ISA share friendship, dessert

September 27, 2007

by Justin Phillips

International Student Association’s dessert social held at 7 p.m. Thursday in Adams Parlor was an event filled with desserts, laughter and first-time introductions.

Joy Chakraborty, coordinator of the International Student Office, said the dessert social was used to promote interaction between students of varying cultural and geographical backgrounds.

“We host this event every fall for incoming students, and it’s a great way for them to get to know people,” Chakraborty said.

Unyime Udoko, a freshman medical technology major, was one of many first-year students attending the ISA event.

Udoko, who came to the United States seven months ago from Nigeria, said a concept of a dessert social for international students is very imaginative.

“ISA is doing something great here tonight,” Udoko said. “It’s always good to come somewhere like this and meet new people.”

Jide Jagunna, a senior mechanical engineering and mathematics major, agreed the dessert social was a great idea, especially for first-year international students.

“It’s a good way to meet new students when you’re unfamiliar with Tech,” Jagunna said.

Jagunna, also from Nigeria, came to the United States in the spring of 2005. He ended up not having to make the trip alone.
With Jagunna at the event was his cousin, Sabina Adeeko, a sophomore medical technology major.

“We ended up leaving on the same flight from Nigeria,” Jagunna said. “We’ve grown up together, and it’s nice to have her here.”

Dan Erickson, director of ISO, appeared jubilant about the number of students that attended the ISA event.

“It’s amazing,” Erickson said. “We host this event every year without any publicity, and it just keeps growing. The students and their families made many of the desserts.”

Erickson said the ISA is compromised of a number of smaller, culturally specific associations which include the Muslim, Korean, Nigerian, Nepal, Indian, Taiwan and Chinese student associations.

Erickson said there are about 550 international students enrolled at Tech this year.

Erickson said one of the more notable events of the evening was the ISA scholarship raffle.

The money left over from the ticket sales of last year’s International Scholarship Dinner was used to create five $100 scholarships to randomly raffle off to international students present at the dessert social, Erickson said.

All 550 of the current international students’ names were automatically placed in the raffle, Erickson said.

Sajina Maharja, a sophomore medical technology major, was one of five scholarship winners during the evening.

“I’m excited. A little mixed up, but just really surprised,” Maharja said while looking at the envelope after her name was called. “I think I’ll probably save it and just put it in the bank.”