Tag Archives: Fulbright alumni

2023 Spring celebration with a Swedish flair

COME JOIN US FOR OUR ANNUAL SPRING EVENT! Enjoy the beginning of the season with fellow Fulbrighters on a guided museum tour of the Swedish American Museum followed by a light lunch reception. Visit Andersonville, one the most popular neighborhoods of Chicago.

Several of our Fulbright students and scholars are completing their programs and getting ready to go back home. This is a great opportunity to meet and share those once-in-a-life experiences that are impacting our lives.

DATE Saturday May 6, 2023
TIME 11:30 am—1:30 pm 
WHERE Swedish American Museum, 5211 Clark St. Chicago, IL 60640 
COST $15 Alumni/Friends of Fulbright    
           $10 Students
RSVP HERE (limited capacity)

After the event, enjoy the day walking around the Andersonville neighborhood, known for its Swedish roots and the variety of independent shops in Chicago. Following the Chicago fire of 1871, the Swedish community moved to this area and eventually Chicago became home to the second-largest Swedish population in the world—after Stockholm.

The Swedish American Museum located on 5211 Clark St. in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago.

The Swedish American Museum opened in 1976—47 years ago. When the museum moved to its present location in 1987, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden returned for its inauguration. Explore the history of the original settlers, and enjoy a Swedish lunch.

Dine around with nine Fulbright Scholars

FULBRIGHT ALUMNI! Please consider taking a small group of scholars out for dinner on their last night in Chicago. Each group will navigate one of Chicago’s unique neighborhoods. This will allow the scholars to see what Chicago offers and engage on the small group level.

WHAT Dine with Fulbright scholars
WHEN Friday, April 14, 2023 at 6 pm
WHERE Meet at Allegro Royal Sonesta Hotel at 171 West Randolph St. Chicago
RSVP Contact Jenny Uddenberg at PA9@worldchicago.org

||| How does it work?

At the hotel, each dine-around host will meet with their nine Fulbright Scholars and escort them to a restaurant. WorldChicago will provide a CTA pass for each participant, and everyone will pay their individual checks. The dine-around host will also help navigate the public transportation system.

Restaurants from the following neighborhoods have been selected for the evening: Chinatown, Greektown, Little Italy, Pilsen. 

To RSVP, please contact Jenny Uddenberg at PA9@worldchicago.org

100 Fulbrighters from around the world in Chicago

JOIN WORLDCHICAGO and the Chicago Chaper of the Fubright Association to welcome 100 Fulbright Senior Scholars from around the world as they dive into their Fulbright year! The reception has three main events that will occur (see program below.) 

WHAT Fulbright Welcome Reception
WHEN Wednesday, April 12, 2023 at 5 pm
WHERE Allegro Royal Sonesta Hotel at 171 West Randolph St. Chicago
RSVP Contact Jenny Uddenberg at PA9@worldchicago.org

5:00 pm Welcome remarks & keynote address
Ms. Everly Macario, Public Health Researcher 
6:00 pm Networking reception 
7:00 pm The history of jazz with the Keri Johnsrud Trio 

The History of Jazz group will be presented by the Keri Johnsrud Trio, featuring WorldChicago’s own Ben Gray!  This trio will perform and talk about the history of jazz in Chicago. 

You are invited to come for one or more of these activities throughout the evening – please join us at 5 or 6 pm! 

To RSVP, please contact Jenny Uddenberg at PA9@worldchicago.org

An art exhibition this weekend: Birdboxes and photography

YOU ARE INVITED to the exhibit “A Sum of Its Parts” that features select work by two distinguished Chicago artists, Phillip J. Capuano, and Eleftheria Lialios.

Capuano is primarily known as a sculptor, though also a documentary filmmaker and photographer.

Lialios, a Fulbright alumna who recently received the 2022 Fulbright Chicago Dee Sarelas Service Award, is a well-established photographer, filmmaker, image-maker, and educator. For over five decades, these artists have pushed the boundaries of their practices. 

WHAT “A Sum of Its Parts” exhibit
WHEN April 1 and 2, 2023
TIME Between noon and 5 pm (both days)
WHERE 1134 W Hubbard Floor 2 Chicago IL, 60642
Light refreshments will be served

Utilizing their well-honed skills, both artists tempt and explore their mediums’ alchemistic qualities and nature, successfully shifting certain pre-established norms into unchartered territory.  

