May 14, 2008 — In the 50 years he has taught psychology at Stern College for Women, Dr. Marcel Perlman has seen his department grow from a one-man show to a thriving department that boasts six full-time faculty members.
“Over the years Dr. Perlman has been central to enlarging the psychology department as well as serving as an ‘elder statesman’ for the faculty,” Dr. Karen Bacon, The Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean at Stern College, said at a party the school recently held in celebration of his 50th anniversary teaching there.
Faculty, family, and former students of the psychology professor gathered at the Ivry Lounge on the Beren Campus for an evening of memories and inspiration.
“Dr. Perlman’s careful and thoughtful style, his optimistic outlook, and undoubtedly his training as a clinical psychologist have been the key ingredients to making him the insightful colleague and beloved professor to scores of faculty and generations of students,” Dean Bacon said.
Perlman, an alumnus of both Yeshiva College and Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology (where he earned his MS and PhD), began instructing at Stern College in 1958 and went on to become a full professor in 1978. He also taught at Yeshiva College and Ferkauf, and been either a member or chair of numerous YU committees including Middle States, Dean’s Search, and Faculty Welfare. He serves as chairman of the division of social sciences.
Former student Shira Koenigsberg said that what draws so many students to Perlman’s classes is his ability to make the subject matter exciting and relevant. “His style of weaving casework into his classes from his private practice, court, surveying, and work at psychiatric facilities illuminates the material and brings psychology to life,” Koenigsberg said.
Perlman has seen the university grow into a major research institution with a reputation for excellence nationwide. He attests to a greater level of seriousness and involvement in scholarship from both the administration and students.
But what has kept him committed to YU? “The students, the students, and lastly the students. The colleagues aren’t too bad either,” said Perlman. “It’s been a heck of a ride, and I’m grateful that it’s not over yet.”