On a chilly Monday evening with temperatures in single digits, the graduate student international club (GSIC) hosted their second event called the International Potluck since the group’s conception.
The event was attended by over 20 people from the graduate school and saw participation from three first year graduate students Raksha Partha, Hema Gudlavalleti and Rathipriya Viswanathan working as a team portraying their culinary skills.
The attendees relished street food specialty from India called ‘Ragda Pattice’ aka thin potato patties served with white peas cooked in a blend of spices and topped with tamarind and mint salsa. For this, the one and only participating team received a $25 Starbucks gift card.
In addition, students enjoyed hot and spicy delicacies from southern provinces of India and China. These included the ‘vegetable biryani’ and ‘samosa’ from the Indian restaurant Biryani Pot specializing in provincial Hyderabadi cuisine that delighted the taste buds whereas the pot stickers, spring rolls and spicy-savory chicken from Sichuan House specializing in feasts from southern Chinese province of Sichuan were especially scrumptious.
The intent of the event was to introduce the incoming international students in an informal setting and promote a platform for exchange of ideas beyond the classroom. The GSIC has been a resource and support group for international students in the graduate school and help them transition to life in San Antonio. This year, GSIC has been involved in peer mentorship of incoming graduate students, provided airport pick-ups and temporary accommodation for our international graduate students.
In addition, GSIC has worked closely with the office of international services to assist in planning and organizing the Diwali event that was held on October 26thon the Long campus of UT Health. After the crowd enjoyed the generous feast, a game of bingo was organized by GSIC to test the crowd’s general knowledge on food and geographical locations from different parts of the world. The winners of the game were Hema Gudlavalleti and Stephanie Fedorchak, both received $25 Starbucks gift cards.
GSIC’s president, Mustafa Mithaiwala, a third-year neuroscience graduate student addressed the crowd and emphasized the importance and the value of cultural events like these that are a rich medium for graduate students to bond with fellow peers beyond geographical and cultural boundaries. These events are organized to help promote inclusion, diversity and interprofessional networking opportunities amongst students on campus that are at the heart of student success.
The treasurer of GSIC, Shruti Mishra, a fourth-year graduate student in the immunology program addressed and informed the attendees about the upcoming elections for executive positions at GSIC in the spring semester of 2019. In addition, the crowd was addressed by Manpreet Semwal, (secretary) and Danielle Coelho (vice-president) who helped to plan and organize the event making it a success. Dr. Nicquet Blake, the faculty advisor of the group, kindly attended and expressed her support and encouragement for such events.
This article was written by Mustafa Mithaiwala a doctoral candidate in the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program in the Neuroscience discipline in the Laboratory of Dr. Jason O’Connor.