Norma Fay Green is the Recipient of the 2018 Dee Sarelas Service Award

The moment when Dr. Norma Green is announced as the 2018 Dee Sarelas Service Award recipient.

THE FRIGID TEMPERATURES of past Friday, January 25, did not prevent over 110 attendees from participating in the 2019 Fulbright Chicago Winter Wonderland Reception at the Alliance Française in Chicago.

The celebration hosted Fulbright students, scholars and alumni, members of the Consular Corps and guests representing 52 countries from around the world. This annual signature event took place in conjunction with the Dee Sarelas Service Award Ceremony.

On this occasion, Dr. Norma Fay Green was the award recipient.

Cristina Sisson, previous Dee Sarelas Service Award winner announces the 2018 recipient.

Meredith McNeil, Fulbright Chicago Chapter president requested the guests to pause the winter soireée and introduced Cristina Sisson, our previous Dee Sarelas awardee. Sisson, a past Chicago Chapter board member, presented the award to Dr. Green, highlighting the many ways she has contributed to our local association over the years, and called her a world-traveler. “When I say the world, I don’t mean two countries in Europe, but the world,” Sisson said to the amusement of the attendees.

Dr. Norma Green shares her Fulbright message with the audience. Green did her first Fulbright in Denmark.

Dr. Green is a Columbia College Chicago Emerita Professor. She taught journalism at that institution for 29 years until her retirement in 2017. She received a Fulbright grant in 2000 as a visiting professor in Denmark and a 2011 Fulbright-Hays grant to Morocco and Tunisia.

Upon her return from Denmark, Dr. Green set about to internationalize the Columbia College Chicago Journalism Department curriculum. She actively mentored graduate students, especially international students, who expressed interest in teaching. Over the years she modeled classroom management techniques for teaching assistants from Nigeria, Italy, Brazil and Canada and gave them a platform to lead discussions on topics of their own choosing relating to their homelands. She continued to infuse a global perspective in all 23 different courses she eventually taught and also created by regular study trips to Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

Dr Green and Michele, a Fulbrighter from Costa Rica exchange stories.

She volunteered to be on the board of the Chicago Fulbright chapter and served from 2002-2004. She was admitted to the Fulbright Senior Specialists Roster in 2003 becoming a regular participant to the Fulbright Chicago events and activities over the years.

A jazz duo provided the music to our annual event.

After getting trained in Washington, D.C. as a Fulbright Campus Representative in Fall 2002, Dr. Green created and conducted the Columbia College Chicago Annual Fulbright workshop for faculty and administrators, until her retirement.

In 2013 Columbia College was officially recognized as a “Fulbright Program Top Producing Institution,” by the Institute of International Education, all due to her relentless work and guidance.

Past Fulbright Chicago Chapter president Don Garner talks to Dr. Marilyn Susman (2010 Dee Sarelas Award recipient) and her husband Gary Auerbach.

The Dee Sarelas Fulbright Service Award, established in 2009, is named after a founder of the Fulbright Association Chicago Chapter: Aphrodite (“Dee”) Edith Floros Sarelas, an early Fulbrighter to Greece. This award acknowledges the person or institution that demonstrates its vocation of service to the Fulbright ideals and recognizes ‘‘the significant impact on the development of internationalism for the Fulbright Association and the Chicagoland community.”

Fulbrighters and guests enjoy the food, music and inviting atmosphere.

Past Dee Sarelas Service Award recipients include Loyola University Professor Emerita and psychotherapist Dr. Marilyn Susman; Architect and Studio Talo Principal Thomas Ahleman; Northeastern Illinois University Professor and Educational Leadership Advocate Dr. Ana Gil-García; Columbia College Chicago professor and multimedia journalist Elio Leturia; American University in Bulgaria Psychology Researcher Dr. Ron Harvey; and Chicago Public Schools Spanish Teacher Cristina Sisson.

Student Representative board member Teuta Peja welcomes Fulbrighters and guests to the annual event at the Alliance Francaise.

Participants from 52 countries enjoy a night of Fulbright camaraderie.

Chicago Chapter Board member Dr. Kari Burnett plays barwoman at the Winter Reception.

Argentine Deputy Consul Marcelo Boffi talks to Honduran Fulbright scholar Joan Miguel López.

The Winter Reception provides another opportunity to meet Fulbrighters from all over the world.

Previous Dee Sarelas Awardee Cristina Sisson was a Chicago Chapter board member for eight years.

The Winter Reception, scheduled until 8:30 pm got extended for an additional hour.

Board Member Dr. Richard Hallett and Chicago Chapter President Meredith McNeil

Dr. Norma Green poses with her Dee Sarelas Service Award.

