Sir Maurice: ‘It Becomes Nicer Every Year’
Graduate Fellowships Awarded to Students and Junior Faculty
The annual Board of Governors Meeting is the traditional time for awarding a series of graduate fellowships, often presented personally by the donors themselves, to outstanding students and junior faculty members, and the 30th Meeting was no exception.
It often seems that the donors are as excited in making the awards as the recipients are in earning them. Sir Maurice Hatter, a Deputy Chairman of the Board of Governors, has followed the careers of students who have been awarded a Hatter Fellowship.
“I recognize students who have gone from their M.A. to the Ph.D.,” he said about past recipients of the fellowship prior to announcing this year’s winners. “Isn’t that nachas?”
The Maurice Hatter Fellowships in Maritime Studies went to eleven graduate students this year, two of them doctoral candidates. Their research, Sir Maurice pointed out, collectively covers all the various disciplines of maritime civilizations.
This year, Sir Maurice added a non-maritime award. It was a three-year grant for a doctoral study on an aspect of peace education. Ms. Ravia H’seisi, the Ph.D. candidate who received the grant, will be researching the question, “How does acceptance of the legitimacy of the ‘other’s’ collective narrative affect adherence to one’s own group’s narrative?”
The Fraenkel Fellowships for the Study of Haifa and the Galilee this year totaled 21 awards in all, 9 of them for doctoral work. Prof. Baruch Kipnis, director of the University Library and past head of the Center for the Study of Haifa and the Galilee, acted for the Fraenkels, who could not attend this year’s Board Meeting. Noting that the awards were presented to students studying in a variety of disciplines, he gave the example of a Ph.D. candidate, originally from Croatia, who had received a Fraenkel Fellowship several years ago as an M.A. student. She is continuing here, studying Arabic dialects in Nazareth.
Jacob Recanati Research Fellowships in Maritime Studies, were awarded to five first-year Master’s degree students. Mrs. Eliane Recanati made the presentations on behalf of her late husband.
Conway Prize: New Grant
To mark his retirement from the long-held position as chair of the British Friends of the University, Board of Governors members Victor and Helen Conway established the Conway Prize for Research in the Area of the Cultural and Spiritual Heritage of Judaism. Winner of the prize, awarded for the first time at the 30th Board of Governors Meeting, was doctoral student Erez Peleg. His topic: the theology of Rabbi Shem Tov ben Shem Tov, who wrote a kabbalistic study that criticized Jewish Aristotelians like Maimonides. Prof. Menachem Kellner, one of Peleg’s advisers, quipped that the student may be the first one in 500 years to have read Shem Tov’s book from cover to cover.
From Overseas Student to Prize-Winning Lecturer
The Dusty and Ettie Miller Fellowship for Outstanding Young Scholars was won this year by Dr. Ezra Marcus, a lecturer in the Department of Maritime Civilizations. The American-born Marcus originally came to the University of Haifa as a student in the Overseas Students Program and apparently fell in love with both the University and the subject of underwater archeology. He stayed on to do his Master’s in the area and then earned a doctorate from an England university while teaching in his old department. Ph.D. in hand, he proved to be a respected member of the research staff. Marcus described his award-winning research project, which considers the early history of Israel from a maritime and Mediterranean perspective and may be summed up as “Maritime Israel.”
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