Aliza Batya Rubenstein Named Valedictorian of Lander College of Arts & Sciences in Flatbush School for Women

Date: June 11, 2012
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Gabe Kahn
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New York, N.Y., June 11, 2012 – Aliza Batya Grossman Rubenstein from Richmond Hills, NY has been named the valedictorian of The Lander College of Arts and Sciences – Flatbush (LAS) School for Women.

Ms. Grossman Rubenstein, who is the seventh of eight children in her family, is graduating with highest honors and a double major in the biology honors program and computer science. She served as editor-in-chief of The Science Journal at Lander College of Arts and Sciences-Flatbush. She was also the chair of the Touro student chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery.

"Aliza has demonstrated her exceptional academic talents by excelling in two rigorous majors—the only senior with such dual majors in this class—and she has displayed outstanding leadership talents in her role as editor-in-chief, as well," said Robert Goldschmidt, the dean of students at LAS and Touro’s Vice President for Planning and Assessment. "She holds great promise as a future star researcher and academician."

While at Flatbush, Ms. Grossman Rubenstein had an internship at Promontory Financial Group, where she did computer programming on software that identifies suspicious activity. The software analyzes financial transactions.

She also assisted two professors with their research projects. At Queens College, Ms. Grossman Rubenstein worked with Professor Richard Bodnar, a psychologist, on the effects of neurotransmitters in the flavor preferences of rats. The research may be applied to controlling appetite in humans.

At Brooklyn College, she assisted Professor Dina Sokol, a computer scientist, with her research on DNA sequences repeated in the genome and worked on a software program that clusters DNA sequences to better understand health and disease.

She will be entering a Ph.D. program in Computational Biology and Molecular Biophysics at Rutgers University in the fall. She was one of only three students accepted to the doctoral program this year. Ms. Grossman Rubenstein said she is interested in working for a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company or acquiring a position in academia once she earns her Ph.D. Ultimately, she would like to demonstrate that women, as much as men, can successfully be involved in math and sciences.

"Speaking as someone who’s interested in science and math, I wish there was more awareness out there that there are opportunities for women," Ms. Grossman Rubenstein said. "When you go to a conference and everyone is male, you feel like a minority. I don’t know whether the discrepancy is because women aren’t interested or if women are afraid that science is just too complicated. If that is the case, I want them to feel like it is accessible to them."

Ms. Grossman Rubenstein attended Manhattan High School for Girls and Bnos Sara seminary in Israel prior to enrolling at LAS. She lives with her husband, a rabbinic student, in Lakewood, New Jersey.

The Lander College of Arts and Sciences in Flatbush, with separate divisions for men and women, is located at Avenue J and East 16th Street in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. More than 1,000 students are enrolled each semester at the campus. Encompassing more than 90,000 square feet, the campus was inaugurated in the spring of 1995. In September 1997, the New York State Education Department officially designated this site as The Flatbush Branch Campus of Touro College.