Tag Archives: Ron Harvey

Norma Fay Green is the Recipient of the 2018 Dee Sarelas Service Award

The moment when Dr. Norma Green is announced as the 2018 Dee Sarelas Service Award recipient.

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.

Cristina Sisson, previous Dee Sarelas Service Award winner announces the 2018 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. Norma Green shares her Fulbright message with the audience. Green did her first Fulbright in Denmark.

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.

Dr Green and Michele, a Fulbrighter from Costa Rica exchange stories.

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.

A jazz duo provided the music to our annual event.

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.

Past Fulbright Chicago Chapter president Don Garner talks to Dr. Marilyn Susman (2010 Dee Sarelas Award recipient) and her husband Gary Auerbach.

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.”

Fulbrighters and guests enjoy the food, music and inviting atmosphere.

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.

Student Representative board member Teuta Peja welcomes Fulbrighters and guests to the annual event at the Alliance Francaise.

Participants from 52 countries enjoy a night of Fulbright camaraderie.

Chicago Chapter Board member Dr. Kari Burnett plays barwoman at the Winter Reception.

Argentine Deputy Consul Marcelo Boffi talks to Honduran Fulbright scholar Joan Miguel López.

The Winter Reception provides another opportunity to meet Fulbrighters from all over the world.

Previous Dee Sarelas Awardee Cristina Sisson was a Chicago Chapter board member for eight years.

The Winter Reception, scheduled until 8:30 pm got extended for an additional hour.

Board Member Dr. Richard Hallett and Chicago Chapter President Meredith McNeil

Dr. Norma Green poses with her Dee Sarelas Service Award.

The fun continued with an after party at Moe’s Cantina in River North …

… with dance included!

Photos by Elio Leturia

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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

The 2015 Winter Holiday Reception —a festive occasion

Fulbright Students attending the 2015 Chicago Chapter Winter Holiday Reception at the KnickerBoxer Hotel.

Fulbright Students attending the 2015 Chicago Chapter Winter Holiday Reception at the Knickerbocker Millennium Hotel.

THE CHICAGO CHAPTER of the Fulbright Association held its Winter Holiday Reception at the Knickerbocker Millennium Hotel downtown Chicago in the early part of December. The festive, holiday setting of the historic Knickerbocker Hotel proved a beautiful backdrop for the annual celebration.

Fulbright scholars attended the 2015 Winter Holidays Reception with their families.

Fulbright scholars attended the 2015 Winter Holidays Reception with their families.

Co-sponsored by the Institute of International Education (IIE), some 122 Fulbright Scholars, alumni, consular representatives, students, and friends of Fulbright attended the event on Friday, December 2, 2015.

Fulbright Chicago Chapter President Mary Mares-Awe, welcomes our guests.

Fulbright Chicago Chapter President Mary Mares-Awe, welcomes our guests.

Guests enjoyed a delicious buffet-style meal consisting of salmon, chicken, and vegetarian pasta along with salads and a wonderful chocolate mousse for dessert.

Ron Harvey, the Vice President of the Chicago Chapter served as the Master of Ceremonies. He briefly spoke of his Fulbright experience as a Fulbright Scholar to Bulgaria, before introducing Mary Mares-Awe, the President of the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association.

 Hon. Consul General of Pakistan, Mr. Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, shares his experiences as a foreign exchange student.

Hon. Consul General of Pakistan, Mr. Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, shares his experiences as a foreign exchange student.

Mary welcomed all attendees and in her speech reminded the audience of the celebratory focus of the event. “One of the main reasons to celebrate is that tonight we have 48 countries represented by scholars, students and members of various Chicago consulates.” she said. In addition, the alumni in attendance have visited 21 countries through the Fulbright Program.

Also attending the 2015 Winter Holiday reception, were many representatives from among Chicago’s consular corps including Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Hon. Consul General of India; Mr. Michael Wood, Hon. Consul General of Australia; Mr. Andre King, Hon. Consul of Barbados; Mr. Ihsan Sweiss, Hon. Consul General of Jordan, Mr. Toshiyuki Iwado, Hon. Consul General of Japan; Mr. Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, Hon. Consul General of Pakistan; Mr. Ilker Pak representing the Turkish Consulate in Chicago, and the consulate of Haiti was represented by Ms. Marie Casimir.

Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Hon. Consul General of India; Mr. Michael Wood, Hon. Consul General of Australia; Mary Mares-Awe, President of the Chicago Chapter and Hon. Consul General of Japan.

Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Hon. Consul General of India; Mr. Michael Wood, Hon. Consul General of Australia; Mary Mares-Awe, President of the Chicago Chapter and Mr. Toshiyuki Iwado, Hon. Consul General of Japan.

“Another reason to celebrate”, Mary continued, “is that 2016 marks the 70th anniversary of the Fulbright program.” Various activities will be planned through the year around the theme of the anniversary.

Fulbright guests enjoying a lively conversation

Fulbright guests enjoying a lively conversation

Columbia College Chicago Jazz trio provided excellent live music.

Columbia College Chicago jazz trio provided excellent live music.

“And the biggest reason to celebrate, is our friendship solidified by our experiences as Fulbrighters” Mary Mares-Awe added in conclusion. After Mary’s welcoming speech, the Hon. Consul General of Pakistan to Chicago, Mr. Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, gave a brief speech outlining the importance of educational exchange programs, by recounting his own experiences as a foreign exchange student prior to his diplomatic career. Of the Fulbright scholars and students studying this year in Chicago, Pakistan, represented by six Fulbrighters, comprises the second largest group after Mexico.

A jazz trio of music students from Columbia College Chicago added to the warm, festive atmosphere of the event with their professional-level performance of jazz music through the evening.

Photos by Jenni Schneiderman

2015 Fall Welcome event – the biggest yet

Consul General of Japan Hon. Toshiyuki Iwado, Fulbright Association Chicago Chapter President Mary Mares-Awe, and Vice President Dr. Ron Harvey stand next to a display of a traditional Japanese kimono

Consul General of Japan Hon. Toshiyuki Iwado, Fulbright Association Chicago Chapter President Mary Mares-Awe, and Vice President Dr. Ron Harvey stand next to a display of a traditional Japanese kimono.

By Jade Stanley —THE CHICAGO CHAPTER of the Fulbright Association held its Fall Welcome on Friday, October 16. This was the biggest Fall Welcome ever organized by the Chapter, with some 120 attendees representing more than 60 countries.

The event, sponsored by The Fulbright Association-Chicago Chapter and the  Institute of International Education (IIE), was held at the Consulate of Japan on the 10th floor of the Olympia Building on Chicago’s Gold Coast.

Seven students who came from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign especially for this event: Mohammad Omar Hasseeb (Egypt,) Pericles Alejandro Bayas Mora (Ecuador,) Rodrigo Betanzo Dávila (Chile,) now doing his OPT in Chicago, Caro Chantrill (Argentina,) also doing her OPT in Chicago, Waqar Zia (Pakistan,) Juan Diego Núñez (Dominican Republic) and Aleksey Perekipniy (Russia).

Seven students who came from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign especially for this event: Mohammad Omar Hasseeb (Egypt,) Pericles Alejandro Bayas Mora (Ecuador,) Rodrigo Betanzo Dávila (Chile,) now doing his OPT in Chicago, Caro Chantrill (Argentina,) also doing her OPT in Chicago, Waqar Zia (Pakistan,) Juan Diego Núñez (Dominican Republic) and Aleksey Perekipniy (Russia).

Ron Harvey, the Chapter’s Vice President introduced The Consul General of Japan Hon. Toshiyuki Iwado, who welcomed the participants followed by a speech by Mary Mares-Awe, the current Chapter President.

In her welcoming speech, Mary thanked the Consulate General of Japan for providing a wonderful space to host our program. She encouraged those present to “use Fulbright as a platform to strengthen bonds, build friendships and promote peaceful coexistence” among people around the world.

Atendees exchange ideas over a catered meal.

Atendees exchange ideas over a catered meal.

Egyptian Fulbrighters (L-R) Khalid Shaalan, Raghda El-Mogui, and Mohamed Omar enjoyed the iO Theater improv comedy performance.

Egyptian Fulbrighters (L-R) Khalid Shaalan, Raghda El-Mogui, and Mohamed Omar enjoyed the iO Theater improv comedy performance.

During a catered buffet dinner, attendees had an opportunity to mingle and learn about each other, and to affirm friendships, along with academic, and professional connections that will last for years.

The main focus of the Fall Welcome is to provide a friendly forum for newly arrived visiting Fulbrighters and to meet chapter board members, Chicago-area alumni, and to introduce them to a Chicago’s unique cultural aspects. It provides a perfect opportunity for cultural enrichment of both visiting Fulbrighters and association members.

