Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011!

Happy New Year!

For 2011, there'll be a new Ethnic Hoosier.

Yep, this EH is bowing out after a decade in the role.

Watch this space for the debut posting by the next EH -- and, as always, Welcome to the World in Indiana!

(If you can't wait, email Marlon Alfonso, NCI president, and ask him when postings will return:

Psst: don't forget to mark your calendars for the next International Festival! We'll be back at the Indiana State Fairgrounds 17-20 November 2011!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Perfect Holiday Gift!

Have you been wondering what to get a friend or business associate for New Year's? What about a Nationalities Council of Indiana calendar for 2011!

It's filled with photos of the ethnic organizations that make up the council (and stage the annual International Festival in the Indiana State Fairgrounds).

If one of them represents your ethnic heritage, great! If not, it's a reminder of the world in Indiana!

Groups featured are:
January: Barangay Club of Indiana (Filipino)
February: ATA-IN (Turkish)
March: Italian Heritage Society of Indiana
April: Indiana Partners of the Americas (Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)
May: Estonian Society of Indianapolis
June: American Indian Center of Indiana (Native American)
July: Society for the Promotion of Persian Culture (Iranian)
August: Indiana State Association of Middle Eastern Teachers and Dancers
September: Indianapolis Latvian Community Center
October: Circle City Lodge of Sons of Norway
November: Czech and Slovak Society of Indiana
December: Taiwanese American Association of Indianapolis

(Yes, there are more than 30 other groups -- those selected for the 2011 calendar were drawn in a lottery!)

There are a few calendars left for holiday giving! Just send a check for $12 (payable to the Nationalities Council of Indiana) to NCI, PO Box 1623, Indianapolis, IN 46206, and we'll wing one out to you -- or to whomever you'd prefer it be delivered! If you enclose a gift card, we'll send that on as well.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Language Training Center Highlighted

The Language Training Center in Indianapolis, which offers language and culture training, interpretation and translation services, was featured in the Indianapolis Business Journal. It's owned by Martin George, a former director of the English as a Second Language program at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis.

He has, according to the IBJ "found himself in high demand among some of the world’s biggest athletes and sports properties, from basketball star Yao Ming and IndyCar Series drivers to the NCAA and LPGA."

Read more here.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cummins Expands in Turkey

Columbus-based Cummins Inc. has announced that it will break ground in early 2011 on a multi-phased manufacturing site at the Aegean Free Trade Zone in Izmir, Turkey. The company plans to first build a filtration manufacturing plant and follow with a facility to produce alternators for its power generation business.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Foreign Language Study Gains in Indiana

A report by the Modern Language Association of America notes that Indiana showed substantial gains in foreign language study at the university level between 2006 and 2009, specifically: 26.7%.

The MLA has gathered and analyzed data on undergraduate and graduate course enrollments in languages other than English in United States colleges and universities since 1958.

Nationwide, course enrollments in languages other than English reached a new high in 2009.

According to the MLA, "In terms of ranking, Spanish, French, and German lead as the three most studied languages, followed by American Sign Language (ASL), fourth in the survey since 2006. Italian, Japanese, and Chinese come next, in the same sequence they have occupied since 1998. Arabic has jumped two positions since 2006 to eighth, now ahead of Latin and Russian, but, with enrollments at 35,083, it is closer in numbers to Latin (32,606) than to Chinese (60,976). Enrollments in courses in Korean have overtaken those in Modern Hebrew, to rank after Portuguese as the fourteenth most commonly studied language in 2009."


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Religious Violence: Myth or Global Reality?

Conventional wisdom in the west suggests that religion is to blame for many of the world’s violent conflicts. Theologian and historian William Cavanaugh (pictured) will challenge this assumption by exploring western ideas about religion, secularism, and power to discuss the idea that religion is to blame for many of the world's violent conflicts during a 7 p.m. presentation 26 January in Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University, 4600 Sunset Avenue, Indianapolis.

The event is presented by the Seminar on Religion and World Civilization at Butler.

Cavanaugh is an associate professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., where his research and teaching focus on the intersection of violence and religion. He is the author of The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict (2009).

Respondents will be Margaretha Geertsema and Lawrence Gerstein. Geertsema is an assistant professor of journalism at Butler University. Her research draws on studies of globalization, media, culture, sociology, and gender. Gerstein is a professor of psychology at Ball State University and director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at Ball State. He is president of the International Tibet Independence Movement.

