NEW YORK—Columbia Athletics announced today that it is expanding its Enrichment Services Office to include four full-time staff members, promoting Marqus Hunter to Assistant Director of Enrichment Services.


Columbia’s commitment to Enrichment Services is unique in the Ivy League. Bolstered by a prime location in New York City as well as vast opportunities and resources, Columbia Athletics continues to be a leader in student-athlete support services, boasting a best-in-class career development program that continues to grow. The team is comprised of Associate Athletics Director for Enrichment Services Jessica De Palo, Director of Enrichment Services Annie Butts, Assistant Director Marqus Hunter and Tutoring Coordinator Yana Rivers.


“We are committed to developing our student-athletes so that they can achieve success in the classroom, in competition, and for the next 40 years in life,” Athletics Director Peter Pilling said. “Our location in New York City naturally positions us to have unparalleled opportunities for our student-athletes and ensures that they will be introduced to a variety of career options. Our goal is to be a national leader in career development and the Enrichment Services staff has provided us with a specialized development program. With the addition of a fourth full-time role, we are now positioned to achieve even more in this area.”


The Enrichment Services program is designed to help student-athletes reach their highest levels of achievement both at Columbia and for the rest of their lives. Each year, Enrichment Services conducts over 400 individual student-athlete career counseling sessions and academic support sessions, sponsors several Industry Nights for companies to connect with student-athletes on campus, and hosts a series of events focusing on career education and professional etiquette. Each student-athlete has the benefit of a structured Four-Year Action Plan, created in collaboration with the University’s career centers, to serve as a resource and guide for their individual career journey. In addition to the counseling sessions and programming, Enrichment Services also focuses on providing career opportunities for Columbia student-athletes and works with alumni and employers to identify and communicate a multitude of full-time and internship positions each academic year.


Earlier this year, Columbia announced that 98 percent of the Columbia Athletics Class of 2016 either secured full-time employment or post-graduate plans related to their interest within six months of graduation (this statistic does not include the three members of the class who did not report). The Class of 2016’s current employers include prestigious companies and organizations such as the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Columbia University Medical Center, United States Secret Service, Boston Children’s Hospital, Creative Artists Agency, American Express, Crossix Solutions, Goldman Sachs, Oliver Wyman, Peace Corps, IBM Watson, J.P. Morgan, Vice Media, Unilever, Amazon, Deloitte, MKTG, NBC, and many more. The Class of 2016’s featured graduated schools include Oxford University, University of Cambridge, Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, and Georgetown Medical School, among others.


With a demonstrated track record of student-athlete success and a growing team to support new initiatives, the future of the Enrichment Services looks bright.


"We are thrilled to have Marqus continue with us in his new role,” De Palo said. “He has been an impactful contributor to the success of our program and I know that he will continue to serve our student-athletes at the highest level in this new position.”


“I want to thank the Columbia Athletics Department for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to step into this new role,” Hunter said. “My first two years here have been a wonderful experience and I look forward to continuing to work with all Columbia student-athletes to ensure that they have an amazing experience here while preparing them for the next 40 years.”