Published on January 29th, 2014 | by Judie Jacobson0
Connecticut university and Israeli college ink an academic agreement
By Cindy Mindell
WEST HARTFORD – The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) has joined the list of U.S. academic institutions creating partnerships with counterparts in Israel.
Last week, the West Hartford campus hosted Dr. Ariela Lowenstein, renowned Israeli gerontologist, author, and president of Max Stern Academic College of Emek Yezreel in Afula. After presenting her lecture, “Active Aging and Intergenerational Solidarity,” Lowenstein and USJ president Dr. Pamela Trotman Reid signed a partnership agreement between their two institutions. Lowenstein’s lecture was co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford.
At the signing, the two presidents cited a shared focus on and commitment to academic programs in the health sciences and gerontology.
“January 23, 2014 will mark another milestone in advancing substantive interchange between Israeli and Connecticut institutions,” said Laura Zimmerman, associate vice president of Jewish Public Affairs for the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford.
The signing was one result of a May 2013 study tour Reid participated in, together with a group of fellow university presidents and sponsored by the America Israel Friendship League. The trip to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa was led by Dr. Stephen Trachtenberg, president emeritus and university professor of public service at George Washington University, and included briefings with high-level national and municipal education officials and exchanges with the other university presidents.
“Although I had visited and toured Israel more than 15 years ago, I was not then a [university] president so I thought this was a wonderful opportunity to renew my acquaintance with the country,” she says. “Over the years, I have found that the differences between people are lessened when educational and ethical goals are on the table. So I have been reaching out to a number of colleagues in a variety of countries and I am so fortunate that the community of USJ is open and eager to embrace them all.”
Since being named the eighth president of University of Saint Joseph in 2008, Reid has guided the university in establishing agreements with institutions in China, Oman, Ghana, and Japan. Most recently, she returned from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where she was invited by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission to speak at an international conference of leaders of academic institutions.
This is the first partnership that USJ has attempted with an Israeli institution. Reid says that Max Stern Academic College was selected for several reasons, including a shared concentration on nursing education. “When I visited the Max Stern campus in May, I was impressed with the school’s nursing facility and also with the diversity of their student body,” she says. “Their diversity indicated that, like my own institution, they value reaching out to the various communities and providing the best education that allows students to provide needed services. I was then delighted to learn that they are also committed to community service and that, while we have an advanced social-work program and are soon to offer the MSW degree, they are in the process of developing a social-work program as well. So we hope to assist them in this effort.”
Reid and Lowenstein have been discussing potential cooperative initiatives. The collaboration has already been underway since May, Reid says, with administrators on both ends exploring joint grants and programs.
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