Tag Archives: Cristina Sisson

Norma Fay Green is the Recipient of the 2018 Dee Sarelas Service Award

The moment when Dr. Norma Green is announced as the 2018 Dee Sarelas Service Award recipient.

THE FRIGID TEMPERATURES of past Friday, January 25, did not prevent over 110 attendees from participating in the 2019 Fulbright Chicago Winter Wonderland Reception at the Alliance Française in Chicago.

The celebration hosted Fulbright students, scholars and alumni, members of the Consular Corps and guests representing 52 countries from around the world. This annual signature event took place in conjunction with the Dee Sarelas Service Award Ceremony.

On this occasion, Dr. Norma Fay Green was the award recipient.

Cristina Sisson, previous Dee Sarelas Service Award winner announces the 2018 recipient.

Meredith McNeil, Fulbright Chicago Chapter president requested the guests to pause the winter soireée and introduced Cristina Sisson, our previous Dee Sarelas awardee. Sisson, a past Chicago Chapter board member, presented the award to Dr. Green, highlighting the many ways she has contributed to our local association over the years, and called her a world-traveler. “When I say the world, I don’t mean two countries in Europe, but the world,” Sisson said to the amusement of the attendees.

Dr. Norma Green shares her Fulbright message with the audience. Green did her first Fulbright in Denmark.

Dr. Green is a Columbia College Chicago Emerita Professor. She taught journalism at that institution for 29 years until her retirement in 2017. She received a Fulbright grant in 2000 as a visiting professor in Denmark and a 2011 Fulbright-Hays grant to Morocco and Tunisia.

Upon her return from Denmark, Dr. Green set about to internationalize the Columbia College Chicago Journalism Department curriculum. She actively mentored graduate students, especially international students, who expressed interest in teaching. Over the years she modeled classroom management techniques for teaching assistants from Nigeria, Italy, Brazil and Canada and gave them a platform to lead discussions on topics of their own choosing relating to their homelands. She continued to infuse a global perspective in all 23 different courses she eventually taught and also created by regular study trips to Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

Dr Green and Michele, a Fulbrighter from Costa Rica exchange stories.

She volunteered to be on the board of the Chicago Fulbright chapter and served from 2002-2004. She was admitted to the Fulbright Senior Specialists Roster in 2003 becoming a regular participant to the Fulbright Chicago events and activities over the years.

A jazz duo provided the music to our annual event.

After getting trained in Washington, D.C. as a Fulbright Campus Representative in Fall 2002, Dr. Green created and conducted the Columbia College Chicago Annual Fulbright workshop for faculty and administrators, until her retirement.

In 2013 Columbia College was officially recognized as a “Fulbright Program Top Producing Institution,” by the Institute of International Education, all due to her relentless work and guidance.

Past Fulbright Chicago Chapter president Don Garner talks to Dr. Marilyn Susman (2010 Dee Sarelas Award recipient) and her husband Gary Auerbach.

The Dee Sarelas Fulbright Service Award, established in 2009, is named after a founder of the Fulbright Association Chicago Chapter: Aphrodite (“Dee”) Edith Floros Sarelas, an early Fulbrighter to Greece. This award acknowledges the person or institution that demonstrates its vocation of service to the Fulbright ideals and recognizes ‘‘the significant impact on the development of internationalism for the Fulbright Association and the Chicagoland community.”

Fulbrighters and guests enjoy the food, music and inviting atmosphere.

Past Dee Sarelas Service Award recipients include Loyola University Professor Emerita and psychotherapist Dr. Marilyn Susman; Architect and Studio Talo Principal Thomas Ahleman; Northeastern Illinois University Professor and Educational Leadership Advocate Dr. Ana Gil-García; Columbia College Chicago professor and multimedia journalist Elio Leturia; American University in Bulgaria Psychology Researcher Dr. Ron Harvey; and Chicago Public Schools Spanish Teacher Cristina Sisson.

Student Representative board member Teuta Peja welcomes Fulbrighters and guests to the annual event at the Alliance Francaise.

Participants from 52 countries enjoy a night of Fulbright camaraderie.

