Tag Archives: Ana Gil-García

Hard working day packing educational materials for the Fulbright Book Partnership Program

Jenni, María, Ana Gil-García, Ron Harvey and Cristina

Jenn Schneiderman, Elizabeth García, Ana Gil-García, Ron Harvey and Margarita Lineros at the Ethiopian Comunity Center

García packing

Friend of Fulbright Elizabeth García helps our chapter packing books.

By Elio Leturia—ON SATURDAY APRIL 27, 2014, Fulbrighters and Friends of Fulbright got together at the Ethiopian Community Center in Rogers Park to continue working with the Book Partnership Program that was originally established in 2007.

Fulbright Chicago board members Ana Gil-García, Ron Harvey and Jenni Schneiderman worked with friends of Fulbright Elizabeth García and Margarita Lineros packing books and educational materials to be donated to schools in foreign countries and charitable organizations.

Fulbrighter Roger Fassinou from Benin, came to visit and discuss the possibility of sending books to schools in his native country

Fulbrighter Roger Fassinou from Benin, came to visit and discuss the possibility of sending books to schools in his native country.

During this phase of the Book Partnership Program, our chapter has donated: 40 boxes of books to Open-Books, 15 boxes to the Salvation Army, 50 boxes to Discover Reading, 25 boxes to Better World Read, and 30 boxes to Books4cause.

Background: The Book Partnership began in 2007 and has involved strategic relationship building between our Chicago Chapter and Fulbright Alumni Associations in different countries. Over the last 7 years, thousands of books for school-aged children have been donated. They’ve then been shipped to Fulbright Alumni in Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, Moldova, Ghana and Botswana. The Fulbright Alumni Associations have then distributed the books to local NGOs and schools, and ultimately into the hands of teachers and children.

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Ana Gil-García named an outstanding visionary woman in higher education

AnaGilGarciasmBy Elio Leturia—WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH started in 1982 when Congress requested a week in March be “Women’s History Week.” Five years later, in 1987, the President proclaimed March to be “Women’s History Month.”

Honoring “Women’s History Month,” Diverse magazine published its third annual report highlighting the work and contributions of 30 women to higher education.

One of these honorees is Dr. Ana Gil-García, Professor of Educational Leadership at Northeastern Illinois University, and a past-president of the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association.

“This is an acknowledgement to the work and effort that women put to higher education,” Gil-García said.

diversemagAn award-winning educator and director of membership of the Chicago Fulbright Association, Gil-García has a long teaching career. She is a three-time Fulbright US Scholar (Venezuela, Middle East, and Armenia) who works tirelessly for a variety of community organizations.

A native Venezuelan, Gil-García is an author, community leader, and advocate for Latino educational leaders.

For 11 years she was the only Latina professor in her department, Gil-García said. “Minority women constitute only 3% of all teachers in higher education. To be recognized in this group is an honor because it also serves to give an example of role models and show a presence among minority university students.”

She holds a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership, Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, Specialist Degree in Middle School Curriculum, and Bachelor’s degree in Biology Teaching.

Distributing knowledge through the Book Partnership Project

Fred Siegman, Ron Harvey and Jane Florine

Fred Siegman, Ron Harvey and Jane Florine getting ready to pack books.

By Mary Mares-Awe—THE CHICAGO CHAPTER OF THE FULBRIGHT ASSOCIATION  is in the final push of completing this year’s book drive as part of its Book Partnership initiative. More than one thousand books have been collected from various schools, organizations, libraries and private individuals over the past several months. Most of the books have been sorted, boxed, and are now ready to be shipped.

The books will be donated to Ethiopian children and to students and children in Macedonia. We are in negotiations with Turkish Airlines for their contribution to this worthwhile project—shipping the books to Macedonia. Some of the Spanish-language books in our collection have been earmarked for children in Guatemala.

