Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Slavic Languages and Literatures
AM, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Slavic Languages and Literatures
MA, Yale University, Russian & East European Studies
BA, Yale University, Russian & East European Studies
Benjamin Rifkin is Professor of Russian in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. He is the former Provost and Vice President for Educational Affairs at Ithaca College and previously served as Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at The College of New Jersey.
Rifkin's primary research interests are in foreign language education, especially performance-based learning outcomes assessment, applied linguistics, second language acquisition, and contemporary Russian film. He has won over $1 million in grants for the development of curricular materials for high school, college, and graduate level Russian courses, including RAILS (Russian Advanced Interactive Listening Series) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has given numerous invited lectures and workshops around the US and abroad, has served in leadership positions in professional organizations and on editorial boards, and has won awards for teaching, scholarship, and service.
Rifkin has taught Russian at all levels from first-year through graduate-level courses at UW-Madison, Temple University, and the College of New Jersey. He has also taught undergraduate and graduate courses courses on methods of teaching Russian and less commonly taught languages (UW-Madison and as a visiting professor at Princeton University), Russian film and contemporary Russian literature (UW-Madison), and a freshman seminar in applied linguistics (Temple University, The College of New Jersey), including community-engaged learning experiences.
Leadership and Service:
As a leader in higher education, Rifkin has focused on reducing impediments to student participation in high-impact / transformative learning experiences such as study abroad, internships, community-engaged learning, and undergraduate research. He is a proponent of outcomes-oriented curricular design and led the development and implementation of a coordinated and transparent planning and learning outcomes system at The College of New Jersey. At Ithaca College Rifkin spearheaded the effort to develop, implement and assess integrative learning opportunities in which co-curricular experiences are embedded in credit-bearing courses. He also worked with campus community members on several initiatives to enhance inclusion and respect in the IC community. Rifkin has been a leader in facilitating the development and implementation of shared governance and the building of community in higher education settings and has substantial experience in conflict resolution.