Visiting Assistant Professor Spends Year in Tel Aviv as Fulbright Scholar

Last year, Dr. Jessica Isaacs, visiting assistant professor of mechanical engineering, secured a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture and research at Tel Aviv University. She was one of approximately 1,100 faculty and professionals who traveled abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2012-2013.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the United States government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, a division of the Institute of International Education.jessicaisaacs

Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

During her time abroad, Isaacs worked on a trilateral grant with Tel Aviv University and German and West Bank Universities. "This cultural exchange allowed us to promote interdisciplinary research and collaboration, while promoting research on lower back pain," she said.

Among the highlights of her time in Tel Aviv, Isaacs had the opportunity to work in a world-renowned lab where she spent a year investigating progressive disease pathologies in the intervertebral disc and vertebral bodies leading to lower back pain. She also helped develop and characterize fiber reinforced biocomposite system for medical applications and created a computational approach to using finite element techniques for determination of vertebral bone effective properties.

She is still in contact with Tel Aviv University and hopes to continue to work on the research she stated there.

An alumnus, Isaacs returns to the School of Engineering this year on the other side of the desk as a visiting assistant professor. She was eager to get into the classroom and help students discover their niche in mechanical engineering.

Prior to joining the staff at Widener, Isaacs worked for Synthes, a multinational medical device manufacturer, focusing on spine biomechanics as part of her doctoral research.

Widener University is a metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate's, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees. The university's campuses in Chester, Exton and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve more than 6,300 students. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free campus. Visit the university's website, www.widener.edu.

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