The Katz School at Yeshiva University

Meet the graduate students at the YU Katz School. With their diversity of interests and backgrounds, our global student body enriches the community's academic and social experiences. Their intellectual curiosity and passion for their areas of study foster a lively spirit with the school.

 


 

Josh Lankin, Masters in Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship
Josh Lankin

Josh Lankin

Academic Program: Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship
Hometown: Highland Park, N.J.
Undergraduate University: Yeshiva University
Undergraduate Major: Biology

Meet Josh Lankin, a member of the inaugural cohort of the Katz School Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship program. Josh grew up in Highland Park, NJ and is no stranger to the Yeshiva University community - he earned his undergraduate degree in Biology at YU. But he’s not done there - also a black belt in karate and classically trained flutist, Josh wants to add one more major accomplishment to his list: becoming a geneticist and medical science liaison in order to consult for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Enter Katz’s Master’s program. Learn more about Josh and his Katz story.

What motivated you to pursue a master’s degree?
I have a passion for lifelong learning and felt motivated in the pursuit of acquiring tangible skills to apply to my career.

What internships/projects/research are you currently working on that you're excited about?
One exciting project I'm working on now is creating resources to educate primary care physicians, many of whom do not have experience with cancer genetics, on how to screen and treat patients with hereditary cancer syndromes.

What excites you most about working in your chosen field?
The field of clinical genetics changes rapidly every day. As the technologies and research continually advance, more and more patients are being helped by DNA sequencing and advances in molecular biology. I am excited to be a part of such life-changing initiatives by expanding my knowledge and skills at the Katz School.

What advice do you have for people who want to join your program?
Sharpen your academic focus, and broaden your skills.

Why did you choose your program at The Katz School?
I chose Katz because its MS in Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship is a perfect fit for my background in the clinical genetics industry. My skills will be sharpened in a way that no other graduate program offered.

What is something you’ve read, watched, or listened to recently that you’d recommend to others?
I am reading Courage to Dissent by Tomiko Brown-Nagin, which documents her unique perspective of the narrative surrounding the Brown v. Board of Education case and the civil rights movement.

 


 

Jeeho Bae, master's in in Data Analytics and Visualization
Jeeho Bae

Jeeho Bae

Academic Program: Data Analytics and Visualization
Hometown: Gwangju, South Korea
Undergraduate University: Chonnam National University
Undergraduate Major: Chinese Literature and Language

Meet Jeeho Bae, a member of the inaugural cohort of the Katz School Data Analytics and Visualization program. Jeeho grew up in Gwangju, South Korea and graduated from Chonnam National University with a degree in Chinese Literature and Language. A former Korean military officer and fashion model in NYC, Jeeho found that Katz was the perfect fit for his future goals of becoming a data analyst. When he’s not busy with coursework, he enjoys sketching and listening to informational podcasts. Learn more about Jeeho and his Katz experience.

What motivated you to pursue a master’s degree?
I have a passion for data-driven analysis and knew that pursuing higher education would be beneficial to give myself the best opportunities in becoming a data analyst.

What internships/projects/research are you currently working on that you're excited about?
I am working on a project on developing Ethiopian business in the US - namely, how we can bring ancient grain from Africa into a global marketplace and establish a successful business model. My team and I are providing solutions and methodologies to build that business model and achieve our ultimate goal of connecting local Ethiopian farmers to a global network.

What has been the best experience you’ve had in your program thus far?
The Data Analytics and Visualization program has a great director, and the faculty is incredible.

What excites you most about working in your chosen field?
The most exciting part of working with data-driven analytics is that you can see and find problems and answers that are not always visible on the surface.

Why did you choose your program at The Katz School versus any other school(s) to which you may have applied?
Three factors influenced how I looked at my graduate school options: location, program quality, and program length. I liked the Katz School’s midtown Manhattan location - I’m confident it will be a huge advantage when networking with professionals in the data analysis and data science fields. Secondly, this program has a far more practical approach to learning than other schools. As I wanted to learn those practical skills, the DAV program was the best option I had. Lastly, the fact that I can finish this program in one year was very attractive.

