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  • 11 Feb 2020 7:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I get it. You’re concerned about being lambasted for using the wrong word or not having the most nuanced understanding of geo-politics. You don’t want to be put on the “hot seat” for committing a gaffe or being imperfect when it comes to understand diversity and inclusion. In other words, you are tired of the “woke” culture.

    And guess what? To some extent, so am I. I have been called an “Uncle Tom” for reasons that continue to befuddle me. I have been accused of supporting “respectability politics” as a Gay man. I have also been accused of being “comfortable with the oppressor.” And although those who know me personally and professionally would soundly reject those assessments, that fact that some would hurl those accusations is not really important in the larger scheme of things. Yet, as a consultant, professor, and speaker, the fact that I was said to not be “woke” was a stinging rebuke of my identity and even caused me (albeit briefly) to rethink whether I should engage in dialogue with others around diversity, inclusion, and equity issues. For a moment I thought, I don’t recognize the progressive world I thought I lived in anymore.

    Even after nearly 20 years of doing diversity and inclusion work, I continue to make mistakes and I continue to learn. And with any developmental model, shaming or cancelling people – which has become so prevalent with “woke” culture – is highly problematic, if not downright ineffective. Learners (which is what we are when engaging new cultures) are not likely to absorb new information and transform their behavior if the learning container feels punitive (Holley & Steiner 2005). If we make good-faith attempts at learning exceedingly risky, then the learner, ally, or new social justice adherent will simply avoid conversation or any attempt to become more culturally-intelligent for fear of walking onto a landmine. No one wants to feel like they are walking on eggshells in order to become more diversity mature. Learning must come with the appropriate space to take risks and learn from our mistakes without fear from judgment.

    However, as problematic as “woke” culture can be, status-quo culture is equally if not more problematic. When we stay “unconscious” and allow the traditional norms of white supremacy, patriarchy, heterosexism, classism, religiosity, ableism, and cisgenderism to burn incessantly without remedy or recourse, we are normalizing outcomes in which underrepresented cultures continue to suffer, struggle, and die. And this last point is not a matter of embellishment.

    Consider the following: on October 20th, millions of people across the world commemorated the Transgender Day of Remembrance to honor the lives of transgender and non-gender conforming people across the world. Unfortunately, in just this past year, 331 transgender people have been killed globally (Forbes, 2019). In the U.S., violence against the transgender community is at epic proportions and despite this fact, none of the current U.S. presidential candidates has addressed how they would deal with this issue in a forceful way. To be clear, this very fact is an example of people not being “woke” or mindful of the realities that exist around them.

    The very idea of being “woke” is not to castigate those who are uninformed or unsophisticated on particular topic, but to stir us from the painfully-quiet reality in which acts of violence and discrimination fester. When we are not “woke” or awakened to the suffering of our friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors, we are helping to preserve a status quo that destroys the soul and conscience of our fellow global citizens. In fact, the status quo prevents too many from becoming “woke” to their own potential and unlimited capability. Given the geo-political realities we are facing now – including climate change, automation, nationalism, and the like – we need every person to become woke and aware of their power in order to save humanity.

    So while I get fatigued when fellow social justice warriors and DEIB practitioners employ an arbitrary and unforgiving litmus test in assessing the bona fides of people who profess to love and support this work, I also understand the place from where it is coming. Marginalized people do not have the luxury of always watching those in privilege clumsily wade into waters of inclusion and equity. We need leaders and everyday citizens to be focused, intentional, curious, diligent, and empowered. We need people to act as advocates and not as armchair allies.

    In the end, I won’t blame you for not being perfect. Neither am I, and I don’t describe myself as “woke” in the strictest sense of the word. But I won’t live as a social sleepwalker either. My experience, my journey, and my consciousness cannot abide by you if you remain comfortable with the tragic reality that we are witnessing in 2019 and beyond. I cannot support being comfortable with the status quo.

    Dr. Joel A. Davis Brown is a consultant, coach, speaker, storyteller, and soon-to-be author based in San Francisco and Paris.

