The 2015 Winter Holiday Reception —a festive occasion

Fulbright Students attending the 2015 Chicago Chapter Winter Holiday Reception at the KnickerBoxer Hotel.

Fulbright Students attending the 2015 Chicago Chapter Winter Holiday Reception at the Knickerbocker Millennium Hotel.

THE CHICAGO CHAPTER of the Fulbright Association held its Winter Holiday Reception at the Knickerbocker Millennium Hotel downtown Chicago in the early part of December. The festive, holiday setting of the historic Knickerbocker Hotel proved a beautiful backdrop for the annual celebration.

Fulbright scholars attended the 2015 Winter Holidays Reception with their families.

Fulbright scholars attended the 2015 Winter Holidays Reception with their families.

Co-sponsored by the Institute of International Education (IIE), some 122 Fulbright Scholars, alumni, consular representatives, students, and friends of Fulbright attended the event on Friday, December 2, 2015.

Fulbright Chicago Chapter President Mary Mares-Awe, welcomes our guests.

Fulbright Chicago Chapter President Mary Mares-Awe, welcomes our guests.

Guests enjoyed a delicious buffet-style meal consisting of salmon, chicken, and vegetarian pasta along with salads and a wonderful chocolate mousse for dessert.

Ron Harvey, the Vice President of the Chicago Chapter served as the Master of Ceremonies. He briefly spoke of his Fulbright experience as a Fulbright Scholar to Bulgaria, before introducing Mary Mares-Awe, the President of the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association.

 Hon. Consul General of Pakistan, Mr. Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, shares his experiences as a foreign exchange student.

Hon. Consul General of Pakistan, Mr. Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, shares his experiences as a foreign exchange student.

Mary welcomed all attendees and in her speech reminded the audience of the celebratory focus of the event. “One of the main reasons to celebrate is that tonight we have 48 countries represented by scholars, students and members of various Chicago consulates.” she said. In addition, the alumni in attendance have visited 21 countries through the Fulbright Program.

Also attending the 2015 Winter Holiday reception, were many representatives from among Chicago’s consular corps including Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Hon. Consul General of India; Mr. Michael Wood, Hon. Consul General of Australia; Mr. Andre King, Hon. Consul of Barbados; Mr. Ihsan Sweiss, Hon. Consul General of Jordan, Mr. Toshiyuki Iwado, Hon. Consul General of Japan; Mr. Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, Hon. Consul General of Pakistan; Mr. Ilker Pak representing the Turkish Consulate in Chicago, and the consulate of Haiti was represented by Ms. Marie Casimir.

Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Hon. Consul General of India; Mr. Michael Wood, Hon. Consul General of Australia; Mary Mares-Awe, President of the Chicago Chapter and Hon. Consul General of Japan.

Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Hon. Consul General of India; Mr. Michael Wood, Hon. Consul General of Australia; Mary Mares-Awe, President of the Chicago Chapter and Mr. Toshiyuki Iwado, Hon. Consul General of Japan.

“Another reason to celebrate”, Mary continued, “is that 2016 marks the 70th anniversary of the Fulbright program.” Various activities will be planned through the year around the theme of the anniversary.

Fulbright guests enjoying a lively conversation

Fulbright guests enjoying a lively conversation

Columbia College Chicago Jazz trio provided excellent live music.

Columbia College Chicago jazz trio provided excellent live music.

“And the biggest reason to celebrate, is our friendship solidified by our experiences as Fulbrighters” Mary Mares-Awe added in conclusion. After Mary’s welcoming speech, the Hon. Consul General of Pakistan to Chicago, Mr. Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, gave a brief speech outlining the importance of educational exchange programs, by recounting his own experiences as a foreign exchange student prior to his diplomatic career. Of the Fulbright scholars and students studying this year in Chicago, Pakistan, represented by six Fulbrighters, comprises the second largest group after Mexico.

A jazz trio of music students from Columbia College Chicago added to the warm, festive atmosphere of the event with their professional-level performance of jazz music through the evening.

Photos by Jenni Schneiderman

Dr. Bruce Douglas, someone we all should know

Dr. Bruce Douglas and former Chicago Chapter board member, Dr. Linda Gruber, who currently resides in Arizona.

Dr. Bruce Douglas and former Chicago Chapter board member, Dr. Linda Gruber, who currently resides in Arizona.