Chicago Chapter Board member Dr. Kari Burnett plays barwoman at the Winter Reception.

Argentine Deputy Consul Marcelo Boffi talks to Honduran Fulbright scholar Joan Miguel López.

The Winter Reception provides another opportunity to meet Fulbrighters from all over the world.

Previous Dee Sarelas Awardee Cristina Sisson was a Chicago Chapter board member for eight years.

The Winter Reception, scheduled until 8:30 pm got extended for an additional hour.

Board Member Dr. Richard Hallett and Chicago Chapter President Meredith McNeil

Dr. Norma Green poses with her Dee Sarelas Service Award.

The fun continued with an after party at Moe’s Cantina in River North …

… with dance included!

Photos by Elio Leturia

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

Chicago Chapter welcomes new Fulbrighters to Chicago with a luncheon celebration

The 2016 Spring Farewell started at the Jane Addams Hull Museum

The 2016 Spring Farewell started at the Jane Addams Hull House Museum

By Mary Mares-Awe—SIXTY FOUR FULBRIGHT alumni, students, scholars, and friends of the association attended the 2016 Fall Welcome that took place on Sunday October 16 with a visit to the Jane Addams Hull House Museum on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. The museum tour was followed by a luncheon at Francesca’s on Taylor, located in the Little Italy neighborhood adjacent to the university.

The Jane Addams museum is open from Tuesdays to Sundays.

The Jane Addams museum is open from Tuesdays to Sundays.

Fulbright Association Chicago-Chapter President Mary Mares-Awe and bard member Kari Burnett

Fulbright Association Chicago-Chapter President Mary Mares-Awe and board member Kari Burnett

At the Jane Addams museum, visitors got a first-hand look at the objects and memorabilia of the social worker’s original home. Jane Addams is a notable figure in Chicago’s history and on the international stage for her work with the immigrant communities, who were settling Chicago in the late 1800 and early 1900’s. Her pioneering work in social justice helped improve the lives of immigrants through education, skills training and family care. She is the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

At Francesca's Restaurant in Little Italy

At Francesca’s Restaurant in Little Italy

Following the museum visit, the attendees took a walk through Little Italy to Francesca’s restaurant at 1400 W. Taylor Street. There they were greeted at the door by Cristina Sisson Tamm, the chapter’s Treasurer, and by Teuta Peja, a Fulbright student who is the newest member of the board’s membership committee.

Board members of the Chicago Chapter Kari Burnett, Meredith McNeil, Mary Mares-Awe and Marilyn Susman.

Board members of the Chicago Chapter Kari Burnett, Meredith McNeil, Mary Mares-Awe and Marilyn Susman enjoying an Italian meal.

At Francesca’s, the guests enjoyed authentic northern Italian meal including pasta, meatballs, salad and a wonderful and delicious tiramisù for desert.

Meatballs, anyone?

Meatballs, anyone?

In an informal speech at the start of the luncheon, the chapter’s president, Mary Mares-Awe, welcomed everyone and encouraged the new visiting Fulbright students and scholars to enjoy many of the iconic elements of the American culture. “If I could give you one piece of advice, it’s to take the opportunity to really absorb the best the American culture has to offer without comparing,” she said. Mary went on to mention some of the American classics such as jazz and baseball, namely the Chicago Cubs — which brought a rousing round of applause, acknowledging the teams winning streak.

Chicago Chapter Treasurer Cristina Sisson (second on the right) with Fulbright scholars.

Chicago Chapter Treasurer Cristina Sisson (second on the right) with Fulbright scholars.

The pleasant and warm atmosphere of Francesca’s proved conducive to lively, friendly conversations, and real Fulbright camaraderie on a fall Sunday afternoon in Chicago.

Past Chicago Chapter President Margo Rothschild (second on the left) with Fulbright scholars

Past Chicago Chapter President Margo Rothschild (second on the left) with Fulbright scholars

Fulbright students and scholars at Francesca's Restaurant in Little Italy

Fulbright students and scholars at Francesca’s Restaurant in Little Italy

Fulbright students and scholars at Francesca's Restaurant in Little Italy

Fulbright students and scholars at Francesca’s Restaurant in Little Italy

Fulbright students and scholars with Chicago Chapter President Mary Mares-Awe at Francesca's Restaurant in Little Italy

Fulbright students and scholars with Chicago Chapter President Mary Mares-Awe at Francesca’s Restaurant in Little Italy

Fulbright students and scholars at Francesca's Restaurant in Little Italy. Kevin Spitta (first on the right) has joined the communications efforts for the chapter.

