Tag Archives: Dee Sarelas

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

Fulbright Chicago Winter Reception at the Alliance Française

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By Mary Mares-Awe—THE CHICAGO CHAPTER of the Fulbright Association and the Institute of International Education (IIE) invite you, your family, colleagues and friends to attend our Winter Reception and the *Dee Sarelas Fulbright Service Award Ceremony.

This event will present a wonderful opportunity to mingle with fellow Fulbrighters, make new connections, and solidify friendships while spending the evening in Downtown Chicago.

DATE Friday, January 27, 2017
TIME  6:00p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
LOCATION  Alliance Française, 810 N Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60610    phone (312) 337-1070


COST FREE to current visiting Fulbright Students and Scholars, $20 for each accompanying adult family member and/or guests, Fulbright Alumni and Association Members.
RSVPs are required by January 25, 2917!  Please R.S.V.P. and pay by using the online form or click on the link below:
https://goo.gl/forms/Bro5Lo0RnSRiydWq1
DRESS CODE Business attire is required; no jeans, t-shirts or athletic shoes.
Email questions or cancellations to fulbrightchicago@gmail.com

*Aphrodite “Dee” Floros Sarelas was an early Fulbrighter to Greece. Dee was a Chicagoan dedicated to interacting with, and nurturing Fulbrighters in the Chicago area.
She 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.

We look forward to seeing you at this event!

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

You are invited to the Winter Holidays Reception and the 2014 Dee Sarelas Service Award Ceremony. RSVP now!

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By Elio Leturia—THE CHICAGO CHAPTER OF THE FULBRIGHT ASSOCIATION and the Institute of International Education (IIE) invite you, your family, colleagues and friends to attend our end-of-the-year Winter Holidays Reception and the 2014 Dee Sarelas* Fulbright Service Award Ceremony.

WHEN Friday, December 12, 2014
TIME 6:30 – 9 pm
WHERE Columbia College Chicago, 1104 South Wabash Ave. (8th floor) Chicago, Illinois 60605

COST $30 (includes hors d’oeuvres, drinks and live music)
Free to Fulbright students and scholars.
RSVPs are required.
Please R.S.V.P. using the online form by December 9, 2014

If you need to cancel your RSVP email us at fulbrightchicago@gmail.com

*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.

Nominate a candidate for the 2014 Fulbright Chicago Dee Sarelas Service Award!

Past award recipient, Dr. Ana Gil García announces this year's winner.

Past award recipient, Dr. Ana Gil García announces last year’s winner.

Dear Member of the Fulbright Association, Chicago Chapter: YOU ARE INVITED to nominate a person for consideration for the 2014 Dee Sarelas Fulbright Service Award.

The award is in honor of one of the Chicago Chapter’s early presidents, Aphrodite (“Dee”) Edith Floros Sarelas*.  Dee passed away at the age of 90 in June of 2007. Dee earned her B.S. in education and was a member of the honor societies Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Kappa Phi, and in 1954 she received her M.A. degree from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. She was awarded a Fulbright Teaching Grant in 1958 to attend the School of Social Work in Athens, Greece.

The nominee does NOT need to be a Fulbright Association member and may be a citizen or resident of any country.

The selection criteria for the nominee:

– must be a living individual
  – must exemplify the values of the Fulbright Association (see http://fulbright.org/our-story/about-us)
  – must have had a significant short, or long-term impact on the development of internationalism for the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association, and/or for the Chicago area community e.g., program design or delivery, membership recruitment, communication production, international understanding outreach.

Nominations will be closed on at 11:59 Central time on November 9th, 2014. To submit a nomination click HERE. The information will then be presented to the Chicago Chapter Membership for voting starting November 12th, 2014. The award shall be given at the Winter Reception held in Chicago on December 12, 2014.

We ask the Dee Sarelas Service Award recipient to serve as an ad hoc board member for the Chicago Chapter during 2015. The awardee must also serve as Chair of next year’s Dee Sarelas Service Award Selection Committee.

Follow the link below for nominator instructions and to complete the nomination form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1LRw09r3X8jVUqTdqbkb4lhviPg6O8WIK0sM0vD36R4g/viewform

*A Chicagoan dedicated to interacting with and nurturing Fulbrighters in the Chicago area community, Dee was a person remembered for her wit, empathy, and vivacity in bringing people across cultures together. The Chicago Chapter has established the Dee Sarelas Fulbright Service Award in her memory to honor those who follow Dee’s example for service.  Please join us in honoring Dee and the Fulbright legacy by submitting a nomination for 2014.

