Category Archives: Fulbright

A Cinco de Mayo Fulbright Spring Farewell with a cooking demonstration and Latin American music

A VIRTUAL FAREWELL presents its challenges but here at Fulbright Chicago we are inventive and resourceful. 

We decided to say adiós to our graduating Fulbright Scholars and Students with a Mexican food cooking demonstration and a mini concert of Latin American music, celebrating Cinco de Mayo and the Mexican communities in Chicago. 

Communications Director Elio Leturia welcomed our members and guests giving us an historical background on the celebration, many times referred as the Mexican independence—which it is not, but rather the Battle of Puebla when the Mexican army defeated the French on May 5, 1872. Board member Dr. Ana Gil-García introduced our first guest, Nydia Castillo, producer and host of the YouTube show “Cocina Castillo.” 

Nydia Castillo showing the flautas she prepared during the demonstration.

Castillo had prepared a delicious menu that included a Paloma cocktail (she decided to try something new—not the expected Margarita) and showed us the differences among tacos, flautas, tortas and sopes. The colors and the presentation of these dishes were mouthwatering. This demonstration was intermingled with music performed by singer Ana Santos and guitarist Dean Karabatsos. 

Dean Karabatsos on the guitar and Ana Santos on vocals performed four Latin American songs.

The duo performed three songs: Contigo aprendí (I Learned with You,) bolero by Armando Manzanero, La Llorona (The Weeping Woman,) a traditional Mexican folk song, and Piel canela (Cinnamon Skin) bolero cha cha by Bobby Capó. 

Fulbright Chicago Chapter President Dr. Edel Jose, who was on a work-related trip to Seattle, connected from the West Coast to welcome all participants, encouraging the departing Fulbrighters to share the Fulbright ideals of international education in their countries of origin. This message was expanded by board member Dr. Marilyn Susman, also a founding member of our Fulbright Chicago chapter, who discussed the role that Fulbrighters play in promoting our mission.   

The event continued with the presentation of the names of all the Fulbrighters who were leaving the Chicago area after having completed their programs in the United States. Dr. Tatiana Orlova, a board member of our chapter, had prepared a Power Point to highlight them. 

The event closed with attendees’ participation and to end our event with music and rhythm, Ana Santos and Dean Karabatsos had one more song prepared for us: Contigo a la distancia, (With You All the Way,) bolero by César Portillo de la Luz. 

What a joyous way to celebrate a Fulbright experience! 

2021 Spring Farewell: Celebrating food, music, culture and Fulbrighters!

THE FULBRIGHT CHICAGO CHAPTER would like to invite you, your friends and family to a night of celebration of the graduating Fulbright students and scholars! Join us for the farewell of our international fellow Fulbrighters with an evening of wonderful music and food with Mexican flavor.

Cooking and drinks demonstration by Cocina Castillo: YouTube host Nydia Castillo will be sharing how to make the “Paloma” cocktail along with an informatively delicious evening teaching the difference among tacos, flautas, tortas, and sopes.

Live music by singer Ana Santos and guitarist Dean Karabatsos: The duo will perform three Mexican folk and modern songs throughout the evening. What a delight!

WHEN May 4, 2021

TIME 7:30-8:30pm Central Time

Zoom LINK
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82428035109?pwd=c0VvOTNhUzB0Nm01a3g3K1ZtdlZKdz09

Meeting ID: 824 2803 5109
Passcode: 422844
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Meeting ID: 824 2803 5109
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Chicago Winter Wonderland with 2020 Dee Sarelas Service Award recipients and Fulbright Program updates

Our 2021 Winter Wonderland and 2020 Dee Sarelas Service Award Ceremony went virtual this year.

By Suzanne McBrideDOZENS OF FULBRIGHTERS gathered virtually Jan. 28 to honor the 2020 Dee Sarelas Service Award recipients that included a past chapter president and a local group the Chicago chapter has partnered with over the years, and they got an update on the Fulbright program from the association’s national leader.