  • 11 Feb 2020 7:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Art inSight: Understanding Art and Why It Matters by Fanchon Silberstein, Intellect: University of Chicago Press, 2020, 196 pages. Reviewed by Craig Storti.

    Granted: This sounds like a book about art. So what’s it doing in the SIETAR newsletter? The answer is contained in the title and especially in the subtitle. The title can be read two ways: art in sight (something to do with looking at art) and art insight (something about what art can teach). And the subtitle expands on this dual purpose: this book will help you understand art, but it will also show you how understanding art matters, how it can change you for the better. And therein lies the intercultural angle, for it is Fanchon’s central thesis that if you actively engage with art—as opposed to passively observing it—you will learn about the mind and world of the artist and as a result have insights into your own mind and your own world. And if those worlds are very different—think artists from cultures and backgrounds other than your own—then engaging with art is inherently intercultural. But it is more than that: entering the world of the Other, in this case through art, opens you up to understanding difference and, with a little luck, to accepting or at least tolerating difference. And that’s why art matters

    In the book Fanchon quotes Picasso to the effect that a painting is not finished until the viewer arrives. This is that idea again that art is an exchange—Fanchon calls it a dialogue—between two people, two worldviews. It doesn't have to be an exchange, of course; it’s not as if there’s something wrong with just observing and reacting, with being pleased by and liking what you see or being put off and not liking it. But if you are so inclined and especially if you know how, you can turn that mere viewing, mere looking, into something much more, a learning experience—an insight—rather than just a moment of pleasure or displeasure.

    And that is Fanchon’s cause: to teach us how to move beyond observing art to engaging with it and experiencing the many benefits of so doing. Simply stated, Fanchon says you have to ask questions of art. She says that meeting strange art is like meeting a stranger, and just as asking questions of, developing a relationship with, and ultimately understanding a stranger will enrich your life, asking questions of art can provide the same kind of enrichment. “This book is about how to talk to art and listen to yourself. It invites you to find the life in seemingly inert objects—to give art…the capacity to look back, to answer.” But it’s not just about asking, however; you have to listen to the answers, and many times revise your thinking based on what you hear (or, more aptly, see). The entire process “is a demanding, perpetual act, but I think in order to live peacefully with differences, it’s the best we have—to look, ask, revise, correct—and ask the next question.” If you think all this is so much malarkey and not much fun besides, read pages 77-82 wherein a Persian miniature from 1520 and a 1971 American painting called Diner interrogate each other. You will be touched and humbled.

    What do you mean by asking questions of art? What kind of questions? Take the Persian miniature from 1520:

    What’s going on here? There are people in a garden.

    What are they doing? They appear to be talking.

    Why are they in a garden?

    Does the garden represent something? It represents paradise

    Is it mostly men? Mostly women? Mixed? Is that significant?

    Does the big tree represent something?

    Why is there a second, smaller tree?

    How to engage with art, then, is the central thesis of this book, but it’s full of provocative, related ideas about art—the meaning of perspective, the role of context, the nature of the observer—as well as many wonderful quotations, and lovely reproductions (the book is beautifully produced). Fanchon’s writing is immediately accessible, like she’s talking to you; this is not an art lecture but a conversation with one very engaging, knowledgeable lady.

    The above synopsis notwithstanding, Art inSight is not a diatribe or a stealth self-help book with pretty pictures to make the sermon go down better (although the pictures are pretty). It is earnest—Fanchon wants to bring people together in this age of polarities—but it’s not preachy, heavy-handed, or a polemic. 

    OK: Maybe it is a bit of a polemic, but you’ll enjoy your time with this woman so much, learn so much about art, and find Fanchon’s enthusiasm so infectious, you’ll be eagerly awaiting her next polemic.

    Full disclosure: I have the honor of being a long-time friend of Fanchon’s; it’s why I could not bring myself to call her Silberstein in this review (she’s not a Marine recruit, for heaven’s sake). I suppose I should have invited someone more objective to review this book, but to be honest I didn’t want anyone messing with my friend.

