Yeshiva University Faculty Receive Grants from U.S. Department of Defense Agency 

Two Yeshiva University faculty members have been awarded grants by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the United States Department of Defense’s official Combat Support Agency for countering weapons of mass destruction.

Sergey Buldyrev

Dr. Sergey Buldyrev’s grant analyzes the catastrophic cascade of failures in interdependent networks.

Dr. Sergey Buldyrev, professor of physics at Yeshiva College, is a principal investigator on a multi-year $450,000 grant analyzing the catastrophic cascade of failures in interdependent networks. Picture the connections between power grids, waterworks, Internet cables and other systems—if one part of one system goes down, it initiates a domino effect on each network it’s connected to, taking others down with it. “Supposing a terrorist attacks a certain power station—they’re smart enough to find the one most likely to cause a computer shutdown, which could shut off control of gas or water,” said Buldyrev. “Everything could shut down. This catastrophic collapse of infrastructure—the ‘cascade of failures’—is what people imagine when they think about what might happen at the end of the world.”

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Visit From Therapy Dogs Helps Stern College Students Unwind

With midterms around the corner, Stern College for Women students got an adorable reminder to relax and unwind this week during a visit from some furry friends: a Shih Tzu, a German Shepherd and two toy poodles.

The cuddly canines were therapy dogs, trained to provide comfort and affection that can bring calm and peace of mind to those who interact with them, according to Sarah Robinson, co-president of the YU Active Minds Club, which organized the event together with the YU Counseling Center. “Dog therapy is an accessible and exciting form of therapy,” she said. “Everyone should learn in college to build skills for the rest of their lives for positive mental health.”

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Men’s Basketball’s Benjy Ritholtz Becomes Second YU Athlete to Earn Consecutive Academic All-American Honors

For the second time in as many years, Yeshiva University men’s basketball player Benjy Ritholtz has earned one of the highest academic honors a college student-athlete can earn as the senior has been named a College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) / Capital One Academic All-American for the 2014-15 men’s basketball season.

Men's basketball team game against Old WestburyRitholtz, who earned a spot on the CoSIDA / Capital One Academic All-American third team last year, earned a spot on the first team this year, and he became just the second student-athlete in Yeshiva University athletics history to earn the honor in back-to-back years (women’s basketball player Rebecca Yoshor earned the award during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons). He is also the third student-athlete in Yeshiva University annals to ever earn the award (men’s basketball player Eric Davis was the first to receive it during the 1990-91 season).

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In Professor Roee Holtzer’s Lab, Mentorship and Innovative Research Foster Impressive Student Publications

Jennifer Yuan, a doctoral candidate in Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, recently published an article about her pre-doctoral research as a first author in Human Brain Mapping, a high-impact peer-reviewed scientific journal. It’s a rare and significant achievement for a student in a PhD program—but in Yuan’s case, as a researcher in Dr. Roee Holtzer’s Neuropsychology and Cognition Lab, she’s actually in good company.

Ferkauf students

From left: Melissa Shuman-Paretsky, Janna Belser-Ehrlich, Jennifer Yuan, Elyssa Scharaga and Sarah England

Over the course of the last academic year, four of Holtzer’s doctoral students—Yuan, Sarah England, Janna Belser-Ehrlich and Elyssa Scharaga—and one recent alumna—Melissa Shuman-Paretsky—were listed as first-authors on articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

“Our students consistently achieve high clinical competence levels, as evidenced by our higher than 90 percent match rate for competitive yearlong clinical internships around the country,” said Holtzer, professor of psychology and neurology at Ferkauf and director of its PhD program in clinical psychology with a health emphasis. “But to have this number of students publishing first-authored empirical studies in peer-reviewed journals constitutes a major accomplishment for our doctoral students.”

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Revel Talk Sketches Complex Portrait of the Vilna Gaon

More than 70 people gathered in Furst Hall on a frigid Thursday evening to hear Bar-Ilan University professor Dr. Raphael Shuchat present a lecture, titled “The Vilna Gaon: Halakhist, Moderate Maskil or Kabbalist?” The event was organized by Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies.

