International Education Week Events to Include Naturalization Ceremony

Posted on 10/4/2011 11:42:19 AM

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.

October 10

  • International Education Week luncheon and photo contest, noon to 1:15 p.m., Crimson Events Center, Folger Hall. Photos will be on display, and attendees can vote for their favorite photos for a People’s Choice Award. All photos will be displayed at the Commonplace Coffeehouse until January 2012.
  • Six O’Clock Series: “Hidden Voices: The Lives of LGBT Muslims,” presented by Faisal Alam, 6:00 p.m., Hadley Union Building Ohio Room. Cosponsored by the IUP GLBT Commission, Office of International Education, IUP Pride Alliance, and the Department of Religious Studies, this program highlights the struggles and challenges facing sexual and gender minorities within the Muslim world.

October 11

  • Study Abroad Fair, noon to 3:00 p.m., Hadley Union Building Ohio Room. Students can talk to representatives and alumni about IUP reciprocal exchanges, affiliated programs, faculty-led programs, and overseas volunteer and service-learning opportunities.
  • Concert with José Franch-Ballester, part of the Lively Arts series, 8:00 p.m., Gorell Recital Hall. Franch-Ballester is an award-winning clarinetist from Spain. His performance will include a piece with IUP Music faculty member David Martynuik. Admission is charged.

October 12

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.

October 13

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.