  • 11 Feb 2020 7:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    1. Why did you write this book?

    I had worked for many years running intercultural training workshops with participants from all over the world, and I was also a docent at the Smithsonian Institution’s museum of modern and contemporary art. I felt strongly that art was a dynamic pathway into understanding other cultures and our own. When we establish a personal connection to a piece of art, we have a chance to learn a great deal about ourselves and others.

    2. What is the most important thing you want readers to take away from this book?

    We can open deep pathways to understanding with others by searching for shared meanings. One way to do that is through dialogues with art, either one-to-one with just one viewer and one piece of art - or in groups, where several of us share perceptions and listen to one another’s insights.

    3. Name one or two books in our field that influenced you the most, that you think all interculturalists should be familiar with? Why?

    Some books that influenced me were not necessarily written by interculturalists but were exceptionally meaningful to me. Daniel Boorstin’s The Creators and David Bohm’s On Dialogue are among them. Robert Kohls’s Survival Kit for Overseas Living continues to be a useful guide because of its straight-forward and down-to-earth style.

    4. What is one of the most significant, most memorable cross-cultural experiences you have had?

    I am among the fortunate to have had a number of significant cross-cultural experiences. Several took place while sharing music or food.

    5. If you could pass on only one insight/one lesson learned to others about crossing cultures, what would you say?

    Observe closely, notice your own immediate judgements and avoid speaking them, Describe carefully, to yourself, what you see and feel.

    6. This newsletter goes to nearly 1,000 readers, folks who are either in or interested in the field of intercultural communications. If you’d like to say something else to these folks, something we have not asked about in this questionnaire, feel free to add your brief comments here.

    I wrote a book about using art as a form of intercultural communication because art is everywhere and reveals what one artist and, often, what whole cultures value. When we pay attention, art can give us insights that little else can.

  • 07 Feb 2020 3:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Did you know that the SIETAR USA webinars are recorded and you can listen to them at your convenience? You find them in the members section of the SIETAR USA website. Non-members can also access them for a reasonable price.

    The 2020 Webinar series got off to a dynamic start in January with Julia Gaspar-Bates who spoke to over 50 participants about style switching for multi-cultural groups. It was the most interactive webinar in a long time. It seemed that participants were hungry to share their best practices, ask questions, comment, and learn from the speaker and each other.

    The February webinar featured Amer Ahmed who explored intercultural frameworks for Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion work. Amer was the closing keynote speaker for the 2019 SIETAR USA conference in Atlanta and from of the feedback we received we knew he needed to be part of our webinar series. His willingness to share his experiences making them relevant to the work of interculturalists, especially those working in the DEI field is quite a treat. He brings his identity as the son of Indian Muslim immigrants and extensive years as an intercultural and diversity consultant as the sources of a pivotal understanding of the depth of diversity and inclusion work.

    Amer explained how historically-based systems of power resulted in “invisibilizing” and marginalizing certain groups. Intercultural programs typically have not addressed power issues, while DEI professionals do not usually use a developmental approach. Amer said he found that using an intercultural approach makes the companies, students, and faculty he works with much more receptive to hearing the diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice messages. Some of the intercultural frameworks he uses are the DMIS developmental model, Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions, and Sorrell’s Intercultural Praxis Model. His comments on bridging the divide between intercultural and diversity work were insightful, challenging, and

    The March Webinar speaker is Joe Lurie who will address the impact of the media and polarization on our efforts to understand misunderstandings in the era of globalization. Addressing the implications of the West African proverb, "The Stranger Sees Only What He Knows," the webinar will explore the nature and sources of bias, misunderstanding and cultural disconnects in a hyper-connecting, often polarizing world. With YouTube, tweets, refugees and fake news rapidly crossing cultures without context, misunderstanding is more often the rule than the exception. University of California Berkeley International House Executive Director Emeritus Joe Lurie will examine what's often behind culture clashes in the news of the day, and in the worlds of business, religion, health care, technology and across generations. In the process, we'll come to see and hear that more is meant than meets the eye or the ear.

