Israeli Fellowship

Faculty Fellowship Program in Israel

Wednesday December 26 – Tuesday January 8, 2018

Program Coordinator René Reinhard
(Israel cell) (from the U.S.) 011-972-52-601-4080
(Israel cell) (within Israel) 052-601-4080
(U.S. cell) 484-574-1690

Program Manager Eileen Wedeen
(Israel cell) (from the U.S.) 011-972-52-601-4292
(Israel cell) (within Israel) 052-601-4292
(U.S. cell) 917-207-7392

Guide Shay Levia
(Israel cell) (from the U.S.) 011-972-50-520-8756
(Israel cell) (within Israel) 050-520-8756

Bus Driver Yaron De Paz
(Israel cell) (from the U.S.) 011-972-52-520-2023
(Israel cell) (within Israel) 052-520-2023

Wednesday, December 26 – NEW YORK
·    Travel day – Domestic transfers (as applicable) to New York
o   All confirm with Eileen upon arrival to JFK
o   U.S. cell 917-207-7392 or via email
·    08:45pm      Eileen arrives at JFK Airport and proceeds to Terminal 4 – EL AL
o   Check in together as a group (unless boarding passes issued at origin) please inform Eileen of your boarding pass status for flight to Tel Aviv
o   As applicable, ensure at origin departure point as to whether baggage is checked only to New York (JFK) or thru to final destination Tel Aviv (TLV)
·    11:50pm      Departure of EL AL flight LY8 from New York to Tel Aviv
·    Overnight   En route
Thursday, December 27 – WELCOME TO ISRAEL
·    05:00pm      Arrival of EL AL LY8 from New York to Tel Aviv at Ben Gurion                                    International Airport
o   All participants meet in public area Arrivals Hall after clearing immigration and collection of luggage.
·    Evening       Participants exit into arrivals hall.  René to meet and greet. 
o   Group proceeds with luggage to bus
o   Proceed to Tel Aviv
o   On arrival, all alight from bus and proceed to group check in area
o   Introductions
o   Dinner 
·    Overnight   Dan Panorama Hotel, 10 Kaufmann St, Tel Aviv (t: 011-972-3-519-0190)           
Friday, December 28 – CENTRAL ISRAEL
·    07:15am      Breakfast at hotel
·    07:50am      Check out and bags on bus
·    08:00am      Depart to Hod Hasharon
·    08:30am      Israel 101- with Rabbi Leor Sinai, Co-Executive Director, Alexander Muss  High School in Israel   
·    09:30am      Depart Hod Hasharon

·    10:30am      Fureidis  
o   Guest Speaker: Ibtissam Machmeed, Womens Right and Interfaith Activist 
o   Guest Speaker: Professor Esther Herzog, Beit Berl College 
·    11:50am      Proceed north
·    01:15pm      Arrive to Daliat El-Carmel  
o   Lunch at Nura’s Kitchen
o   Guest Speaker: Ram Asaad – The Druze community in Israel  
·    04:00pm      Arrive Tiberias and check in to hotel
o   Presentation – Lt Col (Res.) Tiran Attia in private room at hotel                 
·    07:00pm      Dinner at Gali Gil restaurant, Tiberias with Lt Col (Res.) Tiran Attia
o   Guest: Efi Talbi  - “Mom, it’s me” 
o   Guest: Carina Baum, Building Bridges 
·    Overnight   Leonardo Club Hotel, Tiberias, 1 HaBanim Street (t:011-972-4-671-4444)
Saturday, December 29 –GOLAN HEIGHTS
·    07:30am      Breakfast and discussion at hotel
·    08:30am      Depart hotel
·    09:00am      Visit to Capernaum (proper attire required)
·    10:20am      Depart Capernaum
·    10:40am      Visit to Mount of Beatitudes
·    11:20am      Depart to Golan Heights
·    12:15pm      Valley of Tears site with Lt Col (Res.) Tiran Attia
·    01:15pm      Mt Bental on the Golan Heights – Briefing with Lt Col (Res.) Tiran Attia                          
·    03:30pm      Depart Mt Bental and return to Tiberias via Hamat Gader
·    05:00pm      Arrive at hotel
·    Free evening
·    Overnight   Leonardo Club Hotel, Tiberias, 1 HaBanim Street (t:011-972-4-671-4444)
Sunday, December 30 –GALILEE
·    07:15am      Breakfast and discussion at hotel
·    08:00am      Check out and bags on bus
·    08:15am      Depart hotel
·    09:00am      Kiryat Shmona – View site of future JNF Institute of Culinary Arts
·    09:15am      Academic visit to Tel Hai Academic College 
o   Welcome and introduction
o   Individual meetings with Tel Hai Faculty 
·    10:45am      Depart Tel Hai Academic College (light sandwich lunch on bus)
·    12:10pm      Visit to Fassuta Village
·    12:40pm      Continue toward Nahariya
·    01:00pm      Visit to Galilee Medical Center (GMC) 
o   Guest Speaker: Dr. Eyal Sela 
o   Guest Speaker: Dr. Masad Barhoum 
·    Proceed to Akko
·    03:30pm      Mini tour of Akko with Michal Shiloah-Galnoor, Western Galilee                                          Now  
·    05:30pm      Return to bus and depart to Haifa
·    06:45pm      Arrival to Haifa and check in to Dan Panorama Hotel
o   Free evening – dinner on own
 ·    07:00pm      As applicable, individual meetings with Technion and University of Haifa                     Faculty 
·    Overnight   Dan Panorama Hotel, 107 HaNassi Blvd 107, Haifa                                                                   (t:011-972-4-835-2222)
Monday, December 31 – HAIFA
·    07:15am      Breakfast and discussion at hotel 
·    08:00am      Check out and bags on bus.  Depart by foot to Promenade
·    08:20am      Bahá’i Gardens and view of Shrine from Terrace 19 
o   Guest Speaker:  Carmel Irandoust, Deputy Secretary Generay of the Baha’i International Community Secretariat                      
·    09:15am      Depart to The Technion
·    09:45am      Arrival to The Technion–Polak Visitors Center  
·    10:10am      Academics escorted to meetings at Technion.  As applicable,                                    participants depart Technion to University of Haifa and Hecht Museum
·    10:30am      Academic meetings at the Technion 
o   Individual meetings with Technion Faculty 
·    10:30am      Academic meetings at University of Haifa
o   Individual meetings with University of Haifa Faculty                                   
·    12:05pm      Pick up from Technion
·    12:10pm      Pick up from University of Haifa  (light sandwich lunch)
·    Proceed to Tel Aviv via Roman aqueduct
·    02:20pm      Arrival to Tel Aviv – Nefesh Be Nefesh TLV HUB
·    02:30pm      Israel – Start Up Nation – Adverifai
o   Guest Speaker: Dani Goland
·    03:30pm      Depart to Old Jaffa
·    03:45pm      Tour of Old Jaffa
·    06:00pm      Dan Gourmet Cooking School – Dinner Israeli style
·    09:00pm      Proceed to hotel
·    New Year’s Eve
·    Overnight   Dan Panorama Hotel, 10 Kaufmann St, Tel Aviv (t: 011-972-3-519-0190)           
Tuesday, January 1 – BE’ER SHEVA
·    06:45am      Breakfast and discussion at hotel
·    07:15am      Check out and bags on bus
·    08:45am      Academic Visit to Ben Gurion University 
o   Greetings and address by Professor Limor Aharonson-Daniel, Vice Rector for International Academic Affairs
o   Welcome by Shai Kaplan, ASU-BGU Partnership project manager                    
·    09:45am      Individual academic meetings with Ben Gurion University Faculty        
·    11:15am      Depart Ben Gurion University
·    11:30am      Visit to Hi-Tech Park, Be’er Sheva
o   Start Up Nation - Global Cross- Sectoral Partnership and Collaborative Framework with Communities 
·    12:50pm      Depart Be’er Sheva
·    01:15pm      Visit to Hura and Project Wadi Attir and visit to Bedouin Traditional                            Hospitality Tent 
o   Guest Speaker: Dr. Lina Alatawna
o   Guest Speaker: Dr. Yasmeen Abu Fraiha
o   Guest Speaker:  Ghadir Hani on the status and role of Bedouin women with Project Wadi Attir 
·    02:50pm      Depart Hura and return to Tel Aviv
·    04:20pm      Arrival at Sarona
·    04:30pm      Israel - Start Up Nation – Mobility
o   Guest Speaker: Mike Granoff
·    05:30pm      Visit to Sarona 
o   Individual academic meetings at Sarona 
·    Free evening – Dinner on own
·    Overnight   Dan Panorama Hotel, 10 Kaufmann St, Tel Aviv (t: 011-972-3-519-0190)   


Wednesday, January 2 – TEL AVIV
·    07:00am      Breakfast at hotel and informal discussion
·    07:45am      Bus departs to Tel Aviv University and Bar Ilan University
·    07:50am      Departures from hotel to:
o   As applicable, transfer to Holon Institute of Technology
o   As applicable, transfer to IDC Herzliya  
·    08:25am      Bus drop off at Tel Aviv University
·    08:30am      Academic visit to Tel Aviv University (TAU) 
o   Group visit to Cymbalista Synagogue
o   Individual academic meetings with Tel Aviv University Faculty                           
·    09:00am      Academic visits to Bar Ilan University, IDC Herzliya,                                                          and Holon Institute of Technology (as applicable)
o   Individual academic meetings with Tel Aviv University Faculty                    
o   Individual academic meetings with Bar Ilan University Faculty                    
o   Individual academic meetings with Holon Institute of Technology                         
o   Individual academic meetings with IDC Herzliya 
·    10:30am      Collections from IDC Herzliya, Holon Institute of Technology, and                                 Bar Ilan University to         Ramat Aviv (as applicable)
·    11:00am      Bus departs Tel Aviv University to Ramat Aviv
·    11:10am      Visit and Guided Tour of Rabin Center 
·    12:45pm      Depart to Jerusalem Bus departs Rabin Center and proceeds to Tel Aviv
·    02:00pm      Arrive to Jerusalem
·    Visit to the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) 
·    Business attire including closed shoes  – passports required - proceed thru security
o   Meeting with Likud Member of Knesset Likud MK Sharren Haskell                           
o   Meeting with Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, Zionist Camp (Labor Party/Hatenua) Member of Knesset Yoel Hasson 
·    04:20pm      Depart the Knesset. Proceed to Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance
·    04:30pm      Program with JAMD including light buffet 
o   Guest Speaker: Professor Yinam Leef, President JAMD
o   Guest Speaker: Professor Michael Klinghoffer, Vice President for Academic Affairs
o   Program by Oriental Music Division – Dr. Michael Maroun
o   Dance and creative music workshop
o   Individual academic meetings with JAMD Faculty
·    07:00pm      Proceed to Dan Jerusalem Hotel
·    Free night
·    Overnight   Dan Jerusalem Hotel, 32 Lehi Street, Jerusalem (t: +972-2-533-1234)
·    06:30am      Breakfast and discussion at hotel 
·    07:00am      A journalist’s perspective on the Middle East – Private Room, Dan                                Jerusalem Hotel
o   Guest Speaker: Khaled Abu Toameh, Israeli Arab/Palestinian independent journalist
·    08:20am      Departures (as applicable) from hotel to Hebrew University Agricultural                             School and Weizmann Institute, Rehovot  
·    08:45am      Departures from hotel to:
o   As applicable, transfer to Hebrew University Mt Scopus campus           
o   As applicable, transfer to Hebrew University Givat Ram campus                
o   As applicable, transfer to Hadassah Medical School, Ein Kerem                             
o   As applicable, transfer to Azrieli College
o   As applicable, transfer to Bezalel College
o   As applicable, transfer to Sam Spiegel Film and Television School
·    10:00am      Individual meetings with HUJI Faculty                                                                                (Mt Scopus and Givat Ram) 
o   Individual meetings with Weizmann Institute Faculty   
o   Individual meetings with HUJI Agricultural School Faculty                                                   
o   Individual meetings with Hadassah Medical School, Ein Kerem, Faculty 
o   Individual meetings with Bezalel College Faculty 
o   Individual meetings with Ariel University Faculty at HUJI
o   Individual meetings with Sam Spiegel School of Film and Television Faculty 
o   Tour of Hebrew University Mt Scopus with Faith Segal
·    11:30am Commencement of Jerusalem multi-campus collections
·    11:35am      Transfer vehicle departs Rehovot to return to Jerusalem
·    Light sandwich lunch
·    01:00pm      All arrive at Yad Vashem International Institute for Holocaust                                       Research        
o   Guest Speaker, Holocaust Survivor and discussion 
o   Guided tour
·    03:45pm      Depart Yad Vashem
·    04:30pm      Tour of City of David  and tunnels                         
·    Dinner in Talpiyot
·    Return to Dan Jerusalem Hotel
·    Overnight   Dan Jerusalem Hotel, 32 Lehi Street, Jerusalem (t: 011-972-2-533-1234)
Friday, January 4 – JERUSALEM
·    07:30am      Breakfast at hotel
·    08:00am      Depart hotel
·    08:10am      Overlook at Mt Scopus
·    Tour of the Old City 
o   Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Armenian Quarters, Via Dolorosa, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Shuk and Jaffa Gate
·    11:00am      Tour of Western Wall and Tunnels                                     
·    Dome of the Rock (entry restricted to Muslim faith adherents only)
·    Lunch in a Pita – A traditional on-the-go Israeli lunch in the Jewish Quarter
·    King David’s Tomb and Room of the Last Supper
·    Return to hotel
·    As applicable, Individual academic meetings with HUJI Faculty
·    04:08pm      Lighting of Candles before Shabbat (Sabbath) begins at sunset                         
·    06:00pm  Shabbat dinner at hotel  - private room
o   Guest Shabbat Host: Guest Shabbat Host: Former Yesh Atid MK Dov and Mrs Dena Lipman
o   Guest: Lone Soldier:  Ilan Regenbaum  
o   After dinner, informal discussion in enclosed terrace
·    Overnight   Dan Jerusalem Hotel, 32 Lehi Street, Jerusalem (t: 011-972-2-533-1234)
Saturday, January 5 – MASADA AND DEAD SEA
·    07:00am      Shabbat breakfast at hotel
·    07:45am      Check out and bags on bus
·    07:50am      Depart hotel
·    Brief stop at Sea Level
·    09:00am      Visit to Jordan River – Qasr Al Yahud
·    09:45am      Depart Jordan River
·    11:15am      Arrive at Masada National Park 
o   Meet JNF’s Caravan for Democracy Student Leadership Group
o   Ascend via cable car
o   Tour of Masada 
·    01:15pm      Depart Masada to Ein Bokek
·    01:30pm      Arrive at Dead Sea Premier Beach 
o   Lunch
o   Dead Sea experience 
·    03:30pm      Proceed to Be’er Sheva
·    04:45pm      Arrive Be’er Sheva – view of Be’er Sheva River Park, Promenade and                           site of future Alexander Muss High School in Israel
·    05:15pm      Ethiopian Experience at Ronald Lauder Employment Center, Old City
o   Guest Speaker: Naftali Aklum 
o   Guest Speaker: Menucha Saitowitz
·    Proceed to hotel and check in
·    As applicable, individual academic meetings with Ben Gurion University Faculty at hotel  
·    Free evening – dinner on own
·    08:00pm      Invitation for pizza at Bialik 26
·    Overnight   Leonardo Be’er Sheva , 4 Henrietta Szold St, Be’er Sheva                                                       (t:011-972-8-640-5444)
·    06:45am      Breakfast at hotel and check out
·    07:15am      Check out and bags on bus
·    07:20am      Depart hotel and proceed to Sderot
·    08:00am      Visit and tour of JNF Sderot Indoor Recreation Center 
o   Guest Speaker: Yedidya Harush 
o   Guest Speaker: Michal Uziyahu
·    09:00am      Academic visit to Sapir College 
o   Welcome greeting by Professor Ruth Eitan
o   PTSD – the effects of long term trauma living on the border
o   Individual academic meetings with Sapir College Faculty
·    10:00am      Depart Sderot
·    11:00am      Visit to Soda Stream 
·    12:30pm      Depart to Sde Boker
·    01.30pm      Arrive Sde Boker – Light lunch
·    Academic Visit to Ben Gurion University - Zuckerberg Water Institute
o   Tour of institute
o   Individual academic meetings with Zuckerberg Water Institute Faculty 
o   Visit to Ben Gurion’s Grave
·    Depart Sde Boker
·    03:30pm      View of Machtesh Mitzpe Ramon
·    04:00pm      Proceed to Kibbutz Ketura
·    05:15pm      Arrive Kibbutz Ketura 
·    06:00pm      Academic visit to Arava Institute of Environmental Studies (AIES)        
o   Greetings and introduction by Director of Diplomacy, Cathie Granit                
o   AIES Faculty David Lehrer, Dr Tareq Abu Hamed, Academic Director and Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation, Dr Elaine Soloway, Director of the Center for Sustainable Agriculture, and Suleiman Halassah, research for the Center of Transboundary Water Management 
·    07:30pm      Dinner and review of day
·    Overnight   Keren Kolot Guest House, Kibbutz Ketura (c: 011-972-53-941-9109)
·    06:55am      Bags on bus
·    07:00am      Breakfast and discussion on Kibbutz Ketura in dining hall
o   Tour of kibbutz
·    08:00am      Individual academic meetings with AIES faculty 
·    Tour of Solar off-grid Village and Methusaleh tree
·    09:10am      Depart Kibbutz Ketura
·    10:15am      Academic visit to Arava International Center for Agricultural                                         Training (AICAT) 
o   Discussion with Hanni Arnon, Director of Arava International Center for Agricultural Training 
o   Introduction to Msc Plant Biology students from Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Kenya
o   Presentation with AICAT Faculty and students               
·    11:00am      Continue to Vidor Center
·    11:20am      Visit to Vidor Visitors Center/Research and Development Station        
o   Guest speaker: Noa Zer, Regional Council Resources Development Director 
·    11:45am      Academic visit to Yair R&D Station and tour of hothouses                                              
o   Individual meetings with R&D Faculty                               
o   Sandwich lunch
·    12:30pm      Depart Yair R&D and proceed to Tel Aviv
·    03:00pm      Visit to Peres Peace Center and Innovation Center 
o   Guest speaker: Nadav Tamir, Director of International Affairs and former adviser to President Peres
·    04:30pm      Depart to Tel Aviv
·    Walking tour of Neve Tzedek, Herzl and Rothschild Boulevard
·    06:00pm      Farewell dinner – Keren and Yael at Lilienblum                            
o   Guest: Titi Ayenaw – Former Miss Israel and international model
o   Guest: Maya Lustig – Eat With Us App
·    08:15pm      Depart to Ben Gurion International Airport with Eileen Wedeen
·    09:00pm      Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport, accompanied by Eileen Wedeen.  Proceed to pre checks, check in counters and security to gates
·    Overnight   En route
Tuesday January 8 – EN ROUTE
·    12:45am      As applicable, departure of EL AL flight LY1 to New York (JFK)
·    01:00am      As applicable, departure of EL AL flight LY27 to Newark (EWR)
 (Please note that itinerary is subject to change)

2018 Winter Faculty Fellowship Bios

Professor Evangelia Bellas, Bioengineering, Temple University

Dr. Evangelia Bellas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at Temple University.  She received her B.S. in Bioengineering from Syracuse University in 2004 and her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Tufts University in 2012. 

Prior to joining Temple University, Dr. Bellas was a postdoctoral fellow in Biomedical Engineering at Boston University and Bioengineering at University of Pennsylvania under the mentorship of Dr. Christopher Chen where she developed 3D in vitro adipose tissue disease models. Before starting her Ph.D., Dr. Bellas was at Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the supervision of Drs. Robert Langer and Daniel Kohane, where she worked on biomaterial, drug delivery solutions for prevention of peritoneal adhesions and controlled release formulations for long-term pain management. Her current research focuses on the development of fat-on-chip and (dys)functional adipose tissue models to study how vascularization and interactions with the microenvironment impact tissue health and function.

When Dr. Bellas is not studying fat, she enjoys yoga, boxing, hiking, exploring new places, visiting museums and volunteering for social impact and animal causes.

Professor Earl Carstens, Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, University of California/Davis
Earl Carstens is a distinguished professor of neurobiology, physiology and behavior at the University of California, Davis.  His main research interests focus on the neurobiology of itch and how itch and pain interact.  He currently serves as President of the International Forum for the Study of Itch, an organization of clinicians and basic scientists dedicated to better understanding and treating itch.   He supervises an active research laboratory with numerous collaborations within and outside the US.

Professor Ruben Michael Ceballos, Biology, University of Arkansas
Dr. Ruben Michael Ceballos is a faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Science at the University of Arkansas.  He completed hisbachelor’s degree in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and a master’s degree in Neuroscience from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. 

Dr. Ceballos completed a PhD in Microbiology and Biochemistry at the University of Montana.  His lab is generally focused on virus-host interactions in double-stranded DNA virus systems.  From human herpesviruses that may disrupt normal neural function leading to seizure and epilepsy to extremophilic archaeal systems and cyanophage systems that may provide insights into the role of DNA viruses in key evolutionary transitions, the lab works at multiple scales.  In addition, to interactions within specific virus-host systems and viral ecology, the lab is also involved in developing useful biotechnologies from extremophile protein systems.  Currently, he serves as a research advisor to two post-doctoral scholars, six PhD students, three master’s students, and several undergraduate honors students.  Dr. Ceballos maintains multiple international research and student training collaborations in both Southeast Asia (i.e., Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand) as well as in Latin America.  Over the past decade, Dr. Ceballos’ research has been funded primarily through NASA and the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Prof Luis René Contreras-Sapien, Industrial, Manufact  and Systems Engineering, University of Texas El Paso

Dr. Luis Rene Contreras Sapien obtained his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering with an emphasis in Ergonomics at Kansas State University in May 1995. He also obtained his M.S. in Industrial Engineering with an emphasis in Ergonomics and Statistics at the same institution in 1992. Previously, in 1981 he completed a M.S. in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis in Power Systems at The Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico. He finished his B.S. in Industrial & Electrical Engineering in 1979 at the Instituto Tecnológico de Chihuahua in México.

He is been an Associate Professor since 2006 in Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering Department at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). He is been serving as the Undergraduate Program Director since 2010. Dr. Contreras Sapien served as Interim Chair of the department in the academic year 2013-2014. Previously he served as the Graduate Program Director from 2005 to 2010. Before joining UTEP he served as President, Dean, & Chair in several Mexican universities. He has more than 30 years of academic experience in US and Mexico.

Dr. Contreras Sapien’s teaching and research interests include Ergonomics, Occupational Safety & Health, Facilities Planning, and Statistics. He has taught different engineering courses at undergraduate and graduate levels in those areas.  In the classroom, his teaching methods emphasize problem-based and active hands-on based learning.  Dr. Contreras Sapien has published education and research results to refereed journal and conference publications.  He is a senior member of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers.  He has secured education and research grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Army Research Labs, Society of Manufacturing Engineering Foundation, and others.

