Author Archives: FulbrightChicago

AFRICA IS NOT A COUNTRY Film Showcase at Columbia College Chicago

WITH THE GOAL to challenge perceptions of African life the AFRICA IS NOT A COUNTRY Film Festival presents 12 films that actively showcase the unique landscape and beauty of Africa. Organized by Kenyan Fulbright student Calisto Ololngojine with the support of the Cinema and Television Arts Department at Columbia College Chicago, this event aims to shape the definition of an engaged and active filmmaker in the 21st Century.

The Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association is proud to participate in this storytelling and inclusive cultural effort that communicates stories that affect and impact the African communities. Admission is free.

All films will be screened at 1104 South Wabash Ave, Theater 310, Columbia College Chicago.

TUESDAY, February 20

6 pm WOZA | Dir. Argentinian duo Pato Martine,12 min. 2017. “Woza” tells the story of an African surfer who has been taken as a lover by the African water spirit Mami Wata. “Woza” – which means “come” in Zulu

6:15 pm LAMB | Dir. Yared Zeleke, 90 min. 2015. When an Ethiopian boy moves in with distant relatives he takes his pet sheep with him but the upcoming holidays spell danger for his beloved friend.

WEDNESDAY, February 21

6 pm AFRONAUTS | Dir. Frances Bodomo’s,14 min. 2014. 16th July 1969: America prepares to launch Apollo 11. Thousands of kilometers away, a ragtag group of Zambian exiles is trying to beat America to the Moon.

6:20 pm KATIKATI | Dir. Mbithi Masya, 75 min. 2016. A young woman with no memory of her life or death, is helped with assimilation to the afterlife by a ghost.

THURSDAY, February 22

6 pm MILKING THE RHINO | 126 min. 2009. The clichés of nature documentaries ignore a key landscape feature: villagers just off-camera, who navigate the dangers and costs of living with wildlife. The Maasai of Kenya and Namibia’s Himba – two of Earth’s oldest cattle cultures – are in the midst of upheaval. After a century of “white man conservation,” which displaced them and fueled resentment towards wildlife, they are vying to share the wildlife-tourism pie. Community-based conservation, which tries to balance the needs of wildlife and people, has been touted as “win-win.’ The reality is more complex. Charting the collision of ancient ways with Western expectations, MILKING THE RHINO tells intimate, hopeful and heartbreaking stories of people facing deep cultural change.

8:10 pm THIS IS NOLLYWOOD | 55 min. 2007. The story of Nigeria’s home grown film industry, which is gaining recognition as a cultural and cinematic phenomenon.

FRIDAY, February 23

6 pm A PLACE FOR MYSELF | Dir. Marie Clémentine DUSABEJAMBO, 21 min. 2016. At a casual elementary school comes a five year old albino girl, Elikia. Due to her skin color her classmates make her realize that her being ‘different’ is more a problem than a special trait. While the neighborhood treats her as a stereotype, her mother encourages her. Together, they fight back and raise their voice to find a place for themselves.

6:30 pm WATU WOTE  | Dir. Katja Benrath, 22 min. 2017. For a decade Kenya has been targeted by terrorist attacks of the Al-Shabaab. An atmosphere of anxiety and mistrust between Muslims and Christians is growing. Until in December 2015, Muslim bus passengers showed that solidarity can prevail.

7 pm PANEL DISCUSSION

  • Dr. Robert HanserdLecturer of History in the Department of Humanities, History and Social Sciences at Columbia College Chicago
  • Floyd Webb —  Floyd Webb’s background includes global work in cinema, photojournalism, publishing, and advertising
  • Stan WestAdjunct professor at Columbia College, former foreign correspondent and owner of Soweto West Press
  • Bridget Botchway-BradleyModerator – Graduate student

8 pm BONESHAKER | Dir. Frances Bodomo’s,13 min. 2013. An African family, lost in America, travels to a Louisiana church to cure its problem child.

8:15 pm SAMEDI CINEMA | Dir. Mamadou Dia, 12 min. 2016. Two children write letters to get enough money to go to the cinema. Saturday is their last chance to see the ending of the movie. The local city theater is closing down.

8:30 pm SAWUBONA  | Dir. Lungelo Kuzwayo,12 min. 2015. When Mbali, a charming and adventurous 7 year-old South African, defies the norm by making a new friend, she sparks a journey of transformation.