    Author of the award-winning “Perception and Deception, A Mind-Opening Journey Across Cultures” published by Cultural Detective, Joe Lurie is a former Peace Corps Volunteer, former COO of AFS/USA and past National Chair for NAFSA's Education Abroad section. Currently, Joe teaches intercultural communication and has been offering Cross-Cultural Communication workshops for a broad variety of organizations, including Google, American Express and the Institute of International Education. His work has been featured at the Commonwealth Club of California, the World Affairs Council and on NPR, PBS, C-Span's Book TV and in Harper's Magazine as well as US News and World Report.

    The April Webinar is going to be Mai Nguyen-Phuong-Mai speaking about change management with insight from brain science. She says that in the modern era of international business, the ability that individuals and corporations can adjust and change is critical. But we can’t turn away from a fact that change has a low rate of success. Only 25% of corporate change initiatives are successful over the long term. Old habits die hard. This presentation discusses the neurobiology of change and the challenges we face in change management. It uses insights from neuroscience to shed light into the reasons why change is so challenging and introduces a change management framework called STREAP-Be. This framework provides concrete strategies that can help individuals and organizations to face the challenges of cultural adaptation and creation, reaping benefit from being in sync with the dynamics of culture. A collective such as a company is not different from humans as a species or individual persons in the sense that its culture is both persistent and evolving. Humans may find it difficult to change, but we are built to adapt. And we are the only the species that can do so deliberately.

    Dr. Mai Nguyen-Phuong-Mai is Associate Professor at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. Together with her study at King's College London in a Master program on Applied Neuroscience, she has been recognized as a bridging figure between interculturalism and cultural neuroscience. Her latest book Cross-Cultural Management with Insights from Brain Science adopts the notion that culture is dynamic, context is the software of the mind, opposing values coexist, change is constant, and individuals can develop a multicultural mind.

    What comes next, you ask? We have added a new member to the webinar team, Carolyn Ryffel. With her ideas and organizational skills, we will soon be able to post a schedule for the rest of the year.

  • 07 Feb 2020 3:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Portions of the following are based on an interview with Antimo Cimino on January 20, 2020

                Many years ago when my husband Ray Fowler, who was responsible for the pre-conference, continuing-education workshops for the Southeast Psychological Association (SEPA), was checking on how they were going, he observed that the psychologists were sitting in windowless hotel rooms, working hard to stay awake while listening to the workshop leaders—but, he thought, it didn’t have to be that way. They could be learning in an interesting environment, like on a boat to Cuba, a therapy clinic in Athens, a resort on Martinique, a psychiatric hospital in Beijing. He proposed the concept to the SEPA Board of Directors who told him to make it happen. And so he did.

                The idea of holding workshops in interesting, relevant spaces follows in the tradition of interculturalists like Jack Condon who has taken groups to Mexico for many years. Jack and Tatyana Fertelmeyster are also known for their workshops in Jemez, New Mexico. I was curious when I heard about Cultural Global Labs to see what Antimo Cimino, Kirk Faulkner, and Lori Welch had done with the concept. Wanting to know more, I went to the source and called Antimo. First, I learned a lot about Antimo. He was born in Italy and at age 16 he spent a summer in France. It opened a “Pandora’s Box” of beauty for him. He had always escaped in his head to other places but in France he really experienced thinking differently and seeing the world with different eyes, and he knew that he wanted more. After graduating from culinary school and serving his obligation in the Army, he returned to London where he had spent some time after high school. He began to realize that he missed living in Italy, but while there he missed living in other places. An American he met suggested that Antimo go to Portland, Oregon. And so he did.

                Antimo obtained a Bachelor’s degree in international studies at Portland State University and during that time took a class with Kim Brown. She turned him on to intercultural communication and suggested Antimo volunteer at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC) where he found “his people.” He earned a Masters in Applied Intercultural Relations (MAIR) and worked for ICI for 5 years, enjoying the magic of SIIC. Knowing that he needed more business experience and speaking 6 languages, Antimo soon found a position with the Oliver Wyman company of global management consultants. He found he was well equipped to survive in the corporate culture. After more than 9 years with Oliver Wyman Consulting, he realized that he had adapted to and functioned well in the corporate world, moving comfortably from a non-profit organization to corporate culture and back again. However, his years with ICI motivated him to return—and so he did.