Professor Thomas Dempster, Algae Technology, Arizona State University

Dr. Dempster is an experienced phycologist who began his research career at ASU in 1989 working on the Aquatic Species Program, a pioneering USDOE research program investigating the potential of algal oil as an alternative to conventional crude oil. He currently focuses on algae strain selection and development, large-scale algae cultivation, algal biofuels and high-value co-products, and power plant carbon capture using microalgae. His research is currently funded by the US Department of Energy (USDOE), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Salt River Project (SRP) and Zivo Biosciences. Dempster is an Associate Research Professor and Laboratory Manager at ASU’s Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation (AzCATI) in Mesa, AZ and serves as the Testbed Site Coordinator for the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) funded Algae Testbed Public-Private Partnership (ATP3). He also acts as the Director of the ATP3 Education and Training effort that delivers a variety of algae workshops and outreach events nationally and abroad.

Professor Dmitriy Dikin, Mechanical Engineering, Temple University

Dr. Dmitriy Dikin is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering in Temple University, Philadelphia. Dr. Dikin received his Ph.D. in Physics in 1992 from the Institute for Low Temperature Physics and Engineering of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and the master degree in Cryogenic Engineering from the Kharkov State Polytechnic University, Ukraine. In 1992-93 he was the DAAD postdoctoral fellow at the Physics Institute of University of Würsburg, Germany.  Before moving to Philadelphia, Dr. Dikin worked at Northwestern University Department of Mechanical Engineering and Department of Physics and Astronomy.  At Temple University Dr. Dikin manages electron microscopy facility at the Temple Materials Institute. He also teaches undergraduate and graduate courses related to materials science and advises many undergraduate research projects. Dr. Dikin has more than 30 years of experience to work across different fields of materials science, physics, chemistry, and mechanics with specific focus on materials analysis at nano and micro scale.  Dr. Dikin has more than 100 peer-reviewed papers, and he is one of the most cited researchers in the field of graphene nanomaterials (h-index 32 with a cumulative citation of more than 25k).  His pioneering works on chemically exfoliated graphene materials have caused a tremendous surge of activity in many associated areas.  Many groups are developing and expanding the proposed concepts of constructing new materials based on the chemically modified graphene sheets, including polymer and ceramic composites, membranes, sensors and other smart materials. His recent research interest is primarily focused on carbon-based nanostructures for development of novel electronic and composite materials. Dr. Dikin also works on new microscopy methods for integrated studies of nanomaterials.  Dr. Dikin served as co-PI and senior investigator in NSF, DoE, DARPA and industry funded projects.  In addition Dr. Dikin is a consultant for several hi-tech companies.
Dr. Dikin's work in a research lab is his passion and hobby. He devotes himself to his work entirely and is extremely detail-oriented with the goal of achieving maximum outcome.  He is focused and diligent in all affairs and expects the same from others. Together with his wife Olena he nurtured two children, Anna and Andrey, in the same way. Now he enjoys doing any activity with his three grandchildren. And he is very proud of them all.  Dr. Dikin is also passionate about teaching, focusing on understanding the concepts and approaches, instead of rote memorization. Although introverted by nature, he is very approachable, and always glad to help others.  Apart from this, Dmitriy likes to work in the garden growing berries and vegetables, and doing everything himself around the house. He likes going on for bike rides, cross-country skiing, and traveling.
Professor Jennifer Foo, Finance, Stetson University

 Jennifer Foo, Professor of Finance, has been with Stetson University since 1990. Foo was a visiting professor of finance teaching at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand in 2011, at Vilnius University, Lithuania in 2006 and at Beijing Union University, China in 2000 and 1998. Foo has traveled extensively to different countries presenting papers in international conferences on international banking and financial systems and transitional countries. She has published numerous research papers and was twice recognized with the School of Business Researcher of the Year Award.  She received the Stetson University Hand Award for Research and Creative and Professional Activity in 2003, the Hand Grant Award for Professional Development in 2005, and the School of Business Administration Service Award for 2009. Other honors include the CIEE award 2017, the Fulbright Senior Specialist award at Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Poland in 2008; the Fulbright Lecturer Scholar award at Leon Kominsky Academy of Entrepreneurship and Management, Warsaw, Poland in 2004; Best Author Award 2003 in the Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge; and Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society 2001.

Professor Srinagesh Gavirneni, Operations Management, Cornell University

 Nagesh Gavirneni is a professor of operations management in the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. His research interests are in the areas of supply chain management, inventory control, production scheduling, simulation and optimization. He is now using these models and methodologies to solve problems in healthcare, agriculture and humanitarian logistics in developing countries. Previously, he was an assistant professor in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, the chief algorithm design engineer of SmartOps, a Software Architect at Maxager Technology, Inc. and a research scientist with Schlumberger. He has an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from IIT-Madras, a Master’s degree from Iowa State University, and a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University.

Professor Babu George, Business Management, Fort Hays State University

 Babu George holds a Ph.D. degree in Management Studies (2006) and a Doctor of Business Administration degree with a focus on Marketing and Tourism (2016). He is a graduate of Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management (IEM-2018 batch). He has more than fifteen years of business research, university teaching, and administrative service experience, in the US and internationally. Before joining Fort Hays State University in 2015 as Associate Professor and Coordinator of International Programs, Dr. George has worked for University of Nevada Las Vegas, Swiss Management Center University, University of Liverpool, Alaska Pacific University, and the University of Southern Mississippi, among others. He is a visiting professor at various higher education institutions around the world. He is the editor of International Journal of Qualitative Research in Services. Until recently, he was the managing editor of Journal of Tourism. He has more than hundred peer reviewed and well-cited research publications to his credit. He has authored or edited more than seven books.

Professor Bradley Greger, Bioengineering, Arizona State University

Bradley Greger received his bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and biology in 1994 and1995 from Washington State University. As a graduate student at Washington University, St. Louis he developed an interest in studying neuronal encoding of information. After earning his Ph.D. in 2001, he joined Caltech as a postdoctoral research fellow, where he began pursuing his interest in neural prosthetics. From 2006 to 2013, he was an Asst. Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Utah. Greger joined the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering at ASU as an Assoc. Professor in 2013, where his work is in developing and improving speech, vision, and limb prosthetics technology.

His research uses micro-scale medical devices for performing electrophysiological recordings from, and electrical stimulation of, the nervous system. He is using these devices to understand how the nervous system processes information, as well as how these medical devices effect their treatment of pathology. The improved understanding of treatment mechanisms and neural function can be translated into novel medical devices for the restoration of lost sensory and motor function, and potentially treatments for pathology of higher order human functions. Dr. Greger interested in three main projects:  Cortical vision prosthesis, Dexterous & communication prostheses and Adaptive control of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)

Professor Juan Hinestroza, Fiber Science and Apparel Design, Cornell University

Juan P. Hinestroza, a U.S. Fulbright Scholar and a PMP®, is a tenured Associate Professor of Fiber Science and directs The Textiles Nanotechnology Laboratory at the College of Human Ecology of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.  Professor Hinestroza obtained a Ph.D. from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Tulane University and B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Universidad Industrial de Santander. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies, Professor Hinestroza worked as a process control engineer for The Dow Chemical Company. Hinestroza is also the founder of several startup companies that originate from technology developed by his research group.
Professor Hinestroza works on understanding fundamental phenomena at the nanoscale that are of relevance to Fiber and Polymer Science. Hinestroza has received over 8.1 MM USD in research funding (Federal and State agencies as well as Industrial Consortiums) for his pioneering work in exploring new pathways for creating multifunctional fibers via manipulation of nanoscale phenomena.Pro fessor Hinestroza has been the recipient of a myriad of awards including the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the J.D. Watson Young Investigator Award from NYSTAR and the Educator of the Year Award from the Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers as well as Humanitarian Award from the National Textile Center.  Professor Hinestroza has delivered invited lectures worldwide at Universities and Research Centers over 45 countries.
Professor Hinestroza’s scientific work has been featured in Nature Nanotechnology, MRS Bulletin, Materials Today, C&E News, National Geographic, ASEE Prism as well as mainstream media outlets such as CNN, Wired, TechReview, The Guardian, Popular Science, ABC News, NYTimes, Reuters, PBS, NPR and BBC.  In addition to his scientific endeavors, Professor Hinestroza and his research group are actively involved in community outreach activities aimed at increasing the number of members from underrepresented minority groups in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics as well as engaging senior citizens in collaborative and inter-generational learning experiences.

Professor Lekelia Jenkins, Innovation in Society, Arizona State University

Lekelia “Kiki” Jenkins is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, where she grew up fishing and crabbing recreationally on the Chesapeake Bay. During the summers she prowled the grounds of the Baltimore Zoo as a junior zookeeper, learning about endangered species and conservation. A Meyerhoff Scholar and UNCF/Merck Fellow, she graduated with a B.S. in Biology and Dance Minor from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.  As a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, Kiki received her PhD from Duke University by pioneering a new field of study into the invention and adoption of marine conservation technology. Since then, she has worked as an environmental consultant for the Natural Resource Defense Council, while also actively participating in the burgeoning field of Studies in Expertise and Experience. Forging a new path of opportunity, she gained the support of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to host its first ever AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellows.  As a Fellow, she served in the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Office of International Affairs, where she helped implement new regulations to address bycatch and illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing by foreign nations. Kiki came to the University of Washington (UW) as a postdoctoral scholar supported by the Ford Foundation Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship and the David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship, which is awarded to rising conservation scientists who have the potential to change the face of conservation through entrepreneurial approaches. She later became an assistant professor at the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at UW and during this time was awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in Ocean Sciences. She is now an associate professor at Arizona State University in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society.

Kiki’s research interests center on the rigorous, empirical study of the process of conservation in order to distill conservation theory and codify best practices, specifically exploring marine conservation, bycatch, fisheries, conservation technology, tidal energy, invention, technology transfer, and diffusion of innovations. Her research includes field sites along the southeast and west coasts of the United States, along Gulf of Mexico, in Ecuador, and in Costa Rica. Kiki is currently expanding her research into role of science dance in science education, science communication, and social change. Her pastimes include watching and participating in all forms of dance, mentoring, reading, traveling, eating good food while enjoying a nice view, writing poetry, costuming, imagining the possibilities, loving her friends and family, and loving her life.

Professor Michael Kern, Environmental Public Policy, Washington State University

Michael Kern is a two-time graduate of the University of Washington (UW), including a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of Art, and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. He is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Alpha Alpha honors societies.

Michael is an Associate Professor at Washington State University (WSU) Extension; Affiliate Associate Professor at the UW Evans School; and Director of the WSU-UW William D. Ruckelshaus Center, a joint effort of WSU Extension and the UW Evans School that fosters durable, effective and collaboration solutions to public policy challenges in the State of Washington and Pacific Northwest. Michael is responsible for faculty, staff and advisory board development and management; project development, oversight and strategic advice; organizational development and strategic planning; fund raising and communications; scholarship; and other tasks. Michael's research interests relate to how best to use the tools of Alternative Dispute Resolution (developed for fields such as international diplomacy, management/labor relations, divorce and family mediation, out-of-court legal settlement, etc.) to resolve complex, multiparty public policy challenges that resist resolution via traditional legislative, executive and judicial processes. A particular focus is the unique role universities can play as a trusted, neutral forum for such collaborative governance processes, providing teaching, research and practice expertise.