Fulbright students and scholars at Francesca’s Restaurant in Little Italy. Kevin Spitta (first on the right) has joined the communications efforts for the chapter.

Group photo showing the international Fulbright spirit!

Group photo showing the international Fulbright spirit!

Photos by Kevin Spitta

A lovely Sunday for a picnic

Sunny and balmy, a perfect day for the Fulbright Association picnic

Sunny and balmy, a perfect day for the Fulbright Association picnic

Picnic_signBy Jenni Schneiderman and Mary Mares-Awe—THE CHICAGO CHAPTER of the Fulbright Association held its first annual all-member picnic on Sunday, September 20, 2015 in Oak Brook from 11am to 2pm.

The balmy weather and sunny skies provided a perfect backdrop for the beautiful, natural setting in Oak Brook’s Fullersburg Woods. The forest preserve is one of DuPage county’s premier picnic areas and proved to be a great spot for our event.

The Chapter provided soft drinks, and attendees brought such goodies as roasted chicken and potato salad, in addition to a variety of salads, baked goods, and sweets.

Members of the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association share food and conversation at the picnic.

Members of the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association share food and conversation at the picnic.

Future Fulbrighters enjoying lovely weather at the Fulbright Chicago Picnic

Future Fulbrighters enjoying lovely weather at the Fulbright Chicago Picnic

About two dozen Fulbright Association members, some bringing their families, attended the picnic. Several people stopped by for a few minutes, others stayed most of the day.

Rick Hallett brought his adorable, one year old twins along with his wife and the rest of his family. Judy Veramendi dressed stylishly in a lovely summer dress and a matching hat—perfect for a summer picnic. Lowell Culver stopped by and told us about the newest book he’s working on.

Eva, Jane Florine, Marilyn Susman and Cristina Sisson

Eva de la Riva, Jane Florine, Marilyn Susman and Cristina Sisson

At one point, a woman came up to the picnic area. She told us her name is Tara, and while on a walk in the woods with her family the “Fulbright Picnic” sigh caught her attention. It turns out she’s just returned from her Fulbright in Ecuador—proving the point that Fulbrighters are everywhere. All in all, the picnic was a wonderful event and a day well spent.

Dr. Lowell Culver in a lively conversation with other members of the Fulbright Chicago Chapter

Dr. Lowell Culver in a lively conversation with other members of the Fulbright Chicago Chapter

The event was organized by Jenni Schneiderman, Cristina Sisson, and Mary Mares-Awe. We already look forward to next year’s picnic.

Salads, roasted chicken, and sweets kept the conversation going at the Fulbright Picnic

Salads, roasted chicken, and sweets kept the conversation going at the Fulbright Picnic

Fulbright Chicago celebrates the Holidays and Ron Harvey gets the 2014 Dee Sarelas Service Award

Chicago Chapter board members Kari Burnett, Cristina Sisson, Jenni Schneiderman and Meredith McNeil celebrate with Ron Harvey, recipient of the 2014 Dee Sarelas Service Award

Chicago Chapter board members Kari Burnett, Cristina Sisson, Jenni Schneiderman and Meredith McNeil celebrate with Ron Harvey, recipient of the 2014 Dee Sarelas Service Award

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).

Professor Norma Green, Ahmed Affan from Pakistan and Gigi Posejpal, Director of International Student Affairs at Columbia College Chicago

Professor Norma Green, Ahmed Affan from Pakistan and Gigi Posejpal, Director of International Student Affairs at Columbia College Chicago

Mr. Ilker Pak, Consul of Turkey in Chicago

Mr. Ilker Pak, Honorable Consul of Turkey in Chicago

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.

