Yahdon Israel Distinguished Professor 2018-2019

Yahdon graduated from Pace in 2013 and has been a successful member of our alumni ever since.

Photo Credit: DP Jolly

We posted about the lecture that he was going to present as the distinguished Professor for the M.S. in Publishing program, here.

The lecture was called, “Turning Barriers Into Bridges: How to Create Market Opportunities with Innovative Thinking.”

Yahdon explained that when he first came to college, he didn’t understand that it was OK to ask questions. He was accustomed to being told that it wasn’t OK to ask questions.  Previously, he had assumed that if one didn’t know the answer, that they had to pretend like they did.
As he progressed, he realized that asking questions was key to the college environment. He began to read authors that made him question everything.
When he graduated, he knew he wanted to keep questioning things. He created a book club and when he tried to figure out why fewer people were coming to their meetings, or coming infrequently  he decided to ask questions.  He found simple answers, “I can’t come to book club if I haven’t read the book,” or “the club is far away, so I can’t come.” Yahdon saw this as an opportunity for change, and took it. He focused the club on those who wanted to come but were unable to, for various reasons.

“I wanted to invest into a world that I wanted to live in.” 

Photo Credit: DP Jolly

By using social media, like Facebook Live, he allowed access to those members who would like to meet, but couldn’t travel. He also began to offer the book they were reading in book club at the end of the meetings, so that the members would be able to read it later.

He called this process of reaching out, turning a barrier into a bridge. Yahdon said, “If there is a way to connect people, and you have the power to do so, you should do it.” He further explained that most companies  that want to try to have the connection that he feels he has with the book community, don’t know how to do it because they aren’t asking the right questions, or they don’t have the one on one connection.

“Discovery happens when you least expect it.”

Yahdon has a Youtube channel called LIT where he interviews authors. You can find it here.

Yahdon and Professor Soares.                              Photo Credit: DP Jolly

He also has a website called Literaryswag  where he talks about the updates going on at his book club, and the next book they’re going to read.