On October 5, around 80 Turkish alumni of U.S. Government-funded education and exchange programs gathered in Ankara for the first General Assembly of US Exchange Programs Alumni Association.
The program started with the National Anthem of Turkey and one minute silence and followed by the opening speeches.
USEP Alumni Association Founding President Pelin Kohn gave welcoming remarks, saying “Being a member of our association will create an opportunity to have a unique platform to develop community projects that benefit our society, to know all the alumni and have network. Our members will have a significant role in Turkish society to decrease the gap of empathy and understanding between American and Turkish cultures with their knowledge and experience resulted from different exchange programs.”
U.S. Embassy Deputy Cultural Attaché Phaedra Gwyn addressed to alumni, saying: “The number of you here demonstrates the strength of an organization that has grown rapidly in such a short notice. I think USEP Alumni Association would be one of the strongest and most active alumni networks in the world in near future.”
After the speeches, the candidates for the board of governors and auditors introduced themselves to the audience highlighting their exchange program, key points of their autobiography, and projects and activities they want to do for/with the USEP Alumni Association.
Alumni had breakfast after speeches with the goal of establishing a framework and action plan for specific alumni projects and alumni to work together toward specific outcomes over the next year.
The program continued with the election for the board of governors and auditors and concluded by the announcement of the election results. The Board of Governors were selected from among members of the Association by secret ballot by the General Assembly for a term of two years.
The new board of directors and their titles are:
Pelin Kohn President
Murat Dogru First Vice-President
M. Hakan Ayçiçek Second Vice-President
Banu Saatçi General Secretary
M.Serdar Tufan Board Member
M.Ferit Binzet Board Member
Olçum Kavruk Board Member