Social Distancing Activities – Engage with OIA and each other- win prizes!

As we move into summer 2020- it may be challenging to engage with each other, while keeping up the necessary social distancing.

The Office of International Affairs has put together a list of fun, and interactive, activities to participate in- and possibly win some prizes!

Below is a list of (20) things that you can easily do while social distancing. When you complete a task, post a picture (tagging OIA) or share with us. Each level complete, will lead to fantastic Prizes!

Share your tasks by tagging us on Instagram (Chatham_OIA or #ChathamOIA), Facebook (ChathamOIA), or by emailing us at InternationalAffairs@chatham.edu .

A downloadable PDF can be accessed here:  OIA social distancing chart

Many of our activities will be listed on this blog, or on MyChatham Happenings!

Questions? Contact us at InternationalAffairs@Chatham.edu

Let’s Talk Friday!

Between May 29 to July 24, 2020, the English Language Program at Chatham University organized and hosted eight virtual events open to students from all over the world. The topics of the events ranged from cities around the world, yoga and meditation, food and cuisine, and racism in the U.S. Participants did not have the opportunity to hear from all of the staff from the Office of International Affairs at Chatham University, but also guest speakers, including Ms. Sue Finegold and Dr. Randi Congleton. Especially, the participants enjoyed making connections, talking with one another in the Zoom breakout rooms, and playing Kahoot and Jeopardy games. We’d like to share of the pictures and resources from the events below.

Let’s Talk Friday, July 24, 2020: Summer Experiences and More

Hosted by Ms. Kate Emory, Office of International Affairs

Let’s Talk July 24, 2020

Let’s Talk Friday, July 17, 2020: Storytelling

Hosted by Ms. Karin Chipman, Office of International Affairs

Ms. Karin Chipman led the students in the discussion of fictional stories and what makes a good story. Participants did some storytelling activities and learned more about parts of a fictional story and story transitions

Let’s Talk Friday: July 10, 2020: A Conversation with Dr. Randi Congleton about Racism and Other Social Justice Topics

Hosted by Dr. Linh Phung, Director of the English Language Program

Let’s Talk, July 10, 2020

Dr. Randi Congleton and the participants talked about the history of of racism in the U.S. and the recent social justice movements and issues, including:

  • Black Lives Matter
  • Black in the Ivory Tower
  • Say Her Name
  • DACA (Children of Undocumented Immigrants)
  • Dakota Access Pipeline
  • International Students in U.S Higher Education

Dr. Congleton also suggested the following additional resources:

  • Netflix Documentaries
    • 13th
    • Living Undocumented
    • When They See Us
  • Reading
    • An Indigenous Peoples History of the United States by: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
    • So You Want to Talk About Race by: Ijeoma Oluo
    • Between the World and Me by: Ta-nehisi Coates

Dr. Congleton is the Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Chatham University. Dr. Congleton has been at Chatham University for 3 years and has spent the past fourteen years advocating for inclusive excellence in higher education. Prior to coming to Chatham, Dr. Congleton was the Director of Multicultural Programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University. She is a proud parent of a Fashion Design student and is a very proud alumna of The Pennsylvania State University, Michigan State University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. When she is not enacting strategies for campus inclusion, Dr. Congleton can be found watching a great movie, cooking, relaxing with friends, or traveling.

Let’s Talk Friday: June 26,  2020: Jeopardy

Hosted by Ms. Sylvia Shipp, ELP Lecturer

Participants played a round of Jeopardy (based on the TV trivia game) and had a great time.

Let’s Talk Friday: June 19,  2020

Hosted by Ms. Kate Emory, Office of International Affairs

Participants talked about food and cuisine and recommended dishes from different countries.

Let’s Talk Friday: June 12,  2020

Hosted by Ms. Sylvia Shipp, ELP Lecturer

We had a blast playing skribbl.io together!

Participants talked and played the online Zoom/Skribbl.io game.

About skribbl.ioskribbl.io is a free multiplayer drawing game to play on your laptop. A game consists of 3 rounds. In each round someone must draw their chosen word and others have to guess it to gain points. The person with the most points at the end is the winner!

How to PlayWhen it’s your turn to draw, you choose a word from 3 options and draw that word in 80 seconds. When someone is drawing, you type your guess into the chat to get points. The faster you guess a word, the more points you get!