                Antimo held a growing vision for an innovative approach to intercultural learning. To hone his ideas he interviewed workshop leaders and asked their participants for feedback. Why labs? He felt that breakthroughs happen in laboratories and he wanted the same to happen in Cultural Global Labs. He was mindful that to serve others you need to take care of yourself. His training model includes early morning routines like mindfulness, flexibility to expand curiosity and prepare body and mind for the day, as well as peel off stress and preconceived ideas. And so it will.

                Antimo oriented the program around 5 pillars: vulnerability, stories, connection, transformation, and growth. The importance of vulnerability came from all his years seeing buttoned-up corporate leaders respond to transformative learning that allowed them to be authentic and feel more. Antimo knew that stories have the power to transform and lead to personal growth. Workshops with intercultural and diversity trainers fill the middle of the weeklong program taking theory to practice. And here is the piece de resistance: the practice takes place in southern Italy. Participants take their leadership principles and learning from the workshops and have the opportunity to bake bread or stack produce, working with the Italians in Lecce, Italy.  Antimo describes the last day of the program as the “icing on the cake.” It’s an opportunity to work on topics that didn’t get enough time (according to the participants) and will be done as an Open Space activity where people can contribute, connect, take a deep dive into a subject, and answer the question: What next? 

                Antimo’s program has much to offer. It builds on traditions in education while having its own character and promise. The pilot program is June 15-19, 2020 and Antimo has generously offered a 10% discount to all SIETAR USA members who register by February 29th. I feel that this program deserves your serious consideration. You can look at https://cultural-globallabs.com and find out for yourself!

    Sandra M. Fowler

  • 07 Feb 2020 3:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Choosing a site for a national conference involves the weighing of many factors; location, quality of accommodations, access to transport, catering, price, meeting rooms, and plenary space. Happily, the Hilton in Omaha has many great advantages both in easy access, space, and price. In addition, Omaha is a great city in the Heartland with much to offer conference attendees.

    What’s so Great about Omaha? Well, since you asked, here are a few things that make Omaha not just a convenient place to convene, but one that provides many attractions and advantages. Did you know that Omaha has a vibrant immigrant and refugee community and is home to both President Gerald Ford and Malcolm X?

    We will feature aspects of Omaha and the environs every month between now and October when we meet for the conference. To start with Omaha is in the Heartland of the USA and is considered one of the friendliest cities in the nation. Locals like to say that “Talking to strangers is encouraged.” What better atmosphere could we hope for as a backdrop for our conference as we come together to share best practices, research, skills and tools, and encouragement to each other to do just that—be more effective at talking to and including strangers.

    Omaha (and Nebraska) has a vibrant and top ranked education system, from P-12 to many top tier universities, including 5 campuses of the University of Nebraska, Creighton University, Bellevue University, and Metropolitan Community College to name a few.

    Stay tuned for future installments of What’s so Great about Omaha.

  • 07 Feb 2020 3:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Have you looked at the SIETAR USA website lately? We have launched a serious effort to keep it up to date (if you find something that needs updating, do let us know!). On the home page we have added the names of new and renewing members to SIETAR USA for the past month. That will be updated each month. Take a look to see how many of them you know. And look for them at the conference in Omaha!  We are adding new Conference information almost every day, so keep checking back!

  • 07 Feb 2020 3:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    More pictures and remembrances were sent in by SIETAR USA members. They are presented in memory of our founder, first president, and only executive director.

    Margaret D. Pusch


    Peggy performed leadership roles in the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research for many years, both internationally and in the USA. She very much helped Bill Gay, Shoko Araki, Doug Bowen and me when we were starting SIETAR Japan. She was a longtime faculty member of the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication and several universities during her career, including Antioch and University of the Pacific. Peggy was an avid experiential facilitator, publishing articles in Simulation and Gaming and playing an active role in the North American Simulation and Gaming Association.

