Campus & Community

Scholars as Bridge Builders: Stevens Assistant Professor Selected to Visit Israel and Palestine

Jerusalem, Israel
Photo by Rob Bye on Unsplash

Lindsey Cormack, an assistant professor of social sciences in the College of Arts and Letters, has spent much of her time at Stevens Institute of Technology researching, teaching and writing about the world’s political climate, leading students in a partnership with the U.S. State Department’s government-academic collaborative Diplomacy Lab.

Now, Cormack will be one of 15 academics from the New York metro area selected to go to Israel and the Palestinian territories for a week in March to explore the roles that academics and experts can play in peace-building and conflict resolution processes.

Professor Cormack with her students in 2015, who successfully worked to analyze official congressional communications and created a website, DCinbox.com, to make the communications publicly available.

“Scholars as Bridge Builders,” a study tour fully funded by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, is a week-long faculty study tour focused on the connection of environment, urban planning, peace and conflict both within Israel society and across the Palestinian Territories. Cormack will visit major points of strategic interest and holy and cultural sites, as well as the region’s universities and think tanks.

“This is an incredible honor,” said Cormack. “It’s usually reserved for academics much farther along in their careers, so I’m very excited to have a chance to develop valuable relationships and cultivate a network for collaborative work.”

While there, Cormack will have dinner with a member of parliament, meet with the dean of social studies at the College of Tel Aviv, and collaborate with representatives from Women Wage Peace, all while gaining a deep understanding of their geopolitical issues.

In its fifth year, the “Scholars as Bridge Builders” academic tour provides participants with a thorough understanding of the complex socio-political reality in Israel and the role higher education and scholars play in it. Cormack anticipates incredible academic benefits from the visit that will directly impact her classroom at Stevens.

“In my Foreign Policy classes, this would give me so much more to pull on,” she said. “As well as the classes that take on Diplomacy Lab assignments, the Women in Politics course—the meetings with some of the groups and the international contacts will broaden the perspective I bring to class.”