Bulletin # 142

Posted by: Editorial Committee  :  Category: News & Articles

THE HELLENIC LINK, Inc.

 

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Editorial Committee: Achilleas Adamantiades, Dimitri Dandolos, Alex Economides, Maria-Eleftheria Giatrakou, Gerasimos Merianos, Panagiotis Siskos, Stella Tsirka;     Associate Editor : Dean C. Lomis, Acting Editor: Costas Efthymiou

 

Bulletin 142   December 2016

 

 

 

Member UpdateBulletin

 

Μέσα Μου Λάμπουν Ξάστεροι Ουρανοί,

Καί Το Κορμί Μου, Φάτνη Ταπεινή,

Βλέπω Κι Αλλάζει, Γίνεται Ναός.

                                       Κωστής Παλαμάς

 

Με την ευχή να βιώσουμε την ποιητική αυτή έκφραση  της Θείας Γέννησης, ας γιορτάσουμε όλοι τα φετεινα Χριστούγεννα κι ας ανανεωθούμε για μια δημιουργικώτερη ζωή και πνευματικά ανώτερο Νέο Έτος 2017, με Ειρήνη

μέσα μας και γύρω μας.

 

                            Η Συντακτική Επιτροπή

 

                                 ΧΡΟΝΙΑ ΠΟΛΛΑ!

                          

 

In this issue, we are very pleased to report favorable results of collaboration between the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh) and our cultural and scientific Association, Hellenic Link, Inc. (HL). Recently, we had the unique honor to organize and coordinate the program of a visit to the USA of the Rector of AUTh Professor Pericles Mitkas  and the President of the School of Modern Greek Language (SMG) of the University, Associate Professor Marina Mattheoudakis. The purpose of the 3-day visit was to make contacts with American educational institutions, to open channels of communication, and to expand community and global partnerships. Our Board of Directors readily met the challenge of the AUTh request to facilitate the achievement of this purpose. Below, we provide a chronicle of the itinerary of our distinguished guests, the activities that took place in the educational institutions visited, and the anticipated results from agreed collaborative projects.                                                                                                                                                    CJE

  

 

November 17, 2016: Series of Meetngs Held at Stony Brook University(SBU), Coordinated by Professor Stella Tsirka

Following is a Summary of the Activities of the Visit, Provided by Prof. Tsirka,

On November 17, 2016 I had the pleasure of hosting two distinguished guests from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (ΑΠΘ), my alma mater. Rector Pericles Mitkas and the President of Modern Greek Language instruction, Prof. Marina Mattheoudaki, visited Stony Brook University (SBU). During the day of their visit they had the opportunity to meet with our Deans of the School of Medicine (Dr. Ken Kaushansky), of the College of Arts and Sciences (Dr. Sacha Kopp), of the College of Engineering (Dr. Fotis Sotiropoulos), of the College of Business (Dr. Manny London), as well as the Dean of Libraries (Dr. Constantia Constantinou). In addition they met with specific faculty from Engineering, Drs. Sotiris Mamalis and Vangelis Coutsias; the College of Business, Dr. Art Lekacos; the College of Medicine, Dr. Chrisa Arcan; and our Tsantes Professor of Hellenic Literature and Language, Dr. Nikos Panou.

All our conversations revolved around potential collaborations and exchange of scholarship between SBU and ΑΠΘ. Notes and ideas were compared and exchanged among the relevant parties, with emphasis on setting interactions relevant to the teaching of Modern Greek language at SBU and the use of instruction materials. The summer abroad program, run by SBU’s College of Business, was introduced and the group ‘brainstormed’ on how to expand the program to other disciplines and take advantage of all the offerings that ΑΠΘ offers, potentially both during the summer, but also during the academic year. Discussions on potential fundraising for such programs and scholarly interactions were held, and plans to move forward with strengthening the ties between the two universities were set.

The visitors also met during lunch and interacted with representatives of our Greek and Cypriot Student Association. The students indicated their eagerness to establish exchange programs between the two universities, and provided their input on how to make such exchanges work for the benefit of both institutions.

Overall it was a very successful visit with two very engaging guests, and we hope that the foundation of collaborations and interactions has been established. We are grateful to Hellenic Link for organizing and coordinating the visit.

 

Stella E. Tsirka, PhD
Professor
Department of Pharmacological Sciences

Deputy Provost and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
Director, Scholars in BioMedical Sciences
Stony Brook University

President, New York Chapter of the
American Foundation for Greek Language and Culture

 

According to supplementary information we have received since the conclusion of the programmed visit at SBU, some of the action decisions taken included the generation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two universities for collaborative activities,  and the exploration of “the possibility of SBU becoming the coordinator for the Study Abroad program between AUTh and the entire SUNY system”(which, as is Known, comprises 64 academic institutions in different campuses throughout the NY State, except for the Municipality of NYC, which has the CUNY system..

