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Faculty and Leadership
- Leadership Profiles
- Faculty Profiles
Diane C. Yu, Executive Director and Leadership Instructor
Diane C. Yu is the Executive Director of the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program and the NYUAD Summer Academy for high school students. She has taught a popular freshman honors seminar in the NYU College of Arts and Science for seven years. Previously she was the Managing Counsel at Monsanto Company, the General Counsel for the State Bar of California, a White House Fellow appointed by the President, a California judicial officer, and in private law practice. Her BA is from Oberlin College and her law degree is from the University of California at Berkeley. She is a frequent speaker and author and has an honorary doctorate from the City University of New York.
Jennifer Gerrard, Senior Director
Jennifer Gerrard is the incoming Senior Director for both the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program and the NYUAD Summer Academy. Prior to joining NYUAD, Jennifer was the Director of the Executive MBA Global Network at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, overseeing the school's five international joint degree programs in North America, the Middle East, and East Asia. Jennifer has spent the majority of her career in the field of international education and has held roles focusing on international student program management, academic advising, and the re-building of legal institutions in post-conflict zones at universities such as DePaul University and the University of California, Santa Cruz. In addition, she has worked at non-profit organizations, including AMIDEAST in Cairo, Egypt. Jennifer holds a B.A. in Political Science and Women's Studies from DePaul University and an MA in Social Sciences with a concentration in Political Science from the University of Chicago.
Lisa Springer, Associate Academic Director
Lisa Springer, Associate Academic Director of the NYU Abu Dhabi Summer Academy, has been working with the program since its inaugural year, in 2011. After one summer as lead instructor for the critical thinking and writing class, she served as Academic Director for two years. She is currently Assistant Dean at the American Language Institute of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at NYU. Lisa grew up in the Middle East and, after years working with both the Summer Academy and the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program, considers Abu Dhabi a second home. She holds a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University and an MFA in fiction writing from Warren Wilson College.
Ben Rubenstein, Mathematics Instructor
Ben Rubenstein holds a BA and MAT from Bard College. He is a teacher in the early college program for Bard College and a Math for America Master Teacher. His teaching experience ranges from elementary to post-secondary education in the fields of mathematics and mathematics education. In his career, he has focused on helping students reach their potential and think more deeply about what learning approaches work best for them. Currently he is working on curriculum development using the interplay between mathematics and dance.
Drew Youngren, Mathematics Instructor
Drew Youngren is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Mathematics at NYU. There his focus is on undergraduate teaching, in particular the assessment thereof and the integration of technology into the mathematics classroom. Prior to that, he was a fellow with Math for America and taught in the early college program for Bard College. He studied at Columbia University as an undergraduate and earned his PhD in mathematics from Northwestern University. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and two daughters and frequently chases them around Central Park.
Jonathan Marsh, Critical Thinking and Writing Instructor
As a member of the first team of employees on the NYUAD campus, Jonathan has served the student community in a variety of academic and residential life roles: Graduate Resident Assistant, Senior Global Academic Fellow, Academic Resource Center tutor, teaching assistant, and English proficiency assessment consultant for the Admissions' Candidate Weekend process. Now, as a member of the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Community Programs' team, he works with the New York-based office staff to support alumni programming and academics at NYU New York, serves as Instructor in the SMSP Critical Thinking and Persuasive Writing course and Summer Academy Critical Thinking and Writing Course, and supports Executive Director Diane Yu in her NYU Shanghai Public Speaking in a Leadership Role Course. Jonathan earned his bachelor's degree in film from NYU and his master's in mental health counseling from NYU Steinhard
Katy Bartelma, Critical Thinking and Writing Instructor
Katy returns to the Summer Academy faculty as an instructor in Critical Thinking and Writing. During the academic year, she serves as an assistant instructor for an undergraduate course examining the relationship between government and religion at NYUAD, as well as for the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program. Katy previously served as a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice in Washington, DC, and prior to that, completed clerkships for the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the United States Court of Federal Claims. She received her law degree magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center and her AB in History from Harvard University.
Peter Vining, Critical Thinking and Writing Instructor
Peter is a PhD candidate at New York University's Department of Politics, where he conducts research on civil conflict and political violence. Peter previously completed his MA at Duke University in Political Science, and undergraduate degrees at The Pennsylvania State University. Peter recently served his second year with the SMSP program as an assistant instructor for the undergraduate US Foreign Policy class, and is now serving his second year as Critical Thinking and Writing Instructor for the NYUAD Summer Academy.
Rachel Jamison, Critical Thinking and Writing Instructor
Rachel comes to NYUAD from Peking University School of Transnational Law in Shenzhen, China, where she spent two years as a law instructor for courses on legal research and writing as well as human rights and humanitarian law. Prior to that, she worked for human rights NGOs in Washington DC, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. She holds a JD from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA in history from the University of Minnesota.
Reem Shraim, Assistant Instructor of Leadership and Public Speaking and Public Presentations
Reem is a recent Emirati graduate from Zayed University with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and human services. She has also just graduated from the Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Scholars Program at NYUAD from the 2017-2018 batch. Reem has worked as a research coordinator for an autism study at Al Jalila Children’s Speciality Hospital in Dubai, written articles for Gulf News on special pieces covering psychology related matters in the UAE, and now works as the assistant instructor for leadership and public speaking at NYUAD.
Dharini Parthasarathy, Academic and Student Affairs Specialist, and Assistant Instructor of Leadership and Public Speaking and Public Presentations
Dharini is an Academic and Student Affairs Specialist for the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program (SMSP) and the NYUAD Summer Academy. In this role, she advises and supports students in their academic endeavors during and post-program, such as with undergraduate, graduate, or scholarship applications. Dharini also serves as an Assistant Instructor for the Leadership classes for SMSP and Summer Academy and the Public Speaking class for SMSP. Prior to this role, Dharini worked as the Graduate Assistant for the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Community Programs in New York, where she assisted in planning US trips for both programs and supporting New York-based alumni. Dharini holds a Master’s degree from New York University in Higher Education and Student Affairs and Bachelor’s degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics and Statistics from Miami University.