Fulbright Association Executive Director John Bader

Executive Director John Bader, joining the meeting from his home in suburban Washington, D.C., said the hope is the program, suspended in spring 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, will “return to normal” in fall 2021 in the Northern Hemisphere, with the Southern Hemisphere restarting in early 2022.

Despite the program’s suspension, Congress continues to appropriate money for it – something Bader called “quite extraordinary.” He encouraged all members to join the association in advocating for the program, noting “it’s very important for us to continue to raise our voices.”

With COVID-19 restrictions still in place, the Fulbright Association won’t be holding in-person advocacy days on Capitol Hill this spring as it normally does but will be asking members to participate in a digital advocacy campaign.

To mark the program’s 75th anniversary, the association is asking Fulbrighters to share their experiences. “We want to capture the full range of stories,” Bader said.

He also urged members to help promote global understanding with elementary and secondary students through the “Fulbright in the Classroom” program.

There’s no set curriculum, but the association has put together this toolkit. Members are encouraged to share their experiences as a Fulbrighter, including talking about the culture, food and music of the country in which they lived. Make sure after the visit – which are being held virtually – to complete this from and submit photos to the association.

Bader said when chapter grants resume, there will be a strong emphasis on interacting with underrepresented communities.

AND OUR 2020 DEE SARELAS SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENTS ARE …

Monica Swope, the Chicago chapter’s first African American president, received the 2020 Dee Sarelas Service Award.

2018 Dee Sarelas Service Award winner Dr. Norma Green presents the 2020 award to Monica Swope.

The award was established in 2010 and is named for the founder of the Chicago chapter who died in 2007 at the age of 90; Dee Sarelas was a Fulbrighter in Greece. Swope, who had Fulbrights in Germany and Japan and is the founder of Learning Dimensions, is the eighth recipient.

For the first time, the Chicago chapter also honored an organization: World Chicago. President Peggy Parfenoff received the award on the group’s behalf.

Dr. Marilyn Susman, first Dee Sarelas Award winner in 2010 presents the 2020 award to World Chicago. This is the first year that the Dee Sarelas Service Award goes to an organization as well.

WorldChicago President Peggy Parfenoff accepts the recognition on behalf of the organization.

A CAPPELLA MUSIC AND RAFFLE PRIZES

Attendees were entertained with the music of Chicago a Cappella, who performed three themes. Also 10 lucky winners shared in more than $300 in prizes awarded through a raffle.

Chicago Chapter board member Tatiana Orlova announces the first raffle winners.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS:

  • Cupitol $25 gift card: Linda Jacobson
  • Amazon $50 gift card: Monica Swope
  • Cupitol $25 gift card: Ann Logue
  • Best Buy $50 gift card: Joan Miller
  • Cupitol $25 gift card: Lesby Velásquez
  • Starbucks $50 gift card: Jamie Truax
  • Cupitol $25 gift card: Erick Bertín Ortega Polito
  • Amazon $50 gift card: Ivan Adames
  • Fulbright gift basket: Peggy Parfenoff
  • Fulbright gift basket: Michael Schlesinger

Board member and Treasurer Adam Fuss announces the remaining winners of the raffle.

This was another opportunity to strengthen the Fulbright mission in our Chicago community.

Winter Holidays Virtual Reception and 2020 Dee Sarelas Service Award Ceremony. RSVP now!

This holiday event is sponsored by Chicago a Cappella, and Cupitol Coffee.

THE CHICAGO CHAPTER of the Fulbright Association invites you, your family, colleagues and friends to attend our Virtual Winter Reception and the 2020 Dee Sarelas Fulbright Service Award Ceremony.

The Dee Sarelas Service Award was established in 2009 to honor the memory of Aphrodite “Dee” Floros Sarelas*, a Fulbrighter who established the foundations of the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association and dedicated her time to promote internationalism. This award recognizes the efforts of a local person and organization that follow Dee’s example for service.

This event will present a wonderful opportunity to virtually mingle with fellow Fulbrighters and make new connections, while enjoying a night of entertainment with a Chicago a Cappella virtual concert and a raffle filled with great prizes! We look forward to seeing you there!