I look forward to learning more, and taking advantage of opportunities to meet amazing, smart people, and exchanging ideas.

What advice do you have for people who want to join your program?
For people who want to change their career or strengthen their analytic skills to stand apart from their peers, the Data Analytics and Visualization program at the Katz School is an excellent choice. The faculty is comprised of world-class professionals across a variety of fields and industries, who provide exceptional knowledge and the skill-building required to work in a serious data-driven environment.

What is something you’ve read, watched, or listened to recently that you’d recommend to others?
I enjoy listening to a podcast called The Super Data Science when I have time. You hear from professionals in data-related fields and learn about their experience and background, and how they started to work in a data-focused work environment. It’s a great resource for people who aren’t professional data scientists but are interested in the topic or want to change a career change.

 


 

Anastasiia Brener, master's in Enterprise Risk Management
Anastasiia Brener

Anastasiia Brener

Academic Program: Enterprise Risk Management
Hometown: Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine
Undergraduate University: Zaporizhzhya National Technical University
Undergraduate Major: International Economic Relations

Meet Anastasiia Brener, a member of the Enterprise Risk Management program at Katz. Anastasiia is from Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine, where she attended Zaporizhzhya National Technical University and earned an undergraduate degree in International Economic Relations. An avid swimmer and traveler, Anastasiia aims to expand her global perspective by working for an international company after graduation and using her skills to demand equal pay and representation in the workplace for women. Learn more about Anastasiia and her Katz story.

What motivated you to pursue a master’s degree?
Many factors can make a person successful and happy, but among the most important is a good, quality education. It’s the lucky ticket for anyone motivated to live their best life - especially if you are a woman. We no longer live in just a man’s world, and that acknowledgment of equality is incredible; but in my country (Ukraine), a number of companies still do not promote or pay women as much as men. I want more for myself, and I saw that getting an education overseas was something that could help change this situation, so that’s why I chose to get my master’s at Yeshiva’s Katz School.

What are your career goals?
In five years, I aim to work at an international company, working in a management position.

Tell us up to 5 fun facts about yourself that others might not know.

  • I used to be blonde as a child.
  • I am scared to death of spiders.
  • I love swimming, it's like my second nature.
  • I feel that my life becomes empty if I don't travel for a long time.
  • I didn't know how to ride a bike until I was 20 years old.

What excites you most about working in your chosen field?
I believe this whole field can be described by one quote, by Dutch humanist, priest, social critic, teacher, scholar, writer and theologian Desiderius Erasmus: “Prevention is better than cure.” Risk management is all about avoiding threats and mitigating the effects of those which are potentially unavoidable. This field is fascinating and requires much determination, which is so exciting.

What advice do you have for people who want to join your program?
Don’t think twice - if you are interested in this program, just DO IT! Don’t be afraid to ask questions, there is always someone at the university who is willing to help answer them.

Why did you choose your program at The Katz School?
I have many reasons for choosing the Katz School at Yeshiva, but among the top were the school’s excellent reputation; its location - what better place to study is there than New York City?; the program and its relevant curriculum; my internship prospects; and finally, the amazing, welcoming attitude faculty and staff have towards students.

I am looking forward to everything that comes with my graduate experience: enhancing my knowledge and skills; making personal and professional connections; celebrating culture and diversity; having interesting classes, internships and job opportunities; and more.

What is something you’ve read, watched, or listened to recently that you’d recommend to others?
The Theory of Everything by Stephen Hawking - a fundamentally interesting book; Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill - a classic, which I enjoy rereading every so often; and finally, to prove that I do read things for fun, too, Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett - a humorous fantasy book.

