Ben Gurion University of the Negev has been operating for over 50 years and is a inspiration for the promotion and development of education, community, and industry in the southern region.
I would like to promote the Kreitman School so that it becomes a home for doctoral students and postdoctoral students at the university. I will focus on creating an inclusive, enriching community, one that creates a supportive environment for the students of advanced research. An environment where the doctoral students will be able to raise their profile in academic excellence, and take a significant role in the fields of research in the disciplines they come from.
My efforts will focus on several areas:
A. Creating a diverse doctoral community of doctoral students.
Such a community is a web of individuals coming from different and diverse cultural and academic backgrounds. In my opinion, diversity is an engine that drives creativity, and innovation that promotes fruitful dialogue among the population in general and the academic population in particular. This fabric equips us with tools for a broad and enriching vision that encourages inclusive approaches to research. As dean, I undertake the commitment to promote diversity and inclusion in the doctoral student community, while encouraging and implementing a policy that not only embraces diversity but also sets diversity as a goal that reflects the population of the country and the world in which we live.
B. Professional development of doctoral students.
We are an incubator for intellectuals, science society, and the leaders of tomorrow. Therefore, it obliges us to make sure that our students are equipped with skills and the ability to develop, which are beyond their areas of focused knowledge. Following this line, I intend to promote and develop a program that will include workshops on diverse topics such as the academic career path, publications, networking in the scientific community, professional opportunities outside the academy, family and career, and more. Such initiatives aim to provide the best tools for our male and female students so that they can excel in their academic path, and even beyond the academy.
C. As a believer in the transformative power of interdisciplinary collaborations, the ability to work and communicate between fields, that are seemingly unrelated, is a necessary skill that the university cannot ignore. I intend to encourage a culture that promotes interdisciplinary collaborations among doctoral and post-doctoral students that will lead to groundbreaking multidisciplinary research.
D. The integration and contribution of our alumni. A strong doctoral graduate community is one that appreciates its past and may contribute to shaping the future. In this aspect, I intend to strengthen the connection with the alumni of Ben-Gurion University and create a real and meaningful connection between them and the active body of doctoral students. Doctoral graduates from the past can be mentors and supporters for current doctoral students.
G. A parallel community to the community of doctoral students should be the community of doctoral supervisors. The importance and role of the facilitators is an aspect that cannot be ignored and requires the allocation of resources to provide effective tools to fulfill this important task. The supervisors are the ones who accompany our students on the path of scientific research. The supervisors' community can be a platform for academic faculty members to share their past experiences as well as offer solutions to current challenges. As dean, promoting this population of mentors will be one of the challenges I will take upon myself. I believe that such a community may promote the instruction that our students will receive.
I am confident in our abilities to develop, to set ourselves new challenges, and to take advantage of the opportunities that will come our way.
Prof. Orna Braun-Lewensohn