"I graduated in May 2018 with my Ph.D. in Instructional Lead-ership and Academic Curriculum. My dissertation, under the direction of Professor Lawrence Baines in the Jeannine Rain-bolt College of Education, was entitled "Not Upgraded Tour-ism: A Case Study of the Effects of a Short-Term Study Abroad Experience in Israel." I explored the experiences of study abroad participants in Jerusalem and the perspective transformation they underwent during their sojourns, in the hope of providing insights for international curriculum develop-ment. I have accepted an assistant professor position at Duke Kunshan University in Kunshan, China, where I will be teach-ing applied linguistics and culture in the new liberal arts pro-gram. On the research side, I am currently working on an arti-cle based on my dissertation on the effects of curricula in in-ternational education and I am presently collecting more data, still with students studying in Israel. Thank you, again, for this amazing opportunity in Jerusalem. I learned so much that I encouraged my friend Merima Hadzic to apply to the same program through the institute and she is currently at Rothberg School."
- Emmanuelle Chiocca (2017-2018)
"As a Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic major, I have taken several courses on Middle Eastern history, culture and politics at the University of Oklahoma. I have also worked with multiple international groups to provide meaningful learning opportunities for myself and others. For the same reason I have also engaged in several Hillel events. Nevertheless, partaking in events and lectures within the University can only offer limited scholarship.
With the generous aid from Judaic Studies department, I have visited and studied in Israel for five weeks (in the summer of 2015). In my opinion, immersion and direct interactions are the most crucial part of achieving a comprehensive scholarship in Area Studies. Therefore the heuristic learning experience in Israel was extremely valuable and influential for me in developing a more perceptive and open-minded understanding of the region.
Studying in Israel provided a perspective that cannot be gained through books; I had real conversations and multiple explorations within Israel. Studying abroad in Israel was perfect for gratifying both academic and cultural curiosity. I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking about studying abroad in the Middle East."
- Jiyoun Yoo (2015)
"My recent trip to Israel was one of the most profound experiences of my life… I am left with only two seemingly trite little words to describe my trip and the opportunity this scholarship represents, Awesome and Amazing! And a scant one more to express the deep and profound gratitude for the opportunity to have had this experience and the continuing difficulty of trying to understand and express all the ways it has affected the way I know the world, שלום."
- Rebecca Eden (2015)
"In my year in Israel, I gained new skills, made professional contacts, expanded my knowledge, and experienced Judaism in a way I never had before, all while having an excellent time. I will never forget my lifechanging experiences in Israel, and these never would have happened without the help of the Bezalel Foundation and the OU Schusterman Center for Judaic and Israel Studies."
- Jacob Lackner (2013-2014)
"My five weeks in Jerusalem made for an invaluable experience that I will not soon forget. For anyone who has studied Jewish history, the opportunity to learn the Hebrew language only blocks from where Eliezer ben Yehuda helped resurrect it offers an intoxicating sense of being a part of that history. To even approach an understanding of Jewish past or present requires, I think, an acquaintance with the land of Israel."
- Walker Robins (2011)