Tag Archives: IIE

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

Fulbright Chicago Winter Reception at the Alliance Française

holiday-17-dee

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!

Cyber Security for International Education Week

The Chicago Cultural Center

The Chicago Cultural Center

By Mary Mares-Awe—TO CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL Education Week, the Board of the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association, in partnership with World Chicago, and the Institute of International Education (IIE), invite you to a Panel Presentation on Cyber Security.

The area of cyber security of concern to virtually everyone using the internet.  We rely on the internet for communication, commerce, education, work, and data storage. However, with the extensive usage of digital data, there is an ever-increasing risk of personal information and intellectual property being compromised by cyber-based attacks. Cyber security involves protecting our information by preventing, detecting, and responding to online threats.

Yilmaz Halac

Yilmaz Halac

The event will feature an expert panel presentation led by an FBI Special Agent who will discuss Cyber Security at the personal level, and provide tips on how individuals can stay safe online. Another member of the panel, Mr. Then Yilmaz Halac, will speak about Security at the public safety level, using his experience as the Managing Deputy Director for the 911 center, during the NATO summit in Chicago.

This will be an excellent opportunity, to learn about this important topic from highly respected experts in the field of cyber security.

WHAT Panel discussion on Cyber Security, Q&A, and networking.

WHEN Thursday, November 17, 2016  |  5:00pm-7:00pm

WHERE  The Chicago Cultural Center
1st Floor Garland Room
78 E. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602

Use www.transitchicago.com to plan your route.

Refreshments will be served.

COST  FREE for current visiting Fulbright Students, Scholars, and Teachers. The cost is $10 for Fulbright alumni, each adult family member, and/or guest(s).

RSVP by November 15, 2016  using the form below.
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSesggzHV4DgnX2IggmNPWizfsDVbbEnwMTWeJRlzqytw-2tVw/viewform

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

Meet Jane and Francesca at the 2016 Fulbright Chicago Fall Welcome

In 1965, the Hull House was designated as a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Photo by Kevin Spitta

In 1965, the Hull House was designated as a U.S. National Historic Landmark.      Photo by Kevin Spitta

THE FULBRIGHT ASSOCIATION-Chicago Chapter and the Institute of International Education (IIE) invite you, your family, colleagues, and friends to attend the 2016 Fall Welcome.

WHEN Sunday, October 16th, 2016, noon-3pm

WHERE Jane Addams Hull-House Museum [noon-1:00pm]
800 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60607

Francesca’s on Taylor [1:15pm-3pm]
1400 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60607

Jane Addams

Jane Addams

We will meet at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, and tour the historic building located at the Chicago Campus of the University of Illinois. Jane Addams was a social reformer who worked closely with the immigrant communities of Chicago during the late 19th, and early 20th century. She was the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

After the museum tour we will go to Francesca’s on Taylor, an authentic Italian restaurant (within walking distance of the museum), where we can mingle, make new friends, exchange Fulbright stories and enjoy a wonderful meal.

COST The event is FREE for ALL current visiting Fulbright Students, Scholars, and Teachers! The cost is $20 for alumni, each adult family member, and/or guest(s).

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

Please note that you are responsible for your own transportation and/or accommodation to and from the event. Use www.transitchicago.com to plan your route!

PARKING Metered Street Parking is available. There is also a parking lot across from the Museum.

RSVP by Friday, October 14th, 2016 by using this form.

The Fall Welcome will provide a forum for visiting Fulbright scholars and students to meet Chapter Chapter Board members and Chicago-area alumni. This fun event will provide the perfect opportunity for cultural and educational enrichment of both visiting Fulbrighters and the Fulbright Association members. We look forward to seeing you at the event!

Fulbright Chicago Jazz Concert and Wine Reception

Poster design by Kevin Spitta, German Fulbrighter

Poster design by Kevin Spitta, German Fulbrighter

By Mary Mares-Awe—IN CELEBRATION OF the 5th anniversary of UNESCO designated International Jazz Day on April 30, the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association in partnership with 90.9fm WDCB Public Radio, Morgan Stanley and the Institute of International Education (IIE), would like to invite you, your family, colleagues and friends to a very special evening on the eve of International Jazz Day, featuring a live jazz performance and a post-performance wine and soft drink reception.

Grazyna Auguscik

Grazyna Auguscik

The event, featuring international recording artist and jazz performer Grazyna Auguscik will be broadcast live on 90.9fm WDCB.

Jazz has strong roots in Chicago, and international artists have come to the city to study, develop their craft and perform.  This will be a wonderful opportunity to enjoy an evening of live music at a great downtown location.

WHEN Friday, April 29, 2016

PERFORMANCE   5pm-6pm (doors open at 4:15pm)*

RECEPTION   6pm-6:45pm
*because this event will be broadcast live on public radio, NO ONE WILL BE ADMITTED  to the performance auditorium after 4:50pm.

WHERE Piano Forte Foundation, 1335 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago IL 60605

Please RSVP by clicking HERE.

COST $15 (plus $1 PayPal fee)
Seating is limited.  To guarantee a seat at the performance, please purchase your tickets in advance by clicking HERE .
You DO NOT need to have a PayPal login to pay.

We look forward to seeing you at the event!

The 2016 Spring Farewell takes place at the National Hellenic Museum in Greektown

Originally founded as the Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center, in 1983, the National Hellenic Museum is the second oldest American institution dedicated to the displaying and celebrating the cultural contributions of Greeks and Greek-Americans.

Originally founded as the Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center in 1983, the National Hellenic Museum is the second oldest American institution dedicated to the displaying and celebrating the cultural contributions of Greeks and Greek-Americans.

By Mary Mares-AweTHE CHICAGO CHAPTER of the Fulbright Association and the Institute of International Education (IIE) invite you, your family, colleagues and friends to attend our 2016 Spring Farewell Luncheon and visit to the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago’s historic Greek Town.

The purpose of this event is to bid fond farewells 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 lasting friendships and professional connections. ​

WHEN Saturday, April 16, 2016, 12:00pm – 4pm.

WHERE ​​​​ National Hellenic Museum located at 333 South Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60661


Following the museum visit, we’ll go to Roditys Restaurant for a luncheon starting at 1:30pm. Roditys is located at 222 South Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60661

Those who only want to attend the luncheon, should arrive at the restaurant by 1:30pm

​COST This event is FREE to current Fulbright students and scholars. ​

The cost for each accompanying adult family member and/or guests, Fulbright Alumni, Association Members, Friends of Fulbright, etc. is $20/person. You may pay by PayPal when you R.S.V.P. using this LINK  (preferred), or you may pay by cash, check, or credit card at the event. https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=E997C7J39NUMN

HOW TO GET THERE If you plan on using public transportation, please plan your trip via transitchicago.com If you take the L Blue line, get off at the UIC-Halsted stop and then walk north on Halsted.

PARKING There is metered street parking along Halsted, Adams, and Jackson streets, and several self-park, parking lots in the vicinity. Roditys has a limited number of complimentary parking spots in the lot across the street from the restaurant.

 R.S.V.P.  NOW (and NO LATER THAN Tuesday, April 12) by clicking HERE or on the link below:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/16ZufU2RT4LmNMl-S0xs6-UzAlFlnkL5uEZ2y9Fn-248/viewform

We look forward to seeing you at the event!