ECHOES Vol. 18 No. 2


We tried the late afternoon hour. It didn't work well. So, we have returned to our 11:30 - 12:30 hour on Wednesdays at Voigt Hall. Hope you can attend, and help with the serving.


Sweets and Savories

Sunday Afternoon

February 16, 1997 3 - 5 pm

Fellowship Hall of First Methodist Church

Bring a platter of finger food

And indulge yourself and meet other students and hosts



by Phyllis Rovner, AFIS President

AFIS has lost a very dear friend, Lillian Chovnick. She lit up the coffee hours with her winning smile. She would breeze in and chat with the students while also helping in the kitchen. She would tap me on the shoulder and say she needed to talk to me before I left. It was usually about some problem a student was having and she wondered if I could help. Sometimes it was to relate a wonderful passage she had just read. Although she had many problems of her own, she was truly concerned when I was ill, as she was with anyone with a problem. Although she loved to tell the most wonderful stories, she always had time to listen, really listen when a friend needed to talk.

Lillian was there for us in AFIS, helping with the welcome table, coffee hours and generally befriending international students and trying her best to help them find preschools, warm clothing or a host family.

Lillian's family generously designated AFIS as a recipient of donations in her name. Contributions may be sent to Phyllis Rovner, 49 Ohio Ave., Athens OH 45701. Please make checks payable to AFIS and put Lillian's name in the memo. The money goes into a special account set up to provide emergency loans to student who need expensive medicine, books before their money has arrived, warm coats for children, or anything the loan committee thinks deserving.


Celebrate February and the Holiday of Love!

Share a family recipe with all of us at "Sweets and Savories", our Mid-Winter Reception to be held on Sunday afternoon February 16 from 3 - 5 pm in the Fellowship Hall of First Methodist Church on College Street.

Prepare and bring a festive food -- sweet or not -- that is representative of your culture, something that can be picked-up and eaten with your fingers. Don't have a kitchen? Phone someone who does and offer to share the preparation as well as the consumption of your delicacy. If you have a kitchen, invite your international student to join forces with you in the preparation of finger foods from your country and theirs.

Come prepared to tell all those who will be curious, what this food means to you and your family! Come about 3:00 and stay as long as you like! We will need help setting up and taking down. Call Lynda Berman 593-6213 or Phyllis Rovner 593-5849.


With Lynn Graham-Mallory as Treasurer, Phyllis Rovner as acting President, Jeanne Haseley and Mary McNulty working on our Hospitality program, Lois Whealey, Mary Ann Sympson and John Casbergue among other volunteers working on the Winter Pot-Luck, David Tilahun and Alan Boyd assisting us with their expertise on international students, and Peg McDargh and Jan Miller-Fox getting out ECHOES, we are having a good year!

Newcomer to our board meetings, Lynda Berman, is working on the Winter Reception. Other newcomers are Ron and Lynne Chapman, Sheila Theiss, Bob Dakin, Catherine Brown and Frances Conry, each of whom is contributing in some way.

We really enjoy your coming to the meetings at Kroger's the first Monday of the month and volunteering to help with something. Those who come, volunteer to do what they do best and find the most rewarding. Their goal is the best uniquely Athens experience for the international students. When each person takes just a small bite out of our program, no one is left with a choking mouthful.


The first meeting of the quarter was canceled due to bad weather. Since everyone enjoys line dancing and our instructor is free Thursday February 6, we will meet for line dancing. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes. The schedule for the rest of winter includes Aerobics on February 20 and Coloring eggs on March 6.

One of the first things we will discuss at our next meeting is our cancellation policy. Basing cancellation on public school closings didn't work since the snow storm hit after school began. There has to be a better solution than frantic calling the morning of the event.

Barring inclement weather, we meet at Christ Lutheran Church, 69 Mill Street from 12:30 - 2 pm. You don't have to be an international wife to participate. Come and become acquainted.


Our board meetings are at 7 pm the first Monday night of the month at Krogers in their meeting room upstairs over the dairy department. Come and help.


After this month's reception we will be planning for our Spring Trip and the International Street Fair. The Spring Trip will take place in May and may be a river trip this year on the Ohio. International Week begins May 12 and ends with the International Street Fair with music and dancing, ethnic foods, and other items of international interest.

These AFIS sponsored trips are a highlight of their stay for many international students. Trips other years have been to see the Ohio Historical Society display and the early American village in Columbus, to Blennerhassett Island, and last year to visit historical sites in Nelsonville and to ride the train. Families are invited to these events. When possible AFIS can underwrite some of the expenses.

As soon as we can we will inform you of our outing. Start making plans for it and for your

international students now.


Lillian Chovnick, 79, Athens, died unexpectedly Tuesday, Dec. 24, 1996, at Doctor's Hospital North in Columbus. Warm and generous of herself, Lillian, a recovered cancer patient, was an active supporter of AFIS, attending and working at coffee hours when she could, helping with the welcome table, and a convinced believer in welcoming international students to the Ohio University community and to Athens. This grew out of her experience as a stranger in a foreign land in Europe where her husband studied after WWII.

Lillian was also a supporter of the arts who helped bring to many an appreciation of the arts through her support of the Dairy Barn, Friends of the Library, the Kennedy Museum, the Southern Hills Arts Council and the Trisolini Gallery. In addition to her involvement in the Athens community, she for decades maintained correspondence with foreign friends. She and her husband, Dr. Harry Chovnick, a former Director of the Athens Mental Health Center, have a daughter, Paule Prebus who lives in Cleveland and a grandson who is also a doctor.


Additional Hosts Needed

More than 85 community hosts have been matched so far this academic year with more than 135 international students in our International Hospitality Program.

However, even more hosts are needed as we continue to receive additional applications from international students to join the program. It is the enthusiasm of students who are hosted by families that encourages more students each year to wish to become a part of a host family.

So, please join with us in being a community host, and encourage your friends to participate as well. It is a wonderful opportunity to help these students to feel welcome and to learn about American culture, and for us Americans to develop international friendships and learn more about another part of the world.

Remember, no work is involved. Just go about your usual life, and once in a while including our international student(s) in an activity. To become a host, phone Jeanne Haseley at 592-3680 or Mary McNulty at 593-6553.


Lost and Found

Are you missing a favorite plate or dish that you take to dinners and parties? Perhaps it is one that was left behind at the Square Dance in October? The square dance committee cannot take donations - no place to put them. Perhaps you will be able to claim your lost favorite if you phone Jeanne Haseley at 592-3680.


We want to welcome the following community members who have been matched with international students since our last newsletter. We wish them and their international students wonderful friendships and rewarding experiences.

Kelly and Pete Abele

Patricia Black

Catherine Brown

Robert and Regina Neptune-Ceran

Ron and Lynn Chapman

Jim and Ann Fingar

Melissa Mathews

Mary Ann and Bill McClain

Joy Miller-Upton and Donald Wallbaum

Chris and John Ortman

D. Scott Peters

Tom Reid and Robin Todhunter

Lane and Athena Tracy

Robert and Shirley Williams