 


 

Xipeng Chen, master's in Quantitative Economics
Xipeng Chen

Xipeng Chen

Academic Program: Quantitative Economics
Hometown: Henan, China
Undergraduate University: Henan Agricultural University, China
Undergraduate Major: Business Administration

Meet Xipeng Chen, Class of 2018, MS Quantitative Economics. Xipeng grew up in Henan, China, graduating with a degree in Business Administration from Henan Agricultural University. He joined the Katz School community with the goal of being taught by world-class professors in the world-class city of New York. After arming himself with a degree from YU, Xipeng plans to work as a data analyst. When he’s not busy with coursework, he enjoys soaking in the culture of NYC. Learn more about Xipeng and his Katz experience.

What motivated you to pursue a graduate degree?
It was ingrained in me that pursuing higher education meant a higher salary, and therefore a better, more secure life and future.

Why did you pick the Katz School at Yeshiva University?
Yeshiva University is a great university in the great city of New York. The professors are well-known in their own areas of expertise, and I wanted to learn from the best.

How would you describe the Katz School community?
The Katz School offers advanced coursework that prepares me for the professional world, and thoughtful student services to help me map out my future goals and how to attain them.

What are the courses and professors like at the Katz School?
In my economics classes, the curriculum is advanced and interesting. I believe they are on-par with or exceed that of the more well-known universities such as Columbia or MIT. If you are interested in economics, it is worthwhile to explore what the Katz faculty and curriculum offer. 

What has been your favorite class so far? Why?
Mathematics Methods - I love math. I am learning so much about math and microeconomics from Professor Ran Shao–his teaching style resonates with me.

What are your favorite things about living in New York City?
The culture is great. Shopping is very convenient. The weather is sunny and the air condition is greater than Beijing’s!

In what ways do you think the Katz School will help you achieve your career goal?
Faculty and staff will help you create a realistic path to achieve all your academic and professional goals.

What advice do you have for Chinese students looking to study in the United States, specifically in New York City?
NYC is full of opportunities for you to become whatever you want - there is no place like it. Attending Katz in NYC is a great way to realize your dreams.

 


 

Haofang Zheng

Academic Program: Quantitative Economics
Hometown: Henan, China
Undergraduate University: Seattle University
Undergraduate Major: Business Administration and Management

Meet Haofang Zheng, Class of 2018, MS Quantitative Economics. Haofang grew up in Henan, China and graduated from Seattle University with a degree in Business Administration and Management. He joined the Katz School community because he wanted to learn more about his field and have an enriching experience at the same time. After earning a degree from YU, Haofang plans to work in the financial industry. When he’s not busy with coursework, he enjoys playing basketball. Learn more about Haofang and his Katz experience.

What motivated you to pursue a graduate degree?
After earning my undergraduate degree in business administration and management, I realized there was still so much more to learn in the field. I needed to expand my horizons, learn more about more subjects, and enrich my life experience. That curiosity eventually motivated me to pursue a graduate degree in quantitative economics at the Katz School.

How would you describe the Katz School community?
I would describe the Katz School as a very warm, welcoming family. The courses are relevant, and faculty insert humanity into their teaching that I value. As a student, I can communicate directly with the school about ideas for courses and professors - I always have access to a person who is listening.

What has been your favorite class so far?
My favorite class is Mathematical Methods.

What are your favorite things about living in New York City?
I like New York City's fusion - every culture has a place and fuses together to create exciting experiences.

In what ways do you think the Katz School will help you achieve your career goal?
Original: The Katz School can help Chinese students build self-confidence in communication. They teach students the skills in interviewing, communicating, social networking, and more.

What advice do you have for Chinese students looking to study in New York City?
New York winter is cold!!!

