Throwback – World Fest 2016

by Irenitemi Famadewa

As we head over to the fall 2017 semester, we would like to look back at one the most exciting events of Fall 2016, the World Fest. The World Fest is a bi-annual event hosted by the Global Ambassadors and the International Affairs Association / Rotaract Club. The event is a showcase of the over 50 different countries represented in the Penn State Harrisburg community. The event started with a display board showcase of 50 different countries put together by students, faculty and staff. Each attendee was given a passport and had the opportunity to have that passport stamped at every display board they visited. The event ended with a parade of nations and an amazing array of cultural performances in the newly built Student Enrichment Center. To view more images from this event check out our Facebook Page and Flickr page 











Nigerian Jollof Rice Recipe

Shared by Irenitemi Famadewa


4 Cups Easy Cook Rice

6 Medium Red Bell Peppers

2 Habanero Peppers

120g (1 small can) Tomato Paste

2 Whole Onions

6 Tablespoons Cooking Oil

2 Cups Chicken, Beef or Vegetable Stock (Water works as well)

½ Teaspoon Thyme and Curry Powder (Optional)

3 – 4 Knorr Chicken Cubes

2 Teaspoons White pepper (Optional)

Salt to Taste


Cut 1 onion into quarters and place into a blender. Blend until paste like.

Add the red bell peppers and habanero to the paste and blend thoroughly.

Pour the blended mixture into a large pot and boil until all the water from the mixture is completely evaporated and the mixture becomes paste like.

Transfer the paste and put aside.

Chop the second onion into thin slices.

Pour the cooking oil in the pot and pour the sliced onions once the oil heats up.

Let the onions fry until fragrant (for about 1 or 2 minutes)

Add the pepper paste, tomato paste, 3 knorr cubes, 1 teaspoon of white pepper, thyme and curry powder to the pot and let it fry till the oil begins to float to the top (make sure to stir to prevent it from burning). This should take about 15 to 20 minutes.

While the paste is frying, wash your rice thoroughly till the water is almost clear and the starch is removed. Boil for 5 to 8 min. The rice should still be firm and not soft. Drain the rice and set aside.

Once the paste is done frying and the oil floats to the top, add the stock or water to the mixture. Cover and let it boil for a further 8 – 10 minutes. Taste the mixture and add salt if needed.

Add the boiled rice into the mixture and stir until the rice is completely covered by the sauce.

Add the remaining teaspoon of white pepper.

Cover and let it cook till the rice is soft enough. Occasionally stir with a wooden spoon (this prevents clumps), and add more stock or water if necessary. Don’t worry if the rice burns a little at the bottom.

Serve hot with a side of chicken or meat and fried plantains.

Mediterranean Zucchini and Chickpea Salad

Shared by Joseph Marshall


2 cups diced zucchini

1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup halved grape tomatoes

¾ cup chopped red bell pepper

½ cup chopped sweet onion

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

½ cup chopped Kalamata Olives

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

¼ cup red balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic

1 red pepper, chopped

Salt and ground black pepper to taste.


Mix zucchini, chickpeas, tomatoes, red bell pepper, onion, feta, Kalamata olives, olive oil, basil, vinegar, rosemary, capers, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper together in a large bowl.

Cooking and Craft Event – July 14, 2017

The annual Cooking and Craft event was hosted this year at Anna Marshall’s home. Many faculty, staff, students and community volunteers came together to share dishes from their cultures and spend time with each other.

Attendees: Vanshika Agarwal, Vanshika’s Mom, Faisal Azim, Manoor Azim, Aman Azim, Dr. Anthony Buccitelli, Irenitemi Famadewa, Tomi Famadewa, Nakjun (Kevin) Jeong; Wenhong Luo (a visiting scholar), Anna Marshall, Jim Marshall, Joseph Marshall, Rayna Marshall, Carol Mellott, Amanda Moore, Chubo (Tony) Peng, Tony’s Mom, Eun-sil Yoo, Eun-sil’s husband, and their baby girl, and Fang Zhang

Dishes cooked: Nigerian Rice (by Temi and Tomi); Grilled chicken and vegetable sticks (by Jim); Indian Curry Chicken, Chili Soup, and Baked Beans (by Anna); Summer Pesto Pasta (by Rayna); Brownies, Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, Peanut butter cookies, and Mediterranean Zucchini and Chickpea Salad (by Joseph); Pani Puri (by Vanshika); Sweet & Sour Ribs (by Wenhong); Brownies (Carol); and Dumplings and Spicy Noodles (by Fang).

Dumplings – Chinese Recipe



Shared by Anna Marshall


Dumplings skins (3-4 bags from Asian Grocery Store; about 50 dumpling wrappers in one bag)

1 regular cabbage or 2 small cabbages, chopped thin using the food processor

1.5-2 lbs. ground turkey

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tbsp. ginger and garlic paste

1 tbsp. chilly sauce

1 tsp. paprika

1 tbsp. salt

1 tbsp. black pepper

1tbsp. sesame oil

1 tsp. sugar

1 small bowl of chopped scallions (I did not have scallions last time, so I used one tbsp. chopped basil and 1tsp. chopped cilantra instead)



  1. Make Ingredients:

Mix all the ground turkey with vegetable oil, soy sauce, ginger and garlic paste, chilly sauce, paprika and set aside

Chop the cabbage, add salt, black pepper, sugar and sesame oil

Mix turkey with cabbage

Spread chopped scallions and mix again

  1. Wrap Dumplings:

Dip your finger in the water

Moisture the edge of the dumpling wrapper

Add Stuffings

Wrap them with pleats and press hard to seal

  1. Cook Dumplings (Two different ways):

1) Boil water and then put dumplings in the water. When the water boils again, add half a bowl of cold water and wait for the water to boil, and add another half a bowl of cold water to cook. One more boiling and one more adding cold water, the dumplings should be cooked through.

2) Spray a tablespoon of oil on a frying pan and when oil is hot, add dumplings in the pan. Cook about 1-minute until the bottoms are brown. Add 1 small cup of water into the pan, cover, and reduce heat to medium. When the water is dried up in around 5-7 minutes, the dumplings are cooked through.

You can also check the link for images of making dumplings

Holi Hai!

By Jahanavi Gupta

Penn State Harrisburg will host its 4th annual Holi Festival on campus for all students, faculty and staff to attend. The Holi Festival AND Color Run event comes with festival performances, cultural presentation, dinner, and then all will go out to play with colorful powders on the S. Yard outside CUB. Bring your student ID to check in the CUB for the event. The event is to be held on Sunday, March 12, 2017. 3-8PM in the Student Center, CUB. The objective of the event is for the campus community to come together to have a good time learning about, embracing and enjoying the Hindu festival in all its glory.

 is a Hindu spring festival in India and Nepal, also known as the “festival of colors” or the “festival of love”. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships, and is also celebrated as a thanksgiving for a good harvest.  It lasts for two days starting on the Purnima (Full Moon day) falling in the Bikram Sambat Hindu Calendar.

Holi celebrations start on the night before Holi with a Holika bonfire where people gather, do religious rituals in front of the bonfire, and pray that their internal evil should be destroyed as the bonfire starts. The next morning is celebrated as Rangwali Holi – a free-for-all carnival of colors, where participants play, chase and color each other with dry powder and colored water, with some carrying water guns and colored water-filled balloons for their water fight. The frolic and fight with colors occurs in the open streets, open parks, outside temples and buildings. Groups carry drums and other musical instruments, go from place to place, sing and dance. People visit family, friends and foes to throw colored powders on each other, laugh and gossip, then share Holi delicacies, food and drinks. In the evening, after sobering up, people dress up and visit friends and family.

All in all it is a love-laughter, color, food and fun fest celebrated with one’s near and dear! And so we’d like to invite our dearest Penn State Harrisburg family to join us on this delightful occasion on March 12th, 2017 in the CUB from 3-8pm so that together we can spread the color of love and happiness. Looking forward to seeing you there!

To have a glimpse of the event, please check out the video of Penn State Harrisburg Holi 2016 at (video credit to Calida Gao).

Lunar New Year — Feel of Home Miles Away

By Chubo (Tony) Peng

Lunar New Year is also known as Chinese New Year in the West. It is an annual celebration marking the start of the New Year according to the lunar calendar.  It falls in the months of January or February, and each Lunar New Year is represented by 1 of the 12 creatures of the Chinese Zodiac – 2017 is the year of the Rooster.  In the past, the Lunar New Year Celebration is always one of the best among all events held on campus at Penn State Harrisburg, and this year is no exception. Compared with past years, this year’s 5th annual Lunar New Year Celebration, which was held on Friday, Feb. 10, in the Student Center of Capital Union Building, was better than ever. Humorously coordinated by four hosts from Indonesia (Laela Sifa), China (Yixuan Sun), Vietnam (Sanh Phung), and the Nigerian American (Buka Chinatu) respectively, joy and laughter never ceased from the first minute of the event till the last.

  (Picture left: A lion dance performed by the Little Star Chinese Language School)

The celebration kicked off with an authentic East Asian dinner catered from Royal Buffet & Grill.  Afterwards, two colorful lions from the local Chinese community went up to the stage to dance, which amused the audience with their various leaps and jumps.  The dance was then followed by two informative cultural presentations on Lunar New Year Food (by Megan Cheng, a Global Ambassador of Penn State Harrisburg) and Folk Arts (by Professor Luo, a visiting scholar for the School of Humanities). The upcoming performances were filled with surprises and cheers: Penn State Harrisburg students sang songs in many different languages, the wonderful Martial Arts demo by Jose Johnson’s Chinese Martial Art & Wellness Center, different genres of Asian ethnic or folk dances performed by the students and community artists.  At the end of the performances, the two Cantonese songs performed by Penn State Harrisburg student Huikai Wang, and the awesome Korean song by Penn State Harrisburg Global Ambassador Chloe Cho, lifted the audiences’ spirit to another level. As the songs moved on, the crowd turned on the flashlight on their phones and waved them in the air—as if they were supporting their favorite singers on one of his/her tours.

(Picture left: Lunar New Year fashion contestants)

The highlight of the evening would be the annual traditional and ethnic fashion show.  Thirty-five fashion contestants from nearly 20 countries joined the fashion competition. After the careful comparison and selection of the judges, a Penn State Harrisburg girl’s trio from India, Jahanavi Gupta, Pravallika Sanke, and Manasi Sathe, were crowned the best dressed female award; the best dressed male was pocketed by Penn State Harrisburg’s seasoned Global Ambassador from China, Chubo “Tony” Peng.

(Picture left: Educational Counselor Xu of China Consulate General in New York & Chubo “Tony” Peng, the best dressed male winner)

Along with hundreds of Penn State Harrisburg students, this wonderful event was also joined by many school faculties/staff members, and numerous community artists.  The campus was especially honored to have the presence of Educational Counselor Xu and Vice Consul Li who drove from China Consulate General in New York to our campus to attend this annual event for the first time. All of them spoke highly of this event’s quality. One of the fashion judges, Larry Asu, an alumni of Penn State Harrisburg, couldn’t hold back his compliments, “On a scale of 10, I’ll rate it (Lunar New Year) a solid 10!” “The lion dance is the best of all time!” added another faculty member, Dr. Ryoo of School of Humanities, who served as another fashion judge, “I really learned a lot from the presentations. And I’m eager to learn more.” Vice Consul Li of China Consulate General in New York put it well: “This is the best Lunar New Year event I attended. The event makes students feel at home, and even though I am a guest, I feel like I am a family member here.” Anna Marshall, the International Student Adviser of Penn State Harrisburg, appreciated all the kind support of the community, both on-campus and off-campus, at her closing remarks.

The event ended with a red pack for each attendee to bring home as the Lunar New Year 2017 gift when they exited the Capital Union Building of Penn State Harrisburg.  A memorable night to remember.  May the Year of Rooster bring you joy, love, and peace.

(Picture right: First place female fashion winners — Jahanavi Gupta, Pravallika Sanke, and Manasi Sathe)

Penn State Harrisburg’s World Fest to showcase diverse campus community

Flags in Olmsted Lobby

Penn State Harrisburg is inviting the college community to travel the world during “World Fest”, an all-day event beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 29, which intends to encourage global  interaction and celebrate the vitality of the college’s diverse campus community.

“World Fest gives students, faculty and staff the opportunity to explore the diversity that Penn State Harrisburg has to offer,” Degi Enkhbat, global ambassador and senior finance major, said. “It is a wonderful way to learn more, think globally, and expand horizons, which happens to be the motto of the Global Ambassadors Program.”

The first 300 participants will receive a “passport” on Vartan Plaza. If there is inclement weather, students can receive their passport in the Morrison Gallery, library or the Olmsted Building Gallery Lounge. Participants must have their passport stamped and a selection of questions answered between 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The evening activities, beginning at 5 p.m., will include a parade representing 50 countries, international dinner sampling, and traditional international performances.

For more information, visit

This is sponsored by the Global Ambassador Program of the International Student Support Services, IAA/RC Club, and SAF.

Global Ambassador Award Ceremony 2015-2016


DSC02111    DSC02143

By Fairuz Humam 

In the past couple years, Penn State Harrisburg has grown as a welcoming place for international students. Besides the friendly and personal service from the International Student Support Service (ISSS), the whole campus community have voluntarily contributed each of their time and energy to create a diverse environment. All components on campus have worked hand in hand to make sure that the Penn State Harrisburg could be a supportive place for international students.

The spirit and hard work for the whole year came to a celebration of the “Global Ambassador Ceremony” that was held on April 28th in the Gallery Lounge from 11.15 am to 1.00 pm. More than 80 people gathered in the room to hear success stories and achievements in the past one school year. Each person who came in was assigned to sit in one of the 10 round tables together as a helping community, either they are student, faculty, staff, school administrator or community volunteer. Each table was nicely decorated with pink and green tablecloths and bowls of chocolates and gifts on top of them.

Over 50 countries of international students’ origin across the world are recognized on campus. 35 students from 19 countries united to become Global Ambassadors, who Anna Marshall, the International Student Adviser, always defines as “The future world leaders”. Global Ambassador Award Ceremony is meant to appreciate Global Ambassadors and community volunteers for their effort and services to the community. Two Global Ambassadors, Creisson Soni and Chubo (Tony) Peng, lead the ceremony as the emcees.

Dr. Mukund Kulkarni, Penn State Harrisburg’s Chancellor in his opening speech said, “People who are comfortable speaking more than one language, living in more than one culture and surviving in difficult circumstances are the most successful”. He can understand what the international students’ have gone through because he was once like them too. He wants to recognize their efforts to learn and grow in a diverse environment.

Next, Anna presented about the life frame of an international student in Penn State Harrisburg. She shared the chart about how new international students interact with peer mentors, ISSS, faculty and staff, and the local community. She further explained that Global Ambassadors take leadership roles as the extension of the ISSS to reach out to various schools and departments across the campus. Global Ambassadors also become the event leaders and volunteers for cultural events on campus.

To highlight the achievements over the year, Calida Gao and Orn Ngramcroh worked together with other global ambassadors to record interviews with many people who have been actively involved in the ISSS community. Their stories were summarized in a cultural enrichment video presented by Siddhi Patel (You can find the video at  or, the video of international student panel discussion presented by Muhammad Al Meraikhi (The video can be watched at or, and the community connections video presented by Iretemi Famadewa, and last but not least Meng Li who presented about the collaboration between alumni and the ISSS. (You can find the video at  or Creisson commented in her remarks that all of the work seemed like a full time job for Global Ambassadors.

After the video presentations, global ambassadors secretly prepared an out of the agenda video. They recorded a thank-you video for Anna to appreciate her dedication and hard work. “Anna is like a mom, Anna is amazing, Anna works with her heart”, and many other comments from all of the Global Ambassadors to show how proud they are to know and work with Anna. The video can be watched at  All of the audience stood up for applause after seeing the touching video. Anna could not hide her happiness and surprise to receive such surprise. She thanked all of the hard work because she believes nothing is possible without everybody’s support.

After the video session, Creisson and Tony introduced a game to the audience. Each of the person in a table should take an m& m where each color represents a fun task. The task are meant to connect students with faculty, staff, or community volunteers in the same table. They play to teach other people about other’s people name in their culture, singing a national anthem, talking about the most interesting travel experience, etc.

After the fun game, Creisson and Tony called upon Dr. Kulkarni and Anna to give awards for the community volunteers. Those who receive the awards are the Asian Indian Americans of Central Pennsylvania, Life Gospel Chinese Christian Church, and the Living Water Community Church. Dr. Kulkarni handed in the award to the each of the representatives.

All of the 35 global ambassadors also had their names called upon in front of the audience to get a certificate of appreciation. Donna Howard, the Associate Director of Student Affairs, stood beside Anna to congratulate each of the global ambassadors warmly. Six of the global ambassadors also got awards besides the certificate. The awards are: Outstanding Leadership Award for Fairuziana Humam and Anubha Gupta, Diversity Award for Muhammad Al Meraikhi and Chubo (Tony) Peng, and Community Service award for Valentina Monroy and Janose Osedeme.