José Rodríguez, Jim Nowaczok, Ana Gil-García and Mary Mares-Awe

José Rodríguez, Jim Nowaczok, Ana Gil-García and Mary Mares-Awe

At this point many thanks to everyone  including José, Ron, Mary, Jeff, Ana, Jenni, Fred, Jim, Jane and others who gave up a  part of their  Saturday March 1st, and this past Saturday, March 7th,  in sorting, and boxing up the books. Also, thanks to and many others who’ve been involved with gathering and delivering the books to our storage facility at the Ethiopian Community Association in Rogers Park. This is a huge effort and anyone’s contribution, no matter how small or large, is paramount to the success of this wonderful project.

The books should be on their way to their destinations in the next few weeks.

Background: The Book Partnership began in 2007 and has involved strategic relationship building between our Chicago Chapter and Fulbright Alumni Associations in different countries. Over the last 7 years, thousands of books for school-aged children have been donated. They’ve then been shipped to Fulbright Alumni in Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, Moldova, Ghana and Botswana. The Fulbright Alumni Associations have then distributed the books to local NGOs and schools, and ultimately into the hands of teachers and children.

Photos by Jenni Schneiderman

International Fulbright dinner celebrating St. Valentine’s Day

Dr. Ana Gil-García hosted a dinner with Fulbright students and friends to celebrate St. Valentine's Day

Dr. Ana Gil-García hosted a dinner with Fulbright students and friends to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day

ON FEBRUARY 14, 2014, Valentine’s Day, Ana Gil-García, a Fulbright Chicago board member, hosted a dinner for four Fulbright students currently attending graduate schools in diverse higher education institutions in Chicago.

Ly Hoang Ly (Vietnam), Mia Alkaff (Indonesia), Mukhayyo Mukhayyo (Uzbekistan), and Paninee Tepnarim (Thailand) enjoyed a variety of dishes of Mediterranean flavors, and desserts from India and Pakistan. At the dinner, Fulbright fellows shared their personal stories on the meaning of Valentine’s Day at their respective countries and what rituals and traditions are involved in the celebration of the day of love and friendship.

The dinner was organized by the Institute of International Education (Midwestern Regional Office) of Chicago. Similar events with host families, especially Fulbright alumni serving as hosts, are scheduled in the near future.

Documentary “Mexico: Reporters Against Silence” presented at Northeastern Illinois University

Panelists discuss the dangers journalists face while reporting on the drug cartels in Mexico: Documentarian Alex Ormaza, Columbia College Chicago Associate Professor Teresa Puente, “Sin Censura” radio host Vicente Serrano and Northeastern Illinois University Assistant Professor Brandon Bisbey.

Panelists discuss the dangers journalists face while reporting on the drug cartels in Mexico: Documentarian Alex Ormaza, Columbia College Chicago Associate Professor Teresa Puente, “Sin Censura” radio host Vicente Serrano and Northeastern Illinois University Assistant Professor Brandon Bisbey.

ReportersAgainstSilenceBy Mary Mares-AweEARLIER THIS WEEK the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association partnered with Northeastern Illinois University’s Latino Resource Center for the screening of the documentary “Mexico: Reporters Against Silence.” The film is produced by a fellow Fulbrighter, journalist Alex Ormaza.

The documentary portrays the dangers journalists in Mexico face while reporting on the drug cartels and the drug war in that country. Ormaza produced this work while in Mexico in 2012-13 on a Fulbright grant.

NEIU organized two panel discussions to complement the documentary screenings. On Monday, February 3rd the panel discussion focused on press freedoms in Mexico. The second panel discussion took place on Tuesday, February 4th and focused on Economic and Social Relations between the U.S. and Mexico. Both sessions were attended by members of the Chicago Fulbright Association.

Chicago chapter members Fred Siegman, Sandra McQueen (Fulbright Association Atlanta Chapter,) Regina Mamou, Jenni Schneiderman, Alex Ormaza, Ana Gil-García and Mary Mares-Awe

Chicago chapter members Fred Siegman, Sandra McQueen (Fulbright Association Atlanta Chapter,) Regina Mamou, Jenni Schneiderman, Alex Ormaza, Ana Gil-García and Mary Mares-Awe

Severe weather no match for International Spirit during 2013 International Education Week

International Fulbrighters gathered to celebrate International Education Week

In spite of severe rain, wind and hail, international Fulbrighters gathered to celebrate International Education Week.

