The event was attended by over 35 people from the graduate school and was a huge success. One key success factor to make any event popular among graduate students : provide GREAT FOOD!!! The students enjoyed hot and spicy delicacies from southern provinces of India and the Mediterranean.
These included the very popular foods, ‘samosa’ and spicy ‘chicken 65’ from the Indian restaurant Biryani Pot specializing in provincial Hyderabadi cuisine (southern part of India) which featured a kick of spices and delighted the taste buds of many.
The students also enjoyed many great wraps and pasta from the restaurant Papouli’s Greek Grill. Additionally, homemade Indian tea (chai) which is made from black tea leaves, milk, sugar and a dash of cardamom was enjoyed by everyone. Students had a great time playing board games and chatting while devouring the delicious delicacies from around the world!
The intent of the event, apart from providing a delicious feast, was also to provide an informal platform for the current and the incoming international students. The event allowed students to exchange their thoughts and ideas and most importantly have some fun.
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. For the past two years, GSIC has been involved in peer mentorship of incoming graduate students, provided airport pick-ups and temporary accommodation for our international graduate students. Additionally, GSIC has worked closely with the office of international services to assist in planning and organizing the Diwali event for the past two years on the Long campus of UT Health San Antonio along with a yearly potluck.
All the current executive members, (Mustafa Mithaiwala: President, Danielle Santana: Vice President, Shruti Mishra: Treasurer and Manpreet Semwal: Secretary) who are also the founders of the GSIC have hosted many successful events since the GSIC was formed. Recently the Executive Board has stepped down from their current positions in order to allow the new members to continue the purpose of what GSIC stands for.
During the Chai Time event, the founding GSIC executive board members addressed the crowd, “We have thoroughly enjoyed founding and being a part of the GSIC, but the time has come to pass the legacy to new members.” GSIC’s president, Mustafa Mithaiwala, a third-year neuroscience graduate student, introduced the new executive members, Hema Gudlavalleti (new President), Rathipriya Viswanathan (new Vice-President), Subash Khadka (new Treasurer) and Denisse Paredes (new Secretary).
The new president, Hema Gudlavalleti, addressed the members of GSIC by saying “The current members have done an amazing job in the past and we are very excited to be a part of this GSIC and look forward to continue the legacy and keep hosting more events like these.”
Events like these are very important in understanding the cultural diversity, socializing, making new friends and networking among the students and of course to enjoy international FOOD!!!!
This article was written by Manpreet Semwal, former secretary of the Graduate School International Club. Semwal is a student in the Molecular Immunology & Microbiology discipline in the Integrated Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program. She is in the lab of Dr. Ann Griffith studying thymus development.