Tag Archives: Jason Romano

Four Fulbright Chicago board members attended Fulbright National Conference in D.C.

Ana Gil-García, Jason Romano, Hariet Mayor Fulbright, Elio Leturia and Patti Powell

Ana Gil-García, Jason Romano, Harriet Mayor Fulbright, Elio Leturia and Patti Powell

“FULBRIGHT IN ACTION” was the theme of the 36th Fulbright Association Annual Conference that took place at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington D.C. October 3-6, 2013. Our Chicago Fulbright Chapter was well represented at this international event that comprised 27 panels and presentations. 250 participants from 35 countries attended the conference.

Not only did we have four Fulbright Chicago board members (Jason Romano, Patti Powell, Ana Gil García and Elio Leturia) at the conference but two of those participated as panelists. Ana Gil-García presented on the panel, “Walking the talk: Achieving diversity in the Fulbright Program” and Elio Leturia was on the “The Missing Voice on Gender Equality: Time for Men to Speak Up” luncheon panel which was presented by Sheryl Sandberg via a video introduction. Patti Powell presented “Charting the Hero’s Journey” as part of the opening Poster Session.

Judy Alsobrooks Meredith and Ana Gil-García presented in the Diversity panel

Judy Alsobrooks Meredith and Ana Gil-García presented in the Diversity panel

In the Diversity panel session, Gil-García discussed, along with Judy Meredith and David Smith, ways to increase diverse and minority applicants in the Fulbright Program, that has been decreasing in recent years. Her presentation encompassed her experiences as a Venezuelan woman, turned into a minority, a Latina, a Hispanic, a woman of color, a Venezuelan-American, a South-American, and other labels that she has received over her more than 25 years in the U.S.

Clymer, Fukushima, Leturia and Modi in the Gender Equality panel

Clymer, Fukushima, Leturia and Modi in the Gender Equality panel

Sandberg delivers the Gender Equality panel presentation

Sandberg introduced the Gender Equality panel

Leturia, along with Charles Clymer, Glen Fukushima and Kunal Modi shared their experiences and points of view about ways to achieve gender equality from the male perspective. As Sheryl Sanberg said in her presentation, “We’re not going to get to a more equal world if this is a conversation about women, amongst women. This isn’t about women. This is about all of us. And it will take men’s voices, along with women to make a difference… That’s why I’m so excited the Fulbright Association has worked on pulling together this panel. And I’m so excited to have this conversation about gender equality led by, and fully participated in by men.”

Though much of DC was shut down we were able to have a beautiful reception at the Diplomatic Rooms of the U.S. State Department, where Harriet Mayor Fulbright, Tom Healy, Chairman of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, and John Vogel, President of the Fulbright Association, among others, were present.

Mary Ellen Schmider, Vive President of the Fulbright Association, presented in the panel, "Fulbrighters in Action Volunteering Internationally: Iran & the Balkans".

Mary Ellen Schmider, Vice President of the Fulbright Association, presented in the panel, “Fulbrighters in Action Volunteering Internationally: Iran & the Balkans”.

Another highlight of the conference was the screening of the documentary “Zuluhoops” by Columbia College professor Kristin Pichaske, who shot the footage during her Fulbright in South Africa. The documentary depicted the story of Ken Mukai, a Fulbrighter from Los Angeles, who used basketball to teach and connect with his students in a remote town of the country.

On the last day of the conference another film, “Death Metal Angola,” which is making the rounds of various film festivals was shown. This movie was the closing activity of three days full of lively discussion both in sessions and on panels everyday.

Elio Leturia, Judy Meredith, James Meredith, Ana GIl-García and Patti Powell

Elio Leturia, Judy Meredith, James Meredith, Ana GIl-García and Patti Powell. James Meredith, a civil rights movement icon, presented in the Diversity luncheon.

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Good luck on your way back home! 2013 Spring Farewell was celebrated in Greektown

The first group of participants pose at the rooftop of the museum

The first group of participants pose at the rooftop of the museum

THE NATIONAL HELLENIC MUSEUM  and the Parthenon Restaurant in the Greektown area of Chicago were the spots chosen this year to celebrate the accomplishments of the Fulbright students in the Chicago area that have completed their programs and are getting ready to leave for their countries of origin.

The second group gathers at the first floor for a talk.

Participants gather at the first floor for a talk.

