Human Resources

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Welcome New Employees

Information to assist you in your new role and get acquainted with Columbia Engineering. 

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Resources for Employees

Resources and information for current employees at Columbia Engineering.

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Resources for Managers

Instructions for tasks for managers at Columbia Engineering.

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Student Resources

Information on how to get hired for a student casual position. 

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Time & Labor and Absence Management 


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Forms and Processes

Payroll forms and instructions 

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Columbia Engineering and University policies 

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Frequently Asked Questions 

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  • Responsibilities

    • Biweekly TLAM/PAC Inquiries
    • Student Casuals Business Partner
    • Employee/Labor Relations
    • Employee Onboarding
    • Exit Process
    • Performance Management
    • Employment Verification


    Michael (Mike) Hammer joined Columbia Engineering in May 2022. In his role as human resources generalist, Mike supports various HR functions at the School, including employment, labor relations, training, and payroll. Mike monitors project success and policy effectiveness while finding innovative solutions to issues. He manages daily activities related to employee and labor relations and resolves student-employee-related concerns. In addition to general HR functions, Mike is responsible for managing casual hiring processes and acting as a subject matter expert on HR and TLAM-related inquiries to academic departments and the Office of the Dean. Mike provides consultation on HR policies, best practices, and strategies and serves as the primary contact for department managers, addressing personnel issues and providing proactive HR services. Mike supports the staff's annual performance evaluation process and salary administration and offers guidance for coaching and corrective action.

    Prior to coming to Columbia, Mike worked at Integra Managed Care, where he served as a human resources associate and recruiter. In that capacity, he supported over 300 employees with onboarding and recruitment. Before Integra Managed Care, Mike served as a labor relations intern at Walt Disney World, where he supported labor relations managers and focused on grievances and arbitrations under the collective bargaining agreement for more than 38,000 unionized employees.
    Mike earned his bachelor of science degree in industrial and labor relations at Cornell University in 2019.

  • Responsibilities

    • Strategic HR Planning 
    • Employee/Labor Relations
    • Conflict Resolution 
    • Talent Acquisition
    • FMLA/Leave Management
    • Workforce Planning and Reporting
    • Organizational Structuring
    • Office of Administration and Local 2110 Business Partner


    Joan McDowell joined Columbia Engineering in 2017. As executive director of human resources, Joan collaborates closely with Columbia Engineering leadership teams to effectively communicate, implement, and oversee staff human resources programs and policies.  She works in partnership with the University's central human resources office to support various HR initiatives. Her approach fosters a collaborative and service-oriented atmosphere within Columbia Engineering.  Her role is pivotal in managing and enhancing HR functions, ensuring compliance, and fostering a proactive organizational culture within the school.

    Key Achievements and Responsibilities

    Joan has extensive experience in HR roles, including recruitment, onboarding, employee relations, compensation, and benefits administration. She has led the recruitment and onboarding processes for officers of administration, union and non-union support staff, administrative personnel, and researchers within Columbia Engineering.  Joan handles complex HR, employee relations, and labor relations matters, including grievance resolution. She has developed innovative recruitment and sourcing strategies and managed various HR processes while managing performance evaluations, providing coaching and counseling, and promoting a performance-based culture.

    Before coming to Columbia Engineering, Joan served as a senior human resources generalist at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. During her tenure at NYU, Joan ensured compliance with collective bargaining agreements, HR policies, and relevant laws. Joan managed leave programs, personnel transactions, and HR operational functions. She developed and implemented HR forms, checklists, and procedures. She conducted exit interviews, analyzed HR data, and improved employee retention strategies. She supervised staff, provided training, and advised on HR policies and procedures while providing training and coaching line managers on staff performance issues.  She managed annual compensation processes, including analyzing and processing bonuses and merit increases.

    Education and Certifications

    Joan is pursuing a master of science in human capital management at Columbia University (Expected May 2025).  She obtained a bachelor's degree in human services from the City University of New York. Joan holds SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and SHRM Talent Acquisition Specialty Credential and has active membership in several professional organizations, including the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), and College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR).

  • Responsibilities

    • Talent Acquisition 
    • FMLA/Leave Management
    • Employee Engagement and HR Events
    • Employee Onboarding
    • Temporary Employee Management
    • Probationary Review
    • Work-Life Initiatives


    De-Jane (Day) Brahasani is an employment officer at Columbia Engineering’s human resources team! Day plays a vital role in the talent acquisition process, ensuring compliance with guidelines and employment laws. Her responsibilities encompass a wide range of tasks, including coordinating the onboarding of new employees, assisting with total rewards strategies, managing worker's compensation claims, and overseeing various leave processes, including coordinating family medical leave and related leaves and evaluating leave requests. Day also handles HR processes and employee payroll-related transactions while supporting other employment functions. In talent acquisition, Day collaborates with hiring managers, offering support in recruitment strategies, search committee assistance, candidate management, and the hiring process. This involves tasks like coordinating job postings, assisting applicants, creating or revising job descriptions, completing hiring proposals, conducting background checks, and preparing offer letters.  She monitors postings, applicants, and search committee activities to attract the best candidates and expedite the hiring process. Day plays a huge role in the School’s mission to retain new and existing talent by coordinating and supporting engagement programs and initiatives to enhance leadership/supervisory development, compliance, DEI training, skills training, and recognition for employees at all levels of the School.
    Day joins us from New Jersey Transit where she served as a corporate talent acquisition partner. In this role, she executed an array of talent acquisition functions, including recruitment, compliance, advisory, compensation management, outsourcing, tool and technology functions, and employment branding. Day received her MBA with a concentration in human resources management at Montclair State University, and a bachelor’s degree in history at Caldwell University with a minor in business administration and human resources management.



    Staff Spotlight: Jihae Moon

    Jihae Moon received a Spot Award for her achievements with the Center for Learning the Earth with Artificial Intelligence & Physics (LEAP).