By Mary Mares-AweTHIS YEAR. THE WORLD MARKS the 70th Anniversary of the End of World War II. The American forces who liberated the world from the Nazi/fascist terror are part of what’s known as “The Greatest Generation”. A generation that distinguished itself with bravery, sacrifice and a sense of duty to make the world a safer place for the next generations. For that, we owe them our gratitude. Today, the concept of a safe world is especially poignant as new forms of terror are rearing their evil heads in many parts of the world. We are reminded of just how grateful we should all be, to the allied soldiers who destroyed an evil 70 years ago, so that we can now live free.

I’m proud to know a member of the “Greatest Generation,” and he is one of us –a Fulbrighter. His name is Dr. Bruce Douglas and he has a long list of honors next to his name. He served in the Pacific Theater with the US Navy, and was stationed in Japan and Korea for several years. He received his undergraduate education at Princeton, where he was impressed with the University’s motto, “in the nation’s (later changed to the “world’s) service”; he received a dental degree from New York University and his postgraduate training in oral and maxillofacial surgery at Columbia University.

Dr. Douglas returned to Japan as a Fulbright professor, where he taught innovative techniques in oral surgery to Japanese students and doctors at Okayama University, from 1959 to 1961. He learned Japanese and became a part of the local community, renting a typical Japanese house. His wife gave birth to their second son, who was the biggest baby ever born at Okayama University Hospital. Japanese was their first son’s initial language. The Douglas family’s community role led local leaders to request a renewal of his Fulbright grant, and Bruce was granted an unprecedented second Fulbright year as a result.

Bruce’s outlook on the world matured when, as a teenager, he spent three summers at a scholarship summer camp in upstate New York where, as he says, “I met kids from all over the world,” as well as boys from outside his confined Brooklyn neighborhood. “That was the start of my international experience,” which ultimately led to his Fulbright years in Japan. “I knew then, that I was going to do things that were international in nature,” he adds.

Bruce’s interest in education, led him to Columbia University Teachers College, where he received a Master’s degree and a Professional Diploma in Higher Education. Bruce says the highlights of his studies at Columbia were courses with the world-renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead and Donald Tewksbury, Professor of International Education.

Dr. Bruce Douglas and Hon. Consul General of Japan, Toshiyuki Iwado discussing education issues during a recent reception at the consul's residence.

Dr. Bruce Douglas and Hon. Consul General of Japan, Toshiyuki Iwado discussing education issues during a recent reception at the consul’s residence.

His introduction to Fulbright came from a Japanese Fulbright professor, whom he had met earlier while serving in the Navy in Japan, who asked him to come to Japan to teach and conduct research. Today Bruce still keeps up with his contacts in Japan, and he is a personal friend of the Japanese Consul General in Chicago.

After his Fellowship, Bruce spent a year at the University of California acquiring a Master’s degree in Public Health, which ultimately became the foundation for all his future professional activities. He moved with his family to Chicago where he became Professor of Oral Medicine at the UIC College of Dentistry and Professor of Preventive Medicine at the College of Medicine. He also began a long part-time career as an oral surgeon in Chicago’s and, later, Waukegan’s lower-income neighborhoods.

Dr. Douglas and his wife Jan at the 2013 Fulbright Chicago Holidays Reception, where Dr. Douglas received the Pioneer Award. With the, Dr. Ron Harvey.

Dr. Douglas and his wife Jan at the 2013 Fulbright Chicago Holidays Reception, where Dr. Douglas received the Pioneer Award. With them, Dr. Ron Harvey.

He continued his Fulbright legacy, becoming co-founder of the Fulbright Association’s Chicago Chapter, and its first president. He was also a Fulbright “ambassador” to the Soviet Union and Russia in 1990, 1992 and 1995.

In the ’70s he served as an elected member of the Illinois House of Representatives and was instrumental in encouraging the State of Illinois to invest in a School of Public Health at UIC, of which he was the first faculty member. As a legislator, he introduced and passed many pieces of legislation, most notably in the fields of public health and education; but the two for which he is best known were the right-turn-on-red law and the start of the Illinois lottery, in the “mistaken expectation” he adds, that its profits would all go into public education.

In July of this year, Bruce celebrated his 90th birthday. He was invited to return to the UIC School of Public Health in October of 2014, to which he commutes three days a week as Professor of Health and Aging; and he has also been reappointed Professor of Oral Medicine at the College of Dentistry. He has recently published a compendium of his work on the subject of “the older worker,” which is a field in which he has published and lectured widely.

