Ana is a senior at Barnard College pursuing a combined major in religion and human rights. She is specifically interested in the relationship between religion and politics, law, and histories of empire. Her other passions include Arabic language study, vocal jazz, and coffee culture.
Isabella Garcia Bernstein
Undergraduate Research Fellow , Barnard College of Columbia University
Hello everyone! My name is Isabella Garcia Bernstein (she/they), and I am going into my second year at Barnard College. I study Spanish and Latin American Cultures and Archaeology. My research project involves examining the allegorical play Loa for the Divine Narcissus by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz to situate her views of scholarship and education in the larger educational structure of colonial Mexico. With my research, I hope to gain an understanding of educational disenfranchisement in the country as a result of Spanish Catholic colonization. I look forward to connecting with you all.
I am a senior at Columbia University majoring in History and Mathematics, and an alumna of the 2021-22 Columbia Laidlaw Scholars cohort. My Laidlaw research centered on the women's movement in early twentieth-century British India, with my first summer focused on the Indian writer, educator, and activist Mahadevi Varma's 1930s essays on the status of women in Hindu marriages, and my second summer focused on networks of women from across the British empire attending the Oxford in the 1910s-30s at the Unstable Archives Project. I remain very interested in intersections of gender, religion, and legal power between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, and am currently writing a History thesis on the role of French Jesuit missionaries in shaping European knowledge of Indian religion at the turn of the eighteenth century.
A graduate of Cambridge University, Susanna’s professional experience includes over 15 years in senior leadership roles in international B2B and learning businesses. Susanna began her career at the Institute for International Research (IIR) where she first worked with Lord Laidlaw, rising to Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). When IIR, which was the world’s largest organiser of commercial conferences, was acquired by Informa plc in 2005 Susanna was appointed CMO of the enlarged group and also led the public company’s investor relations programmes. She subsequently joined Emap Ltd as Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer and CEO of Emap Networks, that group’s conferences business. Later she became CEO of the fashion industry forecaster WGSN and was latterly Group Content and Marketing Partner of the leading strategy consultancy Brunswick Group. A German-American raised and educated in the UK and a committed internationalist, Susanna has been involved in globally trading businesses throughout her career, directing activity in the Americas, across continental Europe, and the Asia Pacific. Susanna has been extensively involved with education and professional development over many years. She was Head of Group Training and led the commercial acquisition and integration of a portfolio of corporate training businesses whilst at IIR; and created learning academies at both Informa and Emap. She believes experiencing and appreciating different cultures promotes better global understanding, creativity and leadership. She is passionate about the power of education to transform lives; and believes that we need to develop a new generation of diverse leaders who are curious, bold and devoted to decency, truthfulness, and innovation. Susanna is committed to diversity not only as a societal imperative but as a critical component of commercial success. As an advisor to the trustees of the Foundation, Susanna first learnt about its purpose and programmes before becoming its Chief Executive responsible for the Laidlaw Schools Trust, the Laidlaw Scholars and its other education programmes. Susanna read English and Philosophy at Newnham College, University of Cambridge. She has five half blues in swimming and water polo; and played netball and rowed for Newnham.