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Archive for June, 2013

Moved by her experiences during her first ATS Mission to the Technion, Diana Stein Judovits, who joined the ATS family in February as Director of the ATS Western Region, wrote this heartfelt note to the members of her local Board of Directors.   

Diana Stein Judovits (r) with Shirley Ashkenas of Los Angeles and Prof. Arthur Grunwald, at his lab in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.

Diana Stein Judovits (r) with Shirley Ashkenas of Los Angeles and Prof. Arthur Grunwald, at his lab in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.

I am sitting outside the dining room of the Dan Carmel Hotel on Saturday afternoon. The weather is warm with a slight breeze and I am surrounded by children and families having fun by the pool, speaking Hebrew and making the most of Shabbat. One family just broke out into a powerful rendition of Hayom Yom Huledet to celebrate the birthday of their beautiful 8 year-old little girl as they lifted her in her chair.

From the moment I stepped onto the plane, I have felt part of an extended family.

I have been in Israel for just over a week — an incredible week. I came for the 2nd half of the ATS Expedition to Spain and Israel, and am here now to participate in the meetings of the Technion’s International Board of Governors.

But the reason I am writing is to let you know what an honor it is to work in partnership with you to make sure that the Technion continues to thrive.

This is my first trip to this incredible institution, and it has been inspiring. President Lavie opened our program by thanking everyone at ATS for their (your) incredible generosity, and laying out the challenges and opportunities that we face to ensure that the Technion remains competitive as a world-class institution.

We then spent several days meeting students and members of the faculty, visiting labs, learning about cutting edge research in medicine, science, defense technologies and much, much more. We witnessed the powerful nexus of science and entrepreneurship as we visited several “Start Ups” that are working to take the research from Technion labs to the Israeli Marketplace. AIT, for example, is developing immunological treatments for multiple forms of cancer, based on the research of Professor Yoram Reiter. Nanospun Technologies is manufacturing a fibrous material that can soak up oil spills and purify water.

We also toured several companies that are global leaders in defense and diagnostics and medical applications – all of whom employ Technion alumni and develop products whose roots can be traced to Technion laboratories.

It has been remarkable to immerse myself in this ecosystem of innovation — to witness the Technion’s role in this “Start Up Nation.”  And everywhere I went I saw labs and buildings and sculptures that were paid for with your generosity. I met students that were able to attend because of the scholarship money you provided. I spoke with scientists who are immersed in finding answers to the challenges Israel faces, and who are grateful to you for making it happen.

So I want to say: thank you. Thank you for your leadership. Thank you for your vision. And thank you for your generosity.

Last evening, President Lavie introduced us to several of the 101 new faculty members that have been recently recruited from world-class universities. They could have gone to a number of top institutions, but chose the Technion. These young, brilliant professors are the future Nobel Laureates. They are the inventors of the next “Iron Dome.” They are the people who will find the answers to global challenges. And they are a part of the Technion family.

When Peretz concluded his remarks, he thanked everyone for coming and simply said, “We love you.” Only in Israel would the president of such a prestigious institution welcome his international board with those words. But this is no ordinary university, and this is no ordinary country. It is our home away from home. And we are all an extended family.

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