Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Leading Fellow Fulbrighters at Purdue
Welcome picnic for newly-arrived Fulbrighters at Purdue University
When I first arrived at Indiana University, I received a welcome email from a Turkish Fulbrighter who was the President of the Purdue Fulbright Association (PFA). My first thought was, “NICE, there is a network of Fulbrighters here that I can join!” Well, I did join that group, and I can proudly say that I am now one of its board members and outreach officers.
My first introduction to PFA was through a picnic at which all the previous Fulbrighters prepared food and welcomed newcomers. The organizers even gave us a campus tour and hosted a reception party that was coordinated between various Purdue offices.
The welcome picnic was just the beginning of my experience with PFA. Throughout the academic year members continued to organize fantastic events. We held frequent picnics where we we shared food, stories and played games. We also attended plays, concerts and variety shows. We even went to a "Wolf Howl" night, an evening program at a nearby wolf sanctuary!
PFA field trip to Wolf Park (Wolf Sanctuary)
I would like to point out that organizing such activities is hard work, which requires the cooperation of our team members: the President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Communications and Outreach officers. We work so well together because we are all Fulbrighters. We share similar experiences, policies, rules and procedures. Some Association leaders have been at Purdue for more than 5 years, so they often provide younger members of the leadership team with advice.
I'm really proud to have been chosen as the outreach officer of the new board. I'm responsible for the communication between the group and other Purdue and West Lafayette, Indiana organizations. In fact, the group is very popular with Purdue offices and professors. Many professors and deans are either previous Fulbrighters, or they simply enjoy interacting with international students. They work with us to organize Fulbrighter reception and farewell parties, and they sometimes even invite us to dinner at their houses!
Ahmed is from Egypt and studies Computer Science at Purdue University. Ahmed plans to serve on the PFA leadership team until his graduation in May 2016.