Table of Contents
- La Jefa Updates-Michelle Streeter-Ferrari
- Upcoming March Events
- Students Abroad: Micah Chizever
- Highlighting February Collaborations: Campus Recreation and International Women's Rock Wall Climb
- Host Family Highlight: Melissa Bertolo
My name is Micah Chizever, and I am a senior history student minoring in Spanish at Wright State University. During the fall semester of my junior year in 2015, I had the wonderful opportunity to live abroad in Spain. While in Europe for four months, I was outside the social milieu of my own culture, and far away from anyone who ever knew me. This experience, and the perspectives I gleaned from it, afforded me the unique opportunity to form myself at a foundational level during a critical crossroads in my life’s journey. This opportunity is indispensable and I thoroughly enjoyed and benefitted from my time abroad. The friends I made and the experiences I gained were invaluable and unforgettable. I would do it again without a moment's hesitation.
On February 7th, the UCIE collaborated with Campus Recreation to provide a private rock wall climb for our International Women's Gathering. The international women's group meets once a month in efforts to support, empower, inform, and educate each other, including WSU students and the spouses of WSU students. Campus Recreation provided two staff members and opened their rock wall facilities an hour early just for the women to enjoy. Many of the women who attended had never climbed a rock wall before. It was a fantastic event that allowed the women to reach new heights. Thank you to our friends over at Campus Recreation for collaborating and being so willing to serve our students. Some other February collaborations included:
February 1, 2017-Student Leadership Lunch with Student Government Association's David Baugham
February 3, 2017-Global Connections: Dayton's Crazy Coupon Lady with International Friendship Inc.'s Gloria Jacob
February 4, 2017-Discover Series: Ice Skating at Riverscape with International Friendship Inc. and International Cultural Exchange
February 10, 2017-Valentine's Day Dance with International Cultural Exchange
February 11, 2017-Wright State International Festival Auditions with Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct's Christopher Hogan and Resident Life and Housing's Ciara Newsome
February 13, 2017-UCIE Convo Club with the Brandeberry Career Center
February 17, 2017-Global Connections: How to Use Dayton's Public Transportation System with RTA
February 22, 2017-Global Connections: Kuwait National Day with Batool Mohammad and Ahmed Abdulraheem
February 26, 2017-Host Family Program Goes to WSU vs. UIC Basketball Game with the President's Office
This month, we highlight Melissa Bertolo, a member of our Host Family Program since Fall 2016 and the program coordinator for Welcome Dayton, a communitive initiative that promotes immigrant integration into the greater Dayton region. Melissa was drawn to our Host Family Program because she has traveled oversees and can empathize with how difficult it can be making friends with locals in other countries. Because of this, she wanted to intentionally reach out and be a friend to international students in Dayton. She also has a 12 year old stepson who she wanted to expose to people from other cultures.
Melissa works to help immigrants integrate well into our local area. She was drawn to work for Welcome Dayton because of her interest in immigration issues. While she has worked for Welcome Dayton for 4 years now, she has been involved in many different opportunities related to immigration for the last 10 years. Not only does she reach out to immigrants in her professional life but she befriends international students in her personal life as well, showing that Melissa really values people with diverse backgrounds, skills, and experiences. She believes Dayton is a specal city for immigrants because it is a smaller city which allows more opportunity for people to get involved and make an impact.
Her family has been able to really benefit from their experience with the international students from the Host Family Program. "We had our students over for Thanksgiving. One of our students is from Iran. Having my whole extended family meet him was wonderful, because many perspectives and biases were changed."
Melissa has been able to reach out to her student who has been directly impacted by the recent Executive Order. "I look at the news every single day and I saw one of the countries directly impacted was where one of my students is from. My heart sunk immediately. I was thinking about him because he is very close to his family...I wanted to make sure he was O.K...I continue to reach out to him and offer support."
"(Being a host family) is very easy. It's based on your time commitment. It's a lot of fun. You meet wonderful people, share American culture, and learn about other cultures. It's really a beautiful experience," said Melissa.
We are thankful to Melissa for the work she does in our community, for reaching out to our students, and for helping make Dayton more welcoming for our international friends!