SIS Students Attend the 16th Annual International Student Awareness Day at the Oklahoma State Capitol

Monday, March 24, 2008

Several SIS students were among those welcomed to the Oklahoma State Capitol by legislators for the 16th Annual International Student Awareness Day on March 24th. International high school and college students are invited each year by the state’s legislators to thank the students for choosing Oklahoma to further their education. The event is sponsored by the Joint Legislative Committee on International Development in conjunction with the Secretary of State’s office and the Governor’s International Team (of which SIS’s Interim Associate Director Dr Steve Miller is a member). Students sit in the House chamber in the State Representatives seats and in the gallery and are welcomed by the Joint Committee’s Co-Chair and MC Shane Jett with their country’s typical greeting. This year, approximately 75 countries were represented in the enthusiastic crowd. After the welcoming ceremony, students gathered for a large group photo on the capitol’s interior grand staircase (they will each receive a copy of the picture in the coming weeks). Finally, they were treated to a buffet of local restaurants’ food that was donated for the event and were entertained with various singers and dancers in the capitol’s rotunda. Click here for pictures of the event.

SIS students, who were among those seated on the floor of the House Chamber, gathered for a group picture.  Pictured (l-r) are Penny Sizemore (China), Alina Roman (Romania), Firew Gudero (Ethiopia), Nasiba Chaboya (Kyrgyzstan), and Katerina Henry (Czech Republic).
SIS students, who were among those seated on the floor of the House Chamber, gathered for a group picture. Pictured (l-r) are Penny Sizemore (China), Alina Roman (Romania), Firew Gudero (Ethiopia), Nasiba Chaboya (Kyrgyzstan), and Katerina Henry (Czech Republic).
Jari Askins, Oklahoma’s Lieutenant Governor, (in pink) welcomes the international students in attendance.
Jari Askins, Oklahoma’s Lieutenant Governor, (in pink) welcomes the international students in attendance.
State Representative Shane Jett, Co-Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee and MC for the event greets each country’s students in their native greeting.  Students from Jordan, in the gallery above Representative Jett, can be seen reacting to their greeting.
State Representative Shane Jett, Co-Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee and MC for the event greets each country’s students in their native greeting. Students from Jordan, in the gallery above Representative Jett, can be seen reacting to their greeting.
The House Chamber and gallery were filled to capacity as the international students were welcomed to Oklahoma.
The House Chamber and gallery were filled to capacity as the international students were welcomed to Oklahoma.
SIS students gather with Chris Morriss at the SIS information booth in the capitol 
rotunda after the Welcome Ceremony. Morriss is the assistant for international protocol 
for Oklahoma’s Secretary of State, Susan Savage. Secretary Savage was the featured 
speaker for SIS’s fourth Global Briefing “Oklahoma: An International State” at the 
Wes Watkins Center on April 3<sup>rd</sup>. Pictured (l-r) are Donna Birchler (SIS Graduate Program 
Advisor), Alina Roman, Debbie Samuels (SIS Graduate Program Assistant), Nasiba Chaboya, 
Penny Sizemore, Chris Morriss, Katerina Henry, Firew Gudero, and Daniel 
Darnell (SIS Coordinator for Events and Promotion).
SIS students gather with Chris Morriss at the SIS information booth in the capitol rotunda after the Welcome Ceremony. Morriss is the assistant for international protocol for Oklahoma’s Secretary of State, Susan Savage. Secretary Savage was the featured speaker for SIS’s fourth Global Briefing “Oklahoma: An International State” at the Wes Watkins Center on April 3rd. Pictured (l-r) are Donna Birchler (SIS Graduate Program Advisor), Alina Roman, Debbie Samuels (SIS Graduate Program Assistant), Nasiba Chaboya, Penny Sizemore, Chris Morriss, Katerina Henry, Firew Gudero, and Daniel Darnell (SIS Coordinator for Events and Promotion).
Entertainment in the capitol rotunda included an Elvis impersonator (left).
Entertainment in the capitol rotunda included an Elvis impersonator (left).
At the end of the scheduled entertainment acts, students asked if they could sing their country’s national anthem.  Here, a student from Grenada (left) sings her national anthem to the audience.
At the end of the scheduled entertainment acts, students asked if they could sing their country’s national anthem. Here, a student from Grenada (left) sings her national anthem to the audience.