Tag Archives: Fulbright scholars

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. 


Final 2022 Fulbright Research Speaker Series: Iranian women and their struggle for freedom

FOR OUR FINAL Fulbright Speaker Series, we have a presentation Dr. Mateo Mohammad Farzaneh, Associate Professor at Northeastern Illinois University, and author of the award-winning book “Iranian Women and Gender in the Iran-Iraq War.”

Dr. Mateo Mohammad Farzaneh

In September 2022, an Iranian female journalist followed up with the news of a young woman who had ended up on life-support while in custody of the Islamic Republic’s Moral Police. The 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died as a result and thus began a wave of unprecedented protests led by Iranian women, which has now turned into a national crisis. Earlier, the protestors demanded that the mandatory hijab law of 1979 be rescinded, and the choice of clothing in public be given to them.

TOPIC “Iranian women and their struggle for freedom.”

WHEN December 7, 2022 | 4:30-5:30 pm.


The government has responded by violently cracking down on the protestors, which is now a mix of male and female young adults.

Dr. Farzaneh will provide an historical overview of Iranian women’s struggle to gain freedom of expression and action that began in the 1800s.

Multimedia journalist Jackie Spinner, associate professor at Columbia College Chicago, will moderate this presentation. Prior to Columbia College Chicago, Spinner was a Washington Post reporter and Baghdad Bureau Chief, surviving attacks, car bombs and a kidnapping in Iraq.

This event is organized by the Office of Academic Effectiveness at St. Augustine College and counts with the support of WorldChicago and the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association.

You are invited: US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns on China-US relations

THE CHICAGO COUNCIL OF GLOBAL AFFAIRS invites all Fulbrighters and Friends of Fulbright to join for an invigorating hybrid networking event and lecture.

Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, leaders of one of the most consequential bilateral relationships in the world, recently concluded their first meeting as presidents at the G20 Summit. As Xi Jinping enters his third term in power, how will China-US relations evolve economically and politically?

Fulbrighters are invited to this special discussion with US Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China Nicholas Burns (joining remotely) and the Council’s Fay Hartog Levin (joining in person) to discuss the top issues of the Chicago Council Conference Center.

WHEN Tuesday, November 29, 2022

TIME 6:00- 7:15 PM

WHERE Chicago Council Conference Center, 130 E Randolph Street; or via YouTube

RSVP Email Matthew Abbott, Director of Government and Diplomatic Programs to register mabbott@globalaffairs.org


Chicago Fulbright alumni: Want to give back? Get involved with our chapter

Chicago Chapter Marilyn Susman, founder of the Mentoring Program welcomed mentors and mentees at the launch of the program that took place at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology on Sept. 30, 2022.

IF YOUR FULBRIGHT AWARD was a life-changing experience, we would like you to become active NOW and support the Fulbright visitors to the Chicagoland area.

We have two programs: The Fulbright Chicago Mentoring Program, and the Fulbright in the Classroom Program. Come and meet with us. We need you! Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

WHEN Thursday December 8, 2022

TIME 6:30- 8:30 PM

WHERE 2735 West Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60047 (home of Fulbrighter to the Czech Republic Michael Schlesinger)


If you are interested in becoming a Mentor or getting involved and cannot attend, please contact Marilyn Susman at marilynsusman@me.com.

The Fulbright Chicago Mentoring Program wants the ideas and involvement of Fulbright alumni, who will mentor visiting Fulbright scholars and students. 

This mentoring program was officially launched on Sept. 30, 2022, after a pilot program was developed and applied a year ago. It aims to connect our international visitors with a Fulbright alumni to provide support, guidance and enrichment during the time they spend in the United States.

You may also want to participate in Fulbright in the Classroom Program, by sharing your experience as a Fulbright awardee with students in our local schools.

This past October during the 45th Fulbright National Annual Conference, the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association was presented with the Program of the Year Award by the National Fulbright Association in Washington, DC. Through this Fulbright in the Classroom program, adopted by our chapter in 2010, local Fulbright alumni have visited dozens of schools in the Chicago land area during all these years, sharing the Fulbright mission with middle and high school students.

Marilyn Susman explaining the reach of the Fulbright Chicago Mentoring Program.
Fulbrighter to the Czech Republic Michael Schlesinger, member of the Fulbright Chicago Mentoring Program.
Fulbright scholars and students talking to members of the Mentoring Program.
Fulbright mentors and mentees enjoying pizza and beverages at the launch of the Chicago Chapter Mentoring Program.
The launch of the Fulbright Chicago Mentoring Program took place at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in River North this past Sept. 30.
Visiting Fulbright scholars and students talking to members of the Mentoring Program.

These programs can enrich your life while supporting visiting scholars and students as well as students in our local schools. We want to hear from you!

Celebrating 2022 International Education Week with a European Union theme and a reception

THIS YEAR WE ARE CELEBRATING International 2022 Education Week a little earlier! The Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association along with the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Chicago, invite you to an evening of insightful speakers followed by a reception.

Besides our speakers, we will have two honorable guests: The Consul General Mr. Jaroslav Kantůrek, and the Deputy Consul General Mr. Ondřej Pometlo.

Vice-Consul Dr. Monika Bokšová  | Czech Presidency in the 2022 Council of the EU: “Europe as a task” 

It only happens once in a long time. Czechia is holding its presidency in the Council of the European Union. What is the role of the presiding country? What are the Czech priorities in these turbulent times? Join us to learn more about the European Institutional Framework with Vice-Consul Dr. Monika Bokšová, Head of Trade and Economic Section at the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Chicago, who will explain the challenges ahead. 

Dr. Déborah Marber | The problem of empathic resistance: How failing to empathize with dissimilar others threatens the EU and what we can do to address it 

We often fail or struggle to empathize with others, something called “empathic resistance.” In this talk, Dr. Marber explores what empathy requires, and what factors promote or impede empathic resistance. She examines some of the roles of empathy in EU relations, and where these are more limited. From her analysis, Dr. Marber extrapolates ways to remedy such empathy deficits to promote better inter-European relations.

WHEN Wednesday, November 9, 2022

TIME 5:45pm – 7:45pm

WHERE Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Chicago, 205 N Michigan Ave. #1680, Chicago

RSVP By November 5, 2022 at 5PM 

COST *Free admission  *Registration is limited  *Check-in at the lobby


ATTIRE Business casual

Dr. Monika Bokšová is a diplomat who joined the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Chicago as Vice-Consul responsible for trade and economic affairs in 2021. Besides, academia has been an integral part of her career. Since 2016 she has been teaching and developing both undergraduate and postgraduate courses at universities in the Czech Republic and also in the USA. She obtained her master’s degree in Advanced International Studies from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna at the University of Vienna, followed by a PhD in International Trade at the University of Economics in Prague.

Dr. Déborah Marber is an Honorary Research and Teaching Associate in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Bristol (UK) and, from August 2022, a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Notre Dame’s Center for Philosophy of Religion. Her research sits at the intersection of epistemology, ethics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language. She is especially interested in the relationship between believing and imagining, as well as how it bears on action, well-being, and society. She graduated with a PhD in Philosophy from the University of St Andrews in June 2021.