I had the privilege to interview Bruce about his Fulbright and life experiences at his North Shore home, where I also met his lovely wife and their little grandson Joey —Bruce’s pride and joy. Bruce met Jan, his second wife, in Thailand where they were both serving as WHO consultants. Jan is the Human Resource Director of Refugee One, a major Chicago organization that settles refugees from some of the most deprived places on earth. Their first child, Sarah, works with the UN Women’s Peace and Security Division, in a high ranking managerial position. Another daughter, Sandy, whom they adopted when she was four, from Colombia, where Bruce had served as a WHO consultant, also works for Refugee One.

The content of the interview goes well beyond the scope of this blog post, but I wanted to share portions of it with you, so that you too can get to know one of the most distinguished and inspirational members of our Chicago Chapter, and someone we all should know.

RSVP for the 2015 Fulbright Chicago Winter Holidays Reception

2015FulbrightHolidaycard

 

By Mary Mares-Awe—THE CHICAGO CHAPTER OF THE FULBRIGHT ASSOCIATION and the Institute of International Education (IIE) invite you, your family, colleagues and friends to attend our annual, end-of-the-year Winter Holidays Reception.

WHEN  Friday, December 4, 2015
TIME  6:30p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
WHERE  The Millennium Knickerbocker Chicago, 163 E. Walton Place, Chicago IL  60611, 312-751-8100


COST FREE to current visiting Fulbright Students and Scholars. $35 for each accompanying adult family member and/or guests, Fulbright Alumni and Association Members, Friends of Fulbright.

Food, beverages, and entertainment will be provided.

There will be a ​c​ash bar. Buffet style meal will be served: Please indicate your preference for either Salmon, Vegetarian Pasta, or Chicken when you RSVP by clicking HERE.

Business attire is required; no jeans, t-shirts or athletic shoes.

This is a great opportunity to mingle with fellow Fulbrighters, make new connections, and solidify friendships while spending the evening in Downtown Chicago and enjoying the festive, holiday elegance of the city.

Parking The hotel is providing a discounted parking rate of $30 with a voucher.

For those attendees who’d like to stay in the city for the night, the Knickerbocker Hotel is offering our group a discounted Room Rate of $109.00. Call 312-751-8100 to make reservations. Please mention that you are with the Fulbright group.

RSVPs are required by December 1, 2015!  Please RSVP using the online form HERE.

We look forward to seeing you at the biggest Chicago Chapter event of the year!

“Native American perceptions and realities in the U.S.” was a real educational experience

Dr. Dorene Wiese presenting on the Native American realities in the U.S. for International Education Week.

Dr. Dorene Wiese presenting on the Native American realities in the U.S. for International Education Week.

By Elio LeturiaTHE CHICAGO CHAPTER of the Fulbright Association kicked off this year’s International Education Week on Sunday, November 15, 2015 with an insightful and colorful presentation by Dr. Dorene Wiese, Chief Executive Officer of the American Indian Association of Illinois.

Dr. Dorene Wiese

Dr. Dorene Wiese

The presentation entitled “NATIVE AMERICAN PERCEPTIONS AND REALITIES IN THE U.S.”, offered a look at American Indian history and focused on several modern-day issues concerning the American Indian communities such as land rights and tribal laws.

The presentation also included a dance performance by the youngest members of the Black Hawk Performance Company. The event took place at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in River North.  The school partnered with our chapter in providing the space – a large lecture hall with a panoramic view of the Chicago River and downtown high-rises.

Elio Leturia introduced Dr. Wiese.

Over sixty attendees in what some have called one of the most interesting and educational programs our Chicago Chapter has put together in the past years, participated in the event.  “It was really interesting, enlightening, and fun! I really appreciate that the Chicago chapter is so active; I know other Fulbrighters who are less lucky,” said Kevin Spitta, a Fulbright student from Germany who is pursuing a masters in Advertising and PR at DePaul University.

Chicago Chapter President Mary Mares-Awe welcomed the attendees.

Chicago Chapter President Mary Mares-Awe welcomed the attendees.

Mary Mares-Awe, President of the Chicago Chapter, who had just arrived from the 2015 Fulbright National Conference in Atlanta, welcomed all the attendees.

“International education is what Fulbright is all about,” Mares-Awe said.

A quick change of plans—pizza had just arrived—allowed all participants to grab some warm slices right before Dr. Wiese’s presentation.

Pizza!

Pizza!

