Chapter Spotlight: Mid-Florida

Chapter Spotlight: Mid-Florida

Just as the Fulbright Program affects both neighborhoods and nations, our chapters engage communities on both the local and international level. The Mid-Florida Chapter of the Fulbright Association has demonstrated outreach and engagement that has fostered connections through institutions and organizations at home and abroad.

The group pictured includes Károly Jókay (center) and Darlene DeMarie (right).

In October, the mid-Florida Chapter partnered with three colleges within the University of South Florida for a two-day Fulbright event. A key goal of the event was to highlight faculty and student opportunities, especially informing attendees of relevant Fulbright Programs. As part of this event, the Chapter hosted a special dinner with the USF College of Education, the USF Honors College, and USF World, which was attended by over sixty Fulbright alumni and members of the co-sponsors’ organizations.  Another luncheon invited undergraduate and graduate students to meet representatives from these organizations, giving young professionals the opportunity to network and share their experiences. The Chapter also had the chance to work with students from the University of South Florida, who served as volunteers.

A special guest of the event was the Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission in Hungary, Károly Jókay, who delivered a keynote address, “Views from Central Europe: Celebrating 72 Years of Fulbright.” Jókay offered information about Fulbright opportunities in Hungary and Eastern Europe, and provided a valuable international link to the event.

Darlene DeMarie, President of the Mid-Florida Chapter, organized the partnerships and gave the event’s welcome speech. “Those of us who work at large universities rarely have these types of interdisciplinary experiences with highly intellectual individuals,” she says. “It was truly an honor for us to co-sponsor an event and to host Károly Jókay, the Executive Director of the Fulbright Association in Hungary.”

The event allowed the Mid-Florida Chapter to increase its community profile by finding new Fulbright alumni, as well as friends of international education. Looking into 2019, the Mid-Florida Chapter has plenty of plans for continuing to engage Fulbright alumni as well as their community.

“When I attended the first event sponsored by the Mid-Florida Chapter after I returned from my Fulbright to South Africa, I was hooked,” says Darlene. “Here were people who understood the profound experiences I had as a Fulbright Scholar. I immediately joined the Fulbright Association as a lifetime member. Our Mid-Florida chapter has regular activities that provide opportunities for Fulbright Alumni and Visiting Fulbright Students and Scholars to engage in mutual exchange and dialogue. Senator Fulbright would be proud!”

If you would like to join the Mid-Florida Chapter, please login to your member account to enroll. If you are not yet a member, you can join the Fulbright Association by clicking here.

–Alison Aadland

 

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