News from International Student House, Washington, DC
Spring 2013
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Tom O'CoinDear Friends of ISH:


As we welcome spring, it is the perfect time to reflect on happenings at the House since our last newsletter and to look ahead to exciting new initiatives and programs planned for this year.  Looking back, we are especially pleased to report on news from our Gala this past October where we honored newly appointed U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel with our ISH Global Leadership Award (Lilibet Hagel, his wife, has recently joined our Board); and China Jessup, longtime ISH Board member and Past President, with our ISH Lifetime Service Award.  The event celebrated the 100th Anniversary of our historic main building on R Street.  We also offered a number of interesting programs for residents and friends ranging from Ambassadorial briefings to musical showcases; and we have included an interview with ISH alum Manuel Vergara.  We are equally proud to highlight one of our corporate partners, Al-Monitor, with whom we have been collaborating on a number of programs.  Finally, we congratulate the winners of the Davis Projects for Peace grant, Hala Hatmi and Mara Vento for their submission entitled The Face of Poverty: Moroccan Women 


Looking ahead, we are delighted to welcome Ambassador Francois Delattre of France back to ISH for an upcoming program later this month, and also our annual Spring Garden party scheduled to take place in May.  We are honored to have ISH Board Members Lilibet Hagel and Betty Ann Tanner serve as Co-Chairs for this year's annual Gala to take place in October where we will present U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns with this year's ISH Global Leadership award.  Ambassador Namik Tan of Turkey and his wife, Fugen, are our Diplomatic Chairs for the event this year.   Finally, I am pleased to announce that we have a new staff member - Marie Pius joined us in February as our Development Associate.   She will assist with development efforts and alumni engagement and is a welcome addition to our team.


I hope you enjoy this edition of ISHues!




Tom O'Coin

Executive Director

Save the Date
  • April 16, 2013: Ambassador of France Francois Delattre will address France's recent military intervention in Mali and the growing threat of Islamic Fundamentalism in North Africa. The Honorable James L. Oberstar will lead the conversation. 7:30-9:00pm 
  • May 16, 2013: ISH Spring Garden Party. 6:30-8:30pm 

To RSVP for these events please contact 

Marie Pius, Development Associate at


ISH Congratulates U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel
The ISH Board and staff congratulate former US Senator Chuck Hagel on his confirmation as Secretary of  Defense.  Secretary Hagel has spoken at ISH several times and he is a strong advocate of our mission.  His wife, Lilibet, is an active member of our Board.
Al-Monitor Logo 
Al Monitor Joins ISH as Community Partner
By Barbara Slavin 
Among the many corporate supporters of the International Student House is a new International Community Partner with unique perspective and reach.
Al Monitor ( is an  American media website launched in 2012 that provides daily in-depth original reporting and analysis, both print and video, from contributing writers and correspondents from throughout the Middle East including its Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, and Turkey "Pulses."  Al-Monitor also has agreements for exclusive English translation of 23 regional newspapers and media outlets.
Read More

ISH Gala Festivities Light Up Burling Hall  


By: Selby McPhee 


At a Gala dinner, residents, board members, alumni and friends gathered on October 11 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Demarest Lloyd House, home to the International Student House in Washington DC since 1946.  More than 125 guests were present to dine, to toast the house, and to celebrate the evening's honorees: Chuck Hagel,  U.S. Secretary of Defense and former Senator from Nebraska, who was presented with the ISH Global Leadership Award; and  China Jessup, ISH Past President and longtime board member, who was presented with the ISH Lifetime Service Award.  

Gala 2012-Slavin.Hagel
ISH Board Member and 2012 Gala Chair Barbara Slavin with U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel
Feys, Crocker and Jessup
Bill Crocker, Paul Feys and China Jessup

Bill Crocker, Paul Feys and China Jessup reminiscing recently about earlier times. Bill (since 1963) and China (since 1975) continue to serve the House with distinction on the ISH Board.  Paul remembers his days (1972-1995) as Executive Director with great affection.

China Jessup Shares her Enthusiasm for Cultural Exchange

By: Selby McPhee  

China Jessup, who has been a member of the ISH Board of Directors for 37 years (two of those as president) remembers her "aha" moment.  As a new bride, she was with her husband, a Foreign Service officer, in post-war Germany on assignment.  While there, she was asked to participate on a committee selecting German students for Fulbright Scholarships to the United States.  Jessup realized then that this kind of exchange could impact inter-cultural relations and bring about positive change in the world. 

ISH Residents Enjoy a Rich Menu of Special Programs
By: Kathryn Horlick 

What have ISH residents been doing?  A lot of interesting things!  Read on for a sample of fall programs made possible for residents by a board/resident Committee on International Dialogue, taking advantage of the House's location in one of the world's most culturally rich cities:

*    In October, Ambassador Fujisaki and Mrs. Fujisaki of Japan hosted a group of ISH residents at their residence on Nebraska Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. Mrs. Fujisaki led the group on a tour of the house, explaining principles of Japanese landscape gardening illustrated by views from the windows, and describing the nature and purpose of the tea ceremony through a visit to the tea house. Ambassador Fukisaki had tea with the group and engaged in an extended, candid question and answer session afterwards.

Japanese Ambassador's Residence
Ambassador Fujisaki greets ISH resident Michiel Emmelkamp of The Netherlands
  Read More

ISH Alum Manuel Vergara Uses Law to Change the World

By Barbara Slavin
When Syria's civil war finally ends and the country struggles to pick up the pieces, an alumnus of International Student House might well be among those helping Syrians draft a new constitution and other legal codes.
Manual Vergara, who lived at ISH in the summer and fall of 2011, has made the rule of law his specialty as he has moved on from internships with the Spanish Embassy in Washington and UN Mission in New York to the UN tribunal for Rwanda, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia and the International Labor Organization office in Indonesia.  

Congratulations to Grant Recipients Hala Hatmi and Mara Vento


By Judy Singer 


ISH is proud to announce that residents Hala Hatmi and Mara Vento have been awarded the Davis Projects for Peace grant for summer 2013 for their submission entitled The Face of Poverty: Moroccan Women.  


Read More  

Davis Peace Prize
Hala Hatmi and Mara Vento


In This Issue
Save the Date
ISH Congratulates Secretary Hagel
Al Monitor Collaboration
100th Anniversary Gala
China Jessup
Events Roundup
ISH Alumnus Profile Manuel Vergara
Hala Hatmi and Mara Vento Win Grant
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International Student House (ISH) is a private, non-profit  501(c)(3) organization.  Our mission is to provide an exceptional residential experience to a highly diverse international community of graduate students, interns, and visiting scholars.  The House promotes intercultural dialogue, encourages lifelong connections, and fosters global citizenship among the world's future leaders.

ISH receives support from corporations, foundations, and individuals.

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ISH Board of Trustees

Grace Tompkins, President
Selby McPhee,
Vice President

Kathryn Horlick,
Vice President

Sherry Migdail,

Adam Aulestia,

Annette Aburdene
Andrew Ammerman
Malcolm Benge
Cynthia Bunton
Lawrence Camp
William Crocker
Lawrence Dunham
Putnam Ebinger
Lilibet Hagel
Riaz Haider
Richard Hall
Linda Harper
Ignacio Jauregui
China Jessup
Clifford Kendall
Pam Mixter
Hon. James Oberstar
Robert Patterson
Herbert Schmitz
Jerrold Scoutt, Jr.
Barbara Slavin
Jessica Springsteen
Betty Ann Tanner
Jean McGrath Thomas

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For more information about the International Student House, DC visit our website.