By Elio Leturia—ON FRIDAY JANUARY 24, 2019 Columbia College Chicago hosted this year’s Fulbright Chicago Winter Wonderland Reception at its Cinema and Television Arts building in the South Loop.
Among the attendees were Fulbright alumni, current visiting Fulbright students and scholars, members of the Chicago Chapter’s Board of Directors, members of the Consular Corps, friends, and family. The annual event was co-sponsored by the Institute of International Education (IIE).
Sixty-eight participants representing 22 countries got together to celebrate last year’s accomplishments and strengthen the Fulbright mission. For Fulbright students and scholars, it was a great opportunity to recharge for the start of a new semester.
Besides the buffet style food served at the Winter Reception that included vegetarian options and complemented the festive atmosphere, vocalist Tina Jenkins Crawley performed with pianist Amr Fahmy. TJ Crawley interpreted an array of pop songs with a jazz feel.
A Fulbrighter to Malaysia (1997,) Cyprus (2003) and Indonesia (2013,) Dr. Marilyn Susman, a long time member of the Chicago Chapter, welcomed the guests and shared a condensed story of our Chicago Chapter, one of the largest in the country. She introduced past president Meredith McNeil, a 2002 Fulbrighter to Turkey who directed our chapter during the past two years. McNeil announced our new president, Dr. Edel Marie Jose who did her Fulbright in The Philippines in 2004.
Dr. Jose, a medical doctor, shared how she got involved with our local chapter and thanked all board members present: Teuta Peja (USA, 2015,) Suzanne McBride (Ireland, 2012) and Adam Fuss (Russia, 2001.) She also invited all attendees to ask questions and to let her know what our chapter could do to serve our members better.
But the highlight of the night was the exciting and contagious music by Tina Jenkins Crawley. Yver Melchor, a Fulbright student from Mexico said: “The winter event is always a good opportunity meet charismatic and smart Fulbrighters. It’s also a learning experience about global affairs and the state of all field research in Chicago. I really enjoyed this year’s performance, the singer was amazing,” and Indonesian Fulbrighter Hendriana Werdhaningsih, added: “[I] love having Tina Jenkins Crawley at the Fulbright Chicago Winter Reception! The event was very pleasant and valuable for me. Meeting and talking with other Fulbrighters made me realized even more that we are the knots of intercultural relationships, which is significant in building trust and understanding.”
Photos Courtesy Gonzalo Varela and Edel Marie Jose