“As university president, I talked to many alumni about that close connection and, as I walked my dog on campus, I would often get into conversations with students,” says Kozloff, who served as president from 1994 to 2007. “I’d ask, ‘What makes this the best place for you?’ The vast majority told me about their favorite faculty member and the guidance and inspiration they felt.”
Kozloff kept these conversations in mind when she and husband Stephen Kozloff, a retired physician, established scholarships in 2007. The scholarships support two students from their freshman through senior years with half-tuition and funding for research with a faculty adviser. This year, the Kozloffs closed the loop by endowing two Kozloff Fellows, the faculty who serve as the mentors to the Kozloff scholarship recipients.
Naz Afarin Fallahian, associate professor of physics and engineering technology, and Peter Doerschler, associate professor of political science, are the Kozloff Fellows for the next
Kozloff and her husband were inspired to enhance their philanthropy when they heard about the It’s Personal Campaign, the university’s mission to raise $50 million to be directly invested in students and faculty.
“Steve and I were both fortunate to have faculty mentors, who made a huge difference in our lives,” Kozloff says. “Faculty deserve to be recognized for their important work. This is our small way of expressing our respect for and appreciation of their willingness to go the extra mile in nurturing students as they navigate through the university.
Research by Fallahian and Kozloff scholarship recipient Joshua Dendler is focused on health physics, the study of radiation and how to avoid its potentially harmful effects. Doerschler and Kozloff scholarship recipient Justice Powlus are examining how state-level politics affect the political integration of immigrants living in Germany. Both students are juniors from Bloomsburg.
“The Kozloffs’ generous donation provides us and our students with funding to be involved in professional meetings and activities, which will help improve our knowledge and skills in our field,” says Fallahian, a BU faculty member since 2008. She will use her fellowship to conduct student-faculty research, attend professional conferences, and complete requirements for her certification from the American Board of Health Physics.
And to continue mentoring Dendler. Last year, Dendler investigated indoor radon levels in BU campus buildings in collaboration with Fallahian, David Simpson, coordinator of the health physics program, and fellow students. Their research culminated in an abstract published in the Health Physics Journal. Dendler also participated in the annual meeting of the Health Physics Society in Spokane, Wash., and was one of 12 students nationwide selected as a member of the HPS student support committee.
“The next research project deals with the radiation monitoring system, RadNet, which is installed on the roof of BU’s Andruss Library,” Fallahian says. “Joshua is taking care of this system — one of 134 sampling stations across the nation and the only one in the northeast part of Pennsylvania — and will work on RadNet data analysis for the next two years.”
Doerschler, who is on sabbatical as a visiting fellow at the Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies at the University of Osnabrueck in Germany, has been a BU faculty member for eight years. He has been granted access to a special library dedicated to migration studies, where he can discuss his project with experts in the field, and plans to present a draft of his work in early November at a colloquium sponsored by the Institute.
“The Kozloff Fellowship made this trip possible by covering some of the costs. More importantly, the fellowship allowed me to bring my student, Justice, to Germany in August to work on the project,” Doerschler says. “This was his first time abroad and his first exposure to how a foreign university operates.
“My own professional development has grown by working closely with a smart, dedicated student who is able to bring a fresh perspective to a topic with which I am already familiar,” he adds.
To ensure the scholarships and fellowships continue into the future, the Kozloffs also have established a legacy gift. “These are truly difficult times for universities like Bloomsburg because of the general economic situation,” Kozloff says. “States are not providing the same level of support to colleges and universities. Those of us who can help our universities, either as volunteers or by making a donation, can make a real difference.” •
Susan Field ’11/’12M is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia.