Member Update- BULLETIN

No. 84, January 2010

A Hellenic Education Agenda to be Discussed in Public Nationwide Forum

We wish to inform the HL members that at the forthcoming Conference/Forum “Hellenic Values in a Global Civilization: Engaging the Colleges, Universities and Citizens,” being organized by the American Foundation for the Greek Language and Culture (AFGLC) in Tampa Florida, the following topics and speakers, proposed by the Advisory Council on Hellenic Education of the Hellenic Link, Inc., have been accepted by the Organizing Committee and they are now scheduled for theme presentation:

“Hellenic Paideia: College-level Education for High School Students”

Dr. Dean C. Lomis, Director Emeritus, International Center,

University of Delaware, Newark, DE

“Tools for Longitudinal Student Exposure to Greek Language and Culture”

Dr. Nikos Metallinos, Professor of Communication Studies,

Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

Aligning Greek Language Teaching with US National Standards”

Dr. Vasiliki Tsigas-Fotinis, Caldwell College, Caldwell, NJ;

Coordinator, Hellenic-American Educators of New Jersey

“Modular Teaching of Hellenic Cultural Themes: The Crucial Link

Between Content and Pedagogy”

Dr. Constantine G. Hatzidimitriou, St. John’s University &

New York City Department of Education, NY

“Employing Technology as a Conduit to Enhance, Promote and Disseminate

Less Commonly Taught Languages: The Case of Modern Greek”

Dr. Frieda Charalabopoulou, Institute for Language and Speech Processing/

“Athena” Research & Innovation Center in Information, Communication

and Knowledge Technology,” Athens, Greece, and

Dr. Constantine J. Efthymiou, President of Hellenic Link, Inc., Coordinator,

Advisory Council on Hellenic Education, New York, NY

“Educational Software for Greek Language and Culture”

Dr. Frieda Charalabopoulou, ILSP/ “Athena” Research and

Innovation Center, Athens, Greece

Comprehensive reports on the Program of this important Conference/Forum, paper presentations that will be made, their cultural and educational significance for the Greek-American community and for Hellenism in general,

as well as other programmed activities, which will take place in three different locations in the area of Tampa Florida during the Conference, will appear in a series of forthcoming Bulletin issues.

The Hellenic educational community and indeed all those interested in the future of Hellenic Paideia in North America will have a unique opportunity to be informed and become acquainted with some of the basic aspects and key determinants of a renaissance of Greek Letters and Culture. The diverse Conference Program, inter alia, will feature recommendations on substantive educational issues proposed by members of the Advisory Council on Hellenic Education of the Hellenic Link, Inc.


The Board of Directors of the Hellenic Link, Inc. extends warmest wishes to all HL members and the readers of this Bulletin for a Healthy and Prosperous New Year. The following message, a Letter to the Editor, received from two esteemed members, Drs. Pandelis Halamandaris and Evangelos Calamitsis, let epitomize the living profile and action outlook for 2010 of the Hellenic Link Membership:

Letter to the Editor

Reunion via the Hellenic Link Bulletin

The most recent Bulletin of the Hellenic Link, celebrating Christmas 2009, gave us an unexpected and wonderful opportunity to reestablish contact after a very long period of professional development in America and Canada, respectively; and thereby trace back our experiences since our early years in Egypt and the American University in Cairo (AUC). With the encouragement of Dr. Costa Efthymiou, we thought of sharing briefly some aspects of our "personal Odyssey" with the readers of this issue.

Both of us, Evangelos (Akis) Calamitsis and Pandelis (Pandy) Halamandaris, were born in Egypt and attended AUC in the 1950s; but as we subsequently followed different career tracks in distant places, we inevitably lost touch, until most recently. In Egypt we were active members of a then vibrant Greek community, well-known for its historic Greek Orthodox churches, schools, and cultural organizations, stretching from Cairo and Alexandria to Mansoura, Port Said, Ismailia, and Suez. We loved our families; studied hard; and enjoyed playing various sports on competitive teams. The American University in Cairo, where we met, gave us a unique liberal education in those days and upon graduation offered us opportunities for graduate work in some of the world's leading institutions of higher learning. Thus, Akis went to Stanford University, then to Harvard, obtaining a Ph. D. in Economics; and Pandy attended the Indiana University, graduating with a Ph. D. in Education.