Michael has over 25 years of experience helping diverse groups reach common ground on public policy issues. Most of this work has been on natural resources issues (such as large-scale environmental clean-up, transboundary water and watershed management, land use and growth management planning, salmon and other species restoration, natural disaster recovery and resilience, etc.), but he has worked on a range of other issues (such as health policy, outdoor recreation, transportation, economic and community development).Prior to joining the Ruckelshaus Center, he was a Senior Associate at Triangle Associates Inc. in Seattle, providing facilitation, mediation, public involvement, strategic planning, project management and other services. He has also provided these services at nonprofit and academic institutions for the North Cascades Initiative, Hatchery Reform Project, Hanford Openness Workshops and other projects. In his free time, Michael plays racquetball, hikes, backpacks, reads and spends time with his wife and two children. He is a long-suffering fan and season ticket holder of the Seattle Mariners baseball team. 

 Professor Willard Kesling, Music, University of Florida

Dr. Will Kesling has conducted hundreds of choral ensembles and forty-six professional symphony orchestras throughout the world. His talents for weaving together text and music, chorus and orchestra have garnered him international respect. 

For the past sixteen years Dr. Kesling has served as the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Florida as well as the Director of the Gainesville Master Chorale and Philharmonic Orchestra.   Over the past forty-one years his college choirs have received international attention and were featured in the Opening Ceremonies of the Salt Lake Winter Paralympics televised internationally on NBC.  

In recognition of his achievements Dr. Kesling was awarded The Congressional Order of Merit by the Congress of the United States of America in September 2003 and the Ronald Reagan Gold Medal in November 2004.  In March 2006, Professor Kesling was awarded the Congressional Medal of Distinction for his contributions to the cultural life of the citizenry. On October 12, 2013 Dr. In November 2017 Dr. Kesling received the Distinguished Alumni Award from his undergraduate university and International Educator of the Year for the College of the Arts at the University of Florida.

Professor Rao Mylavarapu, Soil and Water Sciences, University of Florida

I have obtained my B.S. in Agriculture from A.P. Agricultural University and M.S. degree in Soil Science (soil & water) from G.B. Pant Ag & Tech University in India. I have obtained my Ph.D. from Clemson University, USA, specializing in water and solute movement through soils.

I am currently working as Professor in Soil & Water Sciences Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) at the University of Florida and have been here since 1998. I have progressed through Assistant/Associate/Full Professor ranks since. I am also an Affiliate Professor in the School of Natural Resources, IFAS since 2007. In my current position, I also officiate as the Director of the IFAS Analytical Services Laboratories, providing high quality analytical services to researchers and extension clients, statewide. Previously, I have worked as an Assistant Soil Physicist/Assistant Chemist in the nationally coordinated programs on soil physics and Grapes at APAU in India for 4 years, Visiting Scientist in Soil & Environmental Chemistry Labs, USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD, USA for 2 years and Soils Specialist at Clemson University, SC, USA for 2.5 years.

My research work focuses on nutrient supply in agricultural production systems for agronomic and environmental sustainability. Our research program addresses critical nutrient management issues such as crop nutrient requirements, soil and tissue testing, nutrient related environmental concerns and interdependence with water management. We conduct studies on soil-test correlation/calibration, nutrients-soil-water management for optimization of nutrient uptake and efficiency. We develop and execute complementary progressive and highly visible educational programs in the area of nutrient sustainability targeted to the public and private sectors and to the agricultural, urban, and environmental communities. This program emphasizes environmentally responsible nutrient management in the production of major agronomic and horticultural crops produced in Florida, in the southeastern USA and at international locations. 

Professor Carrie Perlman, Biomedical Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology

Carrie E. Perlman, Ph.D., studies the influence of surface tension on lung mechanics.  Dr. Perlman received her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from MIT and her doctorate in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University.  She trained as a postdoctoral fellow in a pulmonary physiology laboratory at Columbia University. 

Dr. Perlman is currently an associate professor in Biomedical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology.  She directs the Stevens BME Ph.D. program, runs a National Institutes of Health-funded laboratory and serves on an NIH grant review study section.  Dr. Perlman devised the first means of determining surface tension in flooded alveoli in situ in the lungs.  With this methodology, she and her group have challenged longstanding assumptions regarding the cause of elevated surface tension in pulmonary edema.  And they have discovered a new property for two existing compounds – the ability to lower surface tension in the lungs.  They are testing the compounds for the ability to reduce ventilation injury of edematous lungs.

Professor Heidi Powell, Art Education, University of Florida

Dr. Heidi Powell is an artist and scholar of Native American (Lenni Lenape) and Norwegian descent, and currently a Director/Assistant Professor in the College of the Arts at the University of Florida.  As part of her practice she explores cultural positioning in arts pedagogy and practice. Her most recent publications are titled “Becoming a curator of memories: Memorializing memory as place in art making for art education” is in Revitalizing History (Vernon Press) and Alfombras (IJETA).

Her creative work focuses on indigenous and isolated histories and their relationship to contemporary society as landscape. Foundational to her creative work is the notion of “story” which re-emphasizes the conflictual and the consensual in society, constructing and de-constructing daily identity where the personal, collective, and cultural converge. She says, “for me, art making is a way of adding original dialogue and new ideas, to artistic narratives of knowledge that demonstrate how individual truth, imagination, and experience work together.”

Professor Ashley Randall, Counseling and Counseling Psychology, Arizona State University

Dr. Ashley K. Randall, PhD is an Associate Professor in Counseling and Counseling Psychology at Arizona State University, U.S.A. She obtained her PhD in Family Studies and Human Development in 2012 from the University of Arizona and received a Fulbright Fellowship in 2007 to conduct research in Switzerland. Her research expertise includes couples’ stress and interpersonal emotion regulation, and implications for individual and relational well-being. Dr. Randall is an active member of the American Psychological Association and the International Association for Relationship Research, and serves on the editorial board for Emotion, the Journal of Counseling Psychology, the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, and The Counseling Psychologist. 

Professor Leon Reznik, Computer Science, Rochester Institute of Technology

Leon Reznik is a Professor of Computer Science (primary affiliation) and Computing Security (secondary affiliation) at the Rochester Institute of Technology, New York, USA. He received his BS/MS degree in Computer Control Systems in 1978 and a PhD degree in 1983 and worked within the industry and academia in Russia, Australia and US . Prof. Reznik is an author of the textbook “Fuzzy Controllers” (Elsevier-Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, 1997) and an editor of “Fuzzy System Design: Social and Engineering Applications” (Physica Verlag, 1998), “Soft Computing in Measurement and Information Acquisition” (Springer, 2003), “Advancing Computing and Information Sciences” (Cary Graphic Arts Press, 2005) and about one and a half hundred other research publications.

Dr. Reznik’s research concentrates on study and development of intelligent computing systems for control, power engineering and computer networks, sensor networks and systems as well as cybersecurity. His current research interests include intelligent data analytics, neural networks and machine learning; data quality and security evaluation and assurance; intelligent intrusion detection in cyber-physical systems; cognitive sensor networks and systems as well as computer science and security education.

His life and career development story represents a good illustration of his abilities. He likes to travel and to learn new cultures and environments. He moved from Russia to Australia, and then to USA and was redirecting his career path from industry research to academia, from adjunct and part time teaching to professorship. He transferred from electrical and electronic engineering to computer engineering and then to computer science and computing security departments. Also, he likes to swim in any pool of water ranging from a small house hole to the ocean. He enjoys his research and most of other things his life offers.

Professor Kenan Song, Mechanical Engineering, Arizona State University

Kenan Song, Ph.D., is currently an Assistant Professor at Arizona State University. Before joining ASU in 2017, he was holding a Postdoc Associate position at MIT, jointly affiliated with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Department of Chemical Engineering. Dr. Song obtained his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University (Boston, MA) in 2014, and B.S. in Engineering Mechanics as well as minor in International Economic Law in 2010. Dr. Song’s research interest includes the processing-structure-property relationships in advanced composite materials (AMCs).

Professor Calvin Stewart, Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas/El Paso

 Calvin M. Stewart is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) with a joint appointment in the Center for Space Exploration Technology Research (cSETR), a NASA University Research Center. He obtained a BS, MS, and PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Central Florida in 2008, 2009, and 2013 respectively. Dr. Stewart directs the Materials at Extremes Research Group (MERG) which focuses on the mechanical testing, constitutive modeling, and finite element analysis of materials subject to thermal, mechanical, and chemical extremes. Within the gamut of extremes; creep, fatigue, thermomechanical fatigue, corrosion, oxidation, impact, and fracture are key focus areas.

Professor Naomi Yavneh Klos, Honors, Loyola University/New Orleans

Naomi Yavneh Klos, Ph.D. is President of the National Collegiate Honors Council, an organization representing 900+ honors programs and colleges, nationally and internationally.  Her research focuses on the role honors education can play in educating students regarding justice, and how honors itself can serve as a locus of access, equity and inclusive excellence in higher education.  The former Director of the University Honors Program at Loyola University New Orleans, where she created a curriculum emphasizing social justice and diversity learning outcomes, and a leader in honors education nationally and internationally, during this sabbatical year she is consulting with Eastern Washington University as Special Assistant to the Provost for Honors.

The founding chair of the Council of Undergraduate Research’s Arts and Humanities division, the founding director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and former Associate Dean of the Honors College at the University of South Florida, Dr. Yavneh Klos is committed to high impact practices that contribute to retention and graduation, and is an innovator in interdisciplinary and community-engaged curricular development.  In addition to publications regarding honors, undergraduate research, and the pedagogy of justice (including, most recently, the lead essay for the 2018 JNCHC forum on “Honors and Social Justice,”) she is a frequent presenter at conferences such as AACU, the European Honors Conference and the quadrennial Jesuit Justice Conference, on whose board she serves.

An alumna of Hunter Elementary and High School in New York City, she completed her undergraduate degree in Comparative Literature cum laude at Princeton University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and subsequently completed masters and doctoral degrees in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley.  In addition to her research in honors and social justice pedagogy, she has published and presented extensively on issues of gender and spirituality in early modern Italy.  For the past two summers, she has collaborated with Hanze University for Applied Sciences and Westerbork Transit Camp, both in the Netherlands, on an honors summer institute on holocaust memory.

Mirela Iodi Carstens, Researcher in Carstens Lab, University of California Davis

Mirela was born in Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania, the birthplace of Eli Wiesel.  She graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Chemistry  and has worked as a Staff Research Associate  in Prof. Carstens' laboratory since 1998.  Her research has focused on itch, pain and oral chemesthesis.   She is co-author of 80 publications in peer-reviewed journals as well as several book chapters.  She is a member of the International Forum for the Study of Itch, the International Association for the Study of Pain, and the Society for Neuroscience.

Oleana Dikina, Computer Science, IBM

Mrs. Olena Dikina received her MS degree in Engineering Physics from the Kharkov State Polytechnic University, Ukraine with summa cum laude in 1982. Since then, Mrs. Dikina continues her study by attending advanced training courses, coaching seminars and internet online classes, such as MIT course Analytics Edge, IBM and DAMA professional society advanced data modeling and big data classes.