The fun continued with an after party at Moe’s Cantina in River North …

… with dance included!

Photos by Elio Leturia

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Fulbright UIUC presentation on Egypt at Franklin STEAM Academy in Champaign, Illinois

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS at Urbana-Champaign Fulbright students Abel Vera Iglesias and Amira Elsherbiny present this Monday January 28, 11 am– 1:15 pm, “This is Egypt: where it all begins.”

The event will take place at Franklin Middle School, located at 817 N. Harris Ave, Champaign, Illinois 61820.

After traveling through Asia (Indonesia) and South America (Brazil and Peru,) Vera Iglesias and Elsherbiny take their outreach activities to the African country of Egypt.

Through a partnership with Franklin STEAM Academy Middle School in Champaign, students will witness the formation and development of the Egyptian culture from 3400 B.C. to nowadays. This presentation will showcase interesting aspects of the Egyptian heritage, its cuisine, religion and traditions that make Egypt one of the most interesting countries and tourism magnets in the entire world.

Our Egyptian Fulbrighters and international friends will be leading this presentation aimed to enrich the international cultural perspective of all participants, among them the students at Franklin Middle School.

Last chance to RSVP for the Fulbright Winter Reception and the 2018 Dee Sarelas Service Award Ceremony!

THE CHICAGO CHAPTER of the Fulbright Association and the Institute of International Education (IIE) invite you, your family, colleagues, and friends to attend the 2019 Winter Wonderland Reception. Reconnect in the New Year with fellow Fulbrights and alumni!

We will also present the recipient of the 2018 Dee Sarelas* Fulbright Service Award.

Light fare and wine/beer will be provided. Live jazz music as well!

DATE Friday, January 25th, 2019
TIME 6:30pm – 8:30pm
LOCATION Alliance Française de Chicago, 810 North Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60610

RSVPs are required by Tuesday, January 22nd (last chance!) using this form.

COST This event is FREE for current visiting Fulbright Students and Scholars and members of the consular corps.
$15 per person for guests, family members, Fulbright Association members and Fulbright Alumni.

After submitting this form, please make your payment via Paypal (click here) or at the event using cash, or check. We are unable to take credit card payments at the event.

STREET PARKING is available, as well as a parking garage at 671 N. Clark Street, Chicago.

If you will be using public transportation, you can plan your trip with the CTA Trip Planner: www.transitchicago.com

If you have questions about the event, please email fulbrightchicago@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing you at the event!

*Aphrodite Floros Sarelas, an early Fulbrighter to Greece. A Chicagoan dedicated to interacting with and nurturing Fulbrighters in the Chicagoland community, Dee was a person remembered for her wit, empathy, and vivacity in bringing people across cultures together. Her educational background and professional experiences in the field of Social Work prepared her well for contributions to our chapter and beyond—as an administrator for the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army Training College, as a liaison at White House conferences, as a special consultant to Voice of America, and as editor of Social Welfare in Underdeveloped Countries (United Nations publication). For the foregoing reasons, the Dee Sarelas Fulbright Service Award was established in 2010 to honor her memory.

*Please note that photos and video will be taken at the event.

Fulbright Chicago participated at the 2018 Annual Fulbright Association Conference in Puebla

The 41st Fulbright Annual Association took place in Puebla, Mexico.

FULBRIGHT CHICAGO WAS present at the 41st Annual Conference of the Fulbright Association that took place in Puebla, Mexico, Nov. 1 – 3, 2018. The yearly meeting coincided with the Day of the Dead, which offered participants a unique cultural experience.

Under the name of “One World, Many Voices,” this was the first conference held internationally since it took place in London in 2012.

In an effort to strengthen ties with the neighboring country and celebrating the great cultural wealth of Mexico and our Fulbright global diversity,  this annual event was sponsored by the Fulbright-García Robles Mexican Fulbright Commission, COMEXUS. The several panels, round tables, presentations, poster sessions and closing plenary took place at the William O. Jenkins Convention Center in the heart of the city.

The opening reception at the Baroque Museum include a visit to the different exhibits.

The Baroque Museum

The conference started with an opening reception at the International Baroque Museum, an extraordinary building designed by the Japanese architect Toyo Ito, the Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate in 2013. There, participants had the opportunity to see an unparalleled collection of baroque art.

The Fulbright Program Advisors Workshop at the Universidad Autónoma de Puebla.

The day prior to the opening , two special trainings were held at the Popular Autonomous University of the State of Puebla: a Chapter Management workshop aimed to directors of the 52 U.S. chapters, and a Fulbright Program Advisers Workshop where several Fulbright commission directors from countries such as Canada, Poland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Mexico, among others, offered presentations about their own international award programs.

