Students meet Technion backers

Students meet Technion backers

BY KEREN DOUEK, STAFF WRITER

As if taking full course loads — in account engineering and physics — and teaching on the side with periodic breaks for the Israeli military reserves weren’t enough, students Amit Meiselles and Gili Bisker agreed to also tour the Midwest to speak about life at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, including a recent stopover in St. Louis to speak at a dessert reception at the home of Marilyn and Sam Fox on March 14.

The students, along with Dr. Dror Seliktar, dean and head of the student delegation of the Midwest tour, spoke about the importance of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and thanked the St. Louis Chapter of the American Technion Society for their continued support.

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“I have to admit,” Seliktar began, “traveling across the country and coming into your homes is a real heart-warming experience.”

Seliktar, a senior lecturer in Biomedical Engineering at Technion, spoke about the advancements in Biomedical Engineering the school is making and how critical these advancements are in Israel’s placement as a competitive force in the industry.

Twenty-four-year-old Bisker is studying toward her master’s degree in quantum physics. Bisker served in the Israeli Air Force as a flight simulator instructor for the F-16 aircraft, instructing pilots training for combat and assessing their responses in emergency situations. She also helped train young female soldiers to become simulator instructors.

Following her army service, Bisker received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics with her name on the President’s List every semester. Bisker was also a member of the Technion Excellence Program, which enables gifted students to learn more about different areas of interest and expand their horizons. Bisker was the recipient of the Technion’s Yuval Levi Prize and the Excellence Encouragement Fund Prize, and received an award for Outstanding Student Achievements from the Knesset.

Bisker also teaches and works as a lab instructor, explaining the experimental system to students and helping them conduct experiments.

“I really love the interaction with the students,” Bisker said, “because I think only when you teach Physics can you really begin to understand it.”

Twenty-seven-year-old Meiselles, a senior in the Technion in Israel studying mechanical engineering, said, “The future of Israel is in the technology industry and in education.”

Before attending Technion, Meiselles acted as a volunteer for Magen David Adom, served in a combat unit in the Israeli army as well as in the Officer’s Academy and as a platoon commander, and received a medal of honor for bravery.

At the Technion, Meiselles has received the President’s Award for Distinction and Excellence. He has also been a volunteer for children with special educational needs, and he also works at the Intel Research and Development Campus in Matam-Haifa as a team leader in the Technical Control Department and as an assistant tutor for undergraduates.

“By helping the Technion you are actually helping Israel in the best possible way,” Meiselles said. “I would like to thank you very much on behalf of the 10,000 undergraduate students in the Technion in Israel.”

When introducing the students, June Wolff, president of the St. Louis Chapter of the American Technion Society, stated that Israel was created “as a homeland for us all.”

“Its inhabitants live to protect our heritage and ensure our future,” she said. “Providing education for the most intelligent of our people has been a serious concern for our St. Louis chapter since its inception in the early 60’s … Providing the means for research and development in Israel allows for major breakthroughs in the world and helps us maintain a high level of respect among our allies.”

Jack Cohen, administrator for the St. Louis chapter, said “The highest mitzvah in Judaism is saving a life and the highest level of tzedakah is helping others to care for themselves. The gifts that we make to the Technion meet both of these criteria.”

Audrey and Leonard Adreon and Esther and Henry Schweich were presented with Patron Awards for their commitment to the Technion. Wilma and Pete Pasternak received the Technion’s Builders’ Award for their annual generosity and for Pete Pasternak’s participation as an active board member and advisor. Dodie and Bob Frey were presented with the Technion’s Benefactor Award for being lifelong supporters, organizers and mentors.

Keren Douek is a staff writer and can be reached at [email protected]