(Courtesy of YU) The Katz School’s mission to make the world smarter, safer and healthier was on full display to an audience of faculty, students and industry advisers during the second annual Symposium on Science, Technology and Health held on May 11 at Koch Auditorium on YU’s Beren campus. The event was organized by Dr. Rana Khan, founding director of Katz’s Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship Program; Dr. Marissa A. Barrera, assistant dean of health sciences, program director and associate professor of speech language pathology; Dr. Amiya Levi-Waldman, clinical associate professor and director of scholarship and research at the Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program; and Sofia Binioris, senior project manager and adviser to the dean.
Twenty students displayed posters of their work, which had been drawn from their applied research, independent studies and capstone projects. From those 20, the symposium’s organizers selected seven students to deliver oral presentations, based on their caliber and potential impact of their research. Three students also received awards for their outstanding scholarship: Natania Birnbaum, M.S. in Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship; Jillian Rossi, M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology; and Miriam Graham, Occupational Therapy Doctorate.
Many of those in attendance were wowed by the innovative research and informative scholarship showcased at the Katz School’s signature event. The breadth of topics presented were novel, inspiring and, in some cases, lifesaving: an exoskeleton prototype to help stroke victims regain motor function, an analysis of how the CDCs new developmental milestones impact children’s access to early intervention services, an algorithm that may help MRI’s detect early signs of Parkinson’s disease.
Claiming a spot on the symposium stage was no small feat, according to Dr. Khan. The selection process began in November 2022 when faculty and program directors identified the 20 students whose projects demonstrated advancement in scholarly knowledge, addressed industry challenges and/or met urgent community needs.
The selected students then embarked on a monthslong series of workshops for the symposium that focused on advancing their research, presentation and scientific writing skills. The additional training afforded them opportunities to receive feedback from their peers and faculty members outside their disciplines and foster interdisciplinary collaboration.
“Our goal was to have the participants operate at a level above and beyond what they received in the classroom” said Dr. Barrerra, and Dr. Levi-Waldman added that “the preparatory work leading up to the symposium was really a unique teaching moment.”
The Katz School’s 2023 symposium not only celebrated the accomplishments of its students but also highlighted the school’s commitment to excellence in research, innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration. As Dr. Paul Russo, dean of the Katz School and vice provost, observed, “The symposium is a terrific forum to demonstrate the caliber of our students across our nine graduate programs. It emphasizes the importance of exploring issues from multiple perspectives, resulting in more sophisticated presentations, writing and analysis. I think for everyone it was a truly transformative educational experience.”
To learn more about the Katz School’s 2023 symposium visit https://www.yu.edu/katz/research-symposium-2023
The Katz School of Science and Health is one of the seven graduate schools at Yeshiva University.