Photos around Campus

2011 Students at International Student Career Day

February 24, 2011

Diego R. Velasco ’14

Career DayIn January a group of International Students from the International Club at Hampden-Sydney College traveled to James Madison University to attend the JMU International Student Career Day.  On their way to Harrisonburg, some of the students took advantage of the travel time to catch up on sleep lost during a very busy school week.  After three long hours on the road, the H-SC students were ready to meet the dozens of other International Students who sought to acquire a better understanding of the possibilities, upon graduation from college, for them in the U.S. job market.

Career DayAt the Career Day the students were able to attend workshops held especially for international students such as “The Job Search Deal” led by career and academic advisers at JMU as well as “The Work Visa” led by an immigration attorney.  These, and other presentations, were helpful in a number of ways.  International students acquired vital information and tips on how to go about finding jobs and an understanding of the processes required if they intend to do temporary work in the United States.  These workshops were not only beneficial to the students who are already in their senior year of college, but also to the students who are just beginning their college careers.

Career DayStudents also had an opportunity to learn about what they should include in their resumes when they apply for summer jobs or internships. Those who brought a resume of their own were able to have them critiqued by professionals.  One of our own Hampden-Sydney students, Mohit Shrestha, was considered to have one of the top three best resumes submitted by the international students.  He was recognized with a prize.

On the way back to Hampden-Sydney, the students stopped at Taste of Thai, a restaurant which specializes in Thai food.  The International Club bought the appetizers including papaya salad, crab cakes, and satay chicken. The students then ordered their own dinners. These included mountains of fried rice, delightful pieces of spicy squid with bamboo, varieties of curry, and other plates with undeniable good taste.

At the end of the day, attending the JMU International Student Career Day and dining at the Taste of Thai proved to be worth traveling six hours.

Career Day

For more pictures from the event: Click here or watch it in Facebook Page Album: Click here

2010 5th Annual International Film and Food Festival

5th Annual International Film and Food Festival

November 6, 2010
Basil A. Panton ’11

The venue of the 5th annual H-SC International Club Film and Food Festival changed but the tantalizing taste of the pervasive aroma of the food was no less than previous years.  For the first time the festival took place in the Fellowship Hall of College Church.  At the onset, it appeared that the room could not accommodate the tremendous turnout of staff and faculty members, students, and community folks.  But the spacious hall was able to hold the nearly 100 who attended.

To start the festivities, all the student-chefs lined up behind their respective dishes and introduced themselves and their cuisines. The more than ten cuisines were as diverse as the international student population at H-SC. The dishes were of Asian countries such as Burma, China, Nepal, and Pakistan; European nations such as France, Germany, Ireland, and Portugal; the Caribbean island of Jamaica, and Ethiopia in Africa.

The most eager attendees formed a line to take portions of each dish while others mingled and chatted until the line shortened, all the time hoping that their favorite dish would not be exhausted before they reached the tables.  After about thirty minutes, the crowd already was praising the quality of preparation. “I enjoyed your [Jamaican] vegetable patties,” one attendee delightedly offered. “Yes,” another person agreed. International Food“Where did you get those [Jamaican] grapefruit juices?” “They are really good,” one patron happily interjected. Throughout the afternoon, almost all international students and others who had helped to ready and assemble the dishes the night before were bombarded with genuinely kind comments and effusive praise. When Vincent O’Rouke from Ireland overheard several persons discussing how tasty the Cottage Pie and Homemade Irish Soda Bread were, he proudly made it known that the Irish dishes were original and he prepared them himself.

Yonathan Tarekegne, who is from Ethiopia, put together fried goat, enjera bread, and Awaze dip, a typical and traditional meal in restaurants all over Ethiopia.  Yonathan received overflowing commendations for the authenticity and tastefulness of his food.  Brantley Kirkland, who is American but has lived in the International House for two years, earned similar admiration for his preparation of the Pakistani cuisine aloo gobi, made of cauliflower, potatoes, and Asian spices. One of the most favored and well-regarded dishes at the event was Marcela Braxton’s Paella marisco and non-alcoholic Portuguese sangria. Both items are Spanish in origin, but Braxton added his Portuguese style to them. The sangria was finished in a short period as many went multiple times to have some.