SATURDAY, February 24

1 pm FOR AHKEEM | Dir. Jeremy S. Levine and Landon Van Soest Pro.Iyabo Boyd, 90 min. 2017. After a school fight lands 17-year old Daje Shelton in a court-supervised alternative high school, she’s determined to turn things around and make a better future for herself in her rough St. Louis neighborhood. But focusing on school is tough as she loses multiple friends to gun violence, falls in love for the first time, and becomes pregnant with a boy, Ahkeem, just as Ferguson erupts a few miles down the road. Through Daje’s intimate coming-of-age story, For Ahkeem illuminates challenges that many Black teenagers face in America today, and witnesses the strength, resilience, and determination it takes to survive.

More details: https://www.facebook.com/AfricanFilmShowcase/

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Fulbright Winter Wonderland in Chicago—Let’s celebrate!

Winter in Chicago. Photo by Andrew E. Larsen

THE CHICAGO CHAPTER of the Fulbright Association and the Institute of International Education (IIE) invite you, your family, colleagues, and friends to attend the 2018 Winter Reception. Light fare, wine, and soft drinks will be included.

WHEN Friday, January 26th
TIME 6:30-9:00p.m.
WHERE The Knickerbocker Hotel, 163 E. Walton Place, Chicago, IL 60611

After the holidays and in the midst of winter’s fury, we all need an opportunity to get together and enjoy one another’s company. It is in that spirit that the Fulbright Association of Chicago invites you to attend a Winter Reception at the Knickerbocker Hotel — a Chicago classic.

COST The event is FREE for ALL current visiting Fulbright Students, Scholars, and Teachers! The cost is $15 for alumni, each adult family member, and/or guest(s).

To RSVP please fill out this form. RSVP by Wednesday, January 24, 2018

You may pay in person with cash, credit card, or online using PayPal (+$1 processing fee) after you submit this form.

Please note that you are responsible for your own transportation and/or accommodation to and from the event.

Use http://www.transitchicago.com to plan your route!
PARKING Metered Street and valet parking is available.

If you have questions about the event, please email fulbrightchicago@gmail.com.

Get ready against cyber attacks: Free forum

 

THE CHICAGO CHAPTER of the Fulbright Association, in partnership with the College of DuPage and World Chicago, would like to invite you to a Forum focusing on Cyber-security entitled “Shedding Light on the Dark Net: Cyber-security”.

The  panel will comprise experts including Yilmaz Halac, former Managing Deputy Director for the City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), an FBI cyber-crime specialist, Prof. Tony Chen, Prof. Jason Wagner and Prof. DeJang Liu, a Fulbright alumnus.

Participants will discuss current online threats and prevention methods. Panelists also will discuss the threats in the cyberspace environment, and highlight the need for increased security, as well as take up the question of how institutions of higher learning are being impacted by this worldwide epidemic.

WHEN Tuesday, Nov. 14, from 2pm-3:30pm

WHERE Student Services Center, Room 2201, College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137 

(The Main Building on the COD campus)

COST Free

The event is being organized as part of International Education Week and as the First Annual Fulbright Association focused event at College of DuPage.

2017 Fall Welcome with Chicago pizza!

Gino East Pizza in Chicago

THE CHICAGO CHAPTER of the Fulbright Association and the Institute of International Education (IIE)  invite you, your family, colleagues, and friends to attend the 2017 Fall Welcome – Pizza with Friends.

DATE Sunday, October 15th, 2017 

TIME 2pm-5pm

LOCATION The Original Gino’s East of Chicago 

ADDRESS 162 E Superior St. Chicago, IL 60611

 

The Chicago pizza is a staple in the Midwest

This  event will provide an excellent opportunity for cultural and educational enrichment for both visiting Fulbrighters and the Fulbright Association members.

We will meet at one of Chicago’s famous Pizza landmarks for an enjoyable Sunday afternoon to re-connect with old friends, make new acquaintances, exchange Fulbright experiences, and explore the historic Gold Coast neighborhood.

COST FREE for ALL current visiting Fulbright Students, Scholars, and Teachers! $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 PAYPAL form.

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=G8982JW4ARHZL

Please note that you are responsible for your own transportation and/or accommodation to and from the event.

Use www.transitchicago.com to plan your route!

PARKING Metered Street Parking is available.

RSVP by Thursday, October 12th, 2017 by using this form.

If you have questions about the event, please email fulbrightchicago@gmail.com.

We look forward to seeing you at the event!

