"Home Away from Home"


International Women’s Day Planning Meeting @ IC


From left to right: Alejandra Molina, Director of Intercultural Affairs, Liza Kiernan, Mallory Burrall, Maya Striuli and Gabriela Quintanilla, Coordinator of Justice Organization of Youth for Rural Migrant Ministry

International Women’s Day is almost around the corner and the Office of Intercultural Affairs is planning a meeting to celebrate and continue the conversation about the different intersectionalities of women and the fight for equality. This year’s theme, “Rooted in our Common Voice: Unifying Women through Dialogue and Action,” will be co-hosted by the IC, HWS Girl Up and the Rural Migrant Ministry. Representatives for each organization met up and started the planning process for the event. The meeting will take place on March 11 at 7 PM in the common room of Scandling Center; it will include workshops on navigating workspaces and proctor a conversation on ways to find commonalities as sites of empowerment and solidarity.


The IC Hosts the 2020 World Pool Cup!

There’s no better remedy to cure boredom than a healthy dose of competition. Some students had a little taste of their own medicine when they participated in a Pool competition at the Office of Intercultural Affairs after the Involvement Expo. The competition began at 8 PM, soon after the Involvement Expo had finished up. But these Pool professionals did not only play for the love of sport but also for the $25 prize in community cash that would be given to the ultimate winner. The game began with four matches, then two, then finally the last one that would decide who was the owner of those $25. The game was long and taxing, but after an incredible final match, Izzy was crowned the winner of the IC’s 2020 Pool Night!

Nothing Like A Pillow Fight to “Welcome” Our International Transfer Students To Campus

The reception started off pretty normal.  As soon as we walked through the door, we stuffed our faces to our hearts’ content with an array of food, including pizza and chicken wings. What can I say? We’re hungry college students. Our very own Renée Grant, Associate Director of Intercultural Affairs, led the reception. We introduced ourselves–what major, what year and where we are from. To our delight, the answers varied in geographical location. We could have hosted a peace summit with the number of representatives of different countries and cultures that filled the room. Soon, in a blink of an eye, the reception turned into an outright pillow fight between students. Don’t ask me how or who started it because I couldn’t tell you. All I know is that, by the time the reception was over, you could hear the thumps of pillows and contagious laughter all throughout the IC.

“Good food, good company. Had a lot of fun,” Dimosthenis Chrysochoou ’22 wrote about the event.

Olivia Hoffman ’21 also shared her insight. “It was really fun to get to know the other international students, and the pizza was fantastic!”

We have the Office of Student Activities to thank for providing the food. The IC is always appreciative of this annual collaboration. Many thanks to our colleagues for making this event a success!

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Students Broke Bread (and Built Community) During Winter Break!

There’s nothing more heartwarming than sharing a meal with your community, especially when it is so cold out; it warms up your heart and your stomach. Throughout the duration of winter break, students who were on campus enjoyed meals hosted by local restaurants and the Intercultural Affairs Center. We thank Nagina Ahmadi ’20 for coordinating all the dinners. “It was exciting to be on campus and connect with students that I otherwise wouldn’t know if we had not had dinners and had gotten to know each other at the IC,” she shared.  That is essentially the spirit of the IC, to be a home away from home.

Mexican Poetry through the Lens of Students’ Art Installations

This semester the IC was proud to assist Spanish and Hispanic Studies Professor Manuel Portillo’s class, SPAN 460, with their Mexican Poetry and Art installation. The students projects were poetic altars that centered around famous Mexican poets and artists throughout history. These altars embodied the significance of these artists’ contributions to Spanish art and literature.

Professor Portillo was kind enough to give us a brief description about some of the work the students have been doing in their class over the semester. When asked about the course, he had this to say, “Mexican Writers in the 21st Century: a Case for Poetry explored recent works that deepen and expand the traditional notions of poetry through poetic Installation at the Intercultural Affairs house to engage in a broader dialogue with the HWS community. It was important to make it in Spanish to stress the idea that this is no longer a second language in the country and its literary outcomes deserve wider exposure in the colleges.”

The IC is honored to be able to help facilitate an event that spreads knowledge on the diversity in literature and arts around the world. We want to thank Professor Portillos’ class for providing a space where students could appreciate and learn more about Mexican poetry and art. To see some of the altars displayed during the installation, scroll through the slideshow below!

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Camila García from Oceanside High School Paid our HEOP Friends a Visit

Camila García, a student at Oceanside High School in Oceanside, New York, visited the Intercultural Affairs office and spoke with our very own Ms. Edith to explore the many resources and opportunities the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) provides for students seeking post-secondary education. The IC was happy to welcome her alongside her parents and brother. García expressed how comfortable she felt at the IC and how she would like to be part of the HEOP program and the campus.

HEOP is an access program based out of New York state that aids students in attending college when they might not be able to otherwise. The program provides financial and academic assistance as well as counseling for all students throughout their time at HWS. The Colleges are excited to continue providing access to higher education to students from different walks of life and backgrounds, and thus, creating a more diverse and inclusive environment on campus.

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Our Many Thanks to our Academic and Career Support Team!

This semester the IC collaborated with Career Services, The Center for Teaching and Learning and the Math Department to provide weekly academic supports in math and writing areas as well as career advice. We would like to extend a huge thank you to all of our student workers. We are very lucky to have not one, but three  Writing Fellows this semester including Canieshia Phillips ’19, Bailey DiSanto ’21, and Abbey Frederick ’20 diligently worked to help students improve and develop their writing. Sam Legro ’19, our Math Intern, spent hours helping students grasp concepts and problem sets from multiple math classes on various levels. We cannot forget to mention our Career Intern, Hadley Browning ’20, who assisted with interview skills, resume revisions, and networking tactics for students to utilize in the professional sphere. We are so grateful for their presence and dedication to supporting students even throughout reading days and hope to continue our partnership with these offices to provide more opportunities for student advancement!

“I really enjoyed working with students on their writing in such an open and friendly space! IC is a great supportive study spot for students, especially during finals,” said Olivia Rowland ’21, a Writing Fellow.

Abigail Frederick ’20 also had something to share. “It’s lovely to work in the IC because it is not just a place for students to get writing help from Writing Fellows but also a communal study space where students are supportive of one another.”

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