Attendees at FestivalOther dishes included Chinese student Tian Shihao’s beef and broccoli (Chinese style), Burmese students Nay Min Oo and Phyo Win’s chicken salad (Burmese style), and Nepali student Mohit Shrestha’s curry chicken (Nepalese style) and rice.  In addition to these dishes, Basil Panton of Jamaica contributed Jamaican vegetable, chicken, and beef patties as well as Jamaican Grapefruit soda; Adam Lees of the U.S. made French onion soup with Swiss cheese and Baguettes; and Hendriks Zeller of Germany and Colbert Lucey of the U.S. provided the German dish Gulasch mit Spatzle. The club’s adviser, Dr. Rachel Goodman, came up with an Indian dish.

Almost all the food was gone before the movie, Amreeka, was shown. The attendees therefore turned their attention to this “love surprise [and] fine comedy,’ according to the LA Weekly. The official selection of the 2009 Sundance festival, Amreeka documents the lives of a Palestinian American family in both the West Bank and Post-9/11 suburban Chicago. The movie depicts some of the stereotypes toward Palestinians in current American culture and kept everyone fastened to their seats for just over ninety minutes.

Indeed, the afternoon ended with everyone fully satisfied. This festival surpassed previous ones and will serve as the benchmark for future International Club events. The festival generated campus-wide talk, furthering the aim of the International Club to make everyone more aware of international cultures.

International Club Members
For more pictures from the event: Click here or watch it in Facebook Page Album: Click here

2010 International Film and Food Festival

Title: 2010 International Film and Food Festival
Location: College Church Fellowship Hall
Link out: Click here
Description: 2010 International Film and Food Festival: Awesome International Movie and Delicious Free Foods from around the world.
Start Time: 17:00
Date: 2010-11-06
End Time: 19:30

International Club Celebrates Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival & Open House

October 29, 2010
Yonathan Tarekegne Ararso ’13

Dinner AttendeesThe International House opened its doors to an eager crowd on a delightful Tuesday afternoon in late September.  The open house was the first event hosted by the International Club and the International House for the 2010/11 acadecmic year. The event combined an open house with a celebration of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, or Zhongqiu Festival, one of the most important and traditional Chinese holidays.

The open house portion of the program began with a variety of international cuisines prepared by international students and Chinese Fulbright scholar Win Chao.  The dishes included Burmese Fried Okra, Nepalese Chicken Curry, and Ethiopian seasoned beef.  The Chinese selections included sesame biscuits, cauliflower, beef soup, dumplings, steamed bum, and moon cakes.

After everyone sampled the food, the festival celebrations started with an presentation on the history and culture of the Chinese festival by Chinese students Victor Fox ’13 and Matthew Chung’12.  Next, Justin Smith ’11, a language student and member of the International Club, sang a traditional Chinese love song called Chun Ni.  Jackson Parker ’13 then gave a presentation about the legend of the Moon Festival and the story of the goddess Chang Er’s flight over the moon.  In closing, Mr. Chao’s students sang a song by the name “Those Flowers.”

The Open House/Moon Festival is just one of the many events that the International Club is hosting this semester.

Check out all the pictures from the event: Click here

Events for September 2010

Int’l House Open House – September 14, 5:30PM

– Open to all students, faculty, and staff

– Combined with Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

– Food will be served (come on time or it will all be gone!)

Euro Night at the French Embassy – September 17

Meet at Int’l House by 3:15PM at the latest

We will sponsor half the admission price ($15 by student, $15 by club) for the first twelve people to respond to my “Euro Night” email.

Transportation will be provided for those first twelve students.

Indian Festival in Richmond

Preference given to students who do not make the Euro Night cut.

Transportation will be paid for, admission is free, each individual will be responsible for paying for food, etc.


Capoeira Performance

September 27, 8pm, Crawley Forum

–     all members should make the effort to attend

This list is just for September. There are many events for October and November which are still in the planning stage. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at kirklandb@hsc.eduor Mohit Shrestha at

H-SC International Club Celebrates 2010 Senior Banquet

H-SC International Club Celebrates

June 07, 2010
Basil Panton ‘11, Vice President H-SC International Club

For each of the last three years, the International Club of H-SC closed an eventful and successful academic year by recognizing the sojourn of several of its members.  The annual celebration began in the 2007-2008 academic year under the leadership of former International Club President Achhunna Mali, who is from Nepal.