(Photo courtesy of University of St. Thomas)


Monday, December 6, 2010

ISU Officials Travel to Qatar

Three Indiana State University officials will be part of activities this week at the World Innovation Summit for Education in Qatar, reports Inside INdiana Business.

President Emeritus Lloyd Benjamin III, Associate Director for International Affair El-Houcin Chaqra and Professor Karen Liu will be among 1,000 education, corporate, political and social leaders participating in the three-day event.

The summit, sponsored by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, brings together 1,000 prominent education, corporate, political and social leaders. The Qatar Foundation invited Benjamin, Chaqra and Liu to participate in the summit and is paying their travel expenses.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Zimbabwean Dinner

A night of authentic Zimbabwean food, dance, and music is scheduled for 5-10 p.m. 11 December in the Indiana Interchurch Center, 1100 West 42nd Street, Indianapolis. Admission is $25.

Seating is limited to 120; reservations can be made online. The event is hosted by the International Interfaith Initiative. Information, email.

Proceeds benefit the Healing Friends Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization that offers microfinance opportunities and support to families in the African nation.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Festival Award Winners Announced

Here are the award winners for this year's International Festival, hosted by the Nationalities Council of Indiana.

Cultural Booths of NCI Group Members are judged in the following four categories:

1. THEME: Include in cultural booth historical, geographical, culinary, social or educational aspects of the particular culture. 2010 theme: Food for Thought - Tradition, Culture and Cuisine.
2. EDUCATIONAL VALUE: Provide relevant information about the culture.
3. CREATIVITY: Demonstrate an effective and enjoyable method to attract visitors.
4. QUALITY: Overall excellence. Examples would be people in native costumes and friendly approach to visitors.

First and second place winners for theme:
Society for Promotion of Persian Culture and Swedish American Order of VASA

First and second place winners for educational value:
Sons of Norway and German Heritage Society

First and second place winners for creativity:
Korean American Women’s Association and Hungarian Club of Indianapolis

First and second place winners for quality:
Camp Mabuhay (Filipino) and Swiss Club of Central Indiana

In addition, the Best Overall Cultural Booth, recipient of “The Betty” trophy for 2010:
Taiwanese American Association of Indianapolis

Food Booths of NCI Group Members are evaluated for quality and authenticity of ethnic food, appearance and sanitary conditions and overall assessment.
First Place: Indonesian Association of Indianapolis
Second Place: German American Klub

Finally (but not insignificantly), the NCI's Volunteer Service award (also known as “The Steve” trophy) is presented to the individual(s) who have demonstrated commitment to the goals of NCI and have actively worked toward their achievement. This year, for the first time, three volunteers were honored:
Josef Laposa and Frances Russell (pictured), and Charles Lindgren (deceased).

Mark your calendars for next year's festival, to be held 17-20 November.

(Photo courtesy of Ming Russell)


Thursday, December 2, 2010

IU Expands Agreements with German Universities

More than 60 years after its legendary 11th president, Herman B Wells (pictured), helped establish a "free university" in post-World War II Berlin, Indiana University announced today that it has renewed and expanded cooperative agreements with that institution as well as another of Germany's leading research universities.

While leading a university delegation to Germany, IU President Michael A. McRobbie signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Free University of Berlin, renewing a half-century of relations with that city's largest research university and expanding the partnership into new areas of cooperation -- including faculty exchanges, joint workshops and enhanced academic collaborations.

IU's partnership with the Free University of Berlin, which Wells helped found in 1948, is the university's longest-running exchange partnership, delivering German students to Bloomington and IU students to Berlin for graduate study and research.

McRobbie also signed an MOU with the University of Freiburg, one of Germany's oldest and most prestigious universities, founded in 1457.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Indiana Tech to Recruit in China

As part of efforts to increase international enrollment, Indiana Tech reports it has entered an agreement with the Foundation for International Education to recruit students from China.

The Foundation for International Education (FIE) will recruit transfer students who have completed three years of post-secondary education in China and wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree at Indiana Tech, 1600 East Washington Boulevard, Fort Wayne, Indiana. FIE also will help identify qualified high school graduates with a similar interest, as well as potential partner universities for Indiana Tech. Under the terms of the agreement, FIE will be Indiana Tech’s sole representative in China for an initial, renewable period of 18 months.

