By Mary Mares-Awe—MORE THAN 80 GUESTS attended the annual, end-of-the-year, Winter Holiday reception sponsored by the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association and the Institute of International Education (IIE).
The event took place on Friday, December 12th at Columbia College, downtown Chicago. Among those in attendance were Fulbright Association members, board members, friends of Fulbright, alumni, Fulbright scholars from more than 35 countries, as well as consular representatives including the Consul General of France, Vincent Floreani, Consul of Turkey, Ilker Pak, and the Consul of Costa Rica, Javier Rojas.
Guests enjoyed several types of wine as well as non-alcoholic beverages and a variety of foods including Vietnamese Spring Rolls, South of the Border specialties, cheeses and charcuterie, salads, and wonderful deserts with beautifully decorated Christmas cookies.
A trio made up of Columbia College Chicago music students certainly did justice to the great American music genre—jazz, adding a festive atmosphere to the event and entertaining guests throughout the evening.
RON HARVEY GETS THE 2014 DEE SARELAS SERVICE AWARD
The annual celebrations present a great opportunity to see old friends and make new connections within our Fulbright community. It’s also a time when the Chapter presents the prestigious Dee Sarelas Service Award.
This year Dr. Ron Harvey, a psychology researcher at DePaul University and current president of the Chicago Chapter, was the recipient of the award. The other nominees were Cristina Sisson (Argentina 2007,) treasurer of the Chapter, and Don Garner (European Union 2001,) Consular Corps Liaison and past-president 2006.
The service award was created to honor the memory of one of the founding members of the Fulbright Association’s Chicago Chapter—Dee Sarelas. Dee is remembered for her unique ability for bringing people across cultures together. In addition to her many contributions, Dee also worked for the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army Training College, and as a liaison at White House conferences.
“It’s a real honor to be in the company of such high caliber people who have won the award previously,” said Ron after receiving the award. Some of the past recipients are Marilyn Susman, Thomas Ahleman, Ana Gil-García and Elio Leturia.
“It’s great that we can do our part to fulfill the Fulbright mission here in Chicago. The honor is a great accomplishment of that. It’s a reminder that you can fulfill the Fulbright mission no matter where you are”, he added.
Ron, who did his Fulbright in Bulgaria in 2009-2010, will be leaving for Bulgaria again next year to work on a pioneering project in the field of community psychology. He, no doubt, and true to form, will continue to work in the Fulbright spirit— making the world a better place.
Photos by Mary Mares-Awe, Jenni Schneiderman, Ron Harvey, Elio Leturia