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Thirty New Professors Join Yeshiva University’s Distinguished Faculty

Thirty new professors have joined the distinguished faculty at Yeshiva University’s undergraduate and graduate schools, teaching a variety of courses in mathematics, science, business, liberal arts and Judaic studies.

“These new colleagues are dedicated and skilled teachers whose involvement in important research will give our students the chance to share in the excitement of discovery,” said Dr. Lawrence Schiffman, vice provost for undergraduate education at YU. “We look forward to welcoming them to our community of learning.”

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Faculty from Across Yeshiva University Granted Tenure

A stellar faculty is the backbone of a great university. This year, Yeshiva University appointed 20 of its most distinguished faculty members in the fields of the arts, sciences and Judaic studies to tenured positions in both its undergraduate and graduate schools. The faculty members include five from Yeshiva College, five from Stern College for Women, four from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, two from the Benjamin N. Cardozo school of Law, and one each at the Sy Syms School of Business, the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and the Wurzweiler School of Social Work.

“The quality of the faculty at Yeshiva meets its academic and civilizational aspirations,” said YU President Richard M. Joel. “The scholars who now comprise the faculty of this University bring the elegance of thought, the rigor of research and the commitment of service that can serve as a model to all of our students.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Dr. Lawrence Schiffman on the Growing Popularity of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Why are literally hundreds of thousands of people streaming to exhibits of the Dead Sea Scrolls all over the United States and the rest of the world? Why should anyone even care about these remnants of close to 900 scrolls from the second and first centuries BCE and the first century CE? What possesses some of us in academia to devote our professional careers to teaching and research about the Scrolls?

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Yeshiva University presents its first annual Dead Sea Scrolls conference on May 19.

The discovery of the first scrolls by Bedouin in 1947 in Cave 1 at Qumran, on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, set off a wave of excitement. But this initial interest was misused by scholars who were intent on understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Second Temple period Jewish sect that gathered them as a precursor of Christianity. To make matters even worse, the long delays in publication that ensued understandably fostered conspiracy theories worthy of Dan Brown and the Da Vinci Code, and served as a great distraction from the Scrolls’ real significance and message. After all, they are Second Temple period texts authored, copied and left for us by Jews who lived and breathed devotion to God’s Torah and its commandments, even if they represented an approach that, from the point of view of the sweep of Jewish history, was sectarian. Read the rest of this entry…

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Four-Year $720,000 Grant will Enable Stern College’s Marina Holz to Investigate Breast Cancer Cell Growth

The American Cancer Society, the largest non-government, not-for-profit funding source of cancer research in the United States, has awarded Dr. Marina Holz, assistant professor of biology at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, a $720,000 Research Scholar Grant. The four-year grant will be used to continue her work researching how the mTOR pathway affects the growth of estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer.

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Yeshiva College Associate Dean’s Visit to Israel will Strengthen YU-Bar-Ilan Connection

Dr. Raji Viswanathan, associate dean of academic affairs and professor of chemistry at Yeshiva University’s Yeshiva College, was recently selected as a Fulbright Specialist. The competitive position will enable her to create new opportunities for collaboration between YU and Israel’s Bar-Ilan University as well as share her own research in computational chemistry with an advanced cadre of Israeli scholars.

Raji Viswanathan

Dr. Raji Viswanathan

The Fulbright Specialist program promotes linkage between American academic and professionals and their counterparts at host institutions overseas. Project activities focus on strengthening and supporting the developmental needs of host institutions abroad and can include short-term lecturing, conducting seminars, teacher training and special conferences of workshops, as well as collaborating on curriculum planning or institutional and faculty development. Each application is peer-reviewed.

“My goal is to initiate faculty and student exchange,” said Viswanathan. “We already have some connection with BIU through our summer science research program, which places talented undergraduates from Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women in one of the state-of-the-art research laboratories of BIU’s life science, exact science or engineering faculties.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Mordechai Cohen and Ephraim Kanarfogel Participate in Advanced Judaic Studies Research Group

Dr. Mordechai Cohen, associate dean and professor of bible at Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and at Stern College for Women, and Dr. Ephraim Kanarfogel, E. Billi Ivry Professor of Jewish History at Revel and Stern College, are participating, as adjunct fellows, in a research group at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania that spans the 2012-13 academic year.

