THE FRIGID TEMPERATURES of past Friday, January 25, did not prevent over 110 attendees from participating in the 2019 Fulbright Chicago Winter Wonderland Reception at the Alliance Française in Chicago.
The celebration hosted Fulbright students, scholars and alumni, members of the Consular Corps and guests representing 52 countries from around the world. This annual signature event took place in conjunction with the Dee Sarelas Service Award Ceremony.
On this occasion, Dr. Norma Fay Green was the award recipient.
Meredith McNeil, Fulbright Chicago Chapter president requested the guests to pause the winter soireée and introduced Cristina Sisson, our previous Dee Sarelas awardee. Sisson, a past Chicago Chapter board member, presented the award to Dr. Green, highlighting the many ways she has contributed to our local association over the years, and called her a world-traveler. “When I say the world, I don’t mean two countries in Europe, but the world,” Sisson said to the amusement of the attendees.
Dr. Green is a Columbia College Chicago Emerita Professor. She taught journalism at that institution for 29 years until her retirement in 2017. She received a Fulbright grant in 2000 as a visiting professor in Denmark and a 2011 Fulbright-Hays grant to Morocco and Tunisia.
Upon her return from Denmark, Dr. Green set about to internationalize the Columbia College Chicago Journalism Department curriculum. She actively mentored graduate students, especially international students, who expressed interest in teaching. Over the years she modeled classroom management techniques for teaching assistants from Nigeria, Italy, Brazil and Canada and gave them a platform to lead discussions on topics of their own choosing relating to their homelands. She continued to infuse a global perspective in all 23 different courses she eventually taught and also created by regular study trips to Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.
She volunteered to be on the board of the Chicago Fulbright chapter and served from 2002-2004. She was admitted to the Fulbright Senior Specialists Roster in 2003 becoming a regular participant to the Fulbright Chicago events and activities over the years.
After getting trained in Washington, D.C. as a Fulbright Campus Representative in Fall 2002, Dr. Green created and conducted the Columbia College Chicago Annual Fulbright workshop for faculty and administrators, until her retirement.
In 2013 Columbia College was officially recognized as a “Fulbright Program Top Producing Institution,” by the Institute of International Education, all due to her relentless work and guidance.
The Dee Sarelas Fulbright Service Award, established in 2009, is named after a founder of the Fulbright Association Chicago Chapter: Aphrodite (“Dee”) Edith Floros Sarelas, an early Fulbrighter to Greece. This award acknowledges the person or institution that demonstrates its vocation of service to the Fulbright ideals and recognizes ‘‘the significant impact on the development of internationalism for the Fulbright Association and the Chicagoland community.”
Past Dee Sarelas Service Award recipients include Loyola University Professor Emerita and psychotherapist Dr. Marilyn Susman; Architect and Studio Talo Principal Thomas Ahleman; Northeastern Illinois University Professor and Educational Leadership Advocate Dr. Ana Gil-García; Columbia College Chicago professor and multimedia journalist Elio Leturia; American University in Bulgaria Psychology Researcher Dr. Ron Harvey; and Chicago Public Schools Spanish Teacher Cristina Sisson.
Photos by Elio Leturia