Jill Festermaker a performer from iO Theater leads students in a fun, comedy acting excersice

Jill Fenstermaker a performer from iO Theater leads students in a fun, comedy acting excersice

One of the cultural legacies of Chicago is the rich history its improvised   comedy theater. Attendees at Friday’s event got a unique treat to attend a performance of improvised Shakespeare at the iO Theater.

Fulbrighters (L-R) Shafia Imtiaz, Shehrbano Minallah, and Raghda El-Mogui had fun attending the Shakespeare comedy improv performance at iO Theater.

Fulbrighters (L-R) Shafia Imtiaz, Shehrbano Minallah, and Raghda El-Mogui had fun attending the Shakespeare comedy improv performance at iO Theater.

Prior to leaving for the theater, Ron Harvey along with Tess Borgerding who is a performer at CiC Theater, and Jill Fenstermaker who performs at iO Theater, set the stage by leading participants in a series hilarious comedy acting exercises.

Following the activities at the Japanese Consulate, guests were escorted to the iO Theater as a group using public transportation and were able to view the iO Theater photographs and artifacts reflecting the history of Chicago improv comedy.

The Chicago Board members of the Fulbright Association want to thank everyone for coming out and participating in our Fall Welcome and look forward to all of you joining us for upcoming Fulbright Association events.

Dinner and a show for the 2015 Fulbright Chicago Fall Welcome event

Improvised theaterTHIS YEAR the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association would like to introduce visiting Fulbright Students and Scholars to a cultural icon of Chicago: a performance of The Improvised Shakespeare Company at iO Chicago.

Sponsored by our chapter and the Institute of International Education IIE, our 2015 Fall Welcome event has a dinner and a show. All association members with their families, colleagues and friends are invited.

WHEN Friday, October 16th, 2015

CASUAL DINNER 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Consulate General of Japan, 737 North Michigan Avenue (enter at 151 E Chicago Ave. and take the elevator to the 11th floor.) Suite 1100, Chicago, Illinois 60611

(NOTE: Neiman Marcus on 737 North Michigan Ave is NOT the main entrance. Enter at 151 E Chicago Ave and take the elevator to the 11th floor.) Directions and Transport: http://www.chicago.us.emb-japan.go.jp/About/conmap_e1.pdf

SHOW After dinner we will go to The Improvised Shakespeare Company at iO Chicago located at 1501 N. Kingsbury St. in Chicago.  See http://www.improvisedshakespeare.com/ for a sample!  The performance starts at 10:30 p.m. but before the show we can mingle, enjoy a drink at the iO full service bar, and view the photos of famous improvisers and performers of of the iO Theater. Fifty tickets have already been distributed to Fulbright students and scholars. If you need a ticket, feel free to get one here.

COST FREE for current visiting Fulbright Students, Scholars, and Teachers. Please RSVP here. $20 for alumni, each adult family member, and/or guest(s). You may pay in person with cash, credit card, or online using PayPal (+$1 processing fee) after you submit this form.

RSVP by Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 using this form.

You may order tickets ($16 each) for The Improvised Shakespeare Company performance for yourself or your guests. Please select the October 16th 10:30 show via iO box office at 312-929-2401 or here. (Note there is NO fee for telephone orders.)

If you have questions about the event, please email fulbrightchicago@gmail.com.

Members of the Chicago Chapter meet at a Cocktail Reception with visitors from the Fulbright Association National Office

Chicago chapter President Mary Mares-Awe, Dr. herma Williams, Elio Leturia, Don garner, Brey Doyle, Fulbright Association Executive Director Jennifer Oxley, Ron Harvey and Dolores Rinke.

Chicago chapter President Mary Mares-Awe, Dr. Herma Williams, Elio Leturia, Don Garner, Brey Doyle, Fulbright Association Executive Director Jennifer Oxley, Ron Harvey and Dolores Rinke.

By Mary Mares-Awe—JENNIFER OXLEY, THE EXECUTIVE Director of the Fulbright Association, and Dr. Herma Williams, Member of its Board of Directors visited Chicago on May 7 and 8. They met at a cocktail reception with several members of the Chicago chapter board to exchange ideas, discuss future plans and talk about the Fulbright experiences.