2013 Winter Holidays Reception and Dee Sarelas Service Award Ceremony hosted by DePaul University

2013HolidayInvite

By Ron Harvey—THE FULBRIGHT ASSOCIATION Chicago Chapter, the Institute of International Education (IIE), and DePaul University invite you, your family, colleagues, and friends to attend our end-of-year Winter Holidays Reception and 2013 Dee Sarelas* Fulbright Service Award Ceremony.

WHEN Friday, December 6th, 2013
TIME 6:30 to 9 p.m.
WHERE DePaul University, Lincoln Park Campus
Cortelyou Commons
2324 N. Fremont St. Chicago, IL 60614

Cortelyou Commons is accessible from the sidewalk from Fullerton or Belden Aves.

A full buffet-style dinner will be served which includes salads, entrees with vegetarian options, soft drinks, coffee, tea, and desserts. Beer and wine are available at a cash bar. Entertainment will be provided.

COST This event is FREE for current visiting Fulbright Students and Scholars. $30 for Alumni, each adult family member, and/or guest(s). You may pay at the reception using cash or check. We also accept credit card at the reception or online via PayPal plus a $2 credit card fee. You may pay though PayPal payments after you RSVP using the form below.

RSVP by December 1, 2013 using the form HERE or by copying and pasting the link below into your browser:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1bCLYAzBt4OGOs2Oah8WfhPvdYVI3OnvMkm5pjaVDJVc/viewform

PARKING is available at the DePaul Sheffield parking garage just west of Cortelyou Commons. Attendees are responsible for their own transport and parking.

The CTA Fullerton Red/Brown/Purple Line stop is one block west of Cortelyou Commons. See www.transitchicago.com to plan your trip.

* The Dee Sarelas Fulbright Service Award is named after a founder of the Fulbright Association Chicago Chapter: Aphrodite (“Dee”) Edith Floros Sarelas, an early Fulbrighter to Greece.   A Chicagoan dedicated to interacting with and nurturing Fulbrighters in the Chicago area community, Dee is remembered for her wit, empathy, and vivacity in bringing people across cultures together.  The Dee Sarelas Fulbright Service Award has been established in her memory. We honor a local person for their outstanding work promoting the vision of Senator Fulbright.

Please join us in honoring Dee and the Fulbright legacy. We look forward to seeing you at our 2013 Winter Holidays Reception!

Nominate a candidate for the Fulbright Chicago Dee Sarelas Service Award!

Marilyn Susman, Thomas Ahleman and Ana García-García, past recipients of the Dee Sarelas Service Award

Marilyn Susman, Thomas Ahleman and Ana Gil-García, past recipients of the Dee Sarelas Service Award

ALL FULBRIGHT ASSOCIATION-CHICAGO CHAPTER MEMBERS are invited to assist with the award named after the Chicago Chapter’s founder, Aphrodite (“Dee”) Edith Floros Sarelas, an early Fulbrighter to Greece. A Chicagoan dedicated to interacting with and nurturing Fulbrighters in the Chicago area community, Dee was a person remembered for her wit, empathy, and vivacity in bringing people across cultures together. For the foregoing reasons, the Dee Sarelas Fulbright Service Award has been established in her memory. Please join us in honoring Dee and the Fulbright legacy by submitting a nomination for 2013.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

The nominee:

  • must be a living individual;
  • may be a member or non-member and may be a citizen or resident of any country;
  • must have had a significant impact (short- or long-term) on the development of internationalism for the Chicago chapter of the Fulbright Association and/or for the Chicago area community (e.g., program design or delivery, membership recruitment, communication production, international understanding outreach);
  • must exemplify the values of the Fulbright Association;
  • must agree to serve as an ad hoc board member for the Chicago chapter for one year as awardee.

NOMINATION INSTRUCTIONS:

Describe in writing in 75-100 words why your nominee deserves this award, supplying specific examples that tie to the above criteria. (See attached nomination form.) Also, furnish full name, title, employer, and contact information on your nominee as well as yourself.   The Dee Sarelas Fulbright Service awardee will be selected in a nondiscriminatory manner.

Please send your nomination by filling this form or, if you prefer, send your written description and contact information by November 15, 2013 to Dr. Ana Gil-García (Director of Membership, Chicago Chapter) at 6969 N. Ashland Blvd Apt.305, Chicago, IL 60626 or via email at: anagilgarcia@hotmail.com

Thank you for your participation in our chapter!