THE ACADEMY SCHOLARS PROGRAM
HARVARD ACADEMY FOR INTERNATIONAL AND AREA STUDIES
Weatherhead Center for International Affairs
1727 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
Ref.No. 0064-LR-C / 20.09.2009
LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION
From Prof.Dr. Plamen Dimitrov, President of the Bulgarian Psychological Society(BPS)
Re: The Academy Scholars Program Applicant, Ms Yael Sne-Cohen, PhD, REUT Israel
I have known Yael Sne-Cohen since 2005 when The New Bulgarian University (NBU), Center for Risks Assessment and Security Studies, Sofia, Bulgaria, appointed me to be the official scientific tutor of Ms Sne-Cohen for the period of her PhD studies in the NBU (2006-2009).
Sne-Cohen’s dissertation “RATIONAL AND EMOTIONAL INFLUENCES ON THE DEGREE OF SUCCESS OF MEDIATION” addressed a very complex research question through a careful theroretical and field-work analysis of the significance of both rational and affective factors on the mediation process dynamics and results. At that time I was pleasantly surprised how the PhD candidate Sne-Cohen showed in her research work how the mixture of cognitive and emotion-laden variables is central to understanding the process of mediation itself. The topic of her dissertation was not only relevant, but also very demanding given the lack of recent in-depth meta-analytic work in this particular research area.
This dissertation was very well organized, clear in its major statements, and persuasive by its analysis and conclusions. It displayed a profound grasp of the previous research, respect to the theoretical context of the studies on the same and proxy research themes. Ms Yael Sne-Cohen clearly presented the key issues and hypotheses of emerging research on rational-emotive mediation.
In addition, Yael Sne-Cohen managed to convey a deep concern for the applied aspects of the field and presented a refreshing perspective on the cases used in her dissertation. Indeed, Yael Sne-Cohen’s dissertation work was based on a series of extensive, multi-site interviews and oral testimony coupled with the analysis of various mediation practice-based sources. Her work was not well written, but rigorously researched one, and provided well defined accounts of mediation success field forces at both intrapsychological/personality and social interaction levels.
Proven hard worker and trained practitioner, Yael produced a dissertation which has been highly appreciated by the NBU review panel of 7 reviewers as representing “an important contribution to the study of complex issues of rational-emotive dilemma of mediator’s practice”. Yael impressed us examining the most important hypotheses of rational-emotive mediation (REM) and all related cognitive-behavior and psychodynamic modes of mediation work in various contexts. In my humble opinion, Sne-Cohen’s work is a compelling analysis of how a mediator can construct, interpret, and act upon more sophisticated model of professional identity and style.
In termsof her research reporting skills, Sne-Cohen has well balanced and comprehensive writing style – way above the general requirements for that type of scientific publications. She is inclined to provide a very detailed and focused overviews of the research background of topic she addresses in her projects. And the structure of her publications in the Bulgarian Journal of Psychology, and in her dissertation thesis follow strictly the good practice standards. Sne-Cohen research findings were provided in a very reader-friendly formats to the participants in her workshops on Mediation at the National Congress of Psychology, Sofia, 2008. As author and practitioner she skilfully summarises the conclusions that she has gained from her analysis of theories in the field and her field-work in Israel. The research done for her PhD dissertation indicated to me her unquestionable analytical capacity to investigate between and beyond published research. Yael Sne-Cohen is concentrated on the most important points that are relevant to her chosen topic and takes a gentle and precise theory discussion angle adding in such a way maximum effect to the theoretical reviews.
Yael Sne-Cohen is very well organized in her collecteing and processing empirical data. Speaking about her research skills, I must add that she is always well prepared to use evidence and facts that are satisfactory substantiating her scientific arguments.
The PhD thesis and other publications of Yael Sne-Cohen confirmed in a very refreshing manner many of the important applied social psychology hypotheses on rational-emotive nature of productive conflict-resolution interventions. In particular, even the critical thesis reader can safely conclude on the basis of the presented work that (1) a vast amount of evidence exists to confirm the author’s hypotheses of rational-emotional interaction in the mediation process/outcome determination, and (2) author’s findings nicely lead to further research and applied work improvements.
My professional opinion at this point of review is that the applicant is very well prepared successfully to resolve complex applied research problems in the field of mediation process effectiveness studies. I highly recommend her for the respected Academy Scholars Program.
Dr Plamen Dimitrov, BPS President
Sofia, 20 September 2009