Announcement of Process to Fill Vacancies

We are happy to inform you that yesterday we received a formal letter of resignation from Kieran Holland. As a result, we no longer need to hold a general meeting on July 31 to remove him from office, so that event is cancelled.

The Executive Committee will recruit and appoint officers to fill vacancies for the remainder of the calendar year. At the annual general meeting in November we will hold the customary election for officers for 2025. Global Connections members are both welcome and encouraged to suggest candidates for the offices of president, public relations officer, and secretary.


Thank you,

Bob Persiko

Acting President

Summer Potluck Picnic

Global Connections is teaming up with the organizations of two of our members for an informal “Cultural Potluck” picnic on Saturday, July 27, 12:00 noon, at Sunset Park Pavilion.

Wenjie Fu, who manages Penn State Global’s Community Engagement program, sees this as an opportunity for Conversation Partners to interact with other like-minded people in our community. Qian Zhang, who founded the Cultural Exchange Group, envisions this as an opportunity to “savor stories, savor food, and make new friends.”

GC members are welcome to bring a dish that represents your culture, or just a simple snack you enjoy. Bring a story about your heritage, your travels, or any experiences that have shaped your world view. We’d love for you to join us!

Cost: FREE and open to the public.

RSVP Here!

Questions, email us at [email protected]

Global Connections Centre Gives Best Ever!!!

The Executive Committee wants to thank, with GREAT FANFARE, all those members of both GC and our community for their unprecedented response to our call for support during the Centre Foundation’s May 8-9 “Centre Gives” campaign.

Your generosity created an 80.22% increase in the average per-capita donation over 2023 ($66.45 versus $36.88) which drove an unprecedented 65.20% rise in total direct contributions ($1,462.00 versus $885.00). Once the Centre Foundation’s greatly appreciated allocation of the Hamer Foundation’s “Stretch Funds” is added in, Global Connections received a record-breaking total gift of $1,858.98!

Yeah, we know the numbers themselves are not jaw-dropping, but you must remember that our relatively small operating budget oscillates between $5,500 and $7,500 per year and that Global Connections is an all-volunteer undertaking. So, this gift accounts for between 25% and 33% of our budget.

This will make a HUGE difference in our scope of operations, especially in our ability to fund scholarships for immigrants and refugees through our newly created English Language Literacy Program. It also means that our reach toward and presence in our service area are both expanding. We must be doing something right, huh?


So, please, keep talking us up with your friends, family, and colleagues. And, above all else, find the nearest mirror and give yourself a huge “THANK YOU” from all of us!!!

Support Global Connections During Centre Gives!

Join us for Centre Foundation’s 36-hour online giving event! Centre Gives begins on May 8 at 8 AM and runs through May 9 at 8 PM. This is your chance to make a real impact.

Why Support Us? Global Connections is dedicated to fostering community and understanding through a variety of programs. Your donations will help us:

• Support Our Programs: Our outreach activities include cultural luncheons, free classes to learn English as a Second Language (ESL), book clubs, discussion groups, poetry readings, and informal cultural, educational, and exchange activities and interactions.
• Support Our Community: Assisting local people in need through educational and exchange activities.
• Keep Costs Low: Ensuring that 100% of your donation goes directly to our programs, not administrative costs.
Make a Difference Today!
Please consider donating to Global Connections during Centre Gives. Every contribution helps us continue our mission of building meaningful relationships through service, education, and partnership.

Donate Here!

We greatly appreciate your generosity and support. Help us spread the word about our work by sharing this message with your friends and family!

GC Spotlight: Dr. Yaryna Andrushko

Yaryna Andrushko, a visiting scholar and researcher from Ukraine, embarked on a transformative journey that led her to the shores of the United States, where she has been making a significant impact in the field of psychology. In a recent interview, she shared her experiences, aspirations, and passions, giving us a glimpse into her life.