The focus of Mrs. Dikina’s 25+ year career in data and business analysis is in understanding data meaning, creating valuable data assets, and exploring data usage. Olena was Lead Data Analyst & Data Modeler on numerous IBM projects for major financial institutions, government agencies and clients from other industries, and worked on a wide variety of agile projects with primary focus on data analysis and database design. Mrs. Dikina is a promoter of leading data modeling practices and Data Management Body of Knowledge (DMBOK) recommendations. She led the team effort to update IBM Data Modeling Leading Practices (DMLP) document to reflect recently developed data modeling design patterns including a Data Lake Design Pattern. Her contribution into creation of consistent processes for data movements on large projects has helped IBM successfully deliver high client value.  . She now supports the design of various forms of data repositories, including metadata repositories, data lakes and data sets for statistical analysis.

Olena balances her busy work schedule with wide spectrum of cultural activities with her husband Dmitriy.  Olena’s passions are history and any outdoor activity. Mrs. Dikina supports local organizations that work on preserving nature in all its forms and beauty. 

Professor Daisy Fan, Computational Science and Engineering, Cornell University

 Dr. Daisy Fan teaches in the areas of programming, scientific computing, and optimization. Her recently co-authored book, "Insight Through Computing: A MATLAB Introduction to Computational Science and Engineering," is a culmination of years of teaching programming and scientific computing using MATLAB, Java, and Lego MindStorms robotics. Fan’s research interests include collaborative learning methodologies and technologies in engineering education, application of systems-analysis techniques for water resources and environmental problems, and development of numerically efficient optimization methods for large-scale engineering applications. Problems she has investigated include optimal control of multiple-reservoir operation using stochastic dynamic programming and river basin water quality management.

Fan is the recipient of the Kendall S. Carpenter Memorial Advising Award (2016), the Douglas Whitney '61 Excellence in Teaching Award (2011), the Zellman Warhaft Commitment to Diversity Award (2008), and the Cornell Society of Engineers Achievement Award (2004). Fan obtained her Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering at Cornell University (2002). She was a research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria (1995).

Professor Stanley Yavneh Klos, Honors, Loyola University New Orleans and Idaho State University

Stanley Yavneh Klos is an author, entrepreneur, professor and former Italian Basketball Association player. 
He currently serves as the President of the Corporation, a non-profit organization dedicated to challenging the public to view history through the lens of primary source exhibits.  In real estate, Stan acquired RE/MAX of Pennsylvania n/w, increasing its yearly commission revenues from $240,000 to $36 million. He has acquired, preserved and saved 32 historically significant properties in five states. His paleontology company, Dinosaur Safaris, Inc., has yielded numerous fossil holdings that include a the world’s most complete Stegosaurus and Camarasaurus, which are on exhibit, respectively, at the London National History Museum and the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum in Japan. Stan has brought this expertise into the classroom by teaching for University Honors and the College of Business at numerous Universities.
Stan’s education includes a BA in American Studies, BS in Zoology, MA in Rhetorical Theory & Historic Public Address and an "ABD" in Mass Communications and Marketing. He attended, respectively, St. Peter’s College, Idaho State University and The Pennsylvania State University. 

Nicole Meath, Administrator/Nurse Practitioner, LaserAway/Valeant Pharmaceuticals

Nicole Meath, MSN FNP-C, is currently the Regional Administer of Clinical Standardization for the Arizona and Las Vegas clinics at LaserAway, the leading Aesthetic Laser company in North America.  In her role, Ms. Meath has a variety of responsibilities to ensure each clinic is staffed, trained, and understands safety protocols that are continuously updated to provide best practice guidelines for patient care.  She is passionate about educating health care professionals and patients using evidenced based practices to address issues related to preventive care and the benefits of healthy skin habits and prevent premature aging. Prior to obtaining her BSN, Ms. Meath worked at Scottsdale Osborn as an ICU Trauma nurse for 7 years before working at the Phoenix Veterans Memorial Emergency Room for 2 ½ years while finishing her Masters in Family Practice in Nursing.  An advocate of international service, Ms. Meath has also completed six medical missions to Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras, wherein she was responsible for assisting with triage and the selection of Pre-Operative care, Surgical Assistance, and Post-Operative Care with patients. Ms. Meath holds advance certifications in neuromodulators and fillers, and is a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Arizona Nurse Practitioner, and Dermatology Nurse Association.  

Erica Wright, Art and Media Teacher, Las Vegas Public Schools

Erica Wright was born in sunny California, but has spent most her life in sunny Southern Nevada. There she graduated high school, earned a BA at UNLV, and had her first career (raising her four children). Her second career is teaching Art and although she has no plans to stop, she is still curious about what the third career may be. She hopes it will combine her love of travel with her love of teaching!

Ms. Wright teaches at Green Valley High School in Henderson, Nevada. Green Valley is part of the Clark County School District which is the 5th largest school district in the US. After building a four-year program for Photography covering both film and digital processes, Ms. Wright recently moved back to Studio Art. She currently oversees the Fine Arts Department and teaches Ceramics, Art, and Design Crafts. With 200 students per day, in a school of more than 3000 students, she relishes the opportunities to positively affect lives on a daily basis.

Ms. Wright operates with the belief that every single person needs some sort of creative energy in their life, and has the potential to “make.” It is her passion to provide opportunities for people to experience the arts and art-making.

APPENDIX A:  Program Component Background Information 

Friday, December 28

·         Fureidis
Fureidis is a town situated on the coastal plain with approximately 10,000 predominantly Arab residents.

·         Daliat El-Carmel
Sitting high on the slopes of Mt Carmel, this Druze town has an exceptionally unique character. It is a colorful town that offers wonderful hospitality with a smile and is also very interesting. The Druze is an ethnic group that split off from Islam in Egypt about 1,000 years ago. According to the Druze, their religion is the renewal of an ancient faith that became a secret known only to the group’s sages. Daliat El-Carmel was founded in the 17th century by Druze from Mt. Lebanon.

Saturday, December 29

·         Tiran Attia
Lt. Col. (Res.) Tiran Attia serves as Director of Special in Uniform, an innovative program that aims to integrate young people with autism and other disabilities into the IDF and, in turn, into Israeli society. After their service, Special in Uniform helps usher its graduates toward a self-sufficient life, through employment or other meaningful societal involvement, once they are discharged from the army.

Over the course of his distinguished 28-year career in the Israel Defense Forces, Lt. Col. Attia commanded a tank, the IDF's Technology and Logistics Forces training program, and the Sar-El program for army volunteers from around the world.

Sunday, December 30

·         Tel Hai College
Tel-Hai College is the leading public academic college in Israel and an engine of change for the educational, economic and social development of the Upper Galilee. Since becoming an independent academic institution in 1996, Tel-Hai's innovative curriculum, diverse student life and pluralistic atmosphere, and growing reputation for academic excellence have attracted students from across the country to join in building our unique community of learning, and gained the attention of scholars and researchers around the world. Tel-Hai strives for the best where it is needed most - doing our utmost to serve the people of the northern periphery of Israel and tap into the region's extraordinary potential. We believe we can see the future from here, and that we are building it every day in both the classroom and the community. We invite you to explore that work with us by learning more about our courses, our faculty and our wonderful students, as well as our passion to make the Galilee a place where more Tel-Hai graduates - and more Israelis - will want to live, work and make their home. 

·         Fassouta Village
Fassouta is local council on the northwestern slopes of Mount Meron in the Northern District of Israel, south of the Lebanese border.  In 2017 it had a population of 3,098, nearly all of whom are Israeli Arab Christians.
Fassouta is a village, built of stone, situated on ridge, with gardens of figs, olives, and arable land. There are two cisterns in the village, and a good spring near.

·         Galilee Medical Center
Galilee Medical Center is a hospital located in the coastal city of Nahariya and is the second largest hospital in northern Israel (after Rambam Hospital in Haifa). It was established in 1956.

The hospital located on the outskirts of Nahariya, three kilometers from the city center, serving half a million residents of the western Galilee, from Karmiel to the coast.

Since its modest beginning as a small maternity hospital, The WGH has grown into a 651-bed facility. The emergency room receives about 400 people every day and the number of hospitalizations is about 60,000 a year. Approximately 420 physicians practice in this government owned hospital, while the total number of employees is about 2200. The hospital staff is a reflection of the
Multi-ethnic demography of the Western Galilee; consisting of Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze and others. In 2007, the Western Galilee Hospital was the first to appoint an Arab Israeli, Dr. Masad Barhoum, as its director.

·         Dr. Eyal Sela
Dr. Eyal Sela, Director of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, joined Galilee Medical Center’s administration in 2013. Since then Dr. Sela and his inspiring staff have been leaders in the medical revolution sweeping the Western Galilee by providing new and innovative services to the residents of Israel’s northern periphery. 

As Head of the Ear, Nose, Throat, and Head and Neck (ENT) Student Program, Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee, Dr. Sela is leading the training of Israel’s newest ENT practitioners. Formerly a lecturer at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology Medical School in Haifa, Israel (the "Technion"), Dr. Sela was recognized for his excellence in teaching for three consecutive academic years as an outstanding lecturer at Bar-Ilan University and the Technion.   

Dr. Sela graduated medical school at the Technion in 1997 followed by a residency at the Carmel Medical Center in Haifa. Moreover, he completed a two-year Fellowship in Head and Neck Oncologic and Reconstructive Surgery at Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, in Montreal, Canada during 2010 – 2012. Prior to his Fellowship, he was an ENT Specialist on the full time staff in the Otolaryngology Department at Carmel Medical Center in Haifa, Israel from 2006 – 2010. Additionally, he served as a Facial Cosmetic Consultant and Surgeon, for Clalit Aesthetics during 2009 and 2010. 

Dr. Sela has published numerous studies and presented at many national and international conferences. As the Head of the department of ENT, Dr. Sela is leading vast prospective and retrospective academic research along with his senior and junior staff, and engaging medical students at the cutting-edge of medicine for new treatment modalities. 

Dr. Sela also acts as a key speaker for visitors and media outlets wishing to understand the treatment of victims of Syrian violence as head of one of the main departments caring for many of the more than 2,000 patients who have escaped Syrian violence to seek care at Galilee Medical Center since March 2013. Dr. Sela received wide attention for his presentation to the International Federation of Head and Neck Oncological Surgeons 5th World Congress & American Head and Neck Society in July 2015, highlighting some of the Department’s more unique trauma cases to arise from the care of Syrian patients. Dr. Sela is a shining beacon for Galilee Medical Center’s driving focus, “Adam l’Adam, Adam” meaning a "Person should relate to another person as a human being" or “People to People” medicine.

·         Dr. Masoud Barhoum
Dr. Masoud Barhoum was born in Shefaram, Israel, to Arab Christian parents who emphasized the human values of moral integrity. Dr. Barhoum is married to Dr. Marie Barhoum, a pediatric endocrinologist, and they are the parents of 3 daughters.

Dr. Barhoum began his medical studies in 1979 at Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion Institute of Technology, and in 1985 completed his internship at Rambam Medical Center, Haifa. He was an internal medicine resident from 1986-1990, but chose to transfer to family medicine, partially in order to take upon himself an equal part of the tasks at home, including child-rearing.

In 1990, Dr. Barhoum and his family took up residence in Kibbutz Ramat Hashofet for the next 10 years, living as an integral part of the kibbutz family, while completing his residency in family medicine and receiving a Master's Degree in Public Health Administration from Haifa University. In the latter years of the 1990's, Dr. Barhoum was appointed director of the Clalit HMO’s Home Care System in Haifa and the Western Galilee, followed by director of its northern region Home Hospitalization Unit.

Monday, December 31 

·         Bahá’i Temple and Gardens
Haifa is the international headquarters for the Bahá’í Faith, which began amidst persecution in Persia in the mid-19th century. They believe in the unity of all religions and believe that messengers of God like Moses, Jesus and Muhammad have been sent at different times in history with doctrines varying to fit changing social needs, but bringing substantially the same message.