Bar-Ilan University professor Dr. Raphael Shuchat

Bar-Ilan University professor Dr. Raphael Shuchat

Shuchat, a noted scholar and teacher of Jewish philosophy and thought whose research focuses on the Vilna Gaon, Rabbi Eliyahu ben Shlomo Zalman Kremer—known by his Hebrew acronym, the Gra—and his followers and the relationship between Judaism and science, has written three books on the Vilna Gaon. In his talk he presented a conflicting portrait of the Vilna Gaon based on the Gra’s grandson’s and students’ descriptions of him in introductions to books they compiled based on the teachings of the Vilna Gaon after his death.

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“This is Yeshiva University” and “Cardozo Life” Receive Gold for Mobile Media

For the second year in a row, two of Yeshiva University’s mobile applications have been recognized as winners in the Higher Education Marketing Report’s 2014 Education Digital Marketing Awards. Created for the iPad, “Cardozo Life” and “This is Yeshiva University” each won the gold award for Mobile Media.

cardizolife

“Our unique story is what makes winning these awards possible—and we want to tell this story in every medium—print, digital, mobile,” said Judy Tashji, creative director in YU’s office of Communications and Public Affairs. “The next version of “This Is Yeshiva University” for the iPad is being developed now. The awards certainly give us a sense of accomplishment and the inspiration to keep making these experiences better and better.”

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Rabbinical Seminary Honors Communal Leaders and Educators at Annual Dinner

Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), an affiliate of Yeshiva University, will celebrate dedicated leaders and educators of the Jewish community at its Annual Gala Evening of Tribute on Sunday, March 8, 2015 at The Grand Hyatt in New York City. The dinner will honor the memory of Herb Smilowitz, z”l, as well as Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of the Orthodox Union Kosher Division, and Rabbi Ronald Schwarzberg, director of the Morris and Gertrude Bienenfeld Department of Jewish Career Development and Placement at YU’s Center for the Jewish Future.

“Vital in its approach and vibrant in its tradition, RIETS has provided an unsurpassed educational experience in the classic mold of the great yeshivot for more than a century,” said Joel Schreiber, chair of RIETS. “The seminary is a fountain of great Torah wisdom and a pre-eminent source of professional rabbinic leadership for the next generation and beyond.”

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YU Global Online Courses to Focus on In-Demand Fields of Software Technology and Data Analytics

Yeshiva University announces the launch of four skills-based technology career certificate programs beginning May 11, 2015. The programs will provide remote, collaboration-driven courses, focused on software technology and data analytics—crucial areas of growing need in the marketplace. The certificates will be offered through YU Global, Yeshiva University’s online learning initiative, and can be completed over a six-month period.



“YU Global is an important evolutionary step for Yeshiva, offering a new, innovative approach to the delivery of advanced education and training,” said Dr. Selma Botman, YU vice president for academic affairs and provost. “These programs will help students meet the growing demand for high-tech careers and capitalize on the richness of resources that are available online.”

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Azrieli Online Master’s Program Provides Teachers Around the Globe with Degree in Jewish Education

When Jana Libidensky, an educator and rebbetzin living in Chile, was ready to take her teaching skills to the next level, she knew exactly what school she wanted to attend: Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration.

The fact that it was located more than 5,000 miles away didn’t trouble her in the least. That’s because Azrieli is making cutting-edge Jewish education accessible to teachers and communities across the globe with a fully accredited online master’s degree.

azrieli online image“What’s most exciting about this opportunity is providing students around the world with the same extraordinary Azrieli content that in the past was only available to those who could come in and meet us,” said Azrieli Dean Dr. Rona Milch Novick. “Our online program combines all the knowledge, skills and affinities that accrediting bodies believe is important for modern teachers to have, but melds it with an appreciation for Jewish tradition and Jewish education that isn’t normally available to many teachers in their local communities.”

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YU National Model UN Conference Showcases a Quarter Century of Honing Leadership and Collaboration Skills

After months of preparation and anticipation, 450 professionally attired young men and women from 44 Jewish high schools worldwide converged on the Stamford Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Stamford, Connecticut, to collaborate and enact the roles of delegates at the 25th Annual Yeshiva University National Model United Nations conference (YUNMUN).



The event, held February 8-10, had students represent the various member countries of the UN and appointed to one of 15 model UN committees dealing with international issues including Ebola, ISIS, cyberterrorism, nuclear proliferation and North Korean food aid.

More than 60 YU undergraduate students and 65 faculty advisers facilitated the event, allowing the students to experience the intricacies of international diplomacy.

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