This was an excellent opportunity to meet with members of the National team in a casual, after-work atmosphere in pleasant surroundings of the 676 restaurant in the heart of Chicago.

Elio Leturia and Jennifer Oxley at Columbia College Chicago

Elio Leturia and Jennifer Oxley at Columbia College Chicago

Also in attendance was Chicago board member Brey Doyle, who is leaving Chicago to begin her master’s in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Nationwide there are more than 50 Fulbright Association chapters, and Chicago is one of the largest and most active ones. It’s exciting to have a strong working relationship with, and the support of, the National Office.

Ms. Oxley and Dr. Williams also visited Columbia College Chicago with our Director of Communications, Elio Leturia, who is a journalism associate professor in the Communication and Media Innovation Department of Columbia College.

2015 Spring Farewell: Fulbrighters gather at the Garfield Park Conservatory

Almost 100 people participated in the 2015 Spring Farewell at the Garfield Park Conservatory

Almost 100 people participated in the 2015 Spring Farewell at the Garfield Park Conservatory

By Jade Stanley—THE BEAUTIFUL GARFIELD PARK Conservatory in Chicago served as the backdrop for the 2015 Spring Farewell Luncheon. The event, sponsored by The Fulbright Association-Chicago Chapter and the International Institute of Education (IIE), was held on Saturday, April 25 at the Conservatory’s Jensen Room.

More than 60 countries were represented by almost 100 participants including members of the Chicago Consular Corps, Fulbright Scholars, students, alumni, and family members who all came out to share in the special day.

Dr. Ron Harvey, vice-presidentof the Fulbright Chicago Chapter and Hon. Andre King, Consul General of Barbados.

Dr. Ron Harvey, vice-president of the Fulbright Chicago Chapter and Hon. Andre King, Consul General of Barbados.

The farewell 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, and academic, and professional connections that will last for years.

Although the day was gray and rainy, the Garfield Park Conservatory was a wonderful place to visit as the plants and flowers were in full bloom, reminding us of warmer days to come. It’s one of the largest and most stunning conservatories in the nation and has been referred to as “landscape art under glass.” Thousands of plants are grown here each year. The Conservatory itself is located in Garfield Park, a 184-acre site.

Chicago Chapter president Mary Mares-Awe and Rhandy Barba, Fulbright student from Panama.

Chicago Chapter president Mary Mares-Awe and Rhandy Barba, Fulbright student from Panama.

In her welcoming speech, Chapter President, Mary Mares-Awe, praised the beauty of nature’s environment as showcased by the Conservatory, but she also reminded us of nature’s destructive force – exemplified that day by the mass-scale earthquake in Nepal.

Mary said “nature is something we can’t control, but we do have influence over human relationships in trying to prevent war and destruction.” She encouraged those present to “use Fulbright as a platform to strengthen bonds, build friendships and promote peaceful coexistence” among people around the world.

Guests at the luncheon enjoyed a delicious meal catered by Wishbone, a southern-inspired restaurant. The menu included blackened catfish, baked chicken, fresh mixed greens, southern-style mashed potatoes, and cornbread.

The following are an example of some of the comments expressed by the attendees:

Joan Clarke, a visiting scholar, completed her Fulbright in Jamaica and commented on the exciting year she had in Chicago and how it has inspired her to continue her research.

Norma Green, journalism professor at Columbia College Chicago, completed her Fulbright in Denmark and later a Fulbright-Hays in Morocco and Tunisia and stated she loves to come out and participate in Fulbright sponsored events, which provides and opportunity to share her experiences and learn what other Fulbrighters are doing both in Chicago and around the world. John Corbett accompanies her to these events and also commented on the richness of the exchanges.

Kukunda Elizabeth Bacwayo, visiting scholar from Uganda, has had a remarkable year in Chicago teaching and conducting research and is hopeful to extend her time here in Chicago to continue her work and continue to develop rich friendships and relationships with other Fulbright scholars.

The Garfield Park Conservatory is open 365 days a year and it had recently reopened after the damaging hailstorm of 2011. What a great location to say hello to spring!

The Garfield Park Conservatory is open 365 days a year and it had recently reopened after the damaging hailstorm of 2011. What a great location to say hello to spring!

The Chicago Board members of the Fulbright Association want to thank everyone for coming out and participating in our Spring Farewell and wish each of you a safe journey home and best wishes on all of your future endeavors.