The beautiful gardens were originally planned by Shoghi Effendi, the late Guardian of the Faith, and they have recently undergone a massive redesign aimed at putting them on the world's horticultural map.
The Bahá’í gardens are now a geometric cascade of hanging gardens and terraces down to Ben Gurion Boulevard -a gift of visual pleasure to the city that gave the Baha'i religion its home and headquarters.

·         Technion – Israel’s Institute of Technology
After some years of intense pioneering activities, with which Prof. Albert   Einstein's deep involvement, the Technion opened its doors in 1924, becoming Israel’s first modern university.

The developing state created new demands on the veteran university. To meet these needs, Technion launched a variety of ambitious projects, including the establishment of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering in 1949, which laid the foundation for Israel’s successful aerospace industries and Air Force.

Recognizing the growing trend in interdisciplinary activity, Technion established several new departments, including Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, and the Solid State Institute.  Throughout the upheaval and change, Technion remained at the forefront of the nation's activities – from producing technologies for guaranteeing Israel's future security, to planning cooperative regional research projects in subjects such as desalination and nuclear energy. The Technion's world-wide reputation for excellence has been strengthened through intensified research in various fields spanning from nuclear power options for Israel to a new program in marine engineering, and pioneer work in the field of industrial robotics. In 1998, Technion successfully launched the "Gurwin TechSat II" microsatellite, making Technion one of five universities with a student program that designs, builds, and launches its own satellite.

·         Haifa University
The campus of the University of Haifa spreads along the Carmel Mountain ridge   southeast of the city of Haifa and is surrounded by the Carmel National Park. The University was established in 1963 under the joint auspices of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Haifa Municipality. In 1972, it gained academic accreditation as a separate institution from the Council for Higher Education.
The University of Haifa is the most pluralistic institution of higher education in Israel: sons and daughters of both veteran cities and development towns, kibbutzim and moshavim, new immigrants, Jews, Arabs, and Druze, IDF officers and security personnel—all sitting together on the bench of knowledge in an atmosphere of coexistence, tolerance, and mutual respect.

The University considers the link-up between academic excellence and social responsibility as its flagship, and service to the community as one of its important goals.

There are over 17,000 students studying towards a degree (B.A., M.A., or Ph.D.). The University offers six Faculties: Humanities, Social Sciences, Sciences and Science Education, Law, Social Welfare and Health Studies, and Education and five Schools: Business Administration.

·         Adverifai is an artificial intelligence company providing content verification solutions for advertisers, publishers and ad networks. 

Their mission is to keep users safe from spam, malicious software, inappropriate and deceiving content.

Its founder is a machine learning expert specializing in advertising technologies and semantic text analysis.’s leverages the full range of AI technologies. With our proprietary FakeRank algorithm, we are at the cutting edge of fake news detection. Using this technology we empower human reviewers to scale the moderation process and improve its accuracy, keeping users safe and brands’ reputation pristine.
Tuesday, January 1
·         Ben Gurion University
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev was established with the aim to spearhead     the development of the Negev, a desert area comprising more than sixty percent of the country. The University was inspired by the vision of Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who believed that the future of the country lay in this region.

Today, Ben-Gurion University is a major center for teaching and research, with over 17,000 students enrolled in the faculties of Engineering Sciences, Health Sciences, Natural Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, the Guilford Glazer School of Business and Management and the Kreitman School of Advanced Graduate Studies.

Ben-Gurion University is a world leader in arid zone research, offering its      expertise to many developing countries. Its world-famous Joyce and Irving Goldman Medical School has become a model for community-oriented and global medicine. In keeping with its mandate, it plays a key role in promoting industry, agriculture and education in the Negev. Its students are known for their activities in the community, and thousands of them take part in special tutoring projects.

·         Professor Limor Aharonson-Daniel
Prof. Limor Aharonson-Daniel, Vice-Rector for International Academic Affairs is the founding director of the PREPARED Center for Emergency Response Research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Limor has a B.Sc in Statistics from Tel-Aviv University and a PhD in Community Medicine from The University of Hong Kong. She joined BGU in 2008 after being the deputy director of The Israel National Center for Trauma and Emergency Medicine Research. In 2009 she opened and headed the Master’s program in Emergency Preparedness and Response (Dept. of Emergency Medicine). She then became head of the department of Emergency Medicine (2011-2016).

Limor is an expert in injury epidemiology. Apart from her contribution to international classification of injury, several of her studies resulted in innovative approaches and instruments to facilitate practically oriented studies of disasters and emergency situations. Among these are the Barell Matrix and the Conjoint Community Resiliency Assessment Measure (CCRAM). Limor has published extensively in peer reviewed journals and authored several book chapters both on Injury Research Methods and on Disaster Preparedness Assessment.

As Vice Rector for International Academic Affairs and head of BGU International, Limor strives to increase the number of courses and programs taught in English at BGU, and to increase student and staff academic mobility and exchange.

·         Project Wadi Attir
Located near the Bedouin town of Hura, Project Wadi Attir seeks to develop and demonstrate a model for sustainable, community-based agricultural enterprise, adapted to a desert environment.

It is designed to combine Bedouin aspirations, values and experience with sustainability principles, modern day science and cutting edge technologies. The project was initiated in order to showcase a breakthrough approach to environmentally-sound sustainable development. It will make a real difference locally and will serve as a model for arid regions in other parts of the world.

·         Ghadir Hani
Director, Public Relations, Project Wadi Attir and Organizer, Department of Economic Development, Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation, Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development

·         Sarona
Sarona was a German Templer colony established in Ottoman Palestine in 1871. Sarona is now a neighborhood of Tel Aviv, Israel. It was one of the earliest modern villages established by Europeans in Ottoman Palestine. In July 1941, the British Mandate authorities deported 188 residents of Sarona, who were considered hard-core Nazi sympathizers

Wednesday, January 2

·         The Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya (IDC)
IDC Herzliya was established in 1994 by Prof. Uriel Reichman, as the first private institution of higher education in Israel. Now in its second decade of activity, its schools and research institutes have won renown internationally.

Since its establishment, IDC Herzliya has been an academic avant-garde. As such, its faculty takes part in the fascinating process that is reshaping Israel. They deal with constitutional and governmental reconstruction, economic growth, reevaluation of Israel’s strategy/policies of foreign relations, as well as Israel’s social and moral agenda.

IDC Herzliya is unique in its educational methods, which are based on an interdisciplinary approach, teaching of information technology and global markets. IDC combines theory with real world experience and provides its students with proficiencies. Its basic outlook, which is rooted in the twin concepts of individual freedom and responsibility, emphasizes student’s entrepreneurship and leadership alongside commitment to community service.

·         Tel Aviv University
Located in Israel's cultural, financial and industrial heartland, Tel Aviv University is the largest university in Israel and the biggest Jewish university in the world. It is a major center of teaching and research, comprising nine faculties, 106 departments, and 90 research institutes. Its origins go back to 1956, when three small education units - The Tel Aviv School of Law and Economics, an Institute of Natural Sciences, and an Institute of Jewish Studies - joined together to form the University of Tel Aviv. In addition to its basic functions of research and teaching, Tel Aviv University contributes its expertise to the welfare of society at large; plays a part in all aspects of national life; and addresses regional and international issues.

Faculty members serve in the Knesset and government agencies, and in professional organizations and public bodies. Students are encouraged to tutor disadvantaged children, volunteer services to the elderly, and aid the community through a range of social involvement programs, such as the wide-scale Price-Brodie Initiative in Jaffa.

Middle Eastern history, strategic studies, and the search for peace are central concerns for Tel Aviv University researchers. The Institute for Diplomacy and Regional Cooperation, founded by the Peres Center for Peace, the Armand Hammer Fund for Economic Cooperation in the Middle East, the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African History, the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research and the Morris E. Curiel Center for International Studies are respected sources of information for government and private institutions, the press and the public.
·         Bar Ilan University
Bar Ilan University is the second largest university in Israel, with a student population of approximately 24,500 at the main campus in Ramat Gan, and at the four regional colleges operating under its auspices – in the Jordan Valley, in Safed, in the western Galilee and in Ashkelon.

The university regards the sacred principles of Judaism as the manifestation of the Jewish people's uniqueness, in accordance with the principles defined upon its establishment. The university's basic roles include supporting the safeguarding of these principles out of love and with the purpose of training and producing scholars, researchers and men of science knowledgeable in the Torah and imbued with the original Jewish spirit and love of one's brethren.

Aiming to excel in research, in recent years Bar-Ilan University has placed major emphasis on expanding its research activities and advanced studies, by substantially increasing the number of research students via Presidential and other scholarships. The university has also developed unique interdisciplinary study programs and has intensified research and instruction in fields that are at the forefront of sciences, such as computational biology, biotechnology, nanotechnology and more.

The 24,500 students registered at the university and its colleges, hailing from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds, study together harmoniously in classrooms, laboratories and libraries, and thus Bar-Ilan University contributes to tolerance and coexistence between religious and secular, and Arab and Jewish students.

·         The Rabin Center
The Yitzhak Rabin Center is the national institute established by the Knesset in 1997 that advances the legacy of the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, a path-breaking, visionary leader whose life was cut short by his assassination.

The Center presents Yitzhak Rabin’s remarkable life and tragic death, pivotal elements of the history of Israel, whose impact must not be ignored or forgotten lest risk the recurrence of such shattering events. The Center’s mission is to ensure that the vital lessons from this story are actively remembered and used to shape an Israeli society and leadership dedicated to open dialogue, democratic value, Zionism and social cohesion. 

·         Member of Knesset Sharren Haskel
Sharren Haskel is an Israeli member of the Knesset for Likud. She is the youngest member of Likud and the second youngest member of the 20th Knesset.

Haskel lived in Australia and volunteered at WIRES, an organization that rescue wild animals, treat them and release them back into the wild. She is active on environmental and animal rights issues, with a particular focus on water pollution coming out of areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority.

Haskel has been labeled the most active and influential Member of Knesset for civil freedom, individual rights and economic freedom in Israel for 2016. In May 2016 MK Haskel was recognized by the "Jewish Journal" the United States as a leader of new generation of woman in politics, mainly for her extensive work around the world to defend Israel’s policy and government
·         Member of Knesset Yoel Hasson
Yoel Hasson was born in 1973 (5733), in Tel-Aviv. He was discharged from the IDF as staff sergeant, and he holds a BA in Government and Public Policy from the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.

Between 1998 and 2001, Hasson served as head of the national leadership of the Beitar Youth Movement and from 2001–2003 served as chairman of the Council of Youth Movements in Israel. From 2001–2005, Hasson served as advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Inquiries, and in 2006, he was elected president of the 35th Zionist Congress.

Hasson was elected for his maiden term to the 17th Knesset on the Kadima list; he served as chairman of the coalition, chairman of the Kadima group and group whip. MK Hasson was a member of the House Committee; Finance Committee; Economic Affairs Committee; Education, Culture and Sports Committee; Committee for the Second Authority for Television and Radio; among others. He also established the Knesset Lobby for the Protection of Animals and chaired the Lobby for the Advancement of Young People in Israel and the Lobby for the Encouragement of Aliya from the West. Hasson was member of the Lobby for Israel and Global Ethics, the Lobby for Druze and Circassian Communities in Israel, the Lobby for Closing Social Gaps, and the Jerusalem Lobby. 