For a few years, Akis returned to teach economics at his alma mater, AUC; but then moved to America to join the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington D.C. As he pursued his work in international finance and economic development issues, he progressively rose through the senior ranks of the institution, eventually becoming Director of the Fund's operations in sub-Saharan Africa. During his long career in the IMF, he helped develop Fund policies and initiatives in Africa; worked extensively on macroeconomic and structural policy issues to combat extreme poverty; and led consultation and negotiation missions in many countries. He has been commended for his work on Africa's development, and has been awarded one of the most distinguished medals of honor of the Republic of Senegal. Since his retirement, Akis has been lecturing from time to time on international development issues and pursuing his writing interests. He has also remained involved in his community and church, and has been supporting Hellenic organizations, such as AHEPA and the cultural society Prometheas in the Greater Washington Area.

On his part, Pandy pursued the track of academia. After teaching for a time at the University of Manitoba, he moved to Brandon University, where he developed a number of major projects. At Brandon, he initiated the first Aboriginal Teacher Education Project in Canada, and later on started similar projects in Africa. As Director of International Development Projects, he covered a wide range of activities in Africa, China, and the Baltics. He also took leave to lecture at the London Institute of Education, as well as the University of Athens. He was conferred an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Swaziland for his contributions to education in Canada and third world countries. He was also recognized for his contributions by the National Ethnic Press and Media Council in Canada. Since his retirement as a Professor Emeritus, he has been appointed to the Council on Post Secondary Education, which approves and finances programs from all colleges and universities in Manitoba. He is also serving as Deputy Director of the University of Manitoba Centre for Hellenic Civilization, and is involved with the Canadian Hellenic Congress, SAE (Council of Hellenes Abroad), as well as some of the educational activities of the Hellenic Link.

These life-time experiences have involved much toil and hard work in close collaboration with others; but for each of us, they have been and remain extremely rewarding. Meanwhile, we have always strived to stay in touch with relatives and friends in Greece, as well as with former colleagues from Harvard and Indiana. It has not always been possible or easy to renew old friendships. That is why the contact we recently established through the HL Bulletin (which published one of Pandy's interviews with a Greek paper) proved so fortuitous and valuable. Since then, we have had occasion to reminisce about mutual friends now in Greece and America; and promised to try to expand contacts and stay in touch. We have also made a commitment to continue to make efforts to promote Hellenic ideals and culture in Canada and the United States.

With our best wishes to the entire HL family for a healthy and happy new year!

Evangelos A. Calamitsis, Ph.D.

Pandelis G. Halamandaris, Ph.D., Ed.D. (HC)

Dr. Evangelos Calamitsis Joins Our Association

With great pleasure, we welcome Dr. Evangelos Calamitsis, Economist with a distinguished career in the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to the Hellenic Link family and as a Special Editor to the HL Bulletin. Together with Dr. Pandelis Halamandaris, Dr. Calamitsis gives an eloquent account for his introduction to our membership in this Bulletin issue. We all wish him well, excellent health and sustained strength with continued productivity.


Co-Celebration of the Three Hierarchs and Greek Letters Day in New York

We wish to inform our members and friends of the forthcoming traditional celebration of the Three Hierarchs Day combined this year with the Cutting of the Vasilopita by the Department of Greek Education of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. For this purpose, we reprint the Announcement--

Invitation we received from the Federation of Hellenic Educators and Cultural Associations. The celebration will bring together Educational and other Hellenic Organizations active in Greater New York. The Celebration is under the aegis of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios and the Honorable Consul General of Greece in New York Ambassador Aglaia Balta.

We warmly encourage the recipients of this Bulletin to attend the Celebratory Event which so harmoniously expresses our Faith and Ethnic identity. As advised, RSVP for your attendance

Εορτασμός των Τριών Ιεραρχών &

Κοπή της Βασιλόπιτας του Γραφείου Ελληνικής Παιδείας

της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής

Υπό την Αιγίδα

του Σεβασμιώτατου Αρχιεπισκόπου Αμερικής κ. Δημητρίου &

της Γ. Προξένου της Ελλάδας στη Νέα Υόρκη Πρέσβειρας κ. Ά. Μπαλτά

Αγαπητοί συνάδελφοι, φίλοι & υποστηρικτές της Ελληνικής Παιδείας,

Με τις ευλογίες του Σεβασμιωτάτου Αρχιεπισκόπου κ.κ. Δημητρίου και σε συνεργασία με το Γραφείο Ελληνικής Παιδείας της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής διοργανώνουμε εκδήλωση για την Εορτή των Τριών Ιεραρχών, την Κυριακή 31 Ιανουαρίου 2010 στις 2.30 μ.μ. στην αίθουσα Τελετών του Καθεδρικού της Αγίας Τριάδος στο Manhattan (319 East 74th Street, New York, N.Y. 10021).