    I first met Peggy in the early 80s, when she was active in SIETAR International, a faculty member of the then-Stanford Institute for Intercultural Communication, and President of the Intercultural Press. She and Lew welcomed me into their home in Maine many times over the years, and I loved and respected them dearly. I’ll never forget her bringing the publishing contract for Ecotonos: A simulation for collaborating across cultures to my wedding! Peggy attended our very first train-the-trainer workshop for Beyond Bowing: Working Effectively with the Japanese and provided invaluable input. She loved our Redundancía: A foreign language simulation and used it in many of the trainings she conducted, and was an ardent supporter of Cultural Detective. Her son, Rob Pusch, is an instrumental member of our Cultural Detective LGBT authoring team.

    The entire Cultural Detective community sends our heartfelt condolences to her family. Peggy Pusch was a mentor to oh-so-many in the intercultural field for four decades. She was President of Intercultural Press for many years, where she guided the development of dozens of magnificent books, ensuring that invaluable information made its way to those who needed it at a time when “intercultural” wasn’t quite so popular. She authored her own respected volumes as well, including Multicultural Education: A cross-cultural training approach (1980) and Helping Them Home: A guide for leaders for professional integration and reentry workshops (1988), and contributed to many other volumes, such as the Handbook of Intercultural Training. Peggy was a pillar of the intercultural community for decades, and will be sorely missed.

    Peggy Pusch, Mary Meares, Lee Knefelkamp, Allison Gunderson, Dianne Hofner Saphiere at a SIIC faculty dinner.

    A dinner in Rancho Mirage with Bill Gay, Peggy Pusch, Yoshi, Lew Pusch, Doug Bowen, and Dianne Hofner Saphiere


    Peggy was sincerely committed to building the Intercultural field. Her primary and lasting contribution to the growth of the field was through her management of the Intercultural Press.

    She was one of the founders of the Press and was its Managing Director for many years. (During some of those years she even stored all of the books to be sold in the basement of her and Lew's home.)

    Peggy's interests and enthusiasm were not limited to people and books. She much enjoyed exploring significant places. The Grand Canyon was one such place. She and Lew camped with friends on the rim of the Canyon, then hiked all the way down to the bottom. She even climbed down a tall, almost vertical rock beside a spectacular waterfall. Then climbed (slowly and carefully) back up the rock face.

    Peggy brought to her life and to our field real courage and stamina. And a great sense of humor.


    As for so many friends and colleagues it is with sadness that I learned of the passing of Peggy Pusch. Peggy was a friend for over 50 years, beginning in the suburbs of Chicago, and then to the northeast, bringing Intercultural Press where she was editor with her; and to the northwest where she was a significant presence at the annual Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication in mentoring some of the “new interculturalists” and on the board of the Intercultural Communication Institute, among other institutional boards which welcomed her wisdom. Peggy was a dear colleague, and at Intercultural Press she edited two of my books — and scores of others. A gifted scholar, speaker and writer, Peggy advised and helped shape so many of the early books in the field of intercultural communication. SIETAR, the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research would not be the significant organization that is today without her active involvement and guidance over so many years. I was deeply moved to be honored a few years ago to receive the SIETAR award named for Peggy and so much that her life represented. The field of intercultural communication would not be what is today without her vision, commitment, decades of dedicated work that spanned many genres and venues. My heart goes out to Lew and Rob and Darryl, and to all who knew and loved Peggy and whose lives were changed by her wisdom, kindness and generosity.


    Did I tell you? The first time that we met we were at the 1993 Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication workshop, “Diversity in Higher Education”. Five days of a lightning review of the major intercultural concepts and theories that gave me the solid foundation for the rest of my career.

    Your broad and deep knowledge of the field covered so much information that I did not even know existed. Each day I was filled with information, diversity and intercultural engagement examples, anecdotal stories of challenges we can face in our daily work, personal and professional lives.

