Bridges to Israel

Strengthening ties with Israel


Several Westminster faculty members and a student spent time in Israel recently, learning the culture, working with Western Galilee College colleagues, and presenting research.

Lyndsey Vogler, a senior psychology major and peace studies minor, completed a month-long internship in Israel as part of cross-cultural research for her senior capstone project focusing on parent-daughter relationships in patriarchal and egalitarian families.

While in Israel, Vogler observed the two of the main religions in the country: Judaism and the Muslim faith. Her host family practiced Judaism, allowing her to witness and participate in their religious and cultural beliefs and holidays. She also spent time with the Muslim community in Israel.

A student from Western Galilee College, Haya Khaldi, assisted Vogler with data collection and surveys. Vogler also volunteered during the day at a children's camp and the Hafuch Center for at risk-teens.

Vogler is one of seven Westminster students who have been able to travel to Israel and benefit from the partnership between Westminster College and Western Galilee College in northern Israel.

Faculty members Dr. Carolyn Kidder Cuff '78, professor of mathematics, and Dr. Timothy Cuff '78, associate professor of history, spent May in residence at Western Galilee as part of Westminster's on-going efforts to build academic connections with the Israeli institution.

While there, Timothy Cuff delivered two lectures while at Western Galilee: "The U. S. Electoral College: History of A 'Weighted' System," given to a political science class, and "Why Would Anyone Care How Big I Am? (And Want to RETRIEVE That Number)," presented to a computer information systems class. Cuff also lectured at the University of Haifa to a class of upper-division students in economics on "What is Anthropometric History and What Can It Tell Us About Economic Well-Being?"

The Cuffs, along with seven other Westminster faculty members, also participated in the fourth Bridges International Faculty Workshop at Western Galilee College in June. Seven different higher education institutions participated in this workshop focused on forging American-Israeli academic collaborations.

Presentations included:

  • "Gender Roles and Empowering Women": Dr. Sherri Pataki, associate professor of psychology and coordinator of Westminster's Peace Studies Program, with her research partners Dr. Randa Abbas (Western Galilee College) and Dr. Carey Ryan (University of Nebraska at Omaha).
  • "Kindles Aid Students with Learning Disabilities": Dr. Amy Camardese, associate professor of education and chair of the department. Research conducted by Camardese and Dr. Eileen Morelli, associate professor of education.
  • "Issues in Qualitative and Quantitative Research–Statistics Education for the 21st Century": Dr. Carolyn Cuff, professor of mathematics and statistics.
  • "History and the Social Sciences" roundtable: Discussion led by Dr. Timothy Cuff, associate professor of history.
  • "Interactive White Boards": Dr. Linda Domanski, associate professor of education; Dr. Mandy Medvin, professor of psychology, department chair and director of Westminster's preschool laboratory; and Dr. Yehuda Peled (Western Galilee College and past Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at Westminster).
  • "Cyberbullying": Dr. Linda Domanski, associate professor of education; Dr. Mandy Medvin, professor of psychology, department chair and director of Westminster's preschool laboratory; and Dr. Yehuda Peled (Western Galilee College and past Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at Westminster).
  • "Encouraging Literacy at Home": Dr. Charlene Klassen Endrizzi, professor of education and faculty development officer.
  • "Rights and Interaction with the Police": Dr. Shannon Smithey, associate professor of political science. Smithey was also a discussant to a presentation on the need for religious accommodation in the Israeli military.
  • "The Ethology of Art and Religion": Dr. Bryan Rennie, Vira I. Heinz professor of religion and chair of the department of religion, history, philosophy, and classics, during one of four plenary sessions.