Κύριος ομιλητής της εκδήλωσης θα είναι ο Διευθυντής του Γραφείου Ελληνικής Παιδείας της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής Δρ. Ιωάννης Ευθυμιόπουλος.

Θα ακολουθήσει γεύμα και στη συνέχεια θα πραγματοποιηθεί η κοπή της βασιλόπιτας του Γραφείου Ελληνικής Παιδείας της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής προς τιμή των Δασκάλων από τον Σεβασμιώτατο κ. Δημήτριο.

Παραλείσθε όλοι οι κ.κ. διευθυντές των σχολείων, οι δάσκαλοι, μέλη των Σχολικών Επιτροπών, γονείς και κηδεμόνες να παραβρεθείτε για να τιμήσουμε τα Ελληνικά Γράμματα και τη μνήμη των Τριών Μεγάλων Ιεραρχών.

Η παρουσία σας θα μας τιμήσει ιδιαίτερα.


- Σύλλογος Ελλήνων Εκπαιδευτικών «Προμηθέας» της Νέας Υόρκης (Βασιλική Φιλιώτη)

-Εκπαιδευτικός Σύλλογος HAEA της Νέας Υόρκης (Ντέμυ Σαβόπολις)

-Ένωση Ελλήνων Εκπαιδευτικών της Νέας Ιερσέης (Δρ. Βασιλική Φωτίνης -Τσίγκας)

-Σύλλογος Αποφοίτων Ακαδημίας Αγίου Βασιλείου (Σταυρούλα Πάνας)

-Κέντρο Μακεδονικών Σπουδών (Αθανασία Μπίσκα)

-Σύλλογος Ιατρών της Νέας Υόρκης (Δρ. Γ. Τσιούλας)

-Σύλλογος Αθηναίων Νέας Υόρκης (Χριστίνα Κωστάκης)

Με ευχές για Ευτυχισμένο & Δημιουργικό Νέο Έτος 2010

Εκ μέρους της Οργανωτικής Επιτροπής

Στέλλα Κοκόλη, Πρόεδρος - Τιμολέων Κόκκινος, Γραμματέας - Ανδριανή Φιλιώτη, Ταμίας

RSVP by 21st January 2010: Tel: 917 755 2127 – Fax: 718 491 2558 or email:

Hellenic Studies Unit at Concordia University of Montreal: A Status Report


In the last decade, three important changes occurred at Concordia that resulted in the creation of the University’s Hellenic Studies Unit. First, more students of Hellenic descent chose to study at Concordia. Second, a strong Hellenic Student Association, engaged in several educational and cultural activities, was founded. Third, the University’s Hellenic Students Association raised funds to support the offering of various classes and seminars in Modern Greek Studies(mostly in the areas of Modern Greek language, history, literature, and culture). Since its inception, the Unit has seen a continuous increase in the need

to offer special events, workshops, lectures and seminars. The number of such highly demanded activities

continues to increase annually.

Responding to these developments, professors of Hellenic descent decided to join together to support and formalize these events. A committee of professors, students, and staff was formed and established the foundation for the development of the Hellenic Studies Unit. Under the auspices of the Faculty of Arts and Science, and in close collaboration with the Department of Classics, Modern Languages and Linguistics, and the Center for International Academic Cooperation, the Hellenic Studies Unit was created.


The Hellenic Studies Unit strives to meet its objectives by (a) offering courses and seminars in Hellenic Studies; (b) conducting colloquia and special lectures; and (c) offering workshops, performances, and exhibits on various aspects of Hellenic culture. The objectives of the Unit, as they arestated in the bylaws, are as follows:

Synthesis and Administration

Although the Unit operates as an autonomous entity within the University, it is an academic unit under the auspices of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The Unit is connected with all other Faculties, departments and programs of the University and is headed by a Coordinator who is appointed by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science.

