By: Ariel Kahan  | 

2021 Senior Class Nominates Professors and Adjuncts of the Year

Yeshiva University awarded the Lillian F. and William L. Silber Professor of the Year Award to four professors across its three undergraduate schools, Yeshiva College (YC), Stern College for Women (SCW) and Sy Syms School of Business (SSSB). This year’s award recipients were Professors Dr. Irina Catrina for YC, Alan Broder for SCW and Mark Finkel and Yitzchak Rosenthal for SSSB for women and men, respectively.

Adjunct Professors Akiva Rube and Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin were nominated for the Adjunct Professor of the Year Award for YC and SSSB, respectively, an award that the university began giving to part-time professors in 2018. SCW does not have this award. 

All of the awards are decided by undergraduate seniors in annual online votes that are administered by YU’s Office of Institutional Research & Assessment in the spring semester, which took place this year on April 19. Results of the senior undergraduate vote were announced on May 3 for SSSB at the SSSB senior dinner, and on May 6 and 10 via a Zoom awards session for YC and SCW, respectively. 

According to an email about the vote sent to YC students by Associate for Student Affairs Dean Fred Sugarman, one of the main purposes of the award is to “recognize the faculty who have provided the most exciting classes during the past semesters.” The Professor of the Year awards are endowed by Dr. William Silber, who graduated from YC in 1963, and his wife Lillian Silber. The awards also provide an honorarium of $1,800 to each awarded faculty member.

Professor Catrina began teaching at YU in 2019 in YC’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. When asked how she felt about receiving the honor, Catrina said, “This is not my achievement alone. First and foremost, the students are the ones who motivate me to continuously improve as a teacher, and second, I receive amazing support, help and guidance from everyone in the YU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.” 

Professor Broder is a clinical professor and chair of the Computer Science Department at SCW. Broder has been working at Yeshiva University since 2013 and was selected for the Faculty Award for Exceptional Educators in 2017. “It is a great honor to receive this award,” Broder commented,“and it is a true privilege to teach such awesomely talented students.”

A clinical associate professor of Management on the Beren Campus, Finkel  teaches Principles of Strategy and Start-Up Strategy. Finkel has been teaching at YU since 2017 and was also grateful about receiving the award. “I am truly humbled to have been given this honor,” he said. “I am indebted to all the smart and talented students I have been able to teach. Their positive midot and inquiring minds propel me to try to be a better teacher.”

Professor Finkel’s co-recipient from SSSB, Professor Rosenthal, teaches on the Wilf Campus and is a clinical associate professor of Information and Decision Systems; he has been teaching in SSSB since 2002.  Rosenthal said, “The past year or two has been challenging in different ways for a lot of people, myself included. It was nice to be recognized by the students more, but the best feeling I get is when I hear back from students who have succeeded in their jobs and careers after graduation.”Professor Rube graduated from YC in 2018 and began giving lab sessions at YC in the spring of 2019. Rabbi Bashevkin, a YU graduate who received semikha from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, began teaching at YU in 2019 and now teaches public policy, religious crisis and rabbinic thought.


Photo Caption: (Left to right) Professors Catrina, Finkel, Broder and Rosenthal

Photo Credit: The Commentator/Yeshiva University