By Mary Mares-Awe—ON SUNDAY NOVEMBER 17, 2013,  the Chicago chapter of the Fulbright Association celebrated International Education Week (IEW), with an event focusing on Chicago’s immigrant history. The international education week was started about ten years ago as a joint venture between the US Dept. of State and the US Dept. of Education. The aim is to encourage organizations and education institutions to organize events that highlight the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.

Jane Addams

Jane Addams

The Chapter chose to organize an event focusing on the history of Chicago’s immigrants around the turn of the last century. We planned a tour of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. Jane Addams, a social worker, was instrumental in helping newly arrived immigrants in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s start a new life in Chicago. Through her Hull-House settlement, she provided job training, child care for working mothers, hot meals and other services to immigrant families. Jane Addams was also the first woman to win a Nobel Peace prize for her work.

An area called Little Italy, adjacent to Hull-House, is the home of Chicago’s Italian immigrant community and today continues to thrive with authentic Italian restaurants and the Italian language is still spoken throughout the neighborhood. Our event was comprised of a tour of the Hull-House museum starting at noon, followed by a luncheon at Pompei, an Italian restaurant in Little Italy.

The day started out fine, but by late morning Chicago weather forecasters were calling for bad weather including multiple tornado warnings.

Those of us on the board who participated in the event didn’t find out until after our arrival at the museum around 11:30am, that the Hull-House was closed due to the weather. The chapter’s president Ron Harvey made a decision to direct participants to the restaurant for the lunch gathering. However, the severe weather had begun with rain and high winds.

In a great show of international spirit and cooperation, those driving (including members of the Consular Corps) immediately offered to give rides to the restaurant for those who walked or had taken public transportation. By the time the worst weather was coming down, most attendees were dry and safe at Pompei. Thank you to everyone for your excellent teamwork!

More than 60 participants turned out for the event.

Chicago Chapter president Ron Harvey welcoming Fulbright students, scholars and alumni to Pompei Restaurant.

Chicago Chapter president Ron Harvey welcoming Fulbright students, scholars and alumni to Pompei Restaurant.

Our lunch was scheduled for 2 pm. Accommodating a large crowd is not an easy task for any restaurant, but when I called Carmela, one of the managers at Pompei, and explained the museum tour cancellation and the weather situation,  to my great relief she replied “No problem, Mary, of course you can bring everyone now. Come on in.  I’ll let the staff know.”

As everyone started heading for the restaurant about four blocks away, the weather quickly became worse. Five international students from various countries including South Africa, Chile and Ecuador piled into my car and off we went. By now the rain was so heavy that it was difficult to see the road. But, we safely made it along with great laughter and positive energy that was contagious.

A variety of pizza and salads were part of the menu

A variety of pizza and salads were part of the menu

At the restaurant, attendees stared to talk to each other —and in the true Fulbright spirit— new relations and connections started to form with ease. Participants from more than 20 countries as diverse as Estonia, Portugal, and Indonesia sat together enjoying pizza, salads and dessert.  We were also honored with the attendance of Consul Generals from Taiwan, and Pakistan.

The Consul of Pakistan  sharing the International Education Week lunch at Pompei with Fulbright Students and scholars

The Consul General of Pakistan, Faisal Tirmizi, sharing the International Education Week lunch at Pompei with Fulbright students and scholars

By early afternoon (as strong winds, hail and rain raged outside) inside the spirit of Fulbright was shining its rays of friendship, good vibes and positive energy. Thanks to everyone for participating in the event and for letting the true Fulbright spirit shine through. Special thanks to Ron for his leadership and for everyone else for participating.