“Happiness and Tears,” a musical by Fulbrighter Judy Veramendi this May and June

OUR FULBRIGHT COLLEAGUE Judy Veramendi* invites you, your family, colleagues and friends to the Gorilla Tango Theater Production of her musical “Alegrías y lágrimas | Happiness and Tears.” True, heart-filled stories of Latino immigrants and refugees are intertwined with delightful songs and dances from their countries of origin.

Mostly in English, appropriate for 12 and above.

WHEN Sundays, May and June

TIME 6-7 PM

WHERE Gorilla Tango Theater, 1919 N. Milwaukee, Chicago. Street parking available.

COST  $20 at the door, or via gorillatango.com

* There will be a live radio interview with Judy Veramendi on WNUR, 89.3 FM, Monday the 22nd at 8 a.m.

Get ready for the 2017 Spring Farewell with live music!


THE CHICAGO CHAPTER of the Fulbright Association  and the Institute of International Education (IIE) invite you, your family, colleagues, and friends to attend our 2017 Spring Farewell Reception and Music Performance.

WHEN Saturday, April 29, 2017

TIME  6:30-9:30pm

WHERE Alliance Française de Chicago, 810 North Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60610 (Please enter around the corner, at the Chicago Avenue entrance.)

This is the time to offer a fond farewell to the visiting Students and Scholars who will soon be returning to their home countries. The gathering provides an opportunity for Fulbright Association members of the Chicago Chapter to say “thank you” to our guests, and for visiting Fulbrighters and alumni to affirm friendships as well as academic, and professional connections which will last for many years.

In this opportunity we are combining the Spring Farewell Reception with recognition of  International Jazz Day, a UNESCO designated day honoring the tradition and world-wide cultural contribution of jazz music, with a live musical performance.

The program will feature the music of Roy McGrath and his group.

Light fare along with wine and soft drinks will be provided.

COST FREE for current visiting Fulbright Students and Scholars and members of the consular corps. | Guests, family members, Fulbright Association members and Fulbright Alumni is $20 per person.

RSVPs are required by Thursday April 27, 2917!  Please R.S.V.P. and pay by using the online form or click on the link below: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfMd9JSp0wMb6cY2swSQ-PZ17uyAm6G2CvhtRmPNt0rSSjv8A/viewform?usp=sf_link

You may pay via PayPal by clicking HERE or at the event using cash, or check.

 We are not able to take credit card payments at the event.

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

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

QUESTIONS? Please email fulbrightchicago@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you at the event!

Cristina Sisson is the recipient of the 2016 Dee Sarelas Fulbright Service Award

By Teuta PejaSOME 100 GUESTS  gathered on Friday, January 27, 2017 at the elegant auditorium and reception space of the Alliance Française de Chicago, for the  the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association Winter Holiday reception and Dee Sarelas Award ceremony.

Among the attendees were  Fulbright alumni, current visiting Fulbright  scholars, Fulbright students, eight members of the Chapter’s Board of Directors, friends, and family. The event was co-sponsored by the  Institute of International Education (IIE).

Left to right, the organizing Holidays event and Dee Sarelas Committee: Kevin Spitta, Elio Leturia, Marilyn Sussman, 2016 Dee Sarelas awardee Cristina Sisson, Mary Mares-Awe, Teuta Peja, Meredith McNeal and Yasir Al-Ibrahem. Ron Harvey (not pictured) could not be present since he is teaching in Bulgaria.

Guests enjoyed socializing with each other, exchanging Fulbright experiences and intercultural discussions. The attendees represented some 40 countries from around the world.

Fulbright alumni and guests enjoyed a pleasant celebration with great food at the Alliance Française in Chicago.

Delicious appetizers, desserts and drinks were shared by all attendees.

The delicious buffet style food served at the Winter Reception included vegetarian options and complemented the festive atmosphere. A jazz trio of  musicians from Columbia College Chicago provided the entertainment for almost three hours.

A Columbia College Chicago jazz trio offered live music during the event.

A group of visiting Fulbright students commented on the pleasant space and  added that events like this create a wonderful opportunity to mingle, get to know other Fulbrighters and exchange advice about living and studying in Chicago.

The President of the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association, Mary Mares-Awe welcomed guests with a heartwarming speech highlighting the mission of  Fulbright to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States, and citizens of almost every nation on earth —through cultural, scientific, and educational exchange. She also thanked board members for volunteering their time and being dedicated to the Fulbright mission and its ideals.