The event has evolved into what is now known as the “International Club Senior Banquet.”  The Senior Banquet pays tribute to the club’s hardworking and supportive outgoing members.  The banquet is an occasion when each member has the opportunity publicly to express his gratitude to fellow club members and to other members of the campus community who have been helpful to him.  These remarks are often quite emotional and always reflect upon moments of happiness and success. The members also acknowledge faculty or staff members who have been especially generous to International students.

This time around, the banquet was held in the Board Room of Settle Hall.  On the evening of April 26th, the current International Club members and executive officers welcomed their guests.  Everyone mingled informally and wished all the outgoing members well.

After about thirty minutes of informal conversations, the attendees enjoyed a light meal and drinks.  Then the President of the International Club, Mohit Shrestha (rigth), from Nepal, asked everyone to be seated and graduating members were introduced, beginning with Charles Wesley.  The evening continued emotionally as each graduate, exchange student, international scholar, or staff member recounted his or her experience at Hampden-Sydney College.

One of the highlights of the evening came from Benjamin Brown (right), who had been vice president of the International Club for three consecutive years.  Although he is not an international student-in fact, he is from Randolph, a community near Farmville-Ben has always shown enthusiasm for international cultures and traditions.  Ben joined the club in his freshman year, and since then he has always been a stalwart supporter, organizing events, planning trips, and executing his duties.  Ben shared with the gathering how being around the international students was meaningful to him and opened his eyes to the world.  Ben used his encounters with the international students at H-SC to prepare himself for opportunities to travel and study in Ecuador and China.

All seniors concurred with Ben’s sentiments.  Each member emphasized the importance of the International Club, international students, and the impact the Club has had on campus. Particularly, each member underscored the supportive environment that the club members provided him.  The outgoing club advisor, Dr. Michael Collins (right), Assistant Professor of Biology, praised the Club’s active involvement on campus and urged the Club to maintain and even strengthen its current activeness.

At the end of a memorable evening, the International Club gave its final sendoff to the seniors-at least until we see each other once more-by taking pictures of the group.  The seniors in attendance were active members Anthony Johnson (U.S.), former Public Relations Officer; Ben Brown (U.S.), former Vice-President; Charles Wesley (U.S.); Miguel Mogollon (Peru), former Secretary; and Olander Fleming (U.S.). Seniors absent were Alex Burner (U.S.); Karlis Trops (Latvia); Tan Le (Vietnam), former President; and Will Houtz (U.S.).  (left to right) In 2009-10 the exchange student from Ireland was Lorcan Duffy, the Costa Rican Amity Scholar was Jeffrie Sanchez, and the Fulbright Scholar from China was Anthony Zhang.

The club conveyed special appreciation to Ms. Virginia Johnston, Administrative Secretary in the Business Office.

Even after the event formally concluded, everyone continued to chat and exchange good wishes and goodbyes.  The International Club is grateful to all those who attended and helped recognize the seniors’ accomplishments and wishes all its members who graduated in the Class of 2010 a prosperous and meaningful life.

International Festival 2010

Title: International Festival 2010
Location: Crawley Forum, Hampden-Sydney College
Gallery: Click here
Description:Hampden-Sydney College is celebrating the third annual Hampden-Sydney International Festival on Friday April, 2nd 2010. The event will be held at Crawley Forum, Hampden-Sydney College from 6:30 PM to 9 PM. This year’s celebration will feature country exhibitions and entertaining performances from both Hampden-Sydney community and other colleges such as Longwood University and University of Virginia.

The exhibitions include countries such as:

Costa Rica

The confirmed performances include:

Chinese Martial Arts  by Justin Smith (Hampden-Sydney)
Musical Performance by Shannon Rivera (Longwood)
Chinese Song Performance by Professor Zhang  and his students (Hampden-Sydney)
Indian Dance by Uma Ayer (UVA)
Brazilian Copoeira Demonstration by Jay Artis (Hampden-Sydney)
and many more..

Free Admission and Free Parking.
Snacks and refreshments will also be provided.

