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Dr. Steve E. Watkins, professor of electrical and computer engineering, was one of 10 participants chosen for the 2013 Faculty Fellowship Summer Institute held in Israel May 25 through June 3. This competitive academic fellowship links scholars from diverse disciplines with their Israeli counterparts for cross-cultural and international exchanges and to foster relationships and collaborations. Participating Israeli universities included Technion, Bar-Ilan University, University of Haifa, Tel Aviv University and Ben Gurion University of Negev.
The program included tours of major points of interest in Israel and meetings with professionals and experts involved in government, industry, education, media, economy and other sectors to understand Israel’s evolving national and international policies. “The participants explored the history of the region, its diverse and complex multi-faith population and gained a deeper awareness of the many contemporary challenges faced by the country together with witnessing the creativity, spirit, ingenuity, passion and energy that Israelis bring to tackling these issues,” Watkins says. They also had the opportunity to debate and discuss issues with presenters about Israel’s democracy, human rights and the rule of law, all within the context of the contemporary Middle East neighborhood in which the country resides.