Fellowship at Ventureprise, Charlotte, NC

written by Rabia Tas from Turkey

I’ve been working at a technology transfer office and wanted my professional fellowship to be in the fields of technology transfer, entrepreneurship, research, and innovation. Therefore; my placement to Ventureprise which is the entrepreneurship and innovation center at the University of North Carolina Charlotte is a really good match. I’ve been participating in various events and meetings since I started my fellowship.

I’ve been a part of different activities such as learning about the programs of Ventureprise, having meetings with UNC Charlotte offices like Office of Technology Transfer and Proposal Development Office, joining workshops and seminars on business model canvas and career building. Some of the things that I’ve seen are quite similar to the models we use at my own institution, but there are some models or tools that we don’t use frequently. Therefore; seeing them here and making observations give me the inspiration to start new programs or practices once I return home.

Ventureprise provides me a good networking opportunity both in UNC Charlotte and in Charlotte city in terms of my areas of interest. But there was such a nice coincidence here at Ventureprise that it helped me not only to make new acquaintances from Charlotte but also to 7 different entrepreneurs from different European countries. Ventureprise was hosting European entrepreneurs for U.S. Department of State’s 2018 Young Transatlantic Innovative Leaders Initiative and I had a chance to meet the 7 participants of that program here in Charlotte. They were all founders of startups from the Netherlands, Hungary, Spain, Ukraine, Italy, Norway and the United Kingdom. I joined in some events together with them and even participated in their pitching event. This global networking was a good surprise and opportunity for me. Because I talked to them and learn about technology development and innovation ecosystems in their countries as well as sharing my knowledge on Turkish innovation ecosystem. I helped one of the entrepreneur to contact with a potential partner in Turkey and created a draft Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership proposal about entrepreneurship with another.

I’ve come here to cooperate and collaborate with US institutions and entrepreneurial ecosystem and ended up with developing a global network with fellows from Eurasia Professional Fellowship Program, from Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative and from Young Transatlantic Innovative Leaders Initiative. This opportunity will be among the most memorable experiences of my fellowship.

RabiaTas_Charlotte_WorkSite

Everyday Conservationist

written by Koranis Tanangsnakool (Gig) from Thailand

To be honest, it has been a while since last time I got up early to catch sunrise on the weekend. Somehow I feel an extra sleep on the weekend could potentially help alleviate tiredness from working days, and just recently the research has suggested that sleeping on weekend could compensate lost of sleep during weekday. With a strong determination, I got up early to join my host family for their morning activity which is walking up the hill picking up garbage.

Volunteer 2

Their daughter, Christina, started it 10 years ago. She went out every morning with a strong passion of ‘do-what-she-can’ and make it at least one less trash to keep the neighborhood clean. She has moved to the mainland years ago, the retiree couple decided to continue her mission and what makes this activity interesting is that the neighborhood they are trying to keep clean is the forest. Their house is located at the edge of reserved area, a 5-minute walk will lead you to Mount Tantalus part of Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve, one of seventeen forest reserves on Oahu Island.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, is authorized and responsible for land management for multi-use that incorporate a variety of public uses and benefits. Though each reserve requires individual management scheme for its unique natural resources, the same philosophy is applied for the entire forest reserve. This includes the conservation of biological integrity of native ecosystems, watersheds protection to secure fresh water supply for public uses today and in the future, provision of recreational opportunities, and economic empowerment through high quality forest product and sustainable forest industry.

Interestingly, stuffs thrown out on the edge of Mount Tantalus range from common trash like bottle lids, cigarette, plastic package to bed mattress, umbrella, drugs package and MONEY. Nice weather with fresh air, cool breeze from the pacific and morning light make this community service a very enjoyable activity. Besides seeing scenic view of Honolulu downtown and Diamond head is a marvelous feeling of getting close to the nature.

A’ohe hana nui ke alu ‘ia
No task is too big when done together by all.

Celebration of Diversity

written by Nataliia Zaitseva from Ukraineoak

From the very first orientation meeting in DC I understood how different all the fellows are. 68 totally different fellows from different countries came to the US to learn about best practices of governance, business and education. Ethnic diversity is one of the main aspects which differs the US from my native country Ukraine.

Every year US Government gives around 50,000 green cards for immigrants who decided to live and work in the US.

I was happy to see the unique ceremony in Macomb County, Mount Clemens, MI on November 2, where I was a fellow at the Macomb County Executive`s Office. It is called the naturalization ceremony.

The naturalization ceremony created to recognize the rights, responsibilities, and importance of citizenship and provide access to services for new citizens. It is the culmination of the naturalization process.

Each year a group of people from the Macomb community become naturalized and get their American citizenship. Macomb County executives try to make administrative naturalization ceremonies positive and memorable moments in the lives of the citizens.

The first naturalization ceremony in Macomb County was held in 2014 and now is annual. Most of naturalized citizens came from Middle Eastern Countries.

This year 24 individuals from 16 different countries including: Albania, Bangladesh, China, Croatia, Germany, India, Iraq, Jordan, Korea, Lebanon, Liberia, Peru, Poland, South Korea, Tunisia and Yemen become naturalized. During ceremony immigrants become U.S. citizens by taking the Oath of Allegiance. For some of them the whole process lasted for 6 years.

Pam Lavers, Deputy County Executive, started with remarks and mentioned that Macomb County is a multicultural community and new citizens are highly welcomed to participate in the community life.

County Executive Mark A. Hackel in his remarks highlighted that diversity of Macomb County is incredible and it is very important for county authorities to enlarge the population, so Macomb is open for all!

After remarks, a keynote speaker, Inge Zomboreanu Boettcher, a Macomb County Community Mental Health employee that shared her own citizenship story. She went from Romania in 1990 and was naturalized in 1996. She pointed that they didn’t have such ceremony and it is a great idea to host the ceremony in Macomb county.

Following Inge’s story, the ceremony proceeded to the Oath of Allegiance led by the Honorable Judge George Caram Steeh from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Multicultural diversity is an integral part of American life. Participating in the naturalization ceremony was a unique experience which I never seen before.