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A Morning at The Center for International Affairs; Lorain County Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours; Westside Democratic Club with Mr. Crossland


On Tuesday, January 13th, we started off our day by going to the "Center for International Affairs" at Tomlinson Hall at CWRU where we sat in on a luncheon program which was part of its "Global Talk Series" on "Designing International Experiential Learning in the Global Context" dealing with internships and job opportunities for students interested in traveling abroad.

Ms. Molly Watkins, Executive Director of the Center, coordinated the session and we got to hear from such informed people as:

**** Ms. Sara Spiegler, Assistant Director of Education Abroad, who talked about the procedures in planning courses and programs and how to get such ventures approved.

****Mr. Brian Mathews, Assistant Director for Experiential Learning, who talked about "GoinGlobal", "Vault", and "Handshake" which are three websites that offer an enormous amount of information to students regarding internships, employment, and more.

****Dr. Padmini D. Coopamah Waldron, Ph.D. who talked about traveling and doing research abroad. She is the Associate Director of "SOURCE" which is short for 'Support of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors".

****Ms. Genine Apidone, Director of Cooperative Education at the CWRU School of Engineering, who talked about the potential of career fairs and the Tianjin University Exchange Program.

Ms. Spiegler also reviewed a program called "Projects for Peace" which, as its website states, encourages "applicants to use their creativity to design projects and employ innovative techniques for engaging project participants in ways that focus on conflict resolution, reconciliation, building understanding and breaking down barriers which cause conflict, and finding solutions for resolving conflict and maintaining peace." For more information see its website at

One reason why all of the above people work so hard at doing what they do was expressed by Mr. Mathews when he mentioned at the beginning of the luncheon how exciting and rewarding it is for him when a student, with whom he has been mentoring, comes to him and says that she/he just landed a job interview which signifies a new opportunity to realize her/his potential.


Later on that Tuesday we sped over to "Amherst Manor" on North Lake Street in Amherst to attend a "Business After Hours" put on by the Lorain County Chamber of Commerce.

We talked to Mr. Jason Coe, Regional Administrator for "Sprenger Health Care Systems" who told us that "Amherst Manor" is part of its network which provides assisted living, rehabilative and long-term care to its clientele. Still a family-owned business,  "Sprenger..." was founded in 1959 and now has five local campuses.

While we were there, we chatted with Ms. Annette McIver from Business Growth Services at Lorain County Community College about the diversity of the institution. It seems that they have international students from such countries as Columbia, South Korea, and even France, in addition to Mexico.

We had another conversation about education with Ms. Melisa Shady and Ms. Lisa Vinarcik from the "Constellation Schools" wherein we told them about last week's City Club program with Mr. David Osborne about charter schools and their potential to reform education.

Before, we left we introduced ourselves to a person who heads an organization that provides services to many people here from Mexico. He had a question or two regarding immigration issues so we referred him to one of our attorneys from "Margaret W. Wong & Associates".


On our way home, we stopped off at the Westside Democratic Club meeting at Western Cuyahoga Lodge on Center Ridge Road in Westlake to hear Mr. Pete Crossland, former Ohio State Representative and U.S. Congressional Candidate, talk about the negative effects of gerrymandering in a presentation that involved our participation as audience members.

To no surprise, we all had something to say but we believe that Mr. Crossland was the most right-on when he said that such extreme gerrymandering as we are experiencing now in Ohio is harmful because a representative no longer has a "natural constituency" because the territory that he/she represents is so spread out and is composed of parts of communities instead of whole communities. 

As we waited for the meeting to start we visited with Ms.Twyla Sales who we know from our excursions involving the  "Vasa Order of America", a Swedish-American fraternal society. Ms. Sales poignantly recalled how her father, who immigrated to the United States from Sweden, very much imparted to her the importance of voting. She remembers him taking her to the polls on election day and allowing her to pull the big lever in the voting booth.


Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC








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