Dr. Wiese, who belongs to the Ojibwe tribe from White Earth, Minnesota, presented a comprehensive panorama of the situation of American Indians in U.S. society in regard to politics, education and culture. She pointed out how the media portray American Indians in society which in turn perpetuates the stereotypes seen in the movies and on television.

Dr. Wiese and three members of the Black Hawk Performance Company

Dr. Wiese and three members of the Black Hawk Performance Company

Dr. Weise made a specific reference to the commonly used term, “Native American”, when refereeing to American Indian.  She says  that “anyone born in this country can be a native American.”  She emphasized that the term American Indians is the accurate terminology in reference to her people. “We need to be recognized as the original people in this country and allowed to be included,” Wiese said.

The audience participated with many questions.

Dr. Wiese describing the American Indian garments.

Dr. Wiese describing the American Indian garments.

The serious tone of the engaging presentation was lightened when Wiese described the attires she and the little dancers Ethan, Eric, Evian Cloud were wearing. “Only American Indians can wear eagle feathers,” she said, because the Eagle is protected species. She explained the designs on the capes, shoes, and other garments that were adorned by delicate embroideries.

The dance performance with Ethan, Eric and Evian Cloud

The dance performance with Ethan, Eric and Evian Cloud

Music and dance followed. What started with Dr. Wiese and the children dancers, continued with the attendees in a circle dance.  This was  another experience that allowed all of us to learn and share a little more about our complex American society.

Participants joined the American Indian dance

Participants joined the American Indian dance

Dancing was an opportunity to share a new experience for Fulbright students

Dancing was an opportunity to share a new experience for Fulbright students

The Chicago Chapter would especially like to thank Dr. Breeda McGrath, who heads the Department of International Psychology at the Chicago School of Psychology for arranging the use of the space for our event, and to Dr. Patricia Pérez.

Photos by Kevin Spitta and Elio Leturia

Enjoy an evening of theater, dance at Instituto Cervantes and support Centro Romero

AlegriaVeramendiOUR FULBRIGHT FRIEND, alumna and supporter Judy Veramendi is presenting her play “Alegrías y Lágrimas” (Happiness and Tears) directed by Ruth Camargo.

WHERE Instituto Cervantes, 31W. Ohio St. Chicago, IL 60654

WHEN Dec. 2, 4, 9, 11 at 7:30 pm. and Dec. 5 at 2:00pm.

COST Students/Seniors $10 | General $15

Enjoy our holiday play and help Centro Romero! Our beloved neighborhood institution that has served Latinos continuously for 34 years, is now threatened with closure due to State of Illinois budget cuts. This is a fundraising event.

Remember your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents who arrived to our city, broke and starving, to find aid in our community and religious organizations.
Enjoy a wonderful evening and support an important cause!

Celebrating National American Indian Heritage Month during 2015 International Education Week

November is National American Indian Heritage Month, thereafter commonly referred to as Native American Heritage Month.

November is National American Indian Heritage Month, thereafter commonly referred to as Native American Heritage Month.

By Elio Leturia—TO CELEBRATE THE 2015 International Education Week, and the National American Indian Heritage Month, the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association, the Institute of International Education (IIE), and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology invite you to a presentation and performance that are both educational and engaging.

Dr. Dorene Wiese

Dr. Dorene Wiese*

The early history of Chicago is richly intertwined with that of its Native American population. The name “Chicago” itself is derived from a Native American word.

Dr. Dorene P. Wiese, Chief Executive Officer of the American Indian Association of Illinois and a renowned expert on Native American culture will provide a lecture with an overview of traditional American Indian knowledge transmission and the status of American Indian education in the past and today.

Also, The Black Hawk Performance Company will showcase a performance that seeks to honor the many tribes who have made Illinois their home for centuries. Black Hawk is one of the most famous American Indian leaders among the Great Lakes tribes.

WHAT “NATIVE AMERICAN PERCEPTIONS AND REALITIES IN THE U.S.” Lecture Presentation and Black Hawk Performance Company Dance Show

WHEN Sunday, November 15, 3-5 p.m.

WHERE The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 325 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654 (Once guests enter the lobby of the building, they will be directed upstairs to the 4th floor.) 

 

WHAT ELSE? Chicago-style pizza, salads and soft drinks!

COST FREE for current visiting Fulbright Students, Scholars, and Teachers. Please RSVP here. The cost is $15 for alumni, each adult family member, and/or guest(s). You may pay in person with cash, credit card, or online using PayPal (+$1 processing fee) after you submit this form.

Please R.S.V.P using the online form by Thursday November 12, 2015.