WHEN Thursday January 28, 2021
TIME 7:30 – 8:30 pm (Central time)
WHERE Zoom link

RSVPs are required.
Please R.S.V.P. using this online form.

RAFFLE We are raffling off prizes, among them five $50 gift cards (Amazon, Best Buy, Starbucks) and four $25 Cupitol gift cards. To buy raffle tickets ($10 = 1 ticket, $15 = 2 tickets, $20 = 3 tickets,) click HERE.


ZOOM INVITATION Join Zoom Meeting on Jan 28, 2021 07:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84458947752?pwd=ZW1sOG5Gb0FlWkdmVExZYzhESVJ4QT09

Meeting ID: 844 5894 7752
Passcode: 357672
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Meeting ID: 844 5894 7752
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*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 has been established in her memory.

Chicago a Cappella is pleased to extend a 20% discount on all virtual subscriptions. Visit chicagoacapella.org and use the discount code FULBRIGHT at checkout.

Go to www.fulbrightchicago.com for Event announcements, news on area Fulbrighters, and ways for you to become involved in the Chicago Fulbright Community!

 

The human chain for Beirut. We all can help

FULBRIGHT CHICAGO WOULD LIKE to extend our heartfelt condolences to everyone affected by the tragedy in Beirut. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Fulbright alumni, students, their families and friends, and the people of Lebanon.

Cyril Bassil, a Fulbright grantee (2015-2017) who pursued an MFA in Cinema Directing at Columbia College Chicago has reached out to us. “I’m currently writing to you with my bruised hands, bruised from the explosion that occurred in Beirut four days ago. I was at my office in Beirut Digital District when the explosion occurred and was catapulted a few meters further into the office. This being said, now is time to hold hands and help Beirut rise again and hopefully walk towards a new day and a new system for the country.”

Bassil, along with others have started working on the ground, cleaning houses, searching for suppliers, distributing Covid-19 preventive supplies, helping families reconnect with relatives. They have set up the Human Chain for Beirut, a GoFundMe to fundraise money and contribute to the rebuilding of the city.

Our local Fulbright Association chapter is also here for our fellow Fulbrighters of Lebanon in the Chicago community. If you are able to aid in a relief effort for the people of Beirut, and find out more information on how to help, please do so here.

Illustration with photo by Freimut Bahlo

Condensed information on the international students current status

THIS PAST JULY 20th, 2020, immigration lawyer Don Garner offered a webinar to the Fulbright community to explain the current status of international fellows  conducting studies in the United States.

Mr. Garner generously shared his presentation with us so we can learn more about the situation and share it with others who could not attend his webinar.

To see the presentation Power Point, click New Immigration Constraints for Students.

Mr. Garner is President of the LL.M. Law Group, and Past President and current Consular Corps Liaison of the Fulbright Association-Chicago Chapter.

 

Webinar: What the new immigration constraints are? How they will affect foreign students?

OVER THE LAST SEVERAL months, President Trump announced a new set of restrictions for international students in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the recent lifting of the immigration ban for international students to pursue studies under the online mode delivery, the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association is hosting a webinar for any questions that may remain.

Don Garner, left, President of the LL.M. Law Group, will discuss these new restrictions, what they are and how they will impact international students. Mr. Garner is Past President and current Consular Corps Liaison of the Fulbright Association-Chicago Chapter.

This webinar, presented via Zoom, will allow for a discussion followed by Q&A.

WHAT New Immigration Constraints for Students: What They Are and How They Will Affect Foreign Students

WHEN Tuesday, July 21, 2020

TIME 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM Central Standard Time

HOW Please click the link below to join the webinar:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83952764641?pwd=dDI1NURXVHhhSHBxaytxVXdUL0didz09

Password: 170963

Or iPhone one-tap :
US: +13126266799,,83952764641#,,,,0#,,170963#  or +16468769923,,83952764641#,,,,0#,,170963

Dial by your location:
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+1 646 876 9923
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Webinar ID: 839 5276 4641

Password: 170963

International numbers available: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdO00RgEAt

This webinar is sponsored by the Fulbright Association-Chicago Chapter.

