Oct 28, 2008 — Samuel Blass, chemistry major at Yeshiva University’s (YU) Yeshiva College (YC), is one of four scholars chosen as a 2008 winner of the first annual Henry Kressel Research Scholarship, established to perpetuate YU’s student research community. The scholarship seeks to embody the commitment to intellectual rigor, creativity and pursuit of knowledge that defines Yeshiva University.
Mr. Blass, who is researching how proteins crystallize, was one of only four students across the country selected to NASA’s Undergraduate Student Research Program at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. He is being mentored by Dr. Neer Asherie, YC assistant professor of physics and biology.
“Sam’s dedication to research is admirable; it is a privilege to work with him,” says Dr. Asherie, who first met Mr. Blass in his Introduction to Physics course in 2005. “I expect his research as a Kressel Scholar will lead to exciting discoveries.”
The scholarship funding provides a stipend of $7,500 for the academic year, with additional grant monies available for travel or research support. Academic mentors to the scholars also receive a $2,000 grant to offset costs of supervising the student’s research. Recipients are expected to spend at least one intensive summer and academic year on the project. Following their research tenure, Kressel Scholars will lead student sessions publicizing their work to catalyze a larger intellectual discussion on the topic.
Mr. Blass, a Paramus, New Jersey native, praised the Kressel Scholarship for providing him with the opportunity to conduct research under the guidance of highly experienced experimentalists.
“What makes YU unique is that it is a major research university with a distinctly Jewish flavor,” says Mr. Blass. “It has also allowed me to develop close relationships with faculty that would have otherwise been impossible at a larger school. The curriculum challenged me to produce my best work.”
Dr. Henry Kressel, Managing Director of Warburg Pincus LLC and a Yeshiva College graduate, funded the program with the goal of expanding student-faculty research. “The idea is to make it possible for students to work with talented faculty in advancing knowledge and to get a taste of the exciting world of research,” says Dr. Kressel. “My expectation is that this program will lead to a richer intellectual environment at Yeshiva University and encourage more students to pursue a career in research through graduate studies.”