As a member of the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics’ Class of 2022, Rafi Turitz-Sweifach, an economics major with minors in business administration, history and Jewish studies from Teaneck, New Jersey, has not had the typical student experience at UD due to the coronavirus pandemic. Turitz-Sweifach, and his entire class, have shown incredible resilience, maturity and spirit while adjusting to the many unexpected changes that they have encountered as students. Each installment of this series will profile an outstanding member of this class, showcasing their achievements, experiences at UD and what it means to be a Blue Hen.
Turitz-Sweifach was nominated for this series by UD Assistant Professor of Operations Management Caroline Swift, who said, “Rafi has been both my student and TA. In any role, he goes above and beyond expectations, both as a student and person. He is the ideal student: bright, curious, patient and friendly.”
In this profile, Turitz-Sweifach shared his favorite UD memories, how he has changed during his time at UD and his plans following graduation.
Lerner: How have you grown from your freshman year at UD to now?
Turitz-Sweifach: During my time at UD, I have grown significantly. Prior to college, I was never confident enough to participate in class or pursue leadership roles. Over the last four years, I have steadily grown to be more confident in myself as a student and a leader. I have been able to form strong relationships with my professors and peers, gain the confidence to speak up in my classes and pursue a variety of leadership opportunities both within Lerner and more generally in the broader UD community.
Lerner: Were you involved in any extracurricular activities? If so, how did they shape your experience at UD?
Turitz-Sweifach: On campus, I was involved in a variety of extracurricular activities that all shaped my experience at UD. As the President of Hillel Student Life and broader involvement in Hillel, I learned how to work with people and help to actualize their ideas as well as my own. Through my work as a teaching assistant and tutor, I learned to better communicate with others and formed deeper relationships with my professors. My most meaningful activity has been representing Lerner and the Honors College and sharing stories about my time at UD with prospective students. All of these experiences have helped me grow and feel more deeply connected to UD throughout my college career.
Lerner: What does being a “Lifelong Lerner” mean to you?
Turitz-Sweifach: To me, being a “Lifelong Lerner” means taking the experiences, knowledge and relationships that Lerner has provided me with and carrying them with me for the rest of my life. It also means doing whatever I can to help future Blue Hens have the resources to have a fantastic college experience. Lerner faculty and alumni have provided me with so many wonderful opportunities and I cannot wait to provide those experiences for future Lerner students.
Lerner: What was the most memorable course that you took at Lerner?
Turitz-Sweifach: The most memorable course that I took at Lerner was ECON422, Econometric Methods and Models, taught by Jim Berry. This course challenged me to think critically, look more deeply at the world around me and better understand the assumptions we often make. Additionally, being a teaching assistant for this course further challenged me and helped me grow in many ways.
Lerner: What was your favorite UD experience?
Turitz-Sweifach: I have two favorite UD experiences: the first was from my freshman year of college when I would spend anywhere from two to eight hours a day in my floor’s lounge in Redding Hall. Being around so many amazing people allowed me to meet some of my closest friends who have consistently been a highlight of my time at UD. The second experience has been my relatively recent involvement as a Lerner Ambassador and Honors Ambassador. These positions have been the most meaningful part of my last two years as I have been able to share my UD experience directly with prospective students and help them figure out where they want to spend their next four years.
Lerner: What are your plans following graduation?
Turitz-Sweifach: Following graduation, I will be staying at UD for another two years for graduate school. I will be pursuing a dual-degree program within Lerner to get an MBA and M.S. business analytics and information management.