ON DECEMBER 7, 2012, OVER 90 people attended the Winter Holidays Reception and the 2012 Dee Sarelas Service Award Ceremony that took place in Columbia College Chicago.
It was a night of camaraderie and enthusiasm.
In this opportunity Fulbright scholars came with their families and had the chance to interact with Fulbright students, Fulbright alumni and several representatives from the Consular Corps.
Nancy Day, chairperson of the Journalism Department at Columbia College Chicago and a Fulbrighter to Russia welcomed the participants. After being introduced by Elio Leturia, president of the Chicago Chapter and an associate professor at Columbia College, Day remembered the significant experience she had during her time abroad and encouraged the foreign students to explore Chicago and enjoy their stay in the Windy City.
Lexy Gore from WorldChicago was among the guests and acknowledged the fact that this gathering had offered the chance to bring students, scholars and alumni together. “This is a great event,” she said.
A Columbia College Chicago Jazz trio entertained the audience with beautiful music celebrating the holidays.
The Dee Sarelas Service Award Ceremony also took place that night. This is the third edition of the award that honors Dee Sarelas.
Dr. Ana Gil García, a professor at Northeastern University was given the award, which was presented by Thomas Ahleman, vice president of the Chicago Chapter and last year’s winner. Gil García shared with the audience her memories of Dee Sarelas, a Fulbrighter to Greece who started the Chicago Chapter years ago. Gil García eloquently explained the efforts of Sarelas in bringing together the Fulbright community in Chicago.
“I am deeply honored to get this award,” Gil García said.
Gil García, who was also a president of the Chicago Chapter during the years 2007 and 2008 had come back from a visiting professorship abroad in Egypt where she continued her efforts with the Book Partnership program, an initiative that donates books to schools and universities around the world, which she started five years ago.
Photos by Ronald Harvey