Hasson was elected to the 18th Knesset on the Kadima slate serving as Chair of the State Control Committee and a member of the Economic Affairs Committee and the Subcommittee on International Security, Relations, and Trade. He also founded the Lobby for Promoting the Two-State Solution and Separation Between Israel and the Palestinians and chaired the Lobby for Job Integration in the Haredi Community, the Lobby for the Encouragement of Aliya from the West, the Lobby for Water Security and the Lobby for Public Housing, among others.

In advance of the elections to the 19th Knesset, Hasson joined the Hatenua party headed by Tzipi Livni, but he was not elected to the Knesset.

Hasson was elected to the 20th Knesset as a member of the Zionist Union, a union of the Hatenua and Labor parties. He serves as Deputy Speaker, Israel's parliamentary representative in the OSCE (Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe), and Israel’s representative in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. MK Hasson is a member of the House Committee and the Science and Technology Committee and is an alternate member of the Finance Committee. He also serves as chair of the Lobby for the Advancement of the Start-up in Israel and the Lobby for Living in Security and is a member of the Lobby for the Negev, the Lobby for Small and Medium Sized Businesses in Israel, the Lobby for Local Government, the Tourism Lobby – Tourism as a National Priority, the Blue and White Lobby, the Lobby for Strengthening the Jewish World, the Lobby for the War Against Road Accidents, and other Lobbies. Hasson also serves as alternate chairman of the Zionist Union parliamentary group and is co-chair of the Israel–Canada Parliamentary Friendship Group (in conjunction with MK Dr. Anat Berko).

·         Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance
The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, founded in 1958 as the Rubin    Academy of Music, is located on the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The academy is an independent institution recognized by the Council for Higher Education in Israel, but also collaborates with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The school has Faculties of the Performing Arts, Composition, Conducting and Music Education, Dance, Movement and Movement Notation.

The Academy High School is also situated in Givat Ram, adjacent to the Academy's main building. Founded in the late 1960s, the curriculum combines general studies with specialization in music and dance.

The Conservatory offers individual and group instruction in music and dance for students from the age of five.  Students attend special workshops and master classes taught by the Academy’s senior lecturers, and perform as soloists and in ensembles in Israel and overseas.  Over 700 students are currently studying at the Conservatory.

·         Professor Yinam Leef

Professor Leef is the President of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.

He teaches music theory and composition.  Professor Leef completed his studies at the Jerusalem Academy of   Music and continued to study his Doctorate in composition at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He also participated as a Fellow in the summer sessions of the Composers Conference in Vermont, Yale at Norfolk and Tanglewood.

He was commissioned by prestigious organizations such as the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard, the Fels Fund and Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. His works have been recorded and broadcasted by radio stations across the world and released on CD’s.

Leef is a Professor of Composition and was Dean of Faculty of Composition, Conducting and Music Education at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, where he has taught since 1985.

Thursday, January 3

·         Khaled Abu Toameh
Khaled Abu Toameh is the West Bank and Gaza correspondent for The Jerusalem Post and U.S. News and World Report. He previously served as a senior writer for the Jerusalem Report, and was a correspondent for Al-Fajr. He has produced several documentaries on the Palestinians for the BBC and many other networks, including ones that exposed the connection between Arafat and payments to the armed wing of Fatah and the financial corruption within the Palestinian Authority.

Mr. Abu Toameh was born in the West Bank city of Tulkarem in 1963 to an Israeli Arab father and a Palestinian Arab mother from the West Bank. AbuToameh received his BA in English Literature from the Hebrew University.

·         Hebrew University
The dream of establishing a "University of the Jewish People" in the Land of Israel formed an integral part of the early Zionist vision.  With the acquisition of the Gray Hill estate atop Mount Scopus, and the laying of the cornerstone for the university-to-be in 1918, the realization of the dream was on its way. Seven years later, on April 1, 1925, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was opened.

Today, HUJI researchers figure at the forefront of international science - from biotechnology and computer science to astrophysics and cancer research, from microbiology to solar energy and genetic engineering, as well as the humanities, including Jewish studies, social sciences and law. Nearly 40% of all civilian scientific research in Israel is conducted at the Hebrew University. The University is home to 100 subject-related and interdisciplinary research centers. Thirty percent of all doctoral candidates in Israel are enrolled at HUJI. Sixteen percent of all the research conducted at the University finds application in high-tech industry.

More than 24,000 students are enrolled at the University, including 12,000 undergraduates, 7600 master's degree students, 2,600 doctoral candidates, and 1000 at the Rothberg School for Overseas Students.

·         Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust museum, presents a profoundly Jewish memorial of the Shoah.  You will listen to survivors’ testimonies, view personal possessions belonging to victims and examine state-of-the-art displays aimed at preserving the story of each of the six million victims.  From its dramatic structure designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Sadie – which cuts through the mountain in the form of a spike – to its powerful exhibits, such as the labyrinthine Valley of the Communities.

The tour of Yad Vashem will be a special experience which will both allow you to explore the museum in a more independent manner

·         City of David
The story of the City of David, known in Hebrew as Ir David, began over 3,000 years ago, when King David left the city of Hebron for a small hilltop city known as Jerusalem, establishing it as the unified capital of the tribes of Israel.
Years later, David's son, King Solomon, built the First Temple next to the City   of David on top of Mount Moriah, the site of the binding of Isaac, and with it, this hilltop became one of the most important sites in the world.

Today, the story of the City of David continues.  Deep underground, the City of David is revealing some of the most exciting archeological finds of the ancient world. While above ground, the city is a vibrant center of activity with a visitor's center that welcomes visitors for an exciting tour to the site where much of the Bible was written. 

Friday, January 4 

·         The Old City
The Old City in Jerusalem, is a 0.9 square kilometers (0.35 sq. mi) walled area within the modern city of Jerusalem. Until 1860, when the Jewish neighborhood, Mishkenot Sha’ananim, was established, this area constituted the entire city of Jerusalem. The Old City is home to several sites of key religious importance: the Temple Mount and Western Wall for Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher for Christians, and the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims.

Traditionally, the Old City has been divided into four quarters, although the   current designations were introduced only in the 19th century.  Today, the Old City is roughly divided into the Muslim Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Jewish Quarter and the Armenian Quarter. Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the Old City was occupied by Jordan and the Jewish residents were evicted. Today, Israel controls the entire area, which it considers as part of its national capital. In 2010, Jerusalem's oldest fragment of writings was found outside of the Old City's walls.

·         Western Wall and Tunnels
The Western Wall in the midst of the Old City in Jerusalem is the section of the    Western supporting wall of the Temple Mount which has remained intact since the destruction of the Second Jerusalem Temple (70 C.E.). It became the most sacred spot in Jewish religious and national consciousness and tradition by virtue of its proximity to the Western Wall of the Holy of Holies in the Temple, from which, according to numerous sources, the Divine Presence never departed. It became a center of mourning over the destruction of the Temple and Israel's exile, on the one hand, and of religious - in 20th century also national - communion with the memory of Israel's former glory and the hope for its restoration, on the other.

The Western Wall Tunnel is an underground tunnel exposing the full length of the Western Wall. The tunnel is adjacent to the Western Wall and is located under buildings of the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel. While the open-air portion of the Western Wall is approximately 60 meters (200 ft.) long, the majority of its original length is hidden underground. The tunnel allows access to an additional 485 meters (1,591 ft.) of the wall.

·         Shabbat
Six days a week, we compete with the natural world, building, subduing and struggling to overcome.  On Shabbat, we experience a rest from this effort – it becomes a time for the spirit to rejuvenate, study, reconnect with family, friends and, just as important as oneself. 

Shabbat offers the Jews a powerful spiritual opportunity to develop as individuals and as a nation.  On the Sabbath, when we cease our daily activities, we allow our soul to dominate and perhaps, ascend to a higher spiritual plane.  In a sense, each Sabbath is a chance for each individual to bring about the kabalistic principle of tikunolam, the mending of the universe.  Shabbat is often referred to as the Shabbat Kallah, the Sabbath bride, a theme found throughout the traditional night prayers.  Sixteenth century mystics of Safed created the Friday evening service, called in Hebrew, Kabalat Shabbat, which means Welcoming the Sabbath

·         MK Dov Lipman
Dov, born in Washington D.C., served as a member of Knesset (2013-2015) with the Yesh Atid party. Lipman was the first American-born member in nearly 30 years. During this time he served on several committees including the Finance Committee, The Immigration Committee, the Absorption and Dispora Affairs Committee, the Knesset House Committee, and the special committee for the legislation drafting the ultra-Orthodox into military and national service. Lipman earned his Master’s in Education at John Hopkins University, and is an ordained Rabbi.

·         Lone Soldiers
In the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), a lone soldier is defined as a serviceman or woman without immediate family in Israel. Lone soldiers serve in regular units and receive various forms of support from the IDF, Israeli government ministries and other organizations.

Their exact number fluctuates over time, but is consistently in the thousands; the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported in April 2012 that there were an "estimated 5,000". About 40% of them serve in combat units.  According to an IDF spokeswoman, 8,217 personnel born outside Israel enlisted between 2009 and August 2012. The most represented countries of origin were Russia and the United States, with 1,685 and 1,661 recruits respectively.

Saturday, January 5

·         Masada
Masada (Hebrew for fortress), is situated atop an isolated rock cliff at the western end of the Judean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea. It is a place of gaunt and majestic beauty.

Some 75 years after Herod’s death, at the beginning of the Revolt of the Jews   against the Romans in 66 CE, a group of Jewish rebels overcame the Roman garrison of Masada. After the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple (70 CE) they were joined by zealots and their families who had fled from Jerusalem. With Masada as their base, they raided and harassed the Romans for two years. Then, in 73CE, the Roman governor Flavius Silva marched against Masada with the Tenth Legion, auxiliary units and thousands of Jewish prisoners-of-war. The Romans established camps at the base, laid siege to it and built a circumvallation wall.  They then constructed a rampart of thousands of tons of stones and beaten earth against the western approaches of the fortress. In the spring of 74 CE, they moved a battering ram up the ramp and breached the wall of the fortress.

The defenders, approx. 1,000 men, women and children, led by Eleazar ben   Yair, decided to burn the fortress and end their own lives, rather than be taken alive. They cast lots to choose 10 men to kill the remainder. They then chose the one man who would kill the survivors. That last Jew then killed himself.

The heroic story of Masada and its dramatic end attracted many explorers to the Judean desert in attempts to locate the remains of the fortress. To the Israelis, Masada symbolizes the determination of the Jewish people to be free in its own land.

·         Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth, roughly 1,300 feet (400 meters) below sea level. It is 34 miles (55 km.) long and varies between 11 miles (18 km.) and 2 miles (3 km.) in width. The Sea is 1,400 feet (430 m.) deep. This unique sea is fed by the Jordan River. There is no outflow; and the exceptionally high rate of evaporation (high temperatures, low humidity) produces large quantities of raw chemicals. These are extracted and exported throughout the world for use in medicine, agriculture and industry.

The Dead Sea is actually shrinking. The southern end is now fed by a canal maintained by the Dead Sea Works, a company that converts the Sea's raw materials, particularly phosphates, into commercial products

·         Naftali Aklum
Naftali Aklum was born in Ethiopia in 1979. The following year, in 1980, Aklum’s parents were among the first groups to make Aliya to Israel via Sudan in what later became known as “Operation Moses.” Aklum is the youngest of twelve brothers and sisters, his late brother Ferede Aklum was the first Ethiopian Jew to make the journey to Jerusalem via Sudan, with Ferede then setting the stage for others to follow: after reaching Sudan in 1978, the letter Ferede wrote requesting assistance to make Aliya found its way to Menachem Begin, who then set in motion the remarkable, secret operation in which North America Jewry played such a vital role. In his footsteps, literally, over 8,000 – off 12,000 successfully reached Jerusalem after 2,500 years of yearning

Aklum was raised and educated in Beersheba. In the army he served as a firefighter. Afkum graduated from Ben Gurion University in 2008 with a concentration in politics, government, history and Middle Eastern Studies.