Mr. Javier Rojas, Honorable Consul of Costa Rica,  Fulbright Chicago Chapter President Ron Harvey and Mr. Vincent Floreani, Honorable Consul General of France

Mr. Javier Rojas, Honorable Consul of Costa Rica, Fulbright Chicago Chapter President Ron Harvey and Mr. Vincent Floreani, Honorable Consul General of France

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 Columbia College Chicago jazz trio entertaining the audience

A Columbia College Chicago jazz trio entertaining the audience

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

2014 Dee Sarelas Service Award

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.

Last year Dee Sarelas Service Award Elio Leturia presenting Ron Harvey with the 2014 award.

Last year Dee Sarelas Service Award recipient Elio Leturia from Columbia College Chicago, presenting Ron Harvey with the 2014 award.

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.

Dr. Richard Farkas of DePaul University, Fulbright Specialist to Ukraine, Taras Tzlupko and Ron Harvey

Dr. Richard Farkas of DePaul University, Fulbright Specialist to Ukraine, Taras Tzlupko and Ron Harvey

“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.

Fulbrighter Aziz Pulatov from Uzbekistan and his daughter

Fulbrighter Aziz Pulatov from Uzbekistan and his daughter, Shakina

“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.

Fulbright alumna Virginia Miller (Guatemala 1993, Mexico 1996-97) and Adam Gehr

Fulbright alumna Virginia Miller (Guatemala 1993, Mexico 1996-97) and Adam Gehr

Chicago Chapter Treasurer Cristina Sisson and her husband Michael Tamm

Chicago Chapter Treasurer Cristina Sisson and her husband Michael Tamm

Fulbright alumna Maureen Warren (Poland 1980-81,) Fulbright scholar Almir Pestek from Bosnia, and Mary Mares-Awe, Chicago chapter Board member

Fulbright alumna Maureen Warren (Poland 1980-81,) Fulbright scholar Almir Pestek from Bosnia, and Mary Mares-Awe, Chicago Chapter Board member

Uruguayan Fulbright alumna Andrea Catarivas and her husband Andre Frieden

Uruguayan Fulbright alumna Andrea Catarivas and her husband Andre Frieden

Photos by Mary Mares-Awe, Jenni Schneiderman, Ron Harvey, Elio Leturia

Fulbright Chicago celebrated International Education Week at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum

Visiting Fulbright scholaras and students celebrated International Education Week at the Jane Addams-Hull Hose Museum.

Visiting Fulbright scholars and students celebrated International Education Week at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum.

The Jane Addams Hull-House Museum

The Jane Addams Hull-House Museum at the University of Illinois at Chicago campus

By Jade StanleyON SUNDAY NOVEMBER 16, 2014 the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association celebrated International Education Week with an educational program focusing on immigrant communities who’ve played an important part in Chicago’s history.

Visiting Fulbright Scholar Dr. Sani Basha with his family at the Jane Adams Hull House Museum

Visiting Fulbright Scholar Dr. Sani Basha with his family at the Jane Adams Hull-House Museum

Over sixty participants including Fulbright students and scholars, alumni association members and Institute of International Education (IIE), friends and family joined us for a tour of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum with a look at the legacy of Jane Addams—a reformer, sociologist, and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Fulbright Scholars and Friends viewing a documentary film about Jane Adams

Fulbright Scholars and Friends viewing a documentary film about Jane Adams

The tour began at noon, and included a documentary film – narrated by Eleanor Roosevelt, on the history of Hull House and the life and work of Jane Addams. After the tour, everyone met at 2pm, to enjoy a wonderful lunch at Pompei, an authentic Italian restaurant in Little Italy. Pompei was established by Luigi Davino back in 1909. The family restaurant has been serving up delicious Italian food for four generations.

 Everyone enjoyed a fun conversation and delicious food at Pompei Restaurant during the annual International Education Education Week program

Everyone enjoyed a fun conversation and delicious food at Pompei Restaurant during the annual International Education Education Week program

Little Italy is another unique ethnic neighborhood in Chicago to explore for its restaurants and unique small businesses. Walking into the restaurant on a cold and windy Chicago day was delightful and wonderful smells coming from the kitchen greeted us as we entered. The menu included various types of delicious pizza, two kinds of salads, pasta and meat sauce and homemade bread, followed by incredible pastries and hot coffee.

