April 18, 2024
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Bellevue University Alum Selected to Receive Prestigious Fulbright Research Award

(Courtesy of Bellevue University) Bellevue University alumnus Faigy Mandelbaum has been selected to receive the prestigious Fulbright Research Award.

The Fulbright Israel open-study award is granted to three individuals each year on the basis of academic excellence, the leadership promise of the applicant, and their potential to both advance knowledge and enhance mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and Israel.

“We are proud to have Faigy as a Bellevue University alumnus,” President Dr. Mary Hawkins said. “She has a bright future ahead of her and we wish her continued success in her educational journey as she studies in Israel.”

Mandelbaum, who received a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science and Human Services with a 4.0 GPA from Bellevue University, attributes her success to many things including her higher education experience.

“My experiences at Bellevue University were wonderful,” Mandelbaum said. “My professors were excellent and they set me up for success. I am very grateful to the University for providing me with a quality education while respecting all aspects of my religious sensitivities. I will not forget the foundation that I have gained through the Yeshiva Initiatives Education Program (YIEP).”

Bellevue University’s partnership with YIEP started in 2004 and was designed to open doors for Orthodox Jews. The customized programs, administered through the University, allow Orthodox Jews to continue their education in an environment that does not conflict with their lifestyle demands and cultural customs. Mandelbaum said the program was instrumental in helping her get where she is today.

“Having the opportunity to be an Orthodox Jew while receiving a quality education in an environment that was culturally sensitive to the needs of the Orthodox Jewish community was a blessing,” she said.

Mandelbaum also attributed her educational success to Bellevue University professors Esther Lustig and Judi Steinig and Rabbi Pesach Lerner who helped form the YIEP partnership.

“Faigy is a remarkable young woman,” Lustig said. “She is a tribute to the psychology profession and Bellevue University for all of her hard-earned accomplishments.”

Mandelbaum is a fourth-year student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Hofstra University and a member of Psi Chi—the International Honor Society in Psychology. She’s been published in peer-reviewed journals, has 30 national conference presentations, and is a peer-reviewer for the Journal of American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology and the Journal of Sleep Research.

During her nine-month Fulbright fellowship, Faigy will be studying the impact of childhood trauma on the development of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) symptomatology in Israeli lone soldiers. Currently, there are over 7,000 active lone soldiers in the Israeli army. Lone soldiers are soldiers who are serving in the Israeli army without family support. They are generally orphans, new immigrants, volunteers from abroad or individuals who are estranged from their families. Israel is the only army in the world to recognize the construct of the lone soldier and to provide a vast support network to these soldiers both while they are serving in the army and as veterans.

“I aim to assess the efficacy of Israel’s vast lone soldier support network, provide suggestions for improvement based on the data, and disseminate information about the lone soldier support model to other armies,” Mandelbaum said. “It is my hope that one day, armies across the world will recognize the struggle of the lone soldier and provide specialized support so that no soldier is left alone.”

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