When asked about what brought her to the USA, her response carried a weight of profound significance. She explained that the ongoing war in Ukraine, which began in February 2022, was one of the primary catalysts for her decision to seek refuge and for a fresh start in America. Her courageous spirit and unwavering determination propelled her to seek security and the opportunity to restart in a new land.

When reflecting upon her initial impressions of living in the USA, her eyes lit up with admiration and gratitude. She expressed her heartfelt appreciation for the support provided to individuals with disabilities, particularly in terms of mobility. Yaryna found  empowering the abundance of resources available to assist those with disabilities to access facilities, stores, and urban centers. Such inclusive measures reinforced her belief in the importance of equal opportunities for all, regardless of physical limitations.

However, amidst her newfound appreciation for her adopted home, Yaryna confessed that she occasionally felt the pangs of homesickness. She longed for the warm embrace of her friends and family back in Ukraine, as well as the familiar tastes and aromas of her homeland’s cuisine. Yet, her dedication to her work and the pursuit of knowledge serve as a constant source of inspiration and resilience during moments of nostalgia.

Yaryna’s academic pursuits center around the field of psychology, a discipline in which she has excelled both professionally and academically. With a career as an associate professor in the Ukraine University and with a vast scientific publication collection, she brings a wealth of expertise and a passion for understanding the intricacies of the human mind and behavior. In addition, she operates a private therapist office, where she has made a lasting impact on countless individuals seeking healing and personal growth. Likewise, she has supported women who have experienced different types of violence. Her research focus at Penn State revolves around trauma, aiming to enhance her assistance to individuals who have been traumatized by the war in Ukraine, thereby helping the Ukrainian community affected by the war, not only those living in the USA but also in different parts of the world.

In sharing more about herself, Yaryna revealed her vibrant and sociable nature. She finds peace in connections with nature and through her passionate hiking activity that allows her to fully immerse herself in the beauty of the world. Alongside her love for nature, she is also a lover of dancing, music, and connecting with people. Her commitment to personal well-being and mindfulness practices further enhance her capacity to empower others in their journeys of self-discovery and inner healing.

Furthermore, Yaryna’s expertise extends to the field of art therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). By combining the creative process of art with the principles of therapy, she facilitates a transformative experience for individuals seeking emotional and psychological well-being. Yaryna’s multidimensional approach to healing emphasizes the importance of holistic care and the integration of various therapeutic modalities.

Yaryna’s journey with Global Connections began shortly after her arrival in the USA. Seeking to improve her English skills, she reached out to her colleagues for guidance on finding language lessons. Through a colleague, she discovered a program that connected her with Bob Persiko, who became her mentor. Bob not only assisted her with formulating articles in English, but he also provided invaluable support with grammar, a subject she found challenging.

Being a member of Global Connections has had a significant impact on Yaryna’s life. She appreciates the opportunity to participate in various events and engage with a diverse community. Among her cherished moments with Global Connections, the recent hiking encounter at Stone Valley and Shaver’s Creek stands out as a favorite. When asked what advice she would give to someone interested in getting involved with Global Connections, Yaryna’s response was simple: Just do it! She emphasizes the importance of participating in activities and connecting with others, recognizing the value of socializing and expanding one’s horizons.

In contemplating the meaning of life, Yaryna offers a heartfelt perspective. For her, life is about living in a way that is worthwhile and filled with love. She believes in the power of giving and sharing with others, not just in personal endeavors but also within the community and society at large. She embraces the concept of the boomerang effect, trusting that when you give something good, it will eventually come back to you in a positive way, even if not immediately apparent.

Yaryna Andrushko’s inspiring journey exemplifies the transformative power of seeking new experiences, embracing connections, and making meaningful contributions to the world. Her dedication to psychology, love for nature, and commitment to personal growth continue to shine brightly, illuminating the lives of those around her. As we shine a spotlight on Yaryna Andrushko, her story serves as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the transformative power of embracing new beginnings.