* Photo by Romy Modin

2015 Fall Welcome event – the biggest yet

Consul General of Japan Hon. Toshiyuki Iwado, Fulbright Association Chicago Chapter President Mary Mares-Awe, and Vice President Dr. Ron Harvey stand next to a display of a traditional Japanese kimono

Consul General of Japan Hon. Toshiyuki Iwado, Fulbright Association Chicago Chapter President Mary Mares-Awe, and Vice President Dr. Ron Harvey stand next to a display of a traditional Japanese kimono.

By Jade Stanley —THE CHICAGO CHAPTER of the Fulbright Association held its Fall Welcome on Friday, October 16. This was the biggest Fall Welcome ever organized by the Chapter, with some 120 attendees representing more than 60 countries.

The event, sponsored by The Fulbright Association-Chicago Chapter and the  Institute of International Education (IIE), was held at the Consulate of Japan on the 10th floor of the Olympia Building on Chicago’s Gold Coast.

Seven students who came from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign especially for this event: Mohammad Omar Hasseeb (Egypt,) Pericles Alejandro Bayas Mora (Ecuador,) Rodrigo Betanzo Dávila (Chile,) now doing his OPT in Chicago, Caro Chantrill (Argentina,) also doing her OPT in Chicago, Waqar Zia (Pakistan,) Juan Diego Núñez (Dominican Republic) and Aleksey Perekipniy (Russia).

Seven students who came from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign especially for this event: Mohammad Omar Hasseeb (Egypt,) Pericles Alejandro Bayas Mora (Ecuador,) Rodrigo Betanzo Dávila (Chile,) now doing his OPT in Chicago, Caro Chantrill (Argentina,) also doing her OPT in Chicago, Waqar Zia (Pakistan,) Juan Diego Núñez (Dominican Republic) and Aleksey Perekipniy (Russia).

Ron Harvey, the Chapter’s Vice President introduced The Consul General of Japan Hon. Toshiyuki Iwado, who welcomed the participants followed by a speech by Mary Mares-Awe, the current Chapter President.

In her welcoming speech, Mary thanked the Consulate General of Japan for providing a wonderful space to host our program. She encouraged those present to “use Fulbright as a platform to strengthen bonds, build friendships and promote peaceful coexistence” among people around the world.

Atendees exchange ideas over a catered meal.

Atendees exchange ideas over a catered meal.

Egyptian Fulbrighters (L-R) Khalid Shaalan, Raghda El-Mogui, and Mohamed Omar enjoyed the iO Theater improv comedy performance.

Egyptian Fulbrighters (L-R) Khalid Shaalan, Raghda El-Mogui, and Mohamed Omar enjoyed the iO Theater improv comedy performance.

During a catered buffet dinner, attendees had an opportunity to mingle and learn about each other, and to affirm friendships, along with academic, and professional connections that will last for years.

The main focus of the Fall Welcome is to provide a friendly forum for newly arrived visiting Fulbrighters and to meet chapter board members, Chicago-area alumni, and to introduce them to a Chicago’s unique cultural aspects. It provides a perfect opportunity for cultural enrichment of both visiting Fulbrighters and association members.

Jill Festermaker a performer from iO Theater leads students in a fun, comedy acting excersice

Jill Fenstermaker a performer from iO Theater leads students in a fun, comedy acting excersice

One of the cultural legacies of Chicago is the rich history its improvised   comedy theater. Attendees at Friday’s event got a unique treat to attend a performance of improvised Shakespeare at the iO Theater.

Fulbrighters (L-R) Shafia Imtiaz, Shehrbano Minallah, and Raghda El-Mogui had fun attending the Shakespeare comedy improv performance at iO Theater.

Fulbrighters (L-R) Shafia Imtiaz, Shehrbano Minallah, and Raghda El-Mogui had fun attending the Shakespeare comedy improv performance at iO Theater.

Prior to leaving for the theater, Ron Harvey along with Tess Borgerding who is a performer at CiC Theater, and Jill Fenstermaker who performs at iO Theater, set the stage by leading participants in a series hilarious comedy acting exercises.

Following the activities at the Japanese Consulate, guests were escorted to the iO Theater as a group using public transportation and were able to view the iO Theater photographs and artifacts reflecting the history of Chicago improv comedy.

The Chicago Board members of the Fulbright Association want to thank everyone for coming out and participating in our Fall Welcome and look forward to all of you joining us for upcoming Fulbright Association events.