Caps Off to Jacobs Institute Graduating Class

May 17, 2018
Jennifer Frey

Technion alumni and friends welcomed the 2018 Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute graduating class into the Technion community with a lively pre-graduation celebration on May 14, at eBay’s offices in Manhattan. “This is a moment of great pride for the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute and its parent institutions, the Technion and Cornell University,” said American Technion Society CEO Jeff Richard. “We are a ‘University on a Mission,’ and the Jacobs Institute is a prime example of what can happen when innovation, excellence and a commitment to improving the lives of people around the world come together,” he added.

The 2018 class is the first to complete a full year on the new Roosevelt Island campus, home of the Jacobs Institute. Noting the milestone, Jacobs Director Ron Brachman said: “You are the class that bears the distinction of carrying the torch from Chelsea (Jacobs’ former temporary headquarters were located in space provided by Google in the Chelsea District) to Roosevelt Island. You really are groundbreakers.” Dr. Brachman praised the graduates for their “innovative and imaginative projects” and their eagerness to share ideas between disciplines—Connective Media and Health Tech.

The event recognized the accomplishments of 28 students—21 of whom will receive Technion-Cornell Dual Master’s Degrees in Connective Media for their work in technologies driving digital devices and platforms. The other seven graduates will receive Dual Master’s Degrees in Health Tech, which provides students with the technical and entrepreneurial skills needed to create new digital healthcare technologies.

Graduates are landing jobs in established companies including Shutterstock, Adobe and WeWork. Others, like Kiyan Rajabi, are starting companies as a result of the Jacobs Institute. After witnessing the stress his mother endured as the primary caregiver to his ill grandmother, Rajabi co-founded ReverCare, which connects caregivers to care experts who help craft a long-term care plan. “My academic experience at Technion-Cornell was immensely influential in fostering my ability to start a tech company. Prof. Deborah Estrin’s leadership, the health tech curriculum and project-based learning accelerated my development, channeling my passions into entrepreneurship,” said Rajabi.

The alumni-to-alumni event attracted Technion graduates from 1969 up to 2016. Technion alumni/eBay engineers Yotam Sharan and Moshik Levin, with Tomer Lancewicki (whose wife is a Technion alumna) served as hosts and participated in a panel with Prof. Estrin and Assoc. Prof. Mor Naaman (founders of the Health Tech and Connective Media hubs, respectively). Moderated by Jacobs graduates Jillian Sue and Roy Cohen, the panel discussed industry, the Jacobs curriculum, and how the worlds collide. Guests were treated to a screening of Cohen’s documentary, Machine of Human Dreams—and popcorn.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is a major source of the innovation and brainpower that drives the Israeli economy, and a key to Israel’s renown as the world’s “Start-Up Nation.” Its three Nobel Prize winners exemplify academic excellence. Technion people, ideas and inventions make immeasurable contributions to the world including life-saving medicine, sustainable energy, computer science, water conservation and nanotechnology.

American Technion Society (ATS) donors provide critical support for the Technion—nearly $2.5 billion since its inception in 1940. Based in New York City, the ATS and its network of supporters across the U.S. provide funds for scholarships, fellowships, faculty recruitment and chairs, research, buildings, laboratories, classrooms and dormitories, and more.