Presented by the
Ilene & Steve Berger Technion Visiting Fellows Program
Few American Technion Society events are as uplifting as the annual visit of the Technion’s most promising students. This year, please join us virtually to meet the 2021 Berger Visiting Fellows, a diverse and brilliant group of graduate and undergraduate students poised to become the influential scientists and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. These six students study in areas ranging from computer science to biotechnology and aerospace engineering, often juggling the demands of academia with young families. Hear more about their fascinating research — building a rocket, engineering healthy food, tackling Alzheimer’s disease — and the personal journeys that have shaped their pursuits.
Dean of Students Professor Ayelet Fishman will moderate, with opening remarks by ATS National Board member Ilene Berger and Steve Berger, ATS president, both of whom also serve on the Technion Board of Governors.
About the Speakers
Ohad Einav ’22 was raised in Palo Alto and Pittsburgh, and studied at a yeshiva before making Aliyah at age 19 to join the Israel Defense Forces. He served as a “lone soldier,” meaning without family in Israel, and now volunteers in helping prepare Israeli youth to become combat soldiers. Mr. Einav followed his father and uncle’s footsteps to the Technion, where he is in his third year of a bachelor’s program in computer science. Alongside his academics, he works as a data scientist at Paypal.
Ayelet Hershkovits ’15, M.S. ’18 has already made advances in combating antimicrobial resistance as a Technion master’s student. Now working with Prof. Fishman on a Ph.D. in the Interdisciplinary Program for Biotechnology, she is researching treatments for Alzheimer’s. Ms. Hershkovits served in a classified intelligence unit in the Israel Defense Forces, and lives with her husband, a Technion alumnus, and two young children in Haifa.
Anne Kitzmiller ’21 grew up in Oregon, earned a master’s degree at Washington University in St. Louis, and worked as an engineer in the aerospace industry. Making Aliyah with her husband three years ago, she is studying for a second master’s in the Technion Aerospace Faculty, writing software and flight algorithms for a rocket project. Outside of academics, Ms. Kitzmiller plays soccer for the Technion and for the Israeli Semi-Professional Women’s League and fosters a guide dog puppy-in-training.
Alon Romano ’16, M.S. ’18 grew up in San Francisco and immigrated to Israel at age 10. He served in the Israel Defense Forces for seven years, mainly as an intelligence officer, receiving awards for his work in intelligence information analysis. He earned his first two degrees at the Technion and is now a Ph.D. student in the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering, where he recently helped his team win first prize in a prestigious European food contest. Mr. Romano is married and has three young children.
Hila Rubinstein ’16, M.S. ’19 focused on three entirely different subjects in high school. Her Arabic studies led her to the elite intelligence unit in the Israeli Defense Forces, and filmmaking was fun, but it was chemistry that really intrigued her. After earning her Technion bachelor’s degree, she received a generous ATS fellowship for her graduate studies. She is now working on her Ph.D. in chemistry, where she is developing air-quality testing technologies, among other projects.
Yoav Shumacher ’21 grew up in Canada and moved to Israel to study at a theological seminary and then joined the Israeli Defense Forces as an infantry soldier. After his service he joined the Technion, where he is in his fourth year towards a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. In parallel with his studies, he works in the Turbomachinery and Heat Transfer Laboratory, designing and developing new products.
Professor Ayelet Fishman ’89, M.S. ’92, Ph.D. ’02 is Technion Dean of Students and head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Applied Biocatalysis in the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering. Her research focuses on protein engineering techniques and the structure-function relationship of enzymes to address consumer interest in healthy foods and vegetarian protein alternatives. Prof. Fishman earned all three degrees at the Technion, conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Connecticut, and worked in industry before joining the Technion faculty in 2005.
About the Program
One of the American Technion Society’s most popular speaker series, the Ilene & Steve Berger Technion Visiting Fellows Program features the university’s greatest assets: its students. Known as the Berger Visiting Fellows, these select scholars represent the very soul of the Technion. Their visit provides an inspiring glimpse into the lives and minds of those who will help shape the future of Israel and the world.
This year’s virtual event series kicks off on Sunday, February 21 with Meet Israel’s Next Generation of Global Leaders. Hear from all six Berger Visiting Fellows at this keynote event, which will be followed by “breakout” virtual sessions throughout the week for Genesis Circle Members, alumni, local leadership, and more.