets, electoral politics and, in general, any process of institutional change. He is also interested in agent-based simulation, the application of natural language processing tools for data collection and social network analysis. He obtained his BA in sociology at Universidad de Chile in 2004, and has worked as a consultant and data analyst for several private and public organizations.

Philipp Brandt   send email    
Philipp Brandt Philipp Brandt is a first year student in the sociology PhD program at Columbia University. His current research focuses on the auto industry and small and medium sized manufacturing companies in the US. Philipp is primarily interested in the characteristics and effects of relations connecting economic actors. Before coming to Columbia, Philipp received a combined degree from the international Jacobs University Bremen, Germany, in sociology, economics, political sciences and mass communication.

Pierre-Christian Fink    send email
Pierre-Christian Fink Pierre-Christian Fink is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at Columbia University. He is primarily interested in the study of financial regulation. Pierre majored in economics at the University of Tuebingen and earned his Master's degree in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. Before coming to Columbia University, Pierre worked as a business journalist; his articles appeared in the German edition of the Financial Times and Die Zeit.

Luciana de Souza Leao   send email
Luciana de Souza Leao Luciana is a Ph.D. student in Sociology at Columbia University. Her research interests include Inequality, Political Sociology, and Science, Knowledge and Technology. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Puc-Rio and a M.A. in Sociology from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Before coming to Columbia, Luciana worked as a research assistant at the Interdisciplinary Network for the Study of Inequality (NIED/UFRJ), where she participated in two large projects examining i) the relationship between NGOs and the Brazilian State, and ii) a comparative study about discursive and behavioral strategies that members of stigmatized groups use to cope with racism and discrimination in Brazil, United States and Israel. She also worked as a World Bank consultant for three years, where she was the field coordinator of a large impact evaluation of a Brazilian education policy.

Byungkyu Lee   send email
Byungkyu Lee Byungkyu Lee is a PhD student in Sociology and a Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellow at Columbia University. He has been interested in using social network as a tool to explore complex mechanisms by which social structure constrains individuals’ action and emerges from interaction among individuals. Lee received his BA in Business Administration and his MA in Sociology with Outstanding Graduate Paper Award from Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. A part of his thesis, “A Study on the Increase and Decrease of Occupying Bridging Position Based on the Sponsorship Network in the 17th Korean National Assembly”, which was later published in Korean Journal of Sociology, examined the condition on which occupying brokerage positions was threatened. His other publications appeared in major journals in Korea such as Social Science Review, Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, and Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Moran Levy   send email
Moran Levy Moran Levy is PhD student in the Department of Sociology at Columbia University. She is interested in medical sociology, economic sociology, and sociology of science, knowledge and technology. In her current research, she focuses on the American market of pharmaceuticals and on processes of drug development. Moran received her MA in sociology from Tel-Aviv University, after completing her studies in the Adi Lautman Program for Outstanding Students.

Kinga Makovi
Elena Krumova Kinga Makovi is a first year PhD student in the Department of Sociology at Columbia University. Her interests include social networks, sociology of education, quantitative methods and simulation techniques in social sciences. Kinga's current project is an empirical analysis of the co-dynamics of status formation and academic achievement in high school classes. She holds an MS in mathematical economics from Corvinus University in Budapest (2010).

Rosemary McGunnigle   send email
Rosemary McGunnigle Rosemary McGunnigle is a second year Ph.D. student in sociology at Columbia University. Her current research explores immigrant business owners, social network ties and political action in suburban immigration gateways. As an undergraduate, Rosemary did research on migration, work, ethnic and labor relations and rural/urban poverty in Adams County, Pennsylvania; Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic; and Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina. Upon receiving a B.A. in Latin American and Latino Studies from Dickinson College in 2001, Rosemary was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to research German youth, xenophobia and national identity in Leipzig, Germany in 2001/2002. Before beginning graduate study, she studied digital filmmaking at the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Olivia Nicol   send email
Olivia Nicol Olivia Nicol is a PhD candidate in sociology at Columbia University. Financial industries, risk and calculation, and network theory are her primary interests. At present her main line of inquiry focuses on the mortgage crisis. She studies the valuation of assets in a context of uncertainty and the question of responsibility in the crisis. Her previous research focused on the selection criteria of layoffs. Her broad educational and professional curriculum gives her a grasp of current economic and social issues. She received three MAs in different fields: one in public administration from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, one in business administration from the HEC school of Management, and one in economy and management from La Sorbonne. She worked as a consultant in organization and strategy for two years in Paris.