Cohen and Kanarfogel join a group of approximately two dozen leading scholars of Jewish, Christian and Islamic social and intellectual history from universities around the world to conduct research on this year’s theme, “Institutionalization, Innovation and Conflict in 13th Century Judaism,” and develop a more fully-integrated account of Europe and the Mediterranean basin in the 13th century. Read the rest of this entry…

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Utku Sezgin: Can President Obama’s Proposals Succeed in a Gridlocked Congress?

State of the Union addresses are the annual wish-list presentations of American presidents, mixed with appeals to rally behind the leader of the nation.

SOTUThe addresses stem from the once-obscure mandate the Constitution gives presidents to submit proposals, recommendations and their political views to Congress. Until the 20th century, presidents mostly sent Congress written messages without any of today’s media-savvy pomp. In recent decades the speeches have become widely-anticipated political theater to be parsed for a sense of where a president aims to take the country. However, despite the modern presidency’s inflated powers, proposing bills to Congress and getting to sign bills containing those proposals later on is not the same thing.

President Barack Obama delivered the first State of the Union address of his second term last night, doing his best to lay out his vision—emboldened by an electoral mandate—before a partisan, polarized, divided and oft-gridlocked Congress. But the future looks uncertain. Read the rest of this entry…

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Ariel Fishman Thanks Blood Donors who Saved his Life

After losing both of his legs in a taxi accident nearly one year ago, Dr. Ariel Fishman, needed multiple transfusions totaling 70 units of blood.

“If 70 different people hadn’t taken the one hour of their time to go to New York Blood Center and give blood, life would be very different for my children,” said Fishman, who serves as director of institutional research at Yeshiva University and assistant professor of management at the Sy Syms School of Business. “I don’t know who those people are but they gave blood and I am alive.”

In the video below, Fishman thanks blood donors everywhere.



To learn more or to find out how you can get involved, visit www.nybloodcenter.org.

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Rabbi Benjamin Blech: Does the Word “Love” Still Mean Anything?

Are you in love?

Millions of people will take advantage of Valentine’s Day to affirm their strong feeling of affection with the three words “I love you.” That statement has been called the most beautiful phrase in the English language.

Love after all supposedly signifies the strongest bond possible between two people. Love is nothing less, as the Zohar puts it, than “the secret of divine unity.”

What troubles me though is that in our day, the word love seems to have lost its meaning, suffering from what I call verbal inflation. Read the rest of this entry…

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Ferkauf’s Sarah Kate Bearman Bridges the Chasm Between Psychological Research and Practice

As a camp counselor, Sarah Kate Bearman was always intrigued by the “problem” kids—the high-energy, high-maintenance kids who had trouble following the rules and tried everyone else’s patience. Unlike many of her peers, Bearman saw children who didn’t really differ from better-adjusted, happier campers beneath the moodiness and attitude.

“I saw so much typical child behavior in these kids,” she said. “When children first start to develop problems with anxiety or depression, they don’t look that different than other kids—because they’re not. The older they get, though, the wider that gap grows.”

Bearman hopes to offer children effective mental health treatment in the early stages.

Bearman, now an assistant professor at Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, kept thinking about that gap. It provided so much time for intervention: in theory, the earlier she could catch a child starting to slip, the more successful she could be in steering his or her developmental path back to a normal trajectory. After college, Bearman decided to become a child psychologist, completing a two-year research assistantship in pediatric pharmacology at Massachusetts General Hospital and pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin and a postdoctoral fellowship at Judge Baker Children’s Center of Harvard Medical School.

Bearman initially planned to research how disorders such as depression developed. But when she began her externship in clinical settings, she noticed a troubling phenomenon. Read the rest of this entry…

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