Dr. Aaron Koller, one of twenty recently tenured YU faculty members
Dr. Aaron Koller, one of twenty recently tenured YU faculty members
Dr. Aaron Koller, one of twenty recently tenured YU faculty members

To 20 Faculty Members

This year, Yeshiva University appointed 20 of its most distinguished faculty members in the fields of the arts, sciences, and Judaic studies to tenured positions in both its undergraduate and graduate schools.

“Granting tenure to a professor shows our confidence in their teaching abilities, research potential, and service to our university,” said Dr. Lawrence Schiffman, vice provost for undergraduate education at YU. “These phenomenal professors are experts in various areas, and we want to invest in them.”

With three tenured appointments in the Bible and Jewish History departments, “YU is on a quest to be the leading institution in the country in the field of academic Jewish studies,” added Schiffman. “Our faculty is at the top of the field.”

Among them is Dr. Aaron Koller, associate professor of Bible at Yeshiva College and the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. He is proficient in an array of ancient languages and has established himself as an expert in how language and archaeology can illuminate life in ancient times. His 2009 dissertation on the subject was published as a book, The Semantic Field of Cutting Tools in Biblical Hebrew, and Koller’s second book, focusing on Megillat Esther in ancient Jewish thought, is forthcoming.

Dr. Anna-Lisa Cohen, associate professor of psychology at Yeshiva College, also received tenure. Cohen is a cognitive psychologist whose research focuses on gaining a better understanding of human memory and studying the influence that intentions have on behavior.

Other newly tenured faculty members at Yeshiva College include Dr. Silke Aisenbrey, Dr. Joshua Karlip, and Dr. Jess Olson. Aisenbrey, chair of the Sociology Department, is an expert in the areas of gender and family and is working with innovative quantitative methods in the field of sequence analysis. Karlip is an integral part of Yeshiva College and Revel’s Jewish History departments, where he teaches courses in modern Jewish history, as well as graduate seminars in Eastern European Jewish history. In 2008, he received YU’s Lillian F. and William L. Silber Professor of the Year Award. His first book, The Tragedy of a Generation: The Rise and Fall of Jewish Nationalism in Eastern Europe, was published by Harvard University Press in June, and his second, Oyfn Sheydveg, at the Crossroads: Jewish Intellectuals and the Crisis of 1939, will be released in 2014. Olson, associate director of YU’s Center for Israel Studies, is a graduate of Stanford and Oxford who is proficient in several languages. Olson was a Yad Hanadiv/Beracha Foundation Fellow in 2010 and was offered a Fulbright Fellowship for research in the Ukraine. His areas of research include the Jews of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany, history of Zionism, and the intersection between Jewish Orthodoxy and political engagement. His first book, Nathan Birnbaum and Jewish Modernity, was published in January 2013.

At Stern College for Women, two outstanding members of the Physics Department, Dr. Emil Prodan and Dr. Lea Santos, were granted tenure. They joined the faculty in 2007 as part of the university’s efforts to strengthen its new BA program in physics and have each received the prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER award. Between them, Prodan and Santos have been published over 50 times in peer-reviewed scientific journals, lectured extensively, and each obtained several research grants.

Another member of Stern’s science faculty, Dr. Marina Holz, associate professor of biology, was granted tenure. Holz teaches courses in biotechnology and cell and molecular biology, and her work has been published in multiple high-impact journals.

Dr. Ann Peters, associate professor of English, also received tenure. Her interests lie in 20th-century American literature, literary nonfiction, and gender studies, and her dissertation, “Travelers in Residence: Women Writing in New York at Mid-Century,” won several prizes. She is the recipient of the McGinnis Ritchie Award from the Southwest Review for best published essay and the Dean Karen Bacon Award for Excellence. Her first book, House Hold: A Memoir of Place and Property, will be published in the fall.

Dr. Marian Gidea, another newly tenured professor, joined the Mathematical Sciences Department at YU, and will teach at Stern College. His research focuses on dynamical systems and celestial mechanics.

Dr. Archishman Chakraborty, a new appointment at Sy Syms School of Business who will occupy the Mel Harris Chair in Financial Risk and Insurance, was appointed to the faculty as an associate professor with tenure.

At Azrieli, Dr. Rona Novick, director of the Fanya Gottesfeld Heller Doctoral Program, was granted tenure. Before joining Azrieli, Novick worked as a clinical psychologist in schools and mental-health settings and brings that unique experience to her classroom. During her seven years at Azrieli, she expanded the BRAVE bullying prevention program through YU’s Institute for University-School Partnership.

Other graduate-school professors who received tenure included Dr. Jonathan Dauber of Revel, an associate professor of Jewish mysticism who specializes in historical stages of Kabbalah and Eastern European Hasidism.

From Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Richard Bierschbach, an expert in criminal law and corporations, received tenure, along with Alexander Reinert, who specializes in civil procedure, constitutional law, and prisoners’ rights.

At the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, tenure was awarded to Dr. Gary Stein, who focuses on areas of social policy, palliative care, and healthcare ethics.

At YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine, four faculty members received tenure: Dr. Jill Crandall, Dr. Nikolaos Frangogiannis, Dr. Mimi Kim, and Dr. Vladislav Verkhusha.

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

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