Touro University celebrates the launch of its graduate division
Top row, left to right: Shira Shapiro, Mollie Kahn, Katherine Zammit; Bottom row, left to right: Yana Senchylo, Shmuel Yudelzon, Susanne Trachtenberg
The Touro administration, including Touro University President Dr. Alan Kadish, warmly welcomed the graduates of the six schools that make up the division, along with their families and friends.
“You will look back on this time… as a time of great challenges, but also a time when you learned to come together as a community and to be persistent. These skills, in addition to the technical knowledge you have acquired at Touro, will set you up for extraordinary success, both personally and professionally,” said Dr. Kadish. “Now more than ever, the world needs you and I know you are up to it.”
The students speak
Student speakers from the graduate schools making up the division – business, education, Jewish studies, social work, technology and health sciences – shared their personal thoughts:
Mollie Kahn, MS in Human Resource Management, who graduated with a 4.0, shared that Touro’s evening classes helped her graduate and get promoted into her full-time day job at Kuhne+Nagel, a global sourcing company and logistics.
“One of the reasons cited for my promotion was that I had taken the initiative to pursue my master’s degree. They knew the quality education I received at Touro would pay off for them as well,” Kahn said.
Susanne Trachtenberg, MS in Jewish Childhood Education and Special Education, finished with a 3.95 GPA. She teaches at Shefa School, a Jewish community school in Manhattan for students with language-related learning disabilities. Now finishing her fourth year in Shefa, Trachtenberg said she became a teacher because school was difficult for her growing up.
“I have often dreamed of a good teacher who would teach me in the best way for me, while making me feel confident and happy in school. I strive to be that teacher,” he said. she said. At Touro, she learned new curriculum models and classroom management techniques, but more importantly, she remembered the students’ experience: “It made me a better teacher. , more empathetic, who knows I have to keep learning from my mistakes and my triumphs,” she says.
Shmuel Yudelzon, MA in Jewish Studies, who grew up in the small Jewish community of Bulgaria, shared his thoughts on the importance of studying history. “It’s in front of our eyes every day,” he said, citing as an example an ongoing dispute over historical narratives between his native Bulgaria and neighboring North Macedonia that he says shapes both the international relations and domestic national politics. “History matters. History is identity. We are all looking for it. It allows us to transcend the present. Our future is linked to it. »
Shira Shapiro, Master of Social Work, was chosen by her classmates to speak because of the social work qualities she demonstrated during the pandemic: creating an environment in school of inclusion, support and connection. She accepted a full-time position at the Sephardic Bikur Holim Counseling Center in Brooklyn, where she interned as a family and child counselor during school.
In his remarks, Shapiro emphasized the value of connection. “It’s true when we say that social work is a work of the heart,” she says. “The unconditional act of giving one’s own heart to nurture and connect with the hearts and souls of others – what could be more beautiful than that?”
Yana Senchylo, MA, Web and Multimedia Design, excelled in his studies while struggling to help his family and friends in his native Ukraine. Senchylo immigrated to the United States seven years ago to fulfill his dream of going to college and graduate school here. In remarks that drew a standing ovation from many in the amphitheater, she expressed her gratitude to Touro.
“The faculty and administration really care about the students and that makes all the difference to us,” she said. “My country is on fire. Cities are turned into apocalyptic wastelands. The sounds of sirens and missile strikes are everywhere… Take a moment to appreciate where you are and what you can do with your life. For me, I dedicate this special moment to Ukraine, to my family and friends, so that peace reigns again in my beautiful homeland.
Katherine Zammit, MS, Applied Behavior Analysis, also graduated with a 3.9 GPA. She and her mother, Laurie Zammit, were among the first graduates to complete the new curriculum in ABA – a data-driven science that creates meaningful social change for people with autism spectrum disorders. Katherine, whose brother has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, works at a private Long Island school for autistic children and teens. “I saw what the services in this area did for him, and I wanted to help other families like mine,” she said.
On the catwalk, Katherine shared that her mother was her biggest supporter and returned to school after raising three children and earning her MBA. “She was determined to get more education, to support my family better, and to support families who have gone through the same process as us. She told me that if you want something, you go, and we We both wanted this degree badly.We were inspired by the changes we saw others in this field produce and the changes we could make.