By Suzanne McBride—DOZENS OF FULBRIGHTERS gathered virtually Jan. 28 to honor the 2020 Dee Sarelas Service Award recipients that included a past chapter president and a local group the Chicago chapter has partnered with over the years, and they got an update on the Fulbright program from the association’s national leader.
Executive Director John Bader, joining the meeting from his home in suburban Washington, D.C., said the hope is the program, suspended in spring 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, will “return to normal” in fall 2021 in the Northern Hemisphere, with the Southern Hemisphere restarting in early 2022.
Despite the program’s suspension, Congress continues to appropriate money for it – something Bader called “quite extraordinary.” He encouraged all members to join the association in advocating for the program, noting “it’s very important for us to continue to raise our voices.”
With COVID-19 restrictions still in place, the Fulbright Association won’t be holding in-person advocacy days on Capitol Hill this spring as it normally does but will be asking members to participate in a digital advocacy campaign.
To mark the program’s 75th anniversary, the association is asking Fulbrighters to share their experiences. “We want to capture the full range of stories,” Bader said.
He also urged members to help promote global understanding with elementary and secondary students through the “Fulbright in the Classroom” program.
There’s no set curriculum, but the association has put together this toolkit. Members are encouraged to share their experiences as a Fulbrighter, including talking about the culture, food and music of the country in which they lived. Make sure after the visit – which are being held virtually – to complete this from and submit photos to the association.
Bader said when chapter grants resume, there will be a strong emphasis on interacting with underrepresented communities.
AND OUR 2020 DEE SARELAS SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENTS ARE …
Monica Swope, the Chicago chapter’s first African American president, received the 2020 Dee Sarelas Service Award.
The award was established in 2010 and is named for the founder of the Chicago chapter who died in 2007 at the age of 90; Dee Sarelas was a Fulbrighter in Greece. Swope, who had Fulbrights in Germany and Japan and is the founder of Learning Dimensions, is the eighth recipient.
For the first time, the Chicago chapter also honored an organization: World Chicago. President Peggy Parfenoff received the award on the group’s behalf.
A CAPPELLA MUSIC AND RAFFLE PRIZES
Attendees were entertained with the music of Chicago a Cappella, who performed three themes. Also 10 lucky winners shared in more than $300 in prizes awarded through a raffle.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS:
- Cupitol $25 gift card: Linda Jacobson
- Amazon $50 gift card: Monica Swope
- Cupitol $25 gift card: Ann Logue
- Best Buy $50 gift card: Joan Miller
- Cupitol $25 gift card: Lesby Velásquez
- Starbucks $50 gift card: Jamie Truax
- Cupitol $25 gift card: Erick Bertín Ortega Polito
- Amazon $50 gift card: Ivan Adames
- Fulbright gift basket: Peggy Parfenoff
- Fulbright gift basket: Michael Schlesinger
This was another opportunity to strengthen the Fulbright mission in our Chicago community.