Dr. Ana Gil-García

From our Chicago Chapter Dr. Ana Gil-García, Northeastern Illinois University Professor and five-time Fulbright Award recipient, participated as a panelist in the “Diversity & Inclusion: The Social Dimension of Change” program.

Gil-García  also presented in the “Taking Action to Preserve Democracy and Promote Peace” round table.

Columbia College Chicago Associate Professor Elio Leturia

From Columbia College Chicago, Journalism Associate Professor Elio Leturia was invited to offer a Ted-Ex Fulbright style talk, “Cross Borders and Culture” along with six other presenters from the Netherlands, Norway, Georgia Institute of Technology, Ithaca College and University of Denver, among others.

Dr. Ana Gil-García, Elio Leturia, Dr. Dolores Rinke and Dr. Manfred Phillip, President of the Board of Directors of the Fulbright Association.

Also present from the Chicago Chapter was Dr. Dolores Rinke, Purdue University Emerita Professor and current Treasurer of the Fulbright National Board of Directors.

Fulbrighters having a good time during the closing reception.

The Awards Gala was held at the San Pedro Art Museum in which Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann was recognized with the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award for her work fostering positive relations between Mexico and the United States. The closing of the conference was animated by a mariachi band where all the participants shared stories and exchanged experiences in the most important annual meeting of the Association.

The 2019 conference will take place October 24-26 in Washington, DC.

A typical scene for “Día de los Muertos”

A tour to the Cathedral in the main plaza of Puebla

A tour to the Palafoxiana Library in downtown Puebla

A beautiful night in Puebla during the 2018 Annual Fulbright Conference

The Ballet Folklórico during the opening plenary in Puebla.

All the participants pose for a photo right before the closing reception.

Photos by Elio Leturia and Fulbright Association

Pak-India Film Festival at Columbia College—Free admission!


PAKIndia FILM SERIES is a showcase of films that represent stories, themes and talent from Pakistan and India with the goal of promoting the culture and perspective of life from the two countries. The festival aims to explore the unifying traditions and culture separated by a border and to widen the view of the two countries.

In celebration of International Education Week, the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association invites Fulbright alumni, Fulbright scholars and students, your family and friends to attend this festival, organized by the Grad Film Series of the Cinema and Television Arts Department of Columbia College Chicago.

The series presents 11 films that showcase the unifying traditions and culture separated by a border. The festival runs over a period of five days from November 13th, 2018 to November 17th, 2018; featuring an exclusive Documentary Day, and a Short Day.

All films are presented at Theater 310, 1104 South Wabash Ave., third floor, Columbia College Chicago.

P r o g r a m   S c h e d u l e

Tuesday, November 13

6:00 – Lipstick Under My Burkha

Dir. Alankrita Shrivastava, 117 minutes, 2016. In order to be independent and break free from the conservative society, four women sets on a journey to discover freedom and happiness.

Wednesday, November 14th

Shorts Program

7 PM – Arz-e-Pakistan

Dir. Ali Sohail, 4 minutes, 2017. A crew of eight travel more than 6000 km to explore the scenic beauty and raw nature  of the northern tourist and hiking attractions of Pakistan.

7:05 PM – Waahi

Dir. Arsalan Majid, 5 minutes, 2018. The film recounts a story of a female farmer Iqbal Mai, and her journey marked by struggle and resilience.

7:10 PM – The School Bag

Dir. Dheeraj Jindal, 15 minutes. 2016. In a small town of Peshawar, Pakistan, Farooq has a simple demand of a new school bag on his seventh birthday. But his mother, in spite of her love and affection seems to be unfazed by her child’s plea. Unknown to Farooq, there is something waiting for him on his birthday.

7:25 PM – Leeches

Dir. Payal Sethi, 27 minutes, 2016. In the Old City of Hyderabad, Raisa hatches a dangerous plan to save her younger sister from becoming a one-day bride when she finds an archaic remedy that could restore a girl’s virginity.

7:55 PM – Bus Ek Piyali Chai (Just a Cup of Tea)

Dir. Belaal Imran, 15 minutes, 2018. A narrative journey of Ghulam Raees who takes us back in time when he used to work at the tea store of Ahmedeen. The film shows a strong bond that tea can create between two individuals.

8:10 PM – Natural Selection

Dir. Akanksha Chawla, 7 minutes, 2018. Natural Selection follows a young Indian woman who moves to America to follow her dreams of becoming a comedian and has experiences along the way she hasn’t quite bargained for.

Thursday, November 15

5:00 PM – Margarita, with a Straw

Dir. Shonali Bose, 100 minutes, 2016. A rebellious young woman with cerebral palsy leaves her home in India to study in New York, unexpectedly falls in love, and embarks on an exhilarating journey of self-discovery.