Here’s an example:

Let’s Talk Friday, June 5: A conversation with Ms. Sue Finegold

Hosted by Dr. Linh Phung, ELP Director

Let’s Talk Friday on June 5, 2020

Participants had the opportunity to hear from Ms. Sue Finegold, Chatham President’s wife and community Yoga instructor at Chatham. We practiced a breathing exercise and talked about how important exercising is for our physical and mental health.

Sue’s introduction:

Susan Finegold grew up in the north of England, near Manchester.  She studied English Literature at Oxford University, and then taught it in a sixth-form college (a school for students aged 16-19, as you might know from the Harry Potter books).  After she had moved to America and had two children, she retrained as a yoga teacher.  She teaches community classes at Chatham’s three campuses, and at some other places in the city.

Let’s Talk Friday: May 29,  2020: Cities Around the World

Hosted by Dr. Linh Phung, ELP Director

Participants visited the Chatham’s Shadyside campus before the event. They then shared a picture and some information about their home city. We concluded with a fun Kahoot game.

  • A virtual tour of Chatham’s campuses: https://chatham.edu/admission-and-aid/next-steps/virtual-tours.html
  • Read about the city of Pittsburgh: https://pittsburghpa.gov/pittsburgh/pgh-about

Connect and Care for Each Other: International Student Experiences in Spring 2020

Connect and Care for Each Other: International Student Experiences in Spring 2020

By Dr. Linh Phung, Director of the English Language and Pathways Programs

End-of-Program Celebration to students finishing their study-abroad program in February

Like any other academic programs at the University, the English Language Program, Chatham Semester, Pittsburgh Pathways, and other non-degree international programs in the Office of International Affairs (OIA) follow the predictable rhythm of orientation of new students, course registration, midterm exams, spring break, and final exams. We also have students leaving and arriving in late February, making the spring semester more eventful than other semesters because of greater student mobility and more welcome and graduation events. Spring 2020 had a similar rhythm, but, and it’s a big but, everything was also different after the University had to transition its instruction, services, and operations to the virtual space after March 13, 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.

Farewell to Kobe and Kyoto Students in Late February 2020

We carried on with the ELP’s intensive English instruction (20 hours a week) in Zoom, offered conversation hours and games in Zoom, gathered for the End-of-Term Celebration in Zoom, and offered other usual services to international students virtually. There were undoubtedly Zoom fatigue, disappointments, and challenges, way beyond what this article can describe and the author of this article can understand, but there were also highlights of what was inspiring and heart-warming. The snapshot below was based on what some international students shared in conversations and their published essays in the OIA Blog.

To non-degree seeking international students who chose to study abroad at Chatham, studying in their dorm room or apartment separated from others in physical space, might, at times, have felt nothing like studying abroad. All the expressed desires to meet more people, make more friends, and see more places were put on hold. Some exchange and sponsored students were recalled to their country while others were faced with the difficult decision of remaining in their program or deferring to the following year. Some were worried about the cost of health care in the U.S. and whether they would get proper treatment in case they needed it. Even going grocery shopping in the midst of increased infection became a difficult decision. Focusing on classwork was harder and harder each day. Family worries added to the stress.

But then “Every cloud has a silver lining,” wrote Ohla Viun, a UGRAD student from Ukraine at Chatham in her essay receiving an honorable mention in the English Language Program Writing Contest in April, one of the best highlights of the spring 2020 term in the English Language Program. In this contest, students were encouraged to submit a writing in any format to bring joy and happiness to the readers. Ohla wrote about the “twists and turns” of receiving a UGRAD scholarship from the U.S. Department of State to study abroad in the U.S., “an opportunity of a lifetime” for her; the overshadowing impact of Covid-19; and her sudden return to home where, ironically, Covid-19 was also a hard reality. However, with the passion for learning, she was determined to find happiness and exert control over the situation by focusing on her studies and enrolling herself in even more online courses. To her, “the stronger the wind blows, the tougher the tree has to be.”

Other essays showcase the students’ humor, gratitude, strength, and resilience. Abdulaziz Alkashi (Honorable Mention) writes a letter to the Coronavirus with a warning that it can’t “win against us,” but will make us “connect and care for each other” more. Lila Usquiano (Honorable Mention) is committed to living in the moment despite the distractions of this unprecedented time. Saffanah Moualla (Third Prize) expresses her appreciation for a tree that, during her one year living near it, provided her with pleasantness and fragrance of nature, a tree that also symbolizes “strength, pleasantness, and stability of all seasons.” Miku Nishii (Second Prize) describes her fabulous partner, who was given to her by her friend, which turns out to be a stuffed animal. Size Li (Second Prize) writes a stand-up comedy about his experience as an international student this past semester and humorously jokes about how wonderful his family was when they sent him an article about “How to arrange a funeral in the U.S.” Bothainah Sharrofnah (First Prize) writes about the everyday compromises, melancholy, daydreaming, and imagination of the day when things are back to normal with the knowledge that “this too shall pass.” All of what we are going through shall pass, and even the normal days we will eventually get back shall pass.