If you want to contribute to the country exhibitions or performances, please contact Nay Min Oo at or

Thank you.
Looking forward to seeing you there!

Hampden-Sydney International Club
Start Time: 6:30
Date: 2010-04-02
End Time: 8:30

International Food and Film Festival

For most, it started out as just another one of those quiet Tuesday afternoons – lunch, afternoon classes, and maybe a trip down to the T.I.  In the kitchen of the Commons, however, it was quite a different story.  A dozen or so Hampden-Sydney international students were chopping away in preparation for the club’s biggest event of the semester – the International Food and Film Festival.  A delicious aroma of spices filled the air as the students bustled around stirring, grilling, frying, seasoning, jerking, and mashing their respective cuisines.

As 6:00PM quickly approached the group moved all the food up to the Chairman’s Room where an anxious crowd of students, professors, and staff swarmed in.  After Benjamin Brown ’10, president of the International Club, opened the event with a few short remarks, the hungry and curious attendees flocked the buffet. Asian dishes included Nepali Chicken Curry prepared by Mohit Shrestha ’11 ([pictured above), Chinese Kung-Pao Chicken by Tian Shihao ’12 and Ke Shang ’13, and Garlic Fried Shrimp by Burma’s Nay Min Oo ’12.  Western dishes included Irish Bangers and Mash by Lorcan Duffy, a special student fron Ireland, and Currywurst cooked by German students Arne Ulbrich ’11 and Hendrik Ziller ’11.  The famous Caribbean Jerk Chicken was also prepared by our Jamaican students Osric Forrest ’13 and Basil Panton ’11.

Everyone had plenty of time to revisit the buffet before settling down for the second part of the event – the showing of Catch a Fire. The movie, featuring Derek Luke and Tim Robins, tells the real-life story of Patrick Chamusso – a black South African oil refinery foreman whose encounter and interrogation by a cruel investigator, played by Robins, convinces him to abandon his family and fight against the oppressive apartheid regimen.  Aside from telling an emotional and suspenseful story, the movie also gave a very insightful take on the cultural, racial, and political state of South Africa in the 1980s, under the Apartheid regime.  At the end of the film, Dr. Monwabisi Gantsho, an international visiting scholar from South Africa, who attended the event with his wife Moloko Ramashala-Gantsho, commented on the movie and the familiarity of watching it from South African eyes.

The International Club thanks the more than 60 people who attended and took part in the festival; it was a great turnout.  Many thanks also to the dining hall staff for providing the club with cooking materials and graciously sharing their work space while simultaneously serving dinner to the student body.  We appreciate it! And, of course, hats off to the cooks and members of the International Club who invested so much time and energy in what turned out to be a very successful evening.  Well done!

International Club Celebrates Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

The International Club celebrated on October 7th the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, one of the biggest festivals in China.  More than 80 students, faculty, and staff attended the event at Crawley Forum. Among them were Eric Dinmore, Assistant Professor of History, and Dr. J. Z. Zhao, Assistant Professor of Economics.

The celebration started with a video to introduce the Mid-Autumn Festival.  The Chinese have a special affection for the moon, and there are many stories about the Mid-Autumn Festival.  The most popular is the myth of Chang’e, the lady who lives on the moon with her rabbit.  On Mid-Autumn Day, millions of Chinese worship the Moon Lady.  In addition they hold family reunions.  Since a full moon represents the family, all the members will try to reach home on this day no matter how far apart they are.

Together, the family will enjoy the moon on a cloudless night and eat moon cakes—an essential and special feature of this festival.  The tradition of moon cakes started as the sacrificial offering to the moon and later became symbolic food.  The first slice of the moon cake is always offered to the oldest one in the family to show respect to the elders.  Although the general features of the Mid-Autumn Festival are the same, different regions have their own unique traditions.  The video also showed the process of making moon cakes.

After the video, Professor Anthony Zhang, Chinese Fulbright Scholar and professor of Chinese, led nine students from his class in reciting a traditional Chinese poem, “Shui Diao Ge Tou” (Thinking of You) (Google translation).  After the recitation, the students sang the poem as Professor Zhang played the piano.