Friday, November 16

11:00 AM – India’s Daughter

Dir. Leslee Udwin, 63 minutes. 2015. India’s Daughter examines the society and values of India after a 23-year-old medical student is raped and murdered on a bus.

12:10 PM – A Girl in the River

Dir. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, 40 minutes. 2015. A woman in Pakistan sentenced to death for falling in love becomes a rare survivor of the country’s harsh judicial system.

Saturday, November 17

1:00 PM – Lagaan

Dir. Ashutosh Gowariker, 225 minutes, 2001. The people of a small village in Victorian India stake their future on a game of cricket against their ruthless British rulers.

Welcome to Chicago, Fulbrighters!

Welcome to Chicago, the Windy City.

ON A SLIGHTLY overcast but fortunately rainless autumn day, the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association welcomed Fulbrighters from all over the world. The first event of the academic year was an architectural tour on the Chicago River that gave us the opportunity to present the beauty of the city of Chicago to the newcomers, and share it with the local Fulbright alumni.

Sixty eight people participated in the 2018 Fall Welcome.

“Sixty eight Fulbrighters, between members of the association and Fulbright students and scholars have come to participate in this event today,” said Meredith McNeil, president of the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association. Students and scholars not only from Chicago universities but also from from Champaign-Urbana, Normal-Bloomington and Dekalb participated in the event.

At the base of the Wrigley Building, where the tour started.

The Wendella Tours boat left its wharf at the base of the Wrigley Building and sailed the Chicago River bypassing the south branch to reach the Willis Tower (ex-Sears Tower, the second tallest building in the United States.) There it turned around and came back to cross under Michigan Avenue and continued until entering Lake Michigan, from where we all could appreciate the skyline of this wonderful city.

Fulbright students and scholars enjoying the tour.

Among the buildings that stood out in this tour are the Marina City, built in 1964, the Merchandise Mart— that in 1930 became was the largest building in the (372,000 m2) and had its own postal code—the IBM building, the Civic Opera House, the NBC Tower, the Carbide and Carbon Building with its gold leaf top, the 333 West Wacker Drive building and its dramatic curved, green glass façade to the most modern Lake Point Tower and Aqua buildings, to cite just a few.

The Trump Tower, the second tallest building in Chicago.

At the end of the tour, the group moved to the Howell’s & Hood Restaurant, in the Tribune Tower building, another architectural wonder, where the scholars, students and members of the association shared a lunch and moments of friendship and camaraderie.

The entire group!

Fulbright students and scholars enjoying a good time at the lake.

Lifetime Fulbright Association member Jane Florine, an ethnomusicologist who did her Fulbright in Argentina.

Scholars and their families participated in our Fall Welcome.

Past recipients of the Fulbright Dee Sarelas Service Award Marilyn Susman (2010) and Ana Gil-García (2012).

The view from Lake Michigan.

Judy and Serafín Veramendi, and our boat tour guide.

Fulbright Chicago past presidents Elio Leturia (2011-12), Ana Gil-García (2008) and Don Garner (2007).

The city views from Lake Michigan are spectacular.

In this Fulbright group, Spanish was the language of choice.

At the patio of Howell’s & Hood Restaurant.

Three current Fulbright scholars. At the center, Teuta Peja from Kosovo.

Poland, Kosovo, Mexico and Peru are represented in this Fulbright group.

The food line is always a good place to get to know each other!

Another Fulbright group (all Argentines, and one Mexican) having a good time.

Chicago-based Fulbright students welcome newly arrived Fulbrighters

Current Fulbrighters welcoming newly-arrived Fulbright students at the Bulldog Ale House in Rogers Park in the north part of Chicago.

ON SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 8, 2018, current Fulbright students  Joan Miguel López from Honduras, Serene Ismail from Pakistan, Nasrullah Hussaini from  Afghanistan, Yver Melchor from Mexico, Aldo Álvarez from Paraguay, Hasina Ehsan from Aghanistan and Juan Manuel Cánovas from Argentina organized an informal gathering at the Bulldog Ale House in Rogers Park to welcome recently arrived Fulbrighters from Colombia, Palestine, Indonesia, Kosovo, Poland, Bosnia, El Salvador, Malaysia, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Earlier that day Serene Ismail, Fulbright student representative to the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association, attended the board meeting to participate in the 2018-2019 events and activities planning for the year ahead.

Chapter’s president Meredith McNeil said that our upcoming Fall Welcome Architecture Boat Tour will be a great way to show our new Fulbrighters the beautiful city of Chicago.

To register for the Fall Welcome please visit our site, fulbrightchicago.com or click here.