More than 70 participants among Fulbright students, alumni and guests got together at 11 a.m. at the new Hellenic Museum site for a tour of the facility. The museum, whose mission is to showcase and celebrate the contributions of the Greek and Greek American communities, was inaugurated 16 months ago, in December of 2011.

The second floor exhibit area of the Hellenic Museum

The second floor exhibit area of the Hellenic Museum

The new museum (the original was founded in 1983) is hosted in a contemporary and beautiful 40,000 square-foot building that features a library, several exhibition halls, and archival research center, and oral history center and different classrooms. There is also a rooftop (that can be rented for events) that has a magnificent view of the Chicago skyline.

Participants observe the historical photographs of the exhibit

Participants observe the historical photographs of the exhibit

After the museum tour, a delicious Greek buffet was awaiting at The Parthenon Restaurant

After the museum tour, a delicious Greek buffet was awaiting at The Parthenon Restaurant

The participants were divided into two groups to tour the museum.

Every year in late April, the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association and the Institute of International Education organize the Spring Farewell event in an ethnic neighborhood.

Participants can try on clothing used by the the Greek immigrants

Participants could try on clothing used by the the Greek immigrants

Certificates of completion are awarded to the Fulbright students who came to the Chicago area universities to pursue, generally, a master’s or PhD degrees. Last year, the Swedish neighborhood in Andersonville was chosen with a visit to the Swedish American Museum.

However, the Fulbright scholars, who generally are professors and researchers, are also invited to share the accomplishment of the students.

After the tour, a delicious Greek buffet was offered at the Parthenon Restaurant, right across from the Hellenic Museum where everybody had a chance to share moments of conviviality, celebrating the Fulbright spirit.

The second group listens to the tour guide, a passionate descendant of Greek immigrants

The second group listens to the tour guide, a passionate descendant of Greek immigrants

At the third floor of the museum, participants participate with interactive programs

At the third floor of the museum, participants participate with interactive programs

Fabiënne Zuijdwijk, Marilyn Susman and Martón Sicklos

Fabiënne Zuijdwijk, board member Marilyn Susman and Martón Sicklós

Chicago Chapter Board member Don Garner and his daughter at the Oral History archive

Chicago Chapter Board member Don Garner and his daughter at the Oral History center

Participants at the Oral History archive

Participants at the Oral History center

Marcial Escudero and his girlfriend right before the tour

Fulbright scholar Marcial Escudero and his girlfriend right before the tour

Participants listening to the tour guide at the rooftop

Participants listening to the tour guide at the rooftop

It was a beautiful spring day for the 2013 Fulbright student farewell.

It was a beautiful spring day for the 2013 Fulbright student farewell.

The Greek buffet at The Parthenon Restaurant, right across from the Hellenic Museum

The Greek buffet at The Parthenon Restaurant, right across from the Hellenic Museum

Students share a delicious lunch at the Parthenon Restaurant right before getting their Fulbright Association certificates of completion

Students share a delicious lunch at the Parthenon Restaurant right before getting their Fulbright Association certificates of completion

Alexandra de León receiving her Certificate of Completion right after lunch at the Parthenon Restaurant. With her, Ronald Harvey, President of the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association.

Alexandra de León receiving her Certificate of Completion right after lunch at the Parthenon Restaurant. With her, Ronald Harvey, President of the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association.

Another Fulbright student receiving her Certificate of completion at the Parthenon Restaurant

Eva Borjas receiving her Certificate of completion at the Parthenon Restaurant

A group photo of the students who attended the event and got their certificates.

A group photo of the students who attended the event and got their certificates. No, they are not possessed; that’s the flash on their eyes. So many cameras shooting at the same time.

Ten Fulbright Association Chicago chapter board members attended the Spring Farewell: Heidi Rockwell, Kari Burnett, Regina Mamou, Marilyn Susman, Elio Leturia, Ana Gil García, Cristina Sisson, Thomas Ahleman and Ronald Harvey. Not pictured, Jason Romano and Don Garner.

Ten Fulbright Association Chicago chapter board members attended the Spring Farewell: Heidi Rockwell, Kari Burnett, Regina Mamou, Marilyn Susman, Elio Leturia, Ana Gil García, Cristina Sisson, Thomas Ahleman and Ronald Harvey. Not pictured, Jason Romano and Don Garner.

Photos by Ron Harvey and Elio Leturia