 


 

Nathan Murphy, MS in Speech-Language Pathology
Nathan Murphy

Nathan Murphy

Academic Program: Speech-Language Pathology
Hometown: Granby, MA
Undergraduate University: Pace University
Undergraduate Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders

Meet Nathan Murphy: entrepreneur, actor, writer, outdoorsman, firefighter and now, a member of the Katz School’s Speech-Language Pathology Master’s program. Nathan grew up in Granby, MA, and attended Pace University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. He joined the Katz School community because he wanted a nurturing, personalized classroom experience to help him become the best CCP-SLP clinician possible. Nathan, a man of many talents and passions, intends to use his degree and varied background in a medical setting to support people with abnormal physiology and neuromotor abilities, and grow his entrepreneurial pursuits. Learn more about Nathan and his Katz story.

What motivated you to pursue a master’s degree?
Since the age of three, I have been involved in the field of communication sciences and disorders. As a child, I spent countless hours observing otolaryngologists, audiologists, and speech-language pathologists, as they worked to remediate my acute middle ear dysfunction and aid my speech development. Inspired by these professionals, I knew at a young age that I wanted to capitalize on my experiences and provide the same support for others as a clinician.

What are your career goals?
Speech-language pathology not only contributed to my personal development, but it is a field where I am confident I have much to offer, which is why I am working towards my CCC-SLP designation. Truthfully, my academic trajectory has never been linear, and I don’t expect my career to be either! I can see myself applying the intensive training I receive at Katz and continuing my education. Additionally, in line with my graduate professors, Drs. Barrera and Dargin, I intend to continue my entrepreneurial pursuits and further expand my ability to positively affect communities.

Tell us up to 5 fun facts about yourself that others might not know.

  • I founded an entertainment company called Balloons For You Entertainment, which brings art and education to individuals with various differences through balloon sculptures. We’ve partnered with organizations such as Autism Speaks and Whole Children.
  • I’m the operations manager of a comedy murder-mystery troupe called BrickRoad Productions, where I write and direct scripts, act, and help keep the show on the road.
  • I am a former ski instructor at the Blandford Ski Area’s Ski School & Special Olympics.
  • I am a former Hampshire County firefighter.
  • I am on my way to having hiked all of the forty-eight 4,000+ feet mountains of New England!

What excites you most about working in your chosen field?
I enjoy face-to-face interaction with clients and am interested in working in a medical setting with people who have abnormal physiology and neuromotor abilities. I believe that my background enables me to bring an interprofessional and innovative approach to therapy. My training as an improv actor allows me to readily assess an individual’s needs, and to swiftly adapt my demeanor to facilitate the most positive and productive outcomes.

What advice do you have for people who want to join your program?
While other schools may just care about the numbers, Katz wants to know who you are. I haven’t started my program yet, but I encourage you to apply! Take care in writing your personal statement, and share your stories.

Why did you choose your program at The Katz School versus any other school(s) to which you may have applied?
I flourished in a small, intimate atmosphere. This program is competitive, but nurturing, and I believe that the SLP program at the Katz School will provide me with a similar academic environment. The Katz School is also one of the few programs that offered medically focused training, which is where my interests truly lie - I am confident I can fully delve into the material and develop into the strongest clinician possible.

What is something you’ve read, watched, or listened to recently that you’d recommend to others?
I encourage everyone to read Where is the Mango Princess by Cathy Crimmins. It’s a beautiful, first-hand account of a woman learning to adjust to life after her husband suffers a traumatic brain injury. Truly brilliant!

 


 

Marsha Pinto, master's in Speech-Language Pathology
Marsha Pinto

Marsha Pinto

Academic Program: Speech-Language Pathology
Hometown: Markham, Canada
Undergraduate University: University of Toronto
Undergraduate Major: Honors/Research-Intensive Specialization in Psychology and Linguistics

Meet Marsha Pinto, a member of the Katz School MS Speech-Language Pathology program. Marsha is no ordinary young woman. A former child model, blogger for the Huffington Post, creator of her own non-profit organization, featured in the Washington Post, and interviewed by the Ellen Degeneres Show, she is adding one more accomplishment to her list by specializing in child language development and disorders. She’s passionate about giving a voice to young people who would normally be dismissed in the classroom and is excited to realize her dreams with a degree from the Katz School.