Next, the Tai Yin Chinese Lion Dance team from Maryland performed the famous lion dance for the audience.  This performance was made possible by the generous help of Mladen Cvijanovic, Assistant Dean of Students for Intercultural Affairs.  The lion dance team consisted of five members who were passionate about this traditional Chinese art.  They first explained the history of the lion dance.  According to the myth, thousands of years ago, the Lion from the mountain would frequently go down to the villages and harm the livestock.  However, after confrontation with the villagers, the Lion became their friend and protector.  Therefore, to honor the Lion, people developed this highly acrobatic lion dance.

The lively music of drums and gongs and the energetic performance of the lion dance pumped up the atmosphere in Crawley Forum.  The audience gave a round of applause whenever the team performed a breathtakingly difficult move.  For example, very often the young man in front would jump in the air and land on his partner’s shoulders.

After the dance, the team also demonstrated Chinese Kung Fu such as Small Five Animal Fist, Big Five Animal Fist, Chinese Broad Sword, and Big Buddha Stick.  The audience was amazed at these moves, which had been seen only in the Kung Fu movies.

After a question-and-answer session, the performers taught the children present how to lion dance.

As the final part of the event, the organizers served moon cakes and refreshments.  All the guests left with a new understanding of another culture, the taste of delicious moon cakes in their mouths, and smiles on their faces.

International House Holds Open House

On September 16, the International House continued its annual tradition of an Open House.  The event was a huge success with a turnout of more than a hundred enthusiastic guests including faculty, students, and staff who were eager for a taste of exotic Asian food.  The foods served at the event did not disappoint the guests as each was gone shortly after it was served. The specialties were Shan rice noodle, Kung Pao chicken, Chinese meat pies, spring rolls, stir-fried bean sprouts, fried rice, and Navajo fry bread.

The celebration started at 5:30 PM, and, as the first dish, my Shan noodle was presented to the guests. It is noodle soup with pork curry.  Shan noodle is very popular in Myanmar (Burma). Since my parents run a noodle shop back home, I had no difficulty making the family food. “We are noodle folk. Broth runs through our veins,” if I may quote from the movie, Kung Fu Panda.  The guests enjoyed the Shan noodle but commented that the serving was too big as they wanted to try other food as well. Luckily for Shihao Tian ’12 from China, I had reduced the serving size, so that the guests were able to enjoy his Kung Pao chicken, the glorious outcome of his decision to learn to cook during summer. Kung Pao chicken is fried with garlic, onion, cashews, and dry chili peppers.  Tian’s authentic specialty proved to be especially popular among the guests as two large bowls of chicken were gone in a very short time.

After Tian’s Kung Pao chicken, Professor Anthony Zhang (foreground), Chinese Fulbright Scholar and professor of Chinese, and Ke Shang ’13 from China served the highly-anticipated Chinese meat pies.  These meat pies were fried dumplings stuffed with a mix of grounded beef and vegetables.  The demand for the meat pies was very high among the guests.  Even after the event was over, there were still many people waiting about in the hope that there might be more these delicious pies.

Originally, we planned to serve only the above three dishes for the event as we anticipated no more than 50 people to show up.  In fact, more than a hundred guests showed up, and this unexpectedly large number pleasantly surprised the organizers.  To accommodate the greater number of the guests, we decided to cook more dishes—stir-fried bean sprouts, spring rolls, fried rice, and Navajo fry breads.  For the stir-fried bean sprouts, the duty fell into the hands of Tian, our main chef of the evening, who also impressed the people in the kitchen with his masterful pan-flipping skill.

Tan Le ’10 from Vietnam, President of International Club, cooked spring rolls and Vietnamese fried rice. Moreover, two American students, Alex Burner ’10 and Will Thomas ’11 contributed to the variety of food by making Navajo fry breads.  The Open House event finally closed at 8, an hour later than originally planned. Although the organizers, especially the chefs, were tired and hungry after the cookout, they were delighted with the success of the event.

This event showed the rising level of diversity and cultural awareness at Hampden-Sydney.  The Hampden-Sydney International House has contributed significantly to this higher level of awareness on campus. It is located in the Fraternity Circle between the Minority Student Union (MSU) and Women’s Guest House, and the house has an open door policy to everyone.