Maria Pilar Opazo   send email
Maria Pilar Opazo Pilar Opazo is a first year Ph.D. student in Sociology at Columbia University. Her research interests include organizations as communicational systems, inequality and social stratification, especially in labor markets. Based on Niklas Luhmann's theory, with Dr. Dario Rodriguez she co-authored the books "Communication of the Organizations" in 2007 and "Negotiation: competing or collaborating?" in 2006. Before coming to Columbia, Pilar coordinated the Research Center at Infocap, an NGO that provides labor training to the working poor in Chile.

Iva Petkova   send email
Iva Petkova Iva Petkova is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Sociology at Columbia. Her research interests focus on learning and innovation, strategic management, social networks and global development. Her previous work has been in analyzing the changing practices of global firms in primary commodities to advance a more relational framework for the analysis of the global economy. Her current focus is on managing the innovative portions of supply relationships, value chain transformation and strategy under uncertainty. Iva holds an MA in International Economic Relations from the University of National and World Economy in Bulgaria and an MSc in International Business with the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Her work has appeared in the Review of International Political Economy (RIPE).

Joan Robinson  send email
Joan Robinson Joan H. Robinson is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at Columbia University. Her interests include interactions of women's studies, law, political economy, economic sociology, organizations, and science, technology, and medical studies. Joan's research explores the subordinate and often complex position of women domestically and internationally, with a particular focus on issues of poverty, race and ethnicity, (dis)ability, youth, and nation. She received a BA magna cum laude from Syracuse University, where she received awards for her research in both political science and women's studies, and a JD from Brooklyn Law School, where she received numerous scholarships and awards for her extensive work for women and families and in international law. Following law school, Joan worked for five years as a staff attorney at The Legal Aid Society representing low-income New Yorkers in their civil cases in the Bronx and Brooklyn. Her former clients and colleagues at Legal Aid continue to inspire her work.

Alix Rule  
Alix Rule Alix Rule is a first year student in Columbia's PhD program in Sociology. She has written about the rise of innovation and design as models for social progress. Rule holds degrees from the University of Chicago and Balliol College, Oxford. She is the recipient of a 2009 Warhol Foundation | Creative Capital Writers Grant.

Sarah Elizabeth Sachs send email
Sarah Sachs Sarah Sachs is a PhD student in sociology, researching organizations, technology, and the process by which developers and users alter the structure of social relations in the material world via online applications and devices and the production and distribution of data between them.

Before beginning her doctoral studies, Sarah enjoyed a tech career, most recently at Google, where she worked with a team of developers and became deeply engaged in user experience research and feature development. Sarah completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California-Davis.

Magdalena Ureta   send email
Magdalena Ureta Magdalena Gil Ureta is a first year Ph.D. student in Sociology at Columbia University and a Fulbright Scholar. Her primary interests are sustainability, globalization, risk and calculation, justification and the attribution of responsibility in a global, risky and complex context. Also, she focuses in the new forms of Inequality and Exclusion. Before coming to Columbia, Magdalena worked for two years as researcher and advisor to Latin-American companies on issues related to sustainability and community relations. She is Affiliate Professor at P. Universidad Católica de Chile where she teaches a seminar on Corporate Social Responsibility.

Mathijs de Vaan   send email
Mathijs de Vaan
Mathijs de Vaan is a PhD candidate in sociology at Columbia University. He is interested in creative teams and studies how the social and cognitive histories of team members result in innovative and commercially succesful products. By employing large datasets and by creating new methodologies to study these data he aims to to provide a detailed analysis of the origins of creativity in teams.

His prior research entailed a PhD project at the department of economic geography, Utrecht University in the Netherlands. His research dealt with the dynamics of interfirm networks and its effect on the rise and fall of the firm population in the global video game industry. In the project he answers questions on how firms within an industry are connected, how these connections come into place and how they affect competitive outcomes. He will defend his thesis in January 2012.

In 2006, prior to his enrollment in the PhD program in economic geography, he graduated from Utrecht University with a MSc. in Economics. During this program he was a visiting student at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.