November 18, 2016: Meetings at the Center of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies at Queens College, NYC:

  1. A) Meeting coordinated by Professor Christos P. Ioannides, Director of the Center (12-2pm)

This meeting was attended by the visitors from AUTh, Prof. Christos Ioannides, Effie Lekkas, Assistant Director of the Center, and Professor Gerasimos Katsan, Chair, Department of European Languages and Literatures and also Secretary of the Modern Greek Studies Association. The meeting focused on issues related to:

  • The design of a Study Abroad Program which will enable students of Queens Collegeto do a semester abroad at the Aristotle University either during the Spring Semester or during the Summer Sessions.
  • The design of a summer language course, organized by the School of Modern Greek Language (SMG) for students of Queens College, to be carried out at SMG and at the site of the AUTh summer camp.
  • The exploration by QC of the possibility becoming the coordinator for the Study Abroad Program between AUTh and the entire CUNY system; the system, as is known, comprises 11 Senior Colleges, 6 Honors and Professional Schools, and 7 Community Colleges.

 

  1. B) November 18, 2016: Conference of the Visitors with the Board of Directors of Hellenic Link, Inc., hosted by the Center of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies of Queens College (2-4:30 pm), coordinated by Prof. Constantine J. Efthymiou

Participants in the Conference were: the Rector of AUTh, Professor Mitkas, President Mattheoudakis, Professor Ioannidis, Director of the Center, Professor Efthymiou, President of the Hellenic Link, Inc., Evangelos Gizis, PhD, Senior Advisor, CUNY; former College President, Christopher Stratakis, Esq., Legal Counsel of the Hellenic Link, Inc., and Constantine Hatzidimitriou, PhD, Senior School/District Improvement Liaison, Office of State/Federal Educational Policy and School Improvement Programs, School/District Comprehensive Education Planning Team. In the conference,  two more Directors of the Hellenic Link, Vasiliki Tsigas-Fotinis, PhD and Achilles Adamantiades participated by telephone-communication. In summary, the following points of the agenda were introduced and deliberated:

  • Professor Efthymiou explained the structure and cultural functions of the Hellenic Link, Inc. and gave an account of major contributions to the creation of an infrastructure for Hellenic Education in the USA, among them taking initiatives on “A Hellenic Education Plan for America”, and the “ Standardization of the teaching/learning of Modern Greek”.
  • One of the contributions has been in development: the modular teaching of Greek cultural themes, which is well adapted to the American system of Education. The initiator of this project, Constantine Hatzidimitriou explained the rationale of the method which currently is used by Hellenic Link in collaboration with the Institute of Historical Research of the National Hellenic Research Foundation (EIE, the Greek acronym) to develop and publish “A Guide for Teaching Byzantine Civilization,” for use by teachers and students of Social Studies in US high schools.
  • Vasiliki Tsigas-Fotinis, speaking on the telephone from Boston, where she was attending the Annual Convention of ACTFL, briefed the visitors on the present status of the “ Standards for Teaching Modern Greek “ to be published by ACTFL and recommended membership in the Greek Special Interest Group (SIG) of ACTFL for the SMG of AUTh and for as many Teachers of the Modern Greek language as possible.
  • Achilles Adamantiades, speaking on the phone from suburban Washington, DC described the Hellenic cultural environment in his area and the activities of two very notable Organizations there, ΚΥΚΛΟΣ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΓΛΩΣΣΑΣ και ΠΡΟΜΗΘΕΑΣ. He also advised the Visitors that two faculty members of the University of Maryland at College Park, Dr. Polyvia Parara, Professor of Greek, and Dr. Anthony Efremides, Cynthia Kim Endowed Professor of Information Technology, expressed willingness to collaborate with Aristotle University in its current outreach endeavors.
  • The Rev. Professor Emeritus of Stockton University of NJ Demetrios J. Constantelos was scheduled to communicate with the Visitors during the Conference; unfortunately however, he was taken ill and hospitalized shortly before the Conference. We pray and hope for his speedy recovery.
  • Elias Stefanakos, Professor and Director, Clean Energy Research Center, College of Engineering, University of South Florida communicated shortly before the Conference with the Board by Email to indicate his willingness to interact and collaborate with AUTh.

Early action (in December, 2016) will be taken by the SMG for participation in the modular teaching method project of the Hellenic Link for teaching a major Hellenic cultural theme; also, contact will be made with Professor Parara of the University of Maryland. Other recommendations for action were taken under advisement.

