CUIMC Holiday Celebration Gets “Ugly” With Holiday Sweaters

Holiday Celebration and Toy Drive Event

Columbia University Irving Medical Center celebrated the holiday season last week with a holiday break room event and toy drive collection on Dec. 13 and a lighting celebration on Haven Plaza on Dec. 11.

At the lighting celebration, a large menorah on Haven Plaza was illuminated in celebration of Hanukkah. The event also featured a caroling performance from the Washington Heights Choir School, and refreshments and treats were available for attendees, including Washington Heights community members.

A large menorah was illuminated on Haven Plaza in celebration of Hanukkah at the holiday lighting celebration on Dec. 11.

The holiday break room event featured holiday treats, warm beverages, toy drive collection, a gift-wrapping station, festive activities, and an ugly holiday sweater competition.

Categories for the ugly holiday sweater competition included Ugliest Sweater (the “Burn It Now” award), Dynamic Duo Disaster, Tactless Trio, Spectacular Squad (group of 3 or more), and Wacky Co-workers (group of 4 or more).

Ugliest Sweater

Co-Winners: Mason G. Harvill, technician A, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Yamilette Ramirez, dental assistant, College of Dental Medicine

Mason G. Harvill and Yamilette Ramirez were co-winners of the Ugliest Sweater ("Burn it Now") award in the CUIMC ugly holiday sweater competition.

Dynamic Duo Disaster

Shydeka Richards, human resources, faculty affairs, and DEI manager, Pediatrics, and Angelica M. Estevez, administrative assistant, Pediatrics

Shydeka Richards and Angelica M. Estevez won the Dynamic Duo Disaster award in the CUIMC ugly holiday sweater competition.

Tactless Trio

Jyoti Kaushal, director, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee; Keith Mulet, administrative assistant, IACUC; and Ranjana Hernandez, administrative coordinator, IACUC

Jyoti Kaushal, Keith Mulet, and Ranjana Hernandez won the Tactless Trio award in the CUIMC ugly holiday sweater competition.

Spectacular Squad

Angelic M. Pla, director, HR and academic affairs, Pathology & Cell Biology; Susan Ceballo, HR generalist, Pathology & Cell Biology; Courtney Tulli, HR coordinator, Pathology & Cell Biology; and Gregory Ellner, HR coordinator, Pathology & Cell Biology

Gregory Ellner, Courtney Tulli, Susan Ceballo, and Angelic M. Pla won the Spectacular Squad award in the CUIMC ugly holiday sweater competition.

Wacky Co-Workers

Jerina C. Carmona, clinical research coordinator I, Neurology; Lucie S. Kruger, clinical research coordinator I, Neurology; Alana R. Santiago, administrative assistant, Neurology; and Erik Blennow Nordstrom, postdoctoral research fellow, Neurology

Erik Blennow Nordstrom, Jerina C. Carmona, Alana R. Santiago, and Lucie S. Kruger won the Wacky Co-Workers award in the CUIMC ugly holiday sweater competition.

Activities at the event included a station to make snowflakes, CUIMC-themed holiday coloring pages, a photobooth for photos with colleagues, and soothing holiday music.

Attendees at the event also had the opportunity to drop off unwrapped toys for children ages 3 to 13 for the CUIMC Annual Holiday Toy Drive, hosted by the CUIMC Office of Government and Community Affairs, and then wrap the toys at the gift-wrapping station. More than 300 toys were donated during the event, adding to the 157 toys donated at locations around campus. The donations will be given to five community organizations in Washington Heights: the Washington Heights Child Care Center, the Dominican Women's Development Center, the Fort George Community Enrichment Center Head Start, Guardian Angels, and the 33rd Precinct Community Council.

In addition to the toy drive CUIMC departments can support science education in local elementary and middle schools by donating funding for science supplies.. Learn more about giving back at CUIMC