Fulbright Meeting

September 7, 2022


Present: Steve Duke, Ken Hoppmann, Wael ElRayes, Dawne Curry, Amy Forss

Steve asked if anyone wanted anything to add to our agenda. Dawne offered to reach out to Amelia, Steve said Amy W. had already reached out to her.

Steve said our chapter has a $2000 grant for the fall. It will cover the Fulbright Coffee. Now we need to discuss what to do with the monies. Steve tried to reach Angela Luedtke to assist us but has not heard back from her yet. We basically have $100 for 8 different events. Steve wants to do some coffees in Lincoln and four in Omaha. Steve says to frame these coffees around visiting Fulbrights and Friends.

Ken mentioned September 24, 2022 there is no Husker game. He suggested this date as our first coffee. He wants to go ahead and invite using our old list of Fulbright. Steve suggests going ahead since most of the Fulbright are getting their Masters degrees and most likely are still studying at UNL. Ken suggests the downtown The Mill for the coffee. Ken says making September 21st the rsvp deadline for a September 24th coffee. Ken will check with the Mill and see if we can reserve seating, perhaps outside. Steve also suggested The Mill at the alternative campus or the telegraph Mill as well, but most likely it’s probably too far. Ken said he will take the lead on this coffee. Steve suggested scheduling the coffee dates. Ken said he would look at his calendar.

Steve asked Wael and Amy F is they would plan Omaha coffee chats on Saturdays. They will coordinate together and pick dates via email. Steve suggested paying for coffee for everyone and if there are less than 20 people paying for a snack as well.

Wael said we have a bank account and he need to change it over to Ken. Need to find out where the account is and how do we fund the coffees? Steve says the bank account is currently in Wael’s name and is in Omaha at Wells Fargo bank. A short discussion on possibly getting a bank card to pay bills such as the coffee meetings would much easier. If Ken had the account information, he said maybe there should be an account bank card in Omaha and one card in Lincoln. Wael says the current account card is in the Nebraska Fulbright Association not in any one person’s name. Steve suggested Wael be taken off the account and add a signature person to the Wells Fargo account at the branch in Lincoln. Wael will take the lead on the bank account change over.

Wael mentioned he received an email from a visiting Fulbright complaining he was feeling isolated Fulbright since he arrived in the US. Wael says we need to do a better job consistently connecting with our Nebraska Fulbright chapter. He wants us to do better connecting with Fulbright through the Fulbright app. Ken said last year he tried to create a presence on the Fulbright app but it wasn’t that easy to set up. He figures since could not connect on the app, he could see how Fulbrights could get discouraged, the person applying to the Fulbright has to be approved. Wael said only one person is approving for the Fulbright app members.

Steve said the coffee meetings would be an excellent start, regardless of the Fulbright app. Steve said the student UNL Fulbright created their own organization. Steve said we need to figure out who is the president of the student UNL association and work with them. Wael said to connect with the university offices of the Fulbrights who are here. Steve says there are challenges to this suggestion since some of the Fulbrights are here in Nebraska but because they have their visas through other channels we don’t always know the Fulbright who are here. Steve said he hopes Christine will send our NE chapter a new list soon.

We have $600 for the Hockey game meet up in December. Steve said he will check into the price of hockey ticket costs and the dates.

Steve broached creating a membership committee by expanding the board through outreach. Ken says two or three more people on the board would be good, especially if one person from the board works with a subcommittee. Ken wondered about liaison positions, say from the student Fulbright organization. Wael says we’ve talked about this before, but there hasn’t been interest from the student Fulbright. Wael suggests figuring out why there is a disconnect. Ken wonders if it’s an issue of communication. Amy F said it could be a generational issue since the Fulbright student group is younger than our board members. Wael suggested creating a younger age group—Amy F suggested perhaps electing a younger board member. There’s the challenge too, as Dawne mentioned of geography between Omaha and Lincoln.

Steve mentioned the Fulbright offer to fund 1 person on a $500 grant to attend the Fulbright Outreach in Bethesda, Maryland. Steve asked Dawne if she was interested in going. Dawne wants to go but $500 only covers about 2 nights in a hotel. Dawne suggested we fundraise our own funds to send two Fulbright board members to Fulbright conferences. Steve suggested donations, or a gala event with ticket prices going to our chapter. Dawne suggested we as a chapter write grants for additional funding. Ken said he doesn’t have a good sense of who our Fulbright local friends would be to approach for fundraising. Perhaps we need to go back to friendraising before fundraising. Steve said he would take the lead on the membership group. Steve is going to look at the membership list and see what he can do about contacting local faculty who have received Fulbright awards in the last few years.