November 19, 2016: Visit of Odyssey Charter School (OCS), Wilmington, DE

In realizing a previously accepted invitation, the representatives of the Aristotle University visited the school and held useful discussions with members of its Board of Directors. In attendance at the discussions, in addition to Rector Mitkas and President Mattheoudakis, were the President of the OCS Board, Dimitri Dandolos, who coordinated the schedule and activities of the Wilmington visit, George Rigos, member of the Board, and Mr. George Petrakakis, Governor of District 5 of AHEPA. Prior to the meeting, the hosts showed the visitors around the 36-acre campus of the school, its 8 buildings, and facilities. The School at present has enrolled 1440 students (K-12) and 125 teachers and administration staff (100 of who are teaching staff).

  • The President of the School explained that the Primary School of the OCS has been implementing the Foreign Languages for Elementary Schools Program (FLES), which includes 2 hours of foreign (Greek) language teaching per day starting from grade 1. Current plans foresee the development of this program into an Immersion Program, which according to a proposal of the Delaware State Department of Education will be implemented in stages. As the bilingual curriculum provides for certain courses to be taught in English and certain to be taught in Greek – apart from the foreign (Greek) language taught—the School needs to follow an integrated immersion curriculum for both languages. To achieve this goal, OCS asked AUTh to provide expert assistance for the integration. In the discussion, it was proposed and agreed that the SMG of Aristotle U. would send a task team of teachers and professors to the OCS early in 2017, so that they can collect needed data, as observe classes, have discussions with teachers, understand how the school works, what the curriculum is and how it is implemented. Between February and June 2017 the task team would draft the integrated bilingual curriculum. In June 2017, some teachers from the OCS would go to Thessaloniki in order to participate in a workshop where the proposal of the bilingual curricula would be presented. Other points discussed:
  • Need for integration of the bilingual curricula of all three components of the OCS, that is, Primary, Middle, and High School.
  • Didactic support needs of the OCS and possibilities for assistance from the SMG of AUTh,
  • Development of educational research activities on the OCS campus in cooperation with Aristotle, Delaware, possibly other universities or agencies, including the Delaware State Department of Education on the basis of a MOU.
  • Initial assessment of interest and feasibility for establishment on the OCS campus with the collaboration of Aristotle University of a Center for training teachers of the Greek Language and Culture for public and private schools in North America.
  • The AHEPA leader Mr. George Petrakakis suggested development of a proposal for the visit of Greek American students 15-17 years old, for two weeks in the summer, to Thessaloniki (24/6 -30/6) and to Chalkidiki (30/6 – 7/7), for Greek language classes; also, such a program to be supported with promotional materials, didactic aids, videos, on line courses, etc.

In the context of the suggested collaboration on the Immersion Initiative, it was agreed to take action as soon as possible. Proposals for a summer Greek language program for Greek American teen agers will be prepared as early as January 2017.

November 19, 2016: Meeting with the President of the University of Delaware

The AUTh visitors met with Professor Dennis Assanis, President of the University of Delaware. At their meeting, they had the opportunity to discuss the possibility of establishing a Study Abroad program as a collaboration project between the two universities. To this end, the signing of a MOU is likely to occur soon.

Following the meetings in Delaware, the visitors returned to Thessaloniki. The Bulletin expresses its  satisfaction for their significant and most productive visit and wishes that important results become socially evident soon in all aspects of Hellenic Education that were considered and deliberated at the discussions conducted during their  sojourn in the USA.

On behalf of the Hellenic Link, Inc., I am happily obliged to thank and congratulate our distinguished visitors from AUTh, as well as all colleagues named above for their admirable interaction and collaboration, which promises to continue productively in the future for the benefit of the programs of the University and the advancement of Hellenic Education in America for the benefit of the University’s programs as well as the progress of Hellenic Education in America.

Contantine J. Efthymiou, PhD, President

AN  ANNOUNCEMENT  OF INTEREST  TO HELLENE UNIVERSITY GRADUATES, SIGNIFICANT FOR UPGRADING RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT  IN GREECE:

An FYI from AHI: Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program Selects 21 Diaspora Fellows to Conduct Projects with Greek Universities

 

An FYI from AHI

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Addresses Greece’s Brain Drain through the Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program

The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) is pleased to circulate to its audience the following announcement from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation about the Foundation’s Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program, which is designed to avert Greece’s brain drain.

Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program Selects 21 Diaspora Fellows to Conduct Projects with Greek Universities

NEW YORK, December 14, 2016 – Beginning in January, twenty-one Greek- and Cypriot-born scholars, hailing from a cross-section of sixteen prominent United States and Canadian universities, will travel to Greece to conduct academic projects with their peers at Greek universities, working in areas that range from public health to chemical genomics research, and from English language curriculum to continuing education studies in urban food security. Twelve Greek universities were selected by the Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program to host the fellows for collaborative projects that meet specific needs at their institutions and in their communities, through proposals submitted by faculty members and administrators at the Greek universities.

The Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program is designed to help avert Greece’s brain drain and develop long-term, mutually-beneficial collaborations between universities in Greece and the United States and Canada. It is managed by the Institute of International Education in collaboration with the Fulbright Foundation in Greece, and funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

Over a period of two years, the program will award Fellowships to 40 U.S. and Canadian based academics to collaborate with universities throughout Greece to develop curricula, conduct research, and teach and mentor graduate students in priority areas identified by the Greek universities. Projects supported by the first round of Fellowships include:

• Democritus University of Thrace will host a collaborative research project in software development for neurosurgical planning‚ and curriculum co-development for graduate student and medical fellow training in neurosurgical procedures with a fellow from the University of Houston.

• A fellow from the University of Notre Dame will visit the National Technical University of Athens to work on collaborative research in earthquake engineering in order to enhancing resilience of communities to seismic hazards.

• Aristotle University of Thessaloniki will host one fellow from the University of Missouri, St. Louis and one from The Ohio State University to assist with the creation of archival resources‚ research material and identification of exhibits for a future Museum of Greek Diaspora and Immigration in Greece.

“The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is thrilled both with the appeal and interest the program has generated among academics of the diaspora, as well as the wide ranging expertise of the first round of Fellows,” stated Stelios Vasilakis, Director of Programs and Strategic Initiatives at SNF. “We look forward to these partnerships, which we believe will build long-lasting relationships and be beneficial to all parties involved. We are grateful to the Institute of International Education for their dedication to the program as well as the invaluable input of the esteemed Advisory Council.”

“The Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s generous support for these Fellowships demonstrates the Foundation’s commitment to expanding Greece’s human capital and investing in the country’s long-term economic recovery,” said Allan Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education.

Call for Project Requests and Scholar Applications for the second cycle of Fellowships

Until January 31, degree conferring universities in Greece can submit a project request for visiting Fellows to come to their universities starting in May 2017. Greek- and Cypriot-born academics residing in the United States or Canada can apply any time, and are matched with accepted projects on a rolling basis. Prospective hosts and fellows can find eligibility requirements and instructions in the “How to Apply” section of the program’s website. Prospective hosts and fellows can also work together to develop specific projects.

How the Projects and Fellowships Work

All projects are collaborations between the host institution and the visiting Fellow. The proposed scholar and project requests are each evaluated by a review committee based on merit and are subject to approval by the Advisory Council. Fellowships match host universities with Greek- and Cypriot-born scholars.

Host Institutions: Degree conferring institutions in Greece are invited to submit a project request to host a scholar for 14 to 60 days. Prospective hosts may name a proposed scholar with whom they have a preexisting relationship in a project request, but this is not required. If a project request does not name a scholar, IIE will review the roster of qualified Greek- and Cypriot- born academics to fill the university’s stated needs.

Prospective Fellows: IIE maintains a roster of qualified scholars to facilitate matches, according to the discipline, expertise, activities and objectives described in a project request. Candidates are required to have a terminal degree in their field and can hold any academic rank. When a scholar is successfully matched with a selected project, he or she is awarded a Fellowship to conduct a project visit to the host institution. The Fellowship includes a daily stipend, transportation, a housing allowance and health insurance coverage during the specified length of the project visit. Scholar applicants are also encouraged to contact universities to explore collaborative projects.

Contact greekdiaspora@iie.org for questions related to the application process.

Contact:     Sharon Witherell, IIE Public Affairs, switherell@iie.org

Virginia Anagnos, Goodman Media for SNF, virginia@goodmanmedia.com

About the Stavros Niarchos Foundation

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (www.SNF.org) is one of the world’s leading private international philanthropic organizations, making grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and sports, and social welfare. The Foundation funds organizations and projects that are expected to achieve a broad, lasting and positive impact for society at large, focusing on vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly, and also exhibit strong leadership and sound management. The Foundation also seeks actively to support projects that facilitate the formation of public-private partnerships as an effective means for serving public welfare. 2016 marks the twentieth year of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s global philanthropic activity. Since 1996, the SNF has made grant commitments of $1.9 billion / €1.6 billion, through 3,646 grants to nonprofit organizations in 111 nations around the world. In 2012, the Foundation, in addition to its standard grant-making activities, embarked on three major grant initiatives totaling $378mil (€300 mil) aiming to provide relief support against the severe effects of the deepening socioeconomic crisis in Greece, and to help address the critical issue of youth unemployment.

About the Institute of International Education (IIE)

The Institute of International Education (www.iie.org) is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,400 member institutions.

 

The American Hellenic Institute is an independent non-profit Greek American public policy center that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.

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