The conference kicked-off with a happy hour hosted Friday night at the International House by the Hellenic Medical Society (HMS). HMS President, Sandy Tzaferos, shared with the Hellenic News of America that HMS’s mission is to get more students involved with their organization and thought that this would be a great place to start. Students indulged in Greek appetizers catered by Kuzina by Sofia.Philadelphia, PA- The National Hellenic Student Association hosted their annual spring convention on March 20th – March 22nd in Philadelphia, PA. Students from across the U.S.A and Canada travelled to participate in the conference in the city of brotherly love. The theme of the weekend was Greek pride as it marked the celebration of Philadelphia’s Greek Independence Day Parade. The conference would not have been made possible without the collaboration of the surrounding organizations, such as PennHellenic, Hellenic Students Association of Philadelphia, Hellenic Society of Drexel University, Philadelphia Greek Basketball League and Hellenic News of America.
Saturday, March 21st, marked the start of the workshops. Opening remarks were given by NHSA President, Kostas Ouranitsas, Hellenic American National Council’s President, Paul Kotrotsios, AHEPA Supreme Lodge Governor of Region 3, Philip Vogis, Federation of Hellenic-American Societies of Philadelphia, Dimitri Rozanitis and Daughters of Penelope of Tritonia Chapter #129 President, Georgia Chletcos. Speakers included Dr. Robert Zaller, PhD, Dr. Thoklis Zaoutis, MD, MSCE, PhD and Ms. Kyriakoula Michas. Dr. Robert Zaller is a Drexel University Distinguished Professor of History, a contributing editor to the Hellenic News of America, and an honorary member of the Hellenic Authors Society. Dr. Zaller discussed the importance of the Greek Revolution. Dr. Thoklis Zaoutis is the Thomas Frederick McNair Scott Endowed Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Epidemiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (PENN) and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Dr. Zaoutis shared information on his initiative CLEO Research which stands for The “Stavros Niarchos” Foundation – Collaborative Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Outcomes. He spoke about the prevalence of hospital acquired infections in Greece, and that his team aims to minimize these infections. Ms. Kyriachoula Micha, adjunct Professor, ran the Modern Greek Language program at Temple University from 2005 until the program was closed in 2012. Her current position involves teaching Modern Greek at the Odyssey Greek Charter School, in Wilmington, Delaware. She spoke about the importance of preserving the Greek language in America. Furthermore, students were also given the opportunity to become members of AHEPA’s Sons of Pericles and Daughters of Penelope chapters. A networking luncheon was held for the students, and later that night they all came together to rejoice at the Greek night hosted at Sava’s Restaurant with music by Seizmos Band.
Sunday unfolded as a celebration of Greek Pride as the students assembled to march down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway towards the Art Museum in Philadelphia’s Greek Parade. The crowd was impressed with the amount of students partaking in the parade. You could feel the joy and pride of the crowd.
NHSA was sponsored and supported by Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade, Hellenic Student Association of Philadelphia, Federation of Hellenic American Societies of Philadelphia & Greater Delaware Valley, Hellenic News of America, Hellenic American National Council, Philadelphia Greek Basketball League, Law Office of George G. Horiates, Sigmapharm Laboratories, Astra Foods and the Epirotes Society of Philadelphia.
Remarks from NHSA President, Kostas Ouranitsas, “The NHSA Spring 2015 Philadelphia Convention brought together students from various universities from around the U.S. and Canada to learn, network, and socialize. Through the workshops, students had the opportunity to learn about Greek Independence, the state of Greek hospitals, and Greek culture and identity. Each speaker was able to connect well with the students and positive feedback was provided. Attendees were able to network with professionals through our networking social and mentorship lunch. Furthermore, students had the opportunity to socialize with each other and build friendships. To conclude the weekend, Convention participants marched in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day parade. NHSA is extremely grateful to our sponsors, supporters, and partners for assisting with a successful weekend. Overall, the convention was well received and we look forward to the next one”.