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Three Drexel Professors to Support Exchange in Israel as JNF Faculty Fellows

May 17, 2022

Three Drexel professors have been selected to participate in a two-week academic exchange in Israel this May and June, fully funded by the Jewish National Fund – USA (JNF-USA). Jennifer Adams, EdD, associate professor in the School of Education (SoE), Tamara Galoyan, PhD, assistant research professor in SoE, and Caroline Schauer, PhD, Margaret C. Burns Chair in Engineering and associate dean for research and faculty affairs in the College of Engineering, were among 33 faculty members from 26 institutions to be named JNF Faculty Fellows.

The program is aimed at creating exchange between the U.S. and Israel for the purposes of developing collaborations and research projects, co-authoring articles, and establishing future exchange programs between faculty and students. Through the support of JNF-USA’s Boruchin Fund and individual donors, over 300 U.S.-based academics from universities and colleges across the nation have taken part in this annual summer fellowship program.

“In Israel, I’ll be meeting with academics at several universities — some who work in the area of global citizenship education and others focused on environmental education,” says Adams, a faculty member in SoE’s educational Leadership and Management Program and Global and International Education Program. “I am particularly interested in exploring the nexus between global citizenship identification and environmental literacy with colleagues in Israel because, compared with many nations, schools in Israel have a much longer history of environment-oriented education.”

The Fellows will travel throughout Israel and meet Israeli professors from their respective disciplines with similar research interests, as well as experts involved in government, industry, education, media and other sectors. They will also hear from a variety of speakers who will expose them to contemporary Israeli society, culture, historical sites, people and way of life in Israel. Fellows will gain a deeper awareness of Israel as a “startup nation,” its success in water innovation, and how the country addresses regional and global challenges.

Schauer, who leads Drexel’s Natural Materials and Polymer Process Group, will look to connect with Israeli researchers who are processing natural materials to find synergies and new directions in research.

Galoyan says, “I plan to visit their top universities and learn about various cutting-edge research projects in the areas of cognitive sciences, neuroscience and pedagogy. I also plan to share the research I am conducting with my colleagues at Drexel, which is multidisciplinary and integrates learning sciences, mind, brain, and education science, STEM education and online learning.

“This is a unique opportunity to immerse myself in the Israeli culture, language, history and traditions, and I look forward to new experiences and knowledge exchange.”

JNF-USA partners with various academic institutions in Israel, including many of Drexel’s current academic partners. The program will give Drexel the opportunity to strengthen its relationships with these institutions.

“The Office of Global Engagement, led by vice provost Rogelio Miñana, has had longstanding collaborations with universities in Israel, with research and exchange supported by opportunities like the Louis & Bessie Stein Family Fellowship,” says Adam Zahn, who, as director of global engagement, helps to develop these institutional relationships. “To see our faculty receive additional external funding to extend their research portfolio and enhance our partnerships abroad is very energizing for the future of global."