YSU, Western Galilee College Ink Agreement

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Prior to this morning, Dr. Nathan Myers discovered a document from the year 2000 that detailed a joint friendship agreement between Youngstown State University and Western Galilee College.

“So 17 years later we’re here again. Sometimes we sign these agreements and we don’t know what will happen in the future,” Myers, YSU’s associate provost for international and global initiatives, said.

The two academic institutions today inked a memorandum of understanding that outlines various areas of cooperation. The agreement grew out of January’s trip to Israel, organized by the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, which included YSU President Jim Tressel and a delegation from YSU and the Youngstown Business Incubator.

Areas of collaboration outlined in the agreement include internships, student and faculty exchanges, joint research and publication opportunities, participation in seminars and academic meetings, exchange of academic materials and the development of special short-term academic programs.

There are several areas where the two institutions can collaborate “very easily,” remarked Dov Dvir, president of Western Galilee College. Those include his college’s “very successful” criminal justice department, its education department and its business school, which has focuses including real estate and supply chain management.

“We have some areas of common interests,” Dvir said. “Some of the people from the university would like to come to Israel and to see historic places and things.”

YSU has an agenda to become more of a global university, said YSU Provost Martin Abraham. YSU now has 325 students from about 50 counties, and sends about 150 students on study abroad programs each year. Goals include doubling international enrollment over the next five years, and creating a network of global partner institutions to help YSU achieve that goal, he said.

“The main opportunity is going to be for our students to travel overseas on study abroad activities, get an opportunity to see other cultures, to experience another way of life and to learn a little bit about the way that particular area of the world is situated,” Abraham said.

One of the obstacles Western Galilee students face in studying here is many are of limited financial means, Dvir said.

Tressel noted that housing is often a financial obstacle, and put forth the possibility of hosting students for summer programs, when there is space available in the campus dormitories. “If we take housing off the table, that’s a big expense, but we would want to make sure we would provide very meaningful programming,” he continued.

Myers sees the primary opportunities through the partnership for students and faculty in criminal justice, anthropology and education.

“Anytime we can reach out to a partner and incorporate a partner to utilize one of their strengths which will add to our students’ experience, that’s a win-win for everyone,” Myers said.

A faculty-led trip already is planned in March 2018 that will include visiting Western Galilee, said Patty Wagner, chairwoman of YSU’s department of criminal justice and forensic sciences. Members of the delegation will meet with professors there, who will give lectures to students while Wagner lectures to students at the college.

The goal of the trip is to explore similarities and differences between the Israeli and U.S. criminal justice systems, Myers said. The trip will include visits to a police academy and correctional institutions.

“We both face issues of terrorism. They’re much more acute in that part of the world, but crime is something we both face,” she said.

Pictured: YSU President Jim Tressel and Dov Dvir, president of Western Galilee College.

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