The special part of the evening was the announcement of the winner of the prestigious biennial Dee Sarelas Fulbright Service Award. The award is given in recognition to a person who has worked diligently over the years to promote and carry out the Fulbright Mission.  This year’s recipient is Ana Cristina Sisson, a long-time, dedicated Chicago Chapter member.

Cristina Sisson delivers her acceptance speech as the 2016 Fulbright Dee Sarelas Service Award recipient.

Ana Cristina Sisson holds a bachelor’s degree as a double major in Spanish and English from Colby College in Maine, and a Master’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. She was with Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program in Uruguay in 2006.

Cristina joined the Fulbright Association and the Chicago Chapter in 2008. Since joining the chapter, she has played a vital role in organizing many cultural and educational activities and events for thousands of Fulbrighters. She has also served in the position of Chapter treasurer until 2016.

In addition to her commitment to her young family and to the Fulbright Chapter, Cristina teaches Spanish at Hinsdale District One-Eighty-One. Prior to that, she taught Spanish at the Ogden International School of Chicago, and the Chase Elementary Magnet Cluster School in Chicago.

“In the spirit of service, Cristina has been an integral part of the board, serving in her portion in a totally volunteer status. Those who chose to do so, do it out or their dedication to the Fulbright mission.  Cristina so richly deserves this award…because she’s done a tremendous job and is truly an inspirational person.”       — Mary Mares-Awe, President, Fulbright Chicago

Fulbrighters from all over the world gathered at the Holidays event.

Traditionally, the previous award recipient presents the award to the new Dee Sarelas recipient, but this year it was different. The 2014 Dee Sarelas awardee, Ron Harvey, the Vice President of the Fulbright Chicago Chapter, was not present at the event because he is on a Fulbright research and teaching fellowship to Bulgaria.

The Holiday event and Dee Sarelas Award Ceremony was very-well attended. It has become the main Fulbright Chicago event of the year.

Current Fulbright students attending Columbia College Chicago. From left to right, Cyril Bassil (Lebanon,) Calisto Lemashon (Kenya,) Shreya Singh (India) and Melissa M. Jiménez (Trinidad and Tobago.)

But although Ron could not be present in person, he recorded a short video speech that was played at the ceremony.  In his speech, Ron emphasizing Cristina’s friendliness, her engagement with the Fulbright Chicago Chapter, and her enthusiasm to promoting the values of the intercultural exchange through educational activities.

“Cristina is great at bringing the people together; she would invite visiting Fulbright over for dinners with her family as well as other Fulbrighters and expose our way of doing things with the visiting Fulbrighters. Cristina has the belief that you do not have to be official to have an impact in people. I can’t think of a better person to receive the Dee Sarelas service award”Ron Harvey, Vice President, Fulbright Chicago

Fulbright Chicago president Mary Mares Awe talking to the Fulbright students, scholars and alumni.

Upon the acceptance of the award, Cristina remembered her Fulbright year in Uruguay working with the public-school teachers and her work with the Chicago Chapter board upon her return to the US.  In her inspirational speech, Cristina spoke of Fulbrighers sharing the will and excitement of working toward making a difference in the community.

2010 Dee Sarelas recipient and Fulbright Chicago board member Dr. Marilyn Susman and Fulbright student Teuta Peja welcomed the attendees.

She encouraged people to join the board and participate in Fulbright-focused activities.  She urged everyone to get involved in activities even though they may be out of their scope of work.  She also advised people not to let the fear of not knowing what the job entails, to get in the way of participating… “When there is a need, take a risk.” She said in referencing her own resolve to take up the position of treasurer, when there was a need for someone to step into the role.

Cristina wrapped up her speech by emphasizing the Fulbright mission and legacy.

“I wanted to leave you all with Senator Fulbright’s words, to inspire us to visit local schools, ask a professor to visit their child’s school and talk about the Fulbright program, the mission and your home country or where you traveled.  Don’t let the fear of being overwhelmed get in the way…”

Fulbrighters using social media and sharing photos.

After hearing the speeches, Manithda a visiting Fulbright student from Laos, said “The award ceremony made people get to know and appreciate people behind the scene more. I didn’t know who were the people behind the scene who did the good for people in the front until that award ceremony. This encourages me to want to help and voluntarily work with the Fulbright  organizing group.”

Baris Mesci, a Visiting Student Researcher from Turkey and his wife Tutku Mizrak Mesci.

The guests congratulated Cristina on her award and praised the organizers —the members of the board—  for putting up such an amazing event.

—Photos by Kevin Spitta and Elio Leturia