All these wonderful essays are posted on the OIA Blog, and they truly brought joy to us, teachers and the students’ classmates, who read them. We are proud of ELP students and other international students’ contributions to the Chatham community. To celebrate, like any other semesters, we gathered for the End-of-Term Celebration and talked about the semester, said farewell to students who completed their studies at Chatham, and presented students with certificates and awards. We all agreed that the motto for us moving forward is “This Too Shall Pass” with the commitment to continuing to do good work in English language learning and teaching and international education.

End-of-Term Celebration, April 2020

In fact, without the limitation of geographies, we took advantage of the virtual delivery format to deliver international conversation hours and presentations that engaged not only Chatham students, but also local residents and students currently located in other countries. These include a conversation hour that involved students in playing a competitive Kahoot game about American culture. Interestingly, a young Vietnamese student who has not been to the U.S. won the game, which made him sort of “gloat” in front of other students.

Conversation Hour, March 23, 2020

Another conversation hour had Dr. Natasha Garrett from La Roche University talk about her essay Common Ground with the participants. We talked about finding a common ground with our family through food, gardening, and the mundane conversations that we sometimes take for granted.

Conversation Hour with Dr. Natasha Garrett

After the semester ended, Dr. Linh Phung and Ms. Shipp gave a presentation with suggestions on how students can improve their English speaking skills. The presentation was hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, livestreamed on Facebook , and attracted over 26,000 views. We were pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm to learn English among the participants and viewers in Vietnam and glad to share our knowledge and experience.

Presentation to Vietnamese Students Through EducationUSA Hanoi

Moving into the summer semester, which starts on May 22 with students taking classes virtually from the U.S., Japan, Bangladesh, and Vietnam, the ELP and OIA plan to continue to offer meaningful programming to its students and engage with the wider world through:

Follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/chathamoia) or OIA Blog (www.blogs.chatham.edu/oia) for more information about these programs. Email internationalaffairs@chatham.edu if you’d like to be added to an email list about upcoming events or if you have questions. We are looking forward to staying engaged and connected in the summer and fall 2020 terms.

OIA Cooking lessons!

Join OIA for some cooking lessons during the break between spring and summer term!

Interested students should register on Mychatham happenings at least 2 days in advance for the lessons. You will need to purchase the ingredients for the recipe. We will send a list a few days before the lesson.

Lessons will be offered weekly. Last week May 8th, OIA hosted a grilled cheeses night! (Photos above) Many more fun recipes will come soon! Please register on Mychatham.

*Interested students must register for this event to receive the Zoom link. You will need to purchase the ingredients for the recipe. Registered students will receive the ingredient list a few days before the lesson. With any questions please contact Internationalaffairs@chatham.edu

Check out the flyer below!

OIA Cooking Lesson

WALKING TOUR DIRECTIONS: SQUIRREL HILL- FRICK PARK LOOP

Start by waking through campus towards Squirrel Hill.

When you reach Wilkins Avenue, turn left and walk to Shady Avenue. At Shady Avenue, turn right. 

When you reach Forbes Avenue, turn  left. When you reach the intersection with South Dallas, turn right, and follow Beechwood Boulevard up the hill.

At the top of the hill is the Frick Park Environmental Center. This is where you can find many hiking trails. Take the hiking trail leading to the right and follow it through Frick Park. It will end at Blue Slide Park (famous from the Mac Miller Album).

When you exit Blue Slide Park, cross the road and walk down Nicholson Street.

Turn right onto Shady Avenue and walk up to Beacon Street. Turn left and walk to Murray Avenue. Turn right and head up Murray Avenue back to Chatham Campus.

Walking Tour Directions: Squirrel Hill- Homewood cemetery Loop

Start by walking through Chatham’s campus toward Squirrel Hill. When you reach Wilkins Avenue, turn left. Follow Wilkins Avenue to South Dallas Avenue- turn right. Go up South Dallas Avenue (the cemetery will be on your left.) and enter Homewood at the main gate (also on your left).