How did you come to realize this was your career path?
I grew up as a timid student and was often misunderstood and bullied by teachers and peers. So I decided to do something about it–for myself, and for other quiet students who face obstacles every day. During my senior year in high school, I launched my own non-profit organization called Softest Voices, with the aim of changing how society views quiet students.

My cause resonated with many around the world, and I was featured on The Today Show and Huffington Post. Hearing the stories of other people with communicative disorders led me to research a career that would allow me to further help this population, and here we are today.

What made you choose Katz for grad school among the competitors?
I went to undergrad at the University of Toronto, where class sizes of 1000+ students were the norm. I craved a different experience for graduate school and was willing to move anywhere for it. Before pursuing grad school I decided to move to New York City and of course, fell in love with it. With its plethora of professional opportunities and endless cultural activities, I was convinced to stay and study here.

A Google search led me to YU’s SLP program, and after meeting the faculty and experiencing the engaging environment and close-knit community, it quickly became my top choice for graduate study.

What do you hope to accomplish with this degree?
The medical Speech-Language Pathology program at the Katz School provides students with a clinical toolbelt of knowledge to treat and diagnose every disorder within a speech-language pathologist’s scope of practice. With this degree, I’d like to combine my developed skills with the mission of my non-profit organization, and change the way schools evaluate and treat students with communicative disorders. The ability to communicate is something we often take for granted. My goal is to amplify every voice because we all deserve to be heard.

What have you enjoyed about your Katz experience thus far?
EVERYTHING! I can proudly say that I wake up every morning excited for what’s in store, whether it’s with my studies, or in my role as an on-campus employee. The Katz School staff are like my best friends–they’ve provided me with so many opportunities and I could not be more grateful.

What career support does Katz provide for you?
This past spring semester my clinical externship and clinical case conference courses have had specific lectures on professional issues we will likely encounter on the job. We’ve also had a lot of mentoring on writing clinical notes and lesson plans. All this is helpful as we prepare for the future.

How has the faculty and peers shaped your experience thus far?
The faculty have been very supportive in providing my classmates and I with the information and resources we need to become successful speech-language pathologists.

My relationship with my classmates can be defined by many Quizlet flashcards! As a cohort that came together from all over the country, we bonded through our mutual experiences and shared goals.

How do you feel being in NYC makes a difference for your career?
I always say that you can find every type of person in New York City and if you can’t, they’re probably on the next L train. In addition to its diversity, NYC has some of the best hospitals and schools in the world.

What advice do you have for people interested in this career path and school?
Be passionate, and do it because you want to benefit the people you will serve. Katz’s program is rigorous and will equip you to be a well-rounded speech-language pathologist.

Dos and don'ts for the application process from your perspective?
As graduate admissions processes get more competitive, applicants have a tendency to be focused on the numbers - GPA and GRE. Try to refocus and make your personal statement the first priority. While the numbers are indeed important, who you are as a person and the goals you want to accomplish by being a part of the program are just as important.

Who is your role model and why?
My grandfather. Though he passed away a few months ago, his work continues to inspire me. He authored two books, earned a PhD, and served as an executive member of many councils. At age 87, he was an active yogi and could even stand on his head! Much like him, I am an overachiever and, some may say, a workaholic. He won’t be able to see me graduate, but my grandfather always wanted me to strive for the best inside of me, and I aim to make him proud with everything I do.

What's something you've read, watched or listened to recently that you'd recommend to others?
If you’re ever feeling down or having a bad day, Jen Sincer’s book You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life is definitely a confidence booster!

What do you do when you're not busy with school commitments?
You can find me walking around the city trying to hunt down the latest delicious Instagram food post or running through Central Park or the Hudson River piers. I also love hanging out with my family and friends.