Known as innovators and warriors, their sensitivities of their visual languages, and their labor-intensive approaches stem from their remarkable life experiences and circumstances. Not surprisingly, they have continued uninterruptedly in devotion to their art making in the face of adversity and turmoil. This brief weekend presentation hopes to raise awareness of these artists’ historical importance and value. It is crucial to bolster their ability to continue building their lifework.

U.S. Department of State and Fulbright Extravaganza + ‘The Five-Minute Fulbright’

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE and Fulbright Association invite you to an invigorating program highlighting some of the exciting work done both domestically and internationally. You will hear short presentations from a member of the Senior Foreign Service, Department of State Special Agents, and Fulbright alumni, followed by a high-energy networking reception.

WHEN Wednesday, March 22, 2023
TIME 6-9 pm
WHERE Chicago Council on Global Affairs 130 East Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601

This event is hosted by the Department of State in conjunction with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Fulbright Chicago. The partnership event aims to connect internationally-minded Chicago area-based professionals, foreign service members, prospective foreign service hires, Fulbright alumni, current Fulbright Scholars, and Fulbright students.  All are welcome to attend this free business casual event! So come, enjoy, and share the evening with other Chicago-based, internationally experienced professionals committed to service!


6:00 pm          Event opens/check-in
6:00-6:30        Networking reception
6:30-6:45        Welcome remarks
6:30-6:35        Matt Abbott, Chicago Council on Global Affairs 
6:35-6:45        Matthew Kelley, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, DS-Chicago 

6:45-7:15        State Department panel discussion
Susan Falatko, Senior Foreign Service Officer, Diplomat in Residence
Tim Kerwin, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, DS-Chicago 
Bryan Weiler, Supervisory Special Agent, DS-Chicago 

7:15-7:30        Q&A

7:30-8:00        The Five-Minute Fulbright
Opening remarks by Kate Vergara PhD MPH, Fulbright alumna
Five Fulbright Alumni will each present a rapid (5 min) overview of the highlights of their Fulbright year abroad.  Each Fulbright experience was done in a different country and each one focused on a different field of study which will emphasize and celebrate the diversity of the program.

8:00-8:10        State Department closing remarks
Mark Woods-Hawkins, Special Agent in Charge, DS-Chicago
Matthew Kelley, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, DS-Chicago

8:10-9:00        Closing networking reception

Celebrate 2023 International Women’s Day with us

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN ASSOCIATES, Chicago Consular Corps, Ladies Club, WorldChicago, and Fulbright Chicago Chapter celebrating together!

WHEN Wednesday, March 8, 2023
TIME 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. CST
WHERE UIC College of Medicine, 1819 W Polk St. West Tower, Room 119
COST Tickets: $35
RSVP BY Monday, March 6, 2023
PARKING Cook County Hospital parking ($5 for 4 hours)

Join us for an enlightening and engaging discussion about mental health issues for all ages. We will hear about disparities and the innovative work being done in addressing them. Learn about the importance of early recognition, intervention, and prevention. Our dynamic speakers, Pauline M. Maki, J. Usha Raj, and Priya Shah will inform us about what we need to know for our own as well as our loved ones’ lifelong mental wellbeing.

11:30 a.m. Check-in
12:00 p.m. Welcome I Keynote | Guest speakers | Panel Q&A
1:30 p.m. Light Lunch I Socializing & Networking
2:30 p.m. Program adjournment

Bring your guests of all ages to join the conversation about mental health and wellness across the lifespan. Let’s invite young adults to raise awareness at an early age. We look forward to seeing you on March 8th!

RSVP for the Fulbright Winter Reception and the 2022 Dee Sarelas Service Award Ceremony!

THE CHICAGO CHAPTER of the Fulbright Association invite you, your family, colleagues, and friends to attend the 2023 Winter Reception. Reconnect in the New Year with fellow Fulbrights and alumni!

We will also present the recipient of the 2022 Dee Sarelas* Fulbright Service Award.

The evening will entail a night of live music, hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and networking. Come meet Fellow Fulbrighters and members of the Chicago Chapter board, while enjoying a backdrop of the beautiful city of Chicago.