The Hellenic Studies Unit’s Advisory Committee

Dr. Nikos Metallinos, Professor, Communication Studies; Dr. Paris Arnopoulos, Professor Emeritus, Political Science; Dr.Kenneth Martziorinis, President, American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association; Dr. Lea Katsanis, Associate Professor, Marketing; Dr. Ted Stathopoulos, Professor, Center for Building Studies; Mr. Bill Balabanos, President, Hellenic Community of Montreal; Mr.George Kiousis, President, Concordia University’s Hellenic Student Association

Hellenic Studies Activities

For information about ongoing activities and seminar series please visit

Source: Hellenic Studies Unit, Undergraduate Programs, Arts and Science, Concordia University

The Bulletin in accordance with its established policy to disseminate to the American Hellenic community information on programs and activities of Hellenic Studies Centers at institutions of higher learning, will be pleased to bring to the attention of its readers progress reports from other colleges and universities supporting similar studies.

Professionals and students in every discipline or field of endeavor, whether of Greek Descent or Philhellenes, are cordially invited to join the Hellenic Link, Inc. as members. It is quite easy and useful! Just contact us at any of the indicated addresses





Suite No. 278, 38-11 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, New York 11105

Web Site: Email:

Contact Telephone : (718) 217- 4285


An Unprecedented Challenge for Compassion of the World

Catastrophe in Haiti

Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, has suffered a catastrophe of historic proportions. On January 12, as Haiti was still trying to recover from the four hurricanes of 2008, the very heart of the nation, the capital area of Port-au-Prince, with a sizable population density, was struck by a devastating earthquake (measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale). Early reports indicate that the death toll, which has been rising sharply, may top 100,000, making it one of the deadliest earthquakes on record. Hundreds of thousands of Haitians are now homeless and scores are injured and traumatized or unaccounted. Overall, it is estimated that more than 3 million people, out of Haiti's population of about 10 million, are severely affected and in desperate need of assistance. And apart from the extensive loss of human life, the country's already woefully inadequate infrastructure appears largely flattened; the transport, telecommunications and electricity networks are severely damaged, while many schools, hospitals, hotels, government buildings, and the presidential palace have crumbled. Even bilateral and multilateral agencies operating locally, such as the UN mission, have suffered major destruction and loss of lives, affecting their capacity to provide quick relief. Hence the total cost of the catastrophe is likely to be very large.

What makes this situation even more onerous is that Haiti was already one of the more distressed countries in the world. For many years, the country suffered from political instability, violence, corruption, and generally deteriorating economic and social conditions. Although some progress had been achieved in the last few years, with international support, conditions at the time of the quake remained extremely tenuous. According to the latest available data, about one half of the population lives on less than $1 a day, or in extreme poverty; illiteracy and unemployment are widespread; infant mortality is high; life expectancy at birth is low; and economic and social institutions are fragile. Therefore, the quake has further complicated the already extremely difficult conditions prevailing in Haiti.

At this time of great peril for an impoverished nation that desperately needs help, the international

community has to demonstrate its solidarity with Haiti and its people. Of course, the efforts of Haitians

themselves, both at home and in their diaspora around the world, will be essential.

But they will have to be coupled with a critical mass of foreign humanitarian, technical and financial assistance. Already, the United States and many other countries have rushed valuable emergency and security assistance, and they have pledged considerable aid; the UN, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, as well as the Inter-American Development Bank, have announced substantial additional support; and nongovernmental organizations are lending a very helpful hand. In this context, the Greek Orthodox Church and Hellenic organizations in America are also mobilizing humanitarian assistance for Haiti.

As action in support of Haiti is being initiated and expanded, with an immediate focus on search- and-rescue efforts, several factors will be critically important. First, there will be need for substantial humanitarian emergency relief in order to save lives, care for the injured, feed the hungry, and provide water and shelter for the homeless. Second, as the situation begins to stabilize, attention should be concentrated on the long-term reconstruction and development of Haiti on the basis of a comprehensive program designed by Haitians themselves with the help of their partners. Third, all of the above will require generous foreign assistance, provided rapidly and flexibly, but with due consideration to concerns for transparency and accountability. Finally, these efforts should be well managed and coordinated, under experienced leadership, preferably in the context of an international economic forum for Haiti to be convened as soon as possible.

Haiti's challenges are daunting, and there are fears of an outbreak of epidemics and civil unrest. That is why it is so important for all to provide help without delay to this earthquake-ravaged nation.

Evangelos A. Calamitsis

January 17, 2010