Moll (with megaphone) addresses Brandeis students during the March 2018 walkout to protest gun violence.
Moll (with megaphone) addresses Brandeis students during the March 2018 walkout to protest gun violence.

When Faced With Challenges, BNC Scholarship Recipient Takes Action

Joshua Moll ’19 was in a Brandeis science lab on Feb. 14, 2018, when he started receiving frantic calls and texts from his mother. There was a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, where Moll’s brother, Jake, was a senior. It would be another hour before Moll knew Jake was safe — “the longest hour of my life,” he says today.

Although Jake survived, 14 students and three staff members died that day. Seventeen others were wounded.

Moll — who majored in neuroscience and biology, with scholarship support from BNC’s Sustaining the Mind Fund, which fosters research in neuroscience and neurodegenerative diseases — was determined to do something to avert similar tragedies. Soon after the shooting, he co-founded Brandeis Never Again, an activist group dedicated to preventing gun violence. Moll and a group of fellow undergraduates organized a student walkout and rallies at which students were urged to register to vote and support changes to U.S. gun laws.

The Brandeis Never Again effort will continue on campus, even though Moll graduated in May. “The answer isn’t to take away everyone’s guns,” he says. “But I firmly believe that no human being needs to own a semi-automatic assault rifle.”

This wasn’t the first time Moll was motivated by a life-changing event. He’s wanted to be a doctor since he was 5, when he and his grandfather came to the aid of an elderly man having a heart attack. “My grandfather gave him CPR until the paramedics got there,” Moll says. “He probably saved his life.”

Moll has had his own medical challenges, too. By age 17, he’d had three surgeries to correct a skull abnormality and suffered from complications that included two forms of meningitis. This sparked his interest in learning more about the brain.

Now Moll is a research assistant at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital, helping with studies on post-traumatic epilepsy and traumatic brain injury. He’ll apply to medical schools next year.

He marvels at the surgical interventions that aid patients with Parkinson’s and other brain disorders. “The thought of being someone who could possibly help solve those problems is amazing to me,” he says.

— Heather Salerno

Madalyn Friedberg
Madalyn Friedberg

Message From the BNC President

Exciting news! Thanks to our community of BNC members, alumni and friends, the Magnify the Mind campaign has reached its increased fundraising goal of $860,000. As a result, Brandeis science faculty and students will be able to conduct research using a two-photon resonance microscope capable of observing brain activity in real time.

As this campaign closes, I can’t help but reflect on the BNC’s remarkable origins. On Sept. 18, 1948, the Brandeis University National Women’s Committee gave its first gift of $5,000 to the Brandeis library. In 1956, Jacob Goldfarb donated $1 million to the library, and the BNC matched his gift. Now, more than 70 years later, the library is still the heartbeat of the university, and the BNC remains committed to helping Brandeis continue to further knowledge, inspiration and growth.

Stay tuned to learn how you can make an impact by supporting our next campaign.


Madalyn Friedberg

Audree Dyson and her husband, Bob, both P’03
Audree Dyson and her husband, Bob, both P’03

This Old House? A Win-Win Way to Give

Longtime BNC member Audree Dyson, P’03, recently found a new way to help Brandeis. After she and her husband, Bob, sold their Florida condo, they donated $25,000 from the sale proceeds to the Magnify the Mind campaign.

“We realized this was a unique opportunity to make a donation equal to our belief in the importance of Brandeis’ scholarship and research in neurodegenerative disease,” says Dyson. “Our family has been touched by these issues, and we believe the students and professors at Brandeis will be at the forefront of finding solutions and cures.”

Dyson has long demonstrated her belief in Brandeis, having served as a BNC chapter president and playing numerous roles on the BNC’s National Executive Committee. Her connection to Brandeis runs in the family — son Alexander ’03 is an alum, sister Leslie Pearlstein is a former BNC national president, mother Charlotte Kirshner is a lifetime BNC member, and uncle Charles Adler ’52 was a member of the first graduating class.

Real estate gifts like the Dysons’ can be a win-win. When structured properly, they can allow you to save money on capital gains while making a major impact on Brandeis. Or if you transfer at least half of your home interest to Brandeis before the sale of your property, you may be able to reduce the time and worry associated with a property sale — and save money at the same time. For more information on making real estate part of your charitable giving, visit

High-Yield Bonds

BNC members standing side by side at scholarship luncheon

On April 30, BNC members attended the annual Brandeis scholarship and fellowship luncheon to connect with
their student scholarship recipients. (See the story about one scholarship recipient — Joshua Moll ’19, fifth from
right — above.)

National Leadership

Michelle Fischler and Maxine Schweitzer

In July, the BNC welcomed to campus two new National Executive Committee members — Michelle Fischler, Phoenix Chapter (left), and Maxine Schweitzer, Gotham (New York) Chapter (right). Returning for a second NEC term are Elaine Bloom, of Delray Beach, Florida; Leslie Pearlstein, of Boston; and Lori Roth, of Phoenix.