Indiana Tech plans to recruit international students from a variety of countries by establishing articulation partnerships with colleges, developing recruitment agency agreements, and arranging exchange agreements with higher education institutions abroad. Such exchange agreements are intended to increase the university’s international enrollment, while also creating more study abroad opportunities for Indiana Tech students.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Hans Wagemaker to Discuss International Education Assessments

The head of the organization that administers two of the world's largest education assessment exams will speak on the the challenges of designing an accurate test to understand how students learn across the globe during a presentation Wednesday (1 December) at Indiana University Bloomington.

Hans Wagemaker (pictured), executive director of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), will talk about international education assessments during an Education Policy Chat presented by the Center for Evaluation & Education Policy (CEEP). His presentation, titled "IEA's Assessment Strategy: Measuring Change and Changing Measures," starts at 2 p.m. in the Dogwood Room at the Indiana Memorial Union.

Following Wagemaker's presentation, audience members will be able to ask questions. The CEEP Policy Chat is free and open to the public.

The IEA created and administers the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and Trends in International Math and Science Survey (TIMSS), which collect data from more than 60 countries to assess student learning. Education researchers formed the IEA in the late 1950s in an effort to gather information about which countries performed best so that educators could adopt best practices across the globe.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

More Views of the 2010 International Festival

Be sure to mark your calendars for next year's International Festival, to be held November 17-20, 2011, in the West Pavilion of the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Immigrant Success

Your Ethnic Hoosier usually avoids policy, but this comment from Thomas Friedman's column in today's New York Times needs to be shared. As we in the Nationalities Council of Indiana know, the United States is constantly renewed --and improved -- by its immigrants. This says it all:

"Last week, the 32 winners of Rhodes Scholarships for 2011 were announced — America’s top college grads. Here are half the names on that list: Mark Jia, Aakash Shah, Zujaja Tauqeer, Tracy Yang, William Zeng, Daniel Lage, Ye Jin Kang, Baltazar Zavala, Esther Uduehi, Prerna Nadathur, Priya Sury, Anna Alekeyeva, Fatima Sabar, Renugan Raidoo, Jennifer Lai, Varun Sivaram."

Yes, Indiana's winner is Esther O. Uduehi (pictured, at left) of Evansville. Her parents emigrated from Nigeria. A senior at Indiana University, Bloomington, she majors in biochemistry and mathematics. She was also a visiting student at Oxford. A Wells Scholar, Presidential Intern and Senator Richard Lugar Scholar, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, she is president of the IU Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students. She has won several awards for her research in organic chemistry, and has participated in a U.S.-Russia global health care study program and done research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Esther plans to do the D.Phil. in chemistry at Oxford.

(Photo courtesy of Indiana University Bloomington)


Friday, November 19, 2010

This Weekend: Indy's International Festival

Yes, the annual International Festival is underway in the West Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 East 38th Street, Indianapolis. It's open today (10 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and tomorrow (noon to 6 p.m.). Come join the fun!

(Photos taken Friday, 19 November, by Susan McKee)


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Today! The International Festival Starts Today!

School buses will be lined up along the West Pavilion of the Indiana State Fairgrounds this morning for the opening of the International Festival in Indianapolis!

Today's just for student groups, but the festival opens to the public tomorrow through Sunday. There's lots more information online.

Y'all come!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Indy's International Festival is This Weekend!

This year's International Festival opens for student groups on Thursday, and for the general public Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Check the website for details!


Monday, November 15, 2010

It's International Festival Time!

Make plans to head to the Indiana State Fairgrounds this weekend for Indy's International Festival! It's open to the public Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

For details, go online. Don't miss it!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

International Education Week

In celebration of International Education Week, program directors will be promoting their study abroad programs at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis.

An information table will be on the second floor of Cavanaugh Hall on the IUPUI campus from 15-18 November, where students can find out more information about programs traveling to India, China, France, Germany, Dominican Republic, South Korea, Greece, Canada and many more.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Indianapolis Firm Receives International Honor

Indianapolis-based global engineering consulting and design firm RW Armstrong has received the United Arab Emirates' Interior Design of the Year award, reports Inside INdiana Business.

The company was honored for designing the approximately $27 million Environment Agency headquarters in Abu Dhabi. RW Armstrong has more than 600 employees in 17 offices in the United States, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Egypt and Libya.