Systemic racism must come to an end

THE CHICAGO CHAPTER OF THE FULBRIGHT ASSOCIATION stands by the words of Senator Fulbright, “To criticize one’s country is to do it a service…criticism, in short, it is more than a right; it is an act of patriotism.” We, the Fulbright community of Chicago, condemn the inequitable and brutal treatment of Black Americans across the United States.

The systemic racism that has permeated our society must come to an end. Our Chicago Chapter is committed to helping build a country and a world where everyone can live with dignity, free from fear.

The call for justice through peaceful protests is a form of freedom of expression that our Fulbright community supports. We embrace the words of Senator Fulbright whose message endorses our belief that “the making of peace is a continuing process that must go on from day to day, from year to year, so long as our civilization shall last.”

Black lives matter. We stand in solidarity with our Black Fulbrighters—both current grantees and alumni. As Fulbrighters, we are equipped to collectively raise our voices to support what really matters; in this case, the human rights of our Black American fellows, the improvement of their lives and the social justice they deserve.

—Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association Board

 

 

Grad Happy Hour for the Class of 2020!

CONGRATULATIONS to the Class of 2020!  The Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association invites you to a «Grad Happy Hour» where we will celebrate the newly graduated Fulbrighters and hear the story of returned Fulbrighters who have been supporting the frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For this special event we will have two guitar performances by Joan Miguel López, Fulbright Alumni from Honduras who got his MEd in Cultural and Educational Policy at Loyola University Chicago, and Walid Elshanshoury, current student from Egypt, who is pursuing a Master of Science in Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT).

Let’s connect, discuss, and enjoy socializing with our fellow alumni, students, and scholars. Bring your beverage of choice and come join us for an evening of celebration. You can connect from wherever you are!

DATE June 18, 2020
TIME 6:30-8 pm US Central Time

ZOOM Join Zoom Meeting by using this link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83018846572?pwd=UDlRU2xHenVTWE9JQ25MdEExaVRrZz09

Meeting ID 830 1884 6572
Password 215710


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Meeting ID 830 1884 6572
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—> Illustration by Elio Leturia/ flaticon.com

Zoom! A virtual Happy Hour keeps our community together

Virtual Fulbright Chicago Happy Hour, April, 2020

FOLLOWING THE SOCIAL distancing guidelines and our mission to serve the Fulbright community, the Chicago Chapter organized a Happy Hour that took place on Thursday, April 23, 2020.

Using the current virtual technologies, Zoom came to the rescue and for 90 minutes, 30 participants, that included alumni, students, scholars and board members of the Fulbright association shared stories and talked about different topics at this time of global isolation.

Among the strongest topics in this online exchange were the current situation of the Fulbright program (after it was suspended) and state of newly returned Fulbright Scholars.

Fulbright Association Executive Director John Bader

Our special guest, John Bader, Executive Director of the Fulbright Association in Washington D.C., addressed the concerns of Fulbrighters and brought hope for the continuation of the Fulbright Program. The Chapter members had the opportunity to address their questions directly to the Director and got firsthand responses.

The discussion continued with topics ranging from mental health during isolation and medical insurance coverage to daily activities of Chapter members. The participants shared stories of their daily lives and how they have coped with the current state of the nation, and also appreciated being able to share and discuss the social aspects which are getting them through these times. The recently published COVID-19 Resource Guide that the Chicago Chapter board produced as an informational support for the local Fulbright community was a great resource which the Fulbrighters used for guidance and actionable information.

“The COVID-19 Resources and Guidelines played an integral role in providing accessible information to our Chapter, but also brought about a way to personally connect and communicate with our Chapter members,” said Dr. Edel Marie Jose, Chicago Chapter president.

There was also conversation about the survey’s results that the association put together to gather information on how to serve our community better.

The attendees are looking forward to another “social” Happy Hour to further discuss life in general among fellow Fulbrighters and enjoy live music performed by their colleagues. 

The board is currently reviewing the scheduling and programming of upcoming events to adjust them to the current situation. We hope that soon we will return to our usual “normal” one way or another, to continue fulfilling our mission, face to face. In the interim, however, we all remain connected.