Walk through Homewood Cemetery. The paths are clearly marked, and you will be able to see some interesting sculptures and mausoleums. Can you find the Pyramid? What about the Benedum Mausoleum?  When you have finished a loop, head down to the other exit gate at Forbes Avenue.

Turn right and walk up Forbes Avenue to Shady Avenue. Turn right onto Shady Avenue and walk all the way to Fifth Avenue (you can shorten this walk, by turning left onto Wilkins, and cutting through Campus) .

If you walk all the way to Fifth Avenue, turn left and walk back to the apartments.

Walking Tour Directions: Oakland – Carnegie Mellon Loop

Start by walking down Fifth Avenue toward Oakland. Walk until you reach Craig Street, and turn left. Walk down Craig Street until you reach the Carnegie Museum on Forbes Avenue. Turn right and walk down Forbes Avenue, past the museum. Turn left at Schenley Drive, and follow the road across the bridge. When you reach the intersection at Phipps Conservatory, turn left and follow the trail to Schenley Drive and follow the road until you reach the end (intersection with Forbes Avenue). Go left to the first intersection with Northumberland Street. Follow until you reach Wightman Street and turn left. When you reach the CVS (at Wilkins Avenue) turn right and continue to Chatham Campus.

Walking Tour Directions: Point Breeze loop

Start walk by going down Fifth avenue towards Shady Avenue. You will walk along Mellon Park. At the intersection with Beechwood Blvd, turn Right and go up Reynolds Avenue.

Along Reynolds are many nice homes. Follow Reynolds Avenue past The Frick. You will see the entrance to Frick Park on your left. Enter the park and take the shorter of the walking paths. It will end at Edgerton Avenue. You can follow Edgerton Avenue to South Dallas Avenue. Turn Right at Wilkins Avenue and walk up Wilkins back to the Chatham Campus.

Walking Tour Directions: Schenley Park-Panther Hollow loop

Start by walking through Chatham Campus towards SQHL.

Walk up by Murray Avenue to Forbes Avenue. Turn right onto Forbes Avenue.

You will come to a “V” where Forbes continue to the right, and to the LEFT is Schenley Park. Go left.

Follow to road (there is a walking path along the side). It will intersect at Phipps Conservatory. Go LEFT. There are stairs that go DOWN next to the Schenley Park Visitor Center, lead to the Panther Hollow trails.

Take either the Upper or Lower trail. They will end at the same area. You will now be at the intersection of Barlett Street and Greenfield Road. Go up Barlett Street.

At the intersection with Murray Avenue, turn left and bead back to campus.

Walking tours from Chatham Apartments to nearby areas

During this time, it may be difficult to keep a schedule, or keep healthy. The Pennsylvania Department of Health recommends that you “keep yourself in shape by eating nutritious foods, not smoking, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep.”

We are going to share some walking tour loops from Chatham Apartments to nearby areas. Most of the walks take between 1 and 2 hours. Feel free to adapt to your own needs (longer/shorter- or to explore additional areas!) We encourage you to take walks and engage in physical activity, while social distancing. For nearly all of these routes, you will be able to avoid public spaces and groups of people. If you have the time, I recommend bringing a camera, a book to read, or a picnic.

Walks:

Schenley Park-Panther Hollow loop: Schenley Park is a great area to go walking, play Frisbee, or to relax. It’s close to campus, and offers great views of Oakland and Downtown. There are several trails in Pather Hollow you can hike as well

(https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1pTVNY1DgjgTay5ZoZkW1xiFnRg&ll=40.43602854674707%2C79.94085005151442&z=16 )

Point Breeze Loop: Point Breeze is a nearby neighborhood. There are many beautiful houses and buildings. Right now, you can see many flowers and blooming trees.

Oakland- Carnegie Mellon Loop: Walk from your apartment down to Oakland and around Carnegie Mellon University.

Squirrel Hill- Homewood cemetery Loop: Homewood Cemetery is a large cemetery founded in 1878. Several important Pittsburgh figures are buried there, and there are many statues and beautiful graves. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homewood_Cemetery)

Frick Park Loop: Frick Park is another large green space in Pittsburgh. Where Schenley park has a lot of open areas, Frick has more trees and is popular with hiking, biking, and bird watching.

Please see our next couple posts in order to have more description about directions of these walking tours.