At 12.15 pm, everybody was ready to have lunch and enjoy the international cuisine from different continents. The audience had to be patient lining up based on their tables to get food. The food served are Veg pakoras, Channa masala , Veg korma, Naan, Chutneys, Thai Chicken Panang Curry, General Tsao’s chicken, braised fish fillet, and rice. Desserts are Baklava and Dates cookies.

The ceremony has inspired faculty and staff to get more involved in future events. Sherry Hoffmann, the school administrator from School of Behavioral Science and Education said that she plans to attend more cultural events next year. The Global Ambassador Ceremony award become a good finish line to celebrate the year-long hard work and happiness. “Learn more, think globally and expand the horizon”, the Global Ambassadors motto shout out marked the end of the ceremony for this year. See you next year!

The 1st Islamic New Year Celebration in Penn State Harrisburg


By Fairuz Humam

Islamic New Year was celebrated for the first time in Penn State Harrisburg in the International Lunch hour event on October 15th, 2015. The event was hosted by the International Student Support Service and Global Ambassadors.

The lunch hour gathered approximately 50 people consisted of students, faculty and staff in the Gallery Lounge Olmsted W 107. The event was opened by Wan Azdan, a student in Communication Arts and Science from Malaysia as the master of ceremony (MC). He greeted the audience with an Arabic Islamic greeting “Assalamualaikum” which means “Peace be Unto You”.

Islamic New Year celebration was a remarkable event to acknowledge the religious and cultural diversity in Penn State Harrisburg. The event was open to everyone to learn and commemorate the marking of a new Calendar for the Islamic society around the world.

Dewey, one of the Physical Plant and Maintenance Operation Staff expressed that he had a great time for his first International lunch hour. “I was invited by Adithya Divakar, one of the Global Ambassador-red) here and I greatly enjoy the event. I learned a lot”.

The event was a good chance for Muslims students to present their countries and culture. Ali Aiyub, a first year graduate student in Electrical Engineering program from Pakistan recited Qur’an, the holy book of Muslims. He presented “Ar-Rahman” which is one of the famous verses in the Qur’an. Ar Rahman means the Merciful. Muslims usually read it from the holy book, but Ali had a good memory to chant it without looking at the text.

Fairuziana Humam, a graduate student in Community Psychology and Social Change from Indonesia presented the origin of Islamic New Year. She also introduced the meaning of halal food to the audience.

Students from Middle Eastern countries also had the chance to share other information about their culture. Mohammad Al Meraikhi presented a video about the country history and culture of United Arab Emirates (UAE). Saudi Arabia as one of the major Islamic country was represented by Bassam Alshammari who talked about the socio demographic and major Islamic culture there, such as Eid Al Adha and Eid Al Fitr.

The audience took a small break and lined up for Lebanese favor lunch. The food ingredients were special because this time the beef served was halal. Halal means permissible. The meat was processed based on the Islamic law, which allowed the Muslims students to eat the served beef.

After enjoying lunch, Wan Azdan entertained the audience with a religious song titled Insha Allah by Maher Zein. Faqirullah Khan, the president of a club to be- “Muslim Student Association in Penn State Harrisburg” also had the chance to introduce the club to the audience.

In the ending part, the female audience was challenged to wear hijab or the Islamic female headscarf in the session “Dress like a Muslim”. One of the student expressed her nice impression after putting on the hijab. The event was both a good moment to learn about the Islamic countries and culture through informational presentation, practical display, song, and of course, food.

The Islamic New Year History

This year is the 1437 of the Hijri Calendar. The Calendar is based on lunar year consisting of 354 days each year. The calendar started when the sun sets in the last day of Dhulhijjah or the last month in the Hijri Calendar. October 14th welcomed the first day of Muharram as the first month in the Islamic calendar.

Islamic New Year was marked since 622. The calendar was declared in the era of Umar bin Khattab, one of the Islamic leader after Prophet Muhammad past away, whom is also one of his closest companion. “Hijri” is an Arabic word which literally means migration. Umar decided to mark the calendar based on the date Prophet Muhammad migrated from Mecca to Madinah. The migration was the turning point for the Muslim community to be able organizing life based on the Islamic principles. Today there are about 1.5 billion Muslims across the world who use this calendar for religious purpose.

Muslims do not usually celebrate the Islamic New Year. But as other New Years, Muslims use this moment to reflect on their life and make future resolutions. Next year, the calendar will shift 11 days behind the day it was previously celebrated.