Chancellor honored for international support

UIC Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares receives award from Patricia Maza-Pittsford, dean of the Chicago Consular Corps

Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares receives an award from Patricia Maza-Pittsford of the Chicago Consular Corps. Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services

Diplomats from around the world honored Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares for her support of international academic exchanges at a Nov. 18 event in Student Center East.

In accepting an award presented by Patricia Maza Pittsford, consul general of El Salvador and dean of the Chicago Consular Corps, Allen-Meares thanked the corps and the Chicago Sister Cities program for its donations totaling $82,000 over eight years in scholarships at UIC.

She also started a round of applause for Nora Bonin, associate director of the UIC Office of International Affairs, as “the glue” of UIC’s international exchange.

“We now have 13 percent international students. When I arrived nearly six years ago, we had about 2 or 3 percent,” Allen-Meares said. “We share the objective of globalizing the culture of this campus.”

This year’s scholarship recipients were announced — 11 graduate students from 11 countries, studying topics ranging from plant conservation and artisanal employment to brain-computer interface and epithelial cells in corneas.

Ian Kelly, ambassador-in-residence at UIC, spoke on the “transformational potential” of student exchange in promoting mutual understanding among nations. Kelly, who studied Russian in Leningrad, said the experience relieved the Cold War fears of his childhood.

“The best tool to promote understanding is our student exchange. That was why I decided to become a public diplomacy officer,” he said.

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