The Office of International Education is sponsoring several activities in celebration of International Education Week, October 10–14, 2011, including a naturalization ceremony October 14.
International Education Week, a joint national initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, promotes programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and that attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.
The naturalization ceremony, open to the community, will take place at 11:00 a.m. in the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex’s Toretti Auditorium. About ninety people representing thirty-six countries are expected to participate in the ceremony, conducted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Pittsburgh field office.
David Werner, IUP interim president, will give opening remarks for the event. Among those to be naturalized will be IUP Political Science faculty member Pooja Rishi.
Rishi, who began teaching at IUP this year, is originally from Madras, India. She will also offer remarks during the ceremony.
Rishi has been in the United States for eight years, and she and her husband are the parents of a son.
“I decided to apply for citizenship for family reasons,” she said. “I am raising my son here, and I have a stake in this community.” She began the naturalization application process four years ago.
“I feel very, very lucky to have completed the process in only four years,” she said. “I’m also so happy that the ceremony is planned at IUP, which is a home to me and to my family.”
This is the first time that Indiana County has hosted a naturalization ceremony.
Other programs for the week are being planned at IUP in collaboration with the Foreign Languages Department and the Lively Arts series. All events are free and open to the community, unless otherwise noted.
International Tea Time, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Hadley Union Building Susquehanna Room. Booths representing ten to fifteen countries, staffed by IUP international students, will offer tea, coffee, juice, food, and customs favored by their respective countries, including a Chinese tea ceremony.
International Women’s Breakfast: “Women’s Health,” 9:00 to 11:30 a.m., Hadley Union Building Monongahela Room. The program includes a panel of speakers from IUP discussing women’s health in the United States. Information on women’s organizations also will be on display. The program is free, but reservations are required by contacting the Office of International Education at 724-357-2295.
Products from Mi Esperanza, a nonprofit organization that supports the women of Honduras by helping them to create small businesses, will be for sale October 10, 11, 12, and 13 in conjunction with the afternoon events.