 Members of the Fulbright Chicago Board, (L-R) Patti Powel and Mary Mares-Awe with visiting Fulbright Scholar Liz Bacwayo from Uganda


Members of the Fulbright Chicago Board, (L-R) Patti Powel and Mary Mares-Awe with visiting Fulbright Scholar Liz Bacwayo from Uganda

Board members Mary Mares-Awe, Cristina Sisson, Patti Powell, Elio Leturia, Shannon Anderson and Jade Stanley extended a warm welcome and thanked the participants for joining us for this event. The room resonated with great conversations, opportunities for networking, and plans to attend the next Fulbright event in December.

Fulbright Scholars enjoying lunch at Pompei Restaurant in Little Italy

Fulbright Scholars enjoying lunch at Pompei Restaurant in Little Italy

Sarah Grace Gleisner of IIE is enjoying a conversation with visiting Fulbright Scholars

Sarah Grace Gleisner of IIE is enjoying a conversation with visiting Fulbright Scholars

Photos by Mary Mares-Awe

Chicago welcomes international Fulbrighters at the National Ukrainian Museum

Seventy-three Fulbrighters participated in the 2014 Fall Welcome at the National Ukrainian Museum of Chicago

Seventy-three Fulbrighters participated in the 2014 Fall Welcome at the National Ukrainian Museum of Chicago

Board members Kari Burnett and Cristina Sisson at the reception table

Board members Kari Burnett and Cristina Sisson at the reception table

By Elio Leturia—OVER SEVENTY PARTICIPANTS among Fulbright students and scholars, alumni association members and Institute of International Education (IIE) representatives enjoyed a luncheon and tour that showcased another ethnic Chicago neighborhood: Ukrainian Village.

The 2014 Fall Welcome event took place last Saturday October 11, 2014 at the Ukrainian National Museum.

Anna kkkkkk from the Ukrainian National Museum welcomes the participants. Next to her, Ron Harvey, Chicago chapter president and Maria kkk, who also guided the museum's tour

Anna Chychula from the Ukrainian National Museum welcomes the participants. Next to her, Ron Harvey, Chicago chapter president and Maria Klimchak, who also guided the museum’s tour

It was beautiful sunny fall day. Ron Harvey, president of Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association and 12 board members of the chapter welcomed all the participants, starting at 11 am. “There are 30 nationalities in this room,” Harvey said.

Participants shared a unique Ukrainian buffet.

Participants shared a unique Ukrainian buffet.

There were also vegeterian options to choose from

There were also vegetarian options to choose from

A delicious luncheon which consisted of different Ukrainian treats, were offered at the main room of the museum where a Ukrainian fashion show “A Century of Embroidered Fashion” that depicted 90 clothing pieces was being exhibited. These gowns, American produced, were all hand-embroidered with complex designs, the same way Ukrainians use in their typical clothing. There was also a piece that showed embroidered men’s ties.

Students and scholars sharing the luncheon before the museum tour

Students and scholars sharing the luncheon before the museum tour

This was the first Chicago Chapter activity for most of the student participants, which were given our Chicago Trivia game to learn Chicago facts, such as the Chicago River that runs backwards, the meaning of the Chicago flag, the nicknames for our “Second City,” among others.

The museum showcases an array of artifacts in its different rooms

The museum showcases an array of artifacts in its different rooms

Then, Anna Chychula and Maria Klimchak from the Ukrainian National Museum offered a tour of their installations where they have displays of typical embroidery, Pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Eggs,) traditional folk costumes, Bandura (national instrument of Ukraine) and also historical objects displayed at the Cossak Rook that contains paintings and swords, and different artifacts from the 1800s.

Recently arrived Fulbrighters talk with current students and alumni, exchanging their own experiences

Recently arrived Fulbrighters talk with current students and alumni, exchanging their own experiences

According to its website, the museum collection that started in 1952, “consists of over 1,140 artifacts including those related to traditional folk arts, agricultural tools, artwork, musical instruments, trophies” and hosts a library with over 20,000 titles.

Photos: Maria Klimchak, Elio Leturia