    So much that I needed to learn about the intricacies and complexities to function well not only in the academic and professional settings I was entering, but helped me to make sense of my own multicultural personal life. Did I tell you how mind-blowing that week of learning was for me?

    Did I tell you that your support of Kim Jurmu and myself as we submitted our 2001 Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research conference proposal meant so much to us. We barely knew the history of the development of SIETAR USA, let alone that this was to be the first USA conference for the newly formed SIETAR national group. Your time and interest as you coached us along, as you critiqued and jostled us and our proposal into shape – kindness with directness, helping us to professionalize our work was the best model of how to mentor young professionals that I’ve never forgotten.

    Your way of working with us was personal, professional and just a lot of fun as you encouraged our best thinking, urging us to think broadly and to think of this growing field and what we could bring to share, to inform and to learn. I did tell you how much we appreciated your time and investment in us, right?

    Did I to tell you that through the many years that I participated in SIETAR USA, as a member and as an officer, I was privileged and honored to learn first-hand at your side. Your coaching was always expansive, direct and focused—and filled with so many memorable fun times! You encouraged and supported me and many others --always left room for our skills, our abilities and personality to come forward. Guiding me and all of us with expertise, professionalism, and often with a twinkle in your eye.

    You demanded my best work, my best energy –not in so many words, but as you modeled complete commitment to building SIETAR USA in those early years, I saw what worked, and how you worked. And I chose to do the same, building towards a global understanding, inclusive of all, and always growing and learning. I did tell you how wonderful these years were, right?

    As I write this, I am overwhelmed with all that you have done for me, and walking alongside me over these years. You are the model of kindness, lightning wit, global vision, passion and commitment to act and to work hard and tirelessly to create the best world possible for all of us. I would not be the person that I am today without your love and ever patient guidance. Your handprint is strong upon me and others in our field, and your spirit will live on through us as we can only hope to pass on your passion as you did for us.

    Did I remember to tell you?

    Esther Louie, Maria Jichova, Rita Wuebbler, Heather Robinson & Peggy (Sophia, Bulgaria 2007)

    Margaret "Peggy" Pusch

    More Submitted Photos with Peggy

    Peggy and Bruce La Brack at SIIC

    Sandy Fowler and Peggy holding their Optime Merens Awards
    at the SIETAR USA conference in New Jersey/New York City

    Peggy’s coronation as Queen of SIETAR USA
    Following her announcing her resignation at
    a Board of Directors retreat meeting

  • 07 Feb 2020 3:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    An interculturalist who was active in SIETAR International and the early days of SIETAR USA, Helen died January 4, 2020. She was 97. She participated in SIETAR Minnesota for many years. Born August 19, 1922 the oldest of six children she lived in Minneapolis, St Louis Park, and most recently Bloomington, MN. She worked at the Embassy of Peru in Washington, D.C., and taught Spanish at the University of Minnesota, where she met her husband, Bob, after WWII. They enjoyed a wonderful life with five children, many friends, adventures and travels. Helen loved international affairs, earned her Master's Degree in Latin American Studies and formed her own consulting firm, Intercultural Communications. She was a student advisor at the University of Minnesota for many years, and a long-time member of the Board of Trustees of the University of St Thomas. She was an active member of the Minnesota International Center, Committee on Foreign Relations, and Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas (FAWCO). She took her family to Peru where she was the student advisor for the Student Project for Amity among Nations (SPAN). Helen was always interested in people. She was very outgoing, caring and loving. She had the ability to make everyone feel special and to know that she was truly interested in them. She always made you feel like you were the only person in the room. Whether doing yoga or learning to play chess in her 90's she was always active and engaged in life. She especially cherished being at the cottage on Lake of the Woods in Ontario, and treasured the years she and her husband, Bob, lived in Carefree, AZ on Rocking Chair Road.

  • 07 Feb 2020 3:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thank you, Sandy. It is a great newsletter full of emotions and knowledge . I learned a lot about her. (Zehra Keye)

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