Tag Archives: Events

Welcome to Chicago, Fulbrighters!

Welcome to Chicago, the Windy City.

ON A SLIGHTLY overcast but fortunately rainless autumn day, the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association welcomed Fulbrighters from all over the world. The first event of the academic year was an architectural tour on the Chicago River that gave us the opportunity to present the beauty of the city of Chicago to the newcomers, and share it with the local Fulbright alumni.

Sixty eight people participated in the 2018 Fall Welcome.

“Sixty eight Fulbrighters, between members of the association and Fulbright students and scholars have come to participate in this event today,” said Meredith McNeil, president of the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association. Students and scholars not only from Chicago universities but also from from Champaign-Urbana, Normal-Bloomington and Dekalb participated in the event.

At the base of the Wrigley Building, where the tour started.

The Wendella Tours boat left its wharf at the base of the Wrigley Building and sailed the Chicago River bypassing the south branch to reach the Willis Tower (ex-Sears Tower, the second tallest building in the United States.) There it turned around and came back to cross under Michigan Avenue and continued until entering Lake Michigan, from where we all could appreciate the skyline of this wonderful city.

Fulbright students and scholars enjoying the tour.

Among the buildings that stood out in this tour are the Marina City, built in 1964, the Merchandise Mart— that in 1930 became was the largest building in the (372,000 m2) and had its own postal code—the IBM building, the Civic Opera House, the NBC Tower, the Carbide and Carbon Building with its gold leaf top, the 333 West Wacker Drive building and its dramatic curved, green glass façade to the most modern Lake Point Tower and Aqua buildings, to cite just a few.

The Trump Tower, the second tallest building in Chicago.

At the end of the tour, the group moved to the Howell’s & Hood Restaurant, in the Tribune Tower building, another architectural wonder, where the scholars, students and members of the association shared a lunch and moments of friendship and camaraderie.

The entire group!

Fulbright students and scholars enjoying a good time at the lake.

Lifetime Fulbright Association member Jane Florine, an ethnomusicologist who did her Fulbright in Argentina.

Scholars and their families participated in our Fall Welcome.

Past recipients of the Fulbright Dee Sarelas Service Award Marilyn Susman (2010) and Ana Gil-García (2012).

The view from Lake Michigan.

Judy and Serafín Veramendi, and our boat tour guide.

Fulbright Chicago past presidents Elio Leturia (2011-12), Ana Gil-García (2008) and Don Garner (2007).

The city views from Lake Michigan are spectacular.

In this Fulbright group, Spanish was the language of choice.

At the patio of Howell’s & Hood Restaurant.

Three current Fulbright scholars. At the center, Teuta Peja from Kosovo.

Poland, Kosovo, Mexico and Peru are represented in this Fulbright group.

The food line is always a good place to get to know each other!

Another Fulbright group (all Argentines, and one Mexican) having a good time.

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Chicago-based Fulbright students welcome newly arrived Fulbrighters

Current Fulbrighters welcoming newly-arrived Fulbright students at the Bulldog Ale House in Rogers Park in the north part of Chicago.

ON SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 8, 2018, current Fulbright students  Joan Miguel López from Honduras, Serene Ismail from Pakistan, Nasrullah Hussaini from  Afghanistan, Yver Melchor from Mexico, Aldo Álvarez from Paraguay, Hasina Ehsan from Aghanistan and Juan Manuel Cánovas from Argentina organized an informal gathering at the Bulldog Ale House in Rogers Park to welcome recently arrived Fulbrighters from Colombia, Palestine, Indonesia, Kosovo, Poland, Bosnia, El Salvador, Malaysia, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Earlier that day Serene Ismail, Fulbright student representative to the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association, attended the board meeting to participate in the 2018-2019 events and activities planning for the year ahead.

Chapter’s president Meredith McNeil said that our upcoming Fall Welcome Architecture Boat Tour will be a great way to show our new Fulbrighters the beautiful city of Chicago.

To register for the Fall Welcome please visit our site, fulbrightchicago.com or click here.

2018 Spring Farewell at Columbia College Chicago

 

IT’S SPRING! The Fulbright Association-Chicago Chapter and the Institute of International Education (IIE) invite you, your family, colleagues, and friends to attend our Spring Farewell Reception and Music Performance.

DATE Saturday, May 5, 2018
TIME 12:00-1:00p.m. Columbia College Museum of Contemporary Photography
1:15-3:00p.m. Lunch

WHERE Photography Museum TOUR at 600 S. Michigan Avenue (tours begin at 12:00pm) at Museum of Contemporary Photography
LUNCH at 623 S. Wabash Columbia College Building, Haus Space

RSVPs are required by May 1, 2018! Please R.S.V.P. using this link.

The purpose of this event is to say a fond farewell to the visiting Fulbright students and scholars who will soon be returning to their home countries. The gathering provides an opportunity for Fulbright Association Chicago Chapter members to say ‘thank you’ to our guests, and for visiting Fulbrighters and alumni to affirm friendships as well as academic and professional connections.

The host institution for this event is Columbia College Chicago in the South Loop. For more information on the Columbia College Museum of Contemporary Photography, including the exhibits on display May 5th.

COST This event is FREE for current visiting Fulbright Students and Scholars and members of the consular corps, and $10 for guests, family members, Fulbright Association members and Fulbright Alumni.

You may pay via PayPal please click on this link.

If paying in person, must be paid via cash or check. Credit card payments will not be taken onsite.

STREET PARKING is available on Wabash Ave., also, there are several pay parking lots on Wabash.

If you will be using public transportation, you can plan your trip with the CTA Trip Planner: www.transitchicago.com. Green and Orange line train riders should use the Roosevelt stop. Red line should use the Harrison stop.

If you have questions about the event, please email fulbrightchicago@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing you at the event! *Please note that photos and video will be taken at the event.

Fulbright Winter Wonderland in Chicago—Let’s celebrate!

Winter in Chicago. Photo by Andrew E. Larsen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get ready against cyber attacks: Free forum

 

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

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

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

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

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

(The Main Building on the COD campus)

COST Free

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

Get ready for the 2017 Spring Farewell with live music!


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

WHEN Saturday, April 29, 2017

TIME  6:30-9:30pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QUESTIONS? Please email fulbrightchicago@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you at the event!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fulbrighters using social media and sharing photos.

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

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

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

—Photos by Kevin Spitta and Elio Leturia