Dr. Leslie Ruyle, Research Scientist in the Department of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government & Public Service, has been selected as one of 35 participants from universities and colleges across the country to take part in the 2022-23 Winter – Faculty Fellowship Program with the Jewish National Fund-USA. Following its MoU signing with the University of Arizona and Israel’s Arava region, Jewish National Fund-USA is continuing to boost collaboration between Israeli and U.S. institutions by selecting the 35 individuals for the upcoming trip.

Participants will take part in the trip (December 26, 2022-January 8, 2023), where they will travel throughout Israel, meeting Israeli professors from their respective disciplines and with the same, or similar, research interests – all with the goal of developing collaborations, research projects, co-authoring articles, and establishing exchange programs between faculty and students.

“I am honored to be chosen for this wonderful program and want to thank the Jewish National Fund-USA for selecting me,” Dr. Ruyle said. “I look forward to fostering collaborations to benefit my current research and expand student learning opportunities.”

“I am honored to be chosen for this wonderful program and want to thank the Jewish National Fund-USA for selecting me. I look forward to fostering collaborations to benefit my current research and expand student learning opportunities.”

Dr. Leslie Ruyle

Through the support of Jewish National Fund-USA’s Boruchin Fund and individual donors, the tour, in which more than 500 have already taken part, is a fully paid intensive program to Israel for full-time U.S.-based academics from recognized universities/learning institutions. Jewish National Fund-USA also runs the annual Caravan for Democracy Student leadership Mission to Israel, of which 80 college students will travel to Israel in May/June, a Summer Faculty Fellowship Program in Israel, and a host of other trips and missions.

“The Faculty Fellowship program in Israel is a life-changing experience that tantalizes all the senses,” said Professor Molina Walters, STEM Education, Arizona State University. “One hears the history of Israel, tastes the flavors of Israel, smells the aromas of Israel, and feels the heart of Israel.”

Participating U.S.-based schools for this trip include Florida Atlantic University, University of South Florida, Auburn University, Purdue University, Rowan University, Manhattan College, Arizona State University, Old Dominion University, Ferrum College, University of Central Florida, Emory University, Vanderbilt University, Pace University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Arizona University, University of Missouri, Northern Arizona University, Lawrence University, University of Cincinnati, University of Puerto Rico-Mayageuz, Clemson University, Ohio University, Texas A&M University, University of California-San Diego, George Washington University, and Virginia Commonwealth University.

“It has been a while since I’ve been so deeply challenged physically, academically, and emotionally as the two weeks I spent experiencing Israel with the JNF-USA Faculty Fellowship,” said recent participant and Animal and Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech Professor Vitor Mercadante. “This is a truly transformative program, and I will forever cherish the people I met and the moments I experienced in Israel.”

During the trip, the 35 participants will meet Israelis from all walks of life and will hear from a variety of speakers. They will also be exposed to contemporary Israeli society, culture, historical sites, and the way of life in Israel. The academics meet with professionals and experts in government, education, media, and other sectors to understand the many facets of Israel’s evolving national and international policies. Those participating will gain a deeper awareness of Israel as a “start-up nation,” its success in water innovation, and how the country addresses regional and global challenges.