Mr. Andy Tseng, Deputy Director General of the Cultural Office of Taiwan, also attended the 2014 International Education Week Luncheon

Mr. Andy Tseng, Deputy Director General of the Cultural Office of Taiwan, also attended the 2013 International Education Week Luncheon

Board member Ana Gil-García sharing a table with Fulbrighters

Board member Ana Gil-García sharing a table with Fulbrighters

Right to Left Ivy Marischa of Indonesia, Sylmina Alkaff of Indonesia, Esther Sibona of Papua New Guinea

Right to Left, Ivy Marischa of Indonesia, Sylmina Alkaff of Indonesia and Esther Sibona of Papua New Guinea

Future Fulbrighter Alexander Fris with mom Angeliki Lazaridou, a Fulbright Scholar from Greece

Future Fulbrighter Alexander Fris with mom Angeliki Lazaridou, a Fulbright Scholar from Greece

Fulbrighters enjoying dessert at the International Education Week Luncheon

Fulbrighters enjoying dessert at the International Education Week Luncheon

Chapter president Ron Harvey thanking all the participants for attending an "eventful" 2014 International Education Week

Chapter president Ron Harvey thanking all the participants for attending an “eventful” 2013 International Education Week

Our hearts go out to the Illinois citizens affected by the severe weather that merely inconvenienced our event. If you would like to contribute to the ongoing relief efforts, a good place to start is the Washington, IL Facebook page.

Photos by Mary Mares-Awe, Elio Leturia and Ivy Marischa

Exploring six degrees of separation in Fulbright branding workshop

Fred Siegman leading the "Branding " workshop at Columbia College Chicago

Fred Siegman leading the “Fulbright Branding Effect on Membership Development” workshop at Columbia College Chicago

By Mary Mares-AweLEADERSHIP, CONNECTIONS, relationship building, common values…these are some of the concepts discussed at last Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013 workshop entitled “The Fulbright Branding Effect on Membership Development” that took place in the journalism department at Columbia College Chicago.

The workshop was possible thanks to a small grant from the National Fulbright Association and led by Fred Siegman, a branding expert and consultant to major corporations and nonprofit organizations. Forty people attended the workshop including eight members of the Fulbright Chicago Chapter board. Organized by Chicago Chapter Director of Membership Ana Gil-García, and President Ron Harvey, the purpose of the four-hour training session was to develop a strategy to promote the Chicago Chapter, expand awareness of its activities among Fulbright alumni, and increase membership.

Participants during breakfast prior to the workshop

Participants during breakfast prior to the workshop

Participants had the chance to get to know one another through a series of communication exercises. Because of the workshop we now know where the term “six degrees of separation” comes from. It’s all about finding commonality with complete strangers and building new relationships.

Among other exercises, Fred Siegman explained how to find connections between people.

Among other exercises, Fred Siegman explained how to find connections between people.

For me personally, it was fun to learn, in just a few seconds, that I had something in common with the person sitting next to me. It turns out we both are life time members of the Fulbright Association. She had a Fulbright to Warsaw, Poland; my best friend in college was born in Warsaw, and the Cultural and Educational Attaché at the American Embassy in Macedonia, the country where I had my Fulbright, taught ESL in Poland before joining the Foreign Service.

Siegman also emphasized the importance of sharing experiences and learning from each other especially from those who’ve been part of Fulbright for many years. He said the workshop provided a great reflection of cross generational communication and shared interests.

Eighty eight year-old Dr. Bruce Douglas , the first president of the Chicago chapter of the Fulbright Association participated in the workshop.

Eighty-eight-year-old Dr. Bruce Douglas, the first president of the Chicago chapter of the Fulbright Association, participated in the workshop.

“We have here age groups spanning 40-50 years” Siegman observed. Just then someone chimed in “65 years… or more.” All heads turned in his direction. To everyone’s surprise and delight, he introduced himself as 88-year-old Dr. Bruce Douglas, the first president of the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association.  We’ll hear more from Dr. Douglas in an upcoming post in the form of an interview.

Participants networking in the Orange Area of the Journalism department of Columbia College Chicago during a break.

Participants networking in the Orange Area of the Journalism department of Columbia College Chicago during a break.

Photos by Elio Leturia