Aklum participated in a number of delegations, including a 1996 visit to the United States with the Anti-Defamation League, and in 2002, he spent a year with “Israel at Heart,” sharing the story of Israel and Ethiopian Jewry. Aklum volunteers to help children in the city of Beersheba through its Council for the Well-Being of Children, and he served as a mentor to other Ethiopian-Israeli academics to assist them in their job placement efforts

Since 2010, Aklum have played a critical role in ENP’s SPACE (School Performance and Community Empowerment) Scholastic Assistance Program. In his capacity as Director of Educational Programs. He is responsible for the emotional and social well-being of 150 7th through 12th graders and oversees 15 teachers who provide intensive scholastic assistance to ENP participants.

Through Naftali’s work over the years, thousands of children have been inspired and motivated to succeed, knowing they have a mentor, a friend and a big brother who will do everything in his power to help them succeed.

Sunday, January 6

·         Sderot Indoor Playground
In 10 short months Jewish National Fund (JNF) did what no one thought could be done – built the largest secure indoor recreation center for the children of Sderot.

Over the past few years, the Israeli communities on the border with Gaza have endured continual Kassam rocket attacks. These attacks are untargeted, but some have hit residences and schools, killing 11 citizens and hurting hundreds more. The city of Sderot, located on the border with Gaza, has been hardest hit — its children growing up in the shadow of violence, fear, and uncertainty.

To directly impact the lives of the children of Sderot and provide them with the chance to simply be kids, Jewish National Fund embarked on a massive project: building the largest indoor playground in Israel in Sderot. The all-inclusive Indoor Recreational Center opened on March 10, 2009 to provide Sderot’s youth, (and also its senior citizens), with a place to have fun, connect with friends, enjoy stimulating classes, and be children, beyond the conflict.  A place to feel strong and free, away from their daily helplessness and anxiety and parents can have peace of mind knowing that their children are playing and learning in an environment that is safe and secure. 

·         Yedidyah Harush
Yedidya Harush is the community representative for Israeli residents living on the Gaza-Egypt border in the Halutza region, which was established after Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip (Gush Katif) in 2005. Growing up there, Yedidya was recruited to play basketball in the New York Yeshiva league, in a joint effort to help the children and young adults of Gush Katif evacuees lead a normal life while their families and homes were in distress.

Last year, during Operation Protective Edge, when repeated rocket attacks struck southern Israel, Yedidya’s reserve elite IDF unit and Halutza’s residents helped secure the local border and protect the country.

Yedidya is inspired to make Ben Gurion's dream in the Negev a reality. The community faces many challenges in this remote area, and building a medical center is a high priority

·         Michal Uziyahu                                                                                                         
Michal Uziyahu was the Israel shlichah (emissary) to the Jewish community in Colorado between 2011-2015. Michal’s role was to build connections between Israel and Denver/ Boulder, promote travel to Israel, provide educational programming, and serve as an expert resource on Israeli history and culture.         

Living on a Moshav located on the border of the Gaza strip, Michal and her husband, Amir, have raised their three young children, often in harm’s way of missile attacks. Michal was born and raised in the Negev (the southern desert). After serving two years in the Israeli Army, Michal returned to the Negev, where she earned her bachelor’s degree and MBA from Ben Gurion University.

​As the Israel Shlichah, Michal provided assistance in educational programming to schools, synagogues, and other community organizations. Michal also worked with young adults interested in travel to Israel through Birthright, Masa, and other trips. Today, Michal is the Executive Assistant to Mayor Gadi Yarkoni, Eshkol Region.           

·         Sapir College
Sapir College is located in the northern Negev. The beautifully landscaped campus is composed of dozens of buildings, in the rural setting of the surrounding kibbutzim.

Among members of Sapir’s teaching faculty are outstanding lecturers from Israel’s leading universities.  Over 8,000 students, from Israel and overseas, are currently attending Sapir. Many of the Israeli students are from the Galilee, central Israel and, of course, from the south. They are offered a wide range of applied study tracks that assure graduates quick inclusion in the job market and admission to post-graduate degrees in universities in Israel and elsewhere.

·         SodaStream
SodaStream International Ltd. is an Israeli drinks company best known as the maker of the consumer home carbonation product of the same name.  The device, like a soda syphon, carbonates water by adding carbon dioxide from a pressurized cylinder to create soda water (or carbonated water) to drink. The company also sells more than 100 types of concentrated syrups and flavorings to make carbonated drinks.

The company, recently bought by Pepsi Cola, was founded in 1903 in England. It went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange in November 2010. SodaStream is located in the industrial park of Rahat, a Bedouin town near Be’er Sheva. Until 2015 its principal manufacturing facility was located in the Mishor Adumim Industrial Park, in the West Bank, creating controversy and a boycott campaign. The boycott campaign resulted in the closing of the SodaStream factory in Ma’ale Adumim in October 2015, with more than 500 Palestinian workers losing their jobs.  

·         Kibbutz Ketura
Ketura was founded by a small group of young North Americans, graduates of the Young Judaea Year-In-Israel Course, at the close of the Yom Kippur War in November 1973. The first years of the kibbutz's existence were marked by great difficulties and frustrations, leading many of the founders to leave. In time, the core group of these who remained were joined by other Young Judaeans, a variety of immigrants, and graduates of the Israeli Scout movement. As Ketura grew, a more stable lifestyle was created, and the members began raising families in this, their new home. Today, Ketura has grown to be the second largest settlement in the region, with 140 members and candidates and over 147 children. One-third of the members are native Israelis; the majority of the immigrants come from English-speaking countries, with a smaller number from Europe and the former USSR.

·         Arava Institute
The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies (AIES) is the premier
environmental education and research program in the Middle East, preparing future Jewish and Arab leaders to cooperatively solve the region's environmental challenges.

Affiliated with Ben-Gurion University, AIES’s academic programs, research, and international cooperation initiatives cover environmental concerns and challenges.

Students at AIES study a range of environmental issues from a trans-boundary and interdisciplinary perspective while learning peace-building and leadership skills. With a student body comprised of Jordanians, Palestinians, Israelis, and students from around the world, the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies offers students a unique opportunity to study and live together for an extended period of time; building networks and developing understanding that will enable future cooperative work and activism in the Middle East and beyond.
Here, the idea that nature knows no political borders is more than a belief.  It is a fact, a curriculum, and a way of life. 

·         Cathie Granit
Cathie immigrated to Israel from New Zealand.  She currently holds the position of Director of Diplomacy at the Arava Institute of Environmental Studies.  Cathie lives on Kibbutz Ketura with her husband and children.

·         Dr. Tareq Abu Hamed
Dr. Abu Hamed from East Jerusalem holds a Bachelor and a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from Gazi University (Turkey), and a Ph.D in Chemical Engineering from Ankara University (Turkey), and has completed two terms of postdoctoral research at the Environmental Science and Energy Research Department of the Weizman Institute (Israel), and the University of Minnesota’s Mechanical Engineering Department Solar Energy Lab.

In 2008, he established the Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC) at the Arava Institute. He left the Institute in 2013 to become the Israeli Ministry of Science’s Deputy Chief Scientist, and later the Acting Chief Scientist, the highest ranking Palestinian in the Israeli government. He returned to the Arava Institute in 2016 as Director of CREEC and Academic Director.

·         Dr. Elaine M. Solowey
Dr. Solowey was born in 1953. She has studied commercial horticulture, desert    agriculture, land reclamation, and tree surgery. She received her BSc from the University of California-Davis, her MSc from Penn State University, and her PhD from Weber State University.

A member of Kibbutz Ketura since 1975 she has planted and managed orchards, introduced new crops, and founded the Center for Sustainable Agriculture at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. In 2005, she notoriously cultivated a date tree from a biblical age-seed found in the excavations of Masada.  Dr. Solowey has been teaching students at the Arava Institute since 1996, and she continues to work on the cultivation and domestication of rare medicinal plants.

·         Suleiman Halasah  Acting Associate Director, Center for Trans-Boundary Water Management

Suleiman Halasah is an electrical engineer with a BSc. from the University of Jordan, and a MSc. from Ben Gurion University. After completing his first degree, Suleiman worked as a research assistant for the Department of Computer Engineering at the University of Jordan. He also served as a control engineer for the Jordan Valley Authority in the Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation. In this position, he was responsible for the SCADA System in the Southern Ghors Irrigation Project.

While working on his M Sc., Suleiman continued his professional work in the field of renewable energy, water and the environment. Suleiman became a cofounder of Global Sun Partners, a renewable energy company that works on building solar energy PV power plants in several countries in the world. Suleiman has served as a panel member on the topic of water security and climate change at the UN Department of Public Information/ NGO Conference in New York in 2007. In the same year, he was invited to speak at the First International Conference on Sustainable Energy as a Catalyst for Regional Development at the Eilat/Eilot Regional Council. Suleiman established Integrated GREEN Solutions (i.GREENs) which aims to improve the environmental awareness and introduce green solutions in Jordan and the Middle East.

Monday, January 7

·         Arava International Center for Agricultural Training (AICAT)
Located in Sapir, the regional service center for Central Arava, AICAT aims to establish itself as the national and international leading authority in sophisticated arid lands agricultural studies and training and is a central platform for global collaborations in the agriculture arena. AICAT provides not only an invaluable contribution to developing countries and their students who attend it, but also provides additional workplaces for residents and extra working hands to the local agricultural industry. Under a single roof, with a multitude of cultures and shared human attributes, students receive professional agricultural training and live a unique experience that enables them to discover their capabilities and the means for fulfilling their potential. Over the years the Center has received students from various Asian countries, including Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal, Vietnam, Laos, Philippines, India, Ethiopia, Southern Sudan, Jordan and Tibet. As the number of participating countries increases and the center becomes the global hub for agricultural training, the student population will more than triple over the next five years bringing the need for a larger campus. 

·         Hanni Arnon
Hanni Arnon is the founder and director of AICAT.  AICAT was established in 1994.  Hanni has lived on Moshav Idan since 1986.

·         Vidor Center
The Vidor Center introduces you to the Arava in all its variety, covering topics such as the region's uniquely advanced agriculture alongside its water and soil challenges, the history of the Arava communities, geology, aquaculture, the local fascinating colorful crops and much more.

·         Noa Zer
Born and raised in the suburbs of Tel Aviv, Noa Zer moved to Moshav Paran in the Central Arava in April 2011 and heads the Resource Development Department at the Central Arava Regional Council, where she is responsible for fundraising as well as foreign affairs and connections to Jewish communities in the Diaspora. Zer is married to a second-generation farmer from Paran and together they are starting their second agricultural season as pepper growers. She is also writing her Master’s thesis for the department of public policy at Tel Aviv University.

·         Peres Peace Center

Founded in 1996 by the late Ninth President of Israel and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Shimon Peres, the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation aims to realize his vision for a prosperous Israel within a peaceful Middle East. The Peres Center is Israel’s leading non-profit, non-political, non-governmental organization focused on developing and implementing innovative and cutting-edge peace building programs in Innovation, Peace Education, Medicine, Business, and Environment, reaching tens of thousands of participants over the last 20 years.

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