We hope you can join us! 

DATE Thursday, February 2, 2023
TIME 6:30pm – 8:30pm
LOCATION Sky Lounge 727 West Madison Street, Chicago, Illinois 60661 
RSVPs by January 31, 2023
COST Purchase tickets below:

> Fulbright Alumni, Friends of Fulbright, and Guests of Fulbrighters – $25

> Fulbright Students Only- $15

> Consular Corps and Consular Guests – $0

* All guests must click the appropriate link and complete all sections of the RSVP form
* Space is Limited
* All guests must check in with the concierge desk for entry to the Sky Lounge elevator
* Dress Code: Business Casual 

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

If you have questions about the event, please email fulbrightchicago@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing you at the event!

*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 was established in 2010 to honor her memory.

*Please note that photos and video will be taken at the event.

Nominate a candidate for the 2022 Fulbright Chicago Dee Sarelas Service Award

YOU ARE INVITED to nominate a person for consideration for the 2022 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 or a 501c3 organization;
  • 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, international education, leadership in an organization that promote international understanding)
  • must exemplify the values of the Fulbright Association;
  • the individual or president of the organization must agree to serve as an honorary member of the board of the Chicago Chapter

Nominations will be closed on at 11:59 p.m. Central time on January 6, 2023. To submit a nomination click HERE. The information will then be presented to the Chicago Chapter Membership for voting starting January 10, 2023. The award shall be given at the Winter Reception held in Chicago.

Follow the link below for nominator instructions and to complete the nomination form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VH8CS2V

*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. In 2009, the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association 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 2022.

A fruitful 2022 for Fulbright Chicago

Fulbright students and scholars at the launch of the Mentoring Program.

LAST THURSDAY DEC. 8 evening, the Mentoring Committee of the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association organized an informal meeting to recruit alums who might be interested in becoming mentors or who would like to become engaged in the Fulbright in the Classroom Program.  

The gathering took place at Fulbright alumnus Michael Schlesinger’s Logan Square home who welcomed, along with this wife Rhoda, the mentoring committee members and the alumni who came to find out how they could be involved in the programming. Enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres, the guests learned about the Fulbright Chicago Mentoring Program, an initiative spearheaded by Dr. Marilyn Susman, who explained how current international Fulbright students and scholars have been paired with local Fulbright alumni to serve as mentors and support them navigate their stay in the United States.

This program was launched on Sept. 30, 2022, after a one-year trial phase.

Board member Suzanne McBride briefly explained the Fulbright in the Classroom initiative, a program that this year was recognized with an award by the National Fulbright Association in D.C.  

Linda Spolleti, an alumna and a mentor, shared a potential new initiative of the Mentoring Committee that involves surveying current visiting students and local universities about services available regarding language comprehension. 

Dr. Ana Gil-García, a past president of the chapter and board member, gave a report on the Fulbright Research Speaker Series, a one-year programming that included 11 webinars presented by local and international Fulbright researchers about different topics that started in January this year. Gil-García, as St. Augustine College Director of Academic Effectiveness, organized this program that counted with the support of World Chicago and our local Fulbright Chicago chapter.

Finally, Brian McGough, an alum who completed his Fulbright in Argentina, gave us an update on the expanded social media presence that includes the new LinkedIn page as an additional way to maintain connected with our Fulbright Chicago members.

It was a memorable night that reinforced the efforts of the Fulbright Chicago alumni who enjoyed being together while creating a caring community of Fulbrighters. 


PLEASE JOIN US FOR AN INFORMAL get together on December 8 to learn more about the Fulbright Chicago Mentoring Program and share ideas to enhance it.

WHEN Thursday, December 8, 2022

TIME 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 pm 

WHERE 2735 West Logan Blvd, Chicago, Il 60047 (home of Michael Schlesinger)

Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Please click here to RSVP

The Fulbright Chicago Mentoring Program wants your ideas and your involvement. For many of us, our Fulbright Experience was a highlight of our personal and professional lives.  Was that true for you?  We need you to become active NOW and show your support of The Chicago Chapter of Fulbright by participating in:

  • The Mentoring Program
  • Fulbright in the Classroom
  • Other Innovative Initiatives

These programs can enrich your life while supporting visiting scholars and students as well as students in our local schools.