H2HA-GGA Scholars

H2HA-GGA Scholars

Dear Friends of Heart to Heart Anatolia (H2HA)/ Gönülden Gönüle Anadolu (GGA)

With the help of all of you Heart to Heart Anatolia / Gönülden Gönüle Anadolu have sponsored a number of graduate students. We would like to share with you some brief information about some of these scholars.

In 2014, Gülay Cesur was awarded a scholarship to pay her tuition at West Virginia University for ESL courses. We are pleased to report that Gülay was able pass all of the courses she took, and with the recommendation of her teachers she was admitted to graduate school at West Virginia University to pursue Ph.D in Early Child Development. However due to some unforeseen circumstances Gülay was not able obtain a Teaching Assistantship (TA) position and still waiting (working in the meantime) for an opportunity to pursue her graduate study.

Murat Alandagli received awards from H2HA in 2014 and 2015 and has completed several ESL (English as a Second Language) courses in Morgantown by participating in the IEP (Intensive English Program) at West Virginia University. One of our BOD members, Perihan Celik, has made arrangements for Murat Alandagli to come to West Virginia University as a visiting scholar. Murat was hosted by the CIP (Council of International Program). He worked as an intern in the Royce Watts Museum for Coal Mining in West Virginia. This unique experience has helped him tremendously in passing the University Entrance Examinations in Turkey to pursue his Ph.D. studies in the area of Anatolian History. Currently Alandagli is a doctorate student at Hacettepe University in Ankara, aside he’s teaching courses at a different university.

In 2016 , 2017, H2HA/GGA has made three more scholarships awards. These awardees are Cagil Deniz Arslan (Chicago, IL), Mehmet Aygun (New York, NY), and Filiz Kazan (Morgantown, WV). In what follows are brief descriptions of their background and current status.

Cagil Deniz Arslan (in his own words)
Aslen baba tarafim Tunceli/Ovacik; anne tarafim Sivas/Zara nufusuna kayitlidir. Icinden geldigim cografyanin azimli, kararli ve onurlu bir bireyi olarak tanimliyabilirim kendimi. Annem ve babamin bana sagladigi geleneksel aile ortaminda humanist, ayrimcilik yapmayan degerlerle buyutuldum ve meslegimi yaptigim surec icerisinde de bu degerlere bagli kaldim. Maalesef Anadolu’da bu degerlerle yetismeme ragmen, gerek egitim gerek ise kisa meslek hayatim boyunca ayrimciliga maruz kaldim. Yasadigim topraklarin zengin, cesitlilik iceren tarihine ve kulturune gonulden bagli ve ozellikle Anadolu tarihi konusunda kisisel heves besleyen bir uyenizim. Bati ve Orta Anadolu’da Hitit, Grek, Roman, Frig, Karya, Bizans, Selcuklu, Osmanli’dan kalma yuzlerce tarihi alan ve arkeolojik sit alanini bizzat görüp fotograflamis bulunmaktayim. Amerika’ya geldigim ve burada uzmanlik egitimi basvurlarini yaptigim surecte bana maddi ve manevi destegini esirgemeyen GGA vakfina huzurunuzda tekrar tesekkur etmek istiyorum. Sizlerin verdigi destek ile yaptigim basvurular sonucunda, Illinois Eyaleti Chicago şehrinde Stroger Hospital of Cook County'de iç hastalıkları uzmanlik egitimi bolumune kabul edildim ve görevime basladim. Her ne kadar Chicago’ya gorevime buyuk bir heves ile baslamis olsam da geldigim Ic Anadolu yoresinin bozkirlarina, ailemin bagli oldugu Dogu Anadolu’nun daglik kasabalarina icten ice bir ozlem duymaktayim. Yardımlarınızın bana ve benim gibilere bir emsal teşkil ettiğini bildirir, sizlere gönülden teşekkürlerimi sunar ve onumuzdeki surecte benzeri sekilde destek almak icin basvuran arkadaslara katki saglamak isteyecegimi ifade ederim.

Mehmet Aygun
Mehmet Aygun was born and grew up in Istanbul. After completing elementary, middle and high school education, he moved to Izmir and started studying in Mechanical Engineering Department at Dokuz Eylul University (Izmir) He earned his bachelor degree (BS), and decided to continue his education abroad, in USA. This adventure has culminated in earning a master of science (MS) degree in Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at West Virginia University, WV. After working a few years for Light House Designs Inc. in NY City, he started working as an engineer for One Ten Group, Inc in New York City. In his free times, he loves playing “baglama” (a traditional Turkish folk instrument). He says “ baglama is my best friend” to express how strongly he is bounded to each other.” In a typical weekend, you can find him playing baglama and singing Turkish folk songs with his friends.

Filiz Kazan
Filiz has deep roots in Anatolia; her parents are from a small village, Hasircik of Hafik in Sivas. Follwing her family she later moved to Turhal (Tokat) and Istanbul. Filiz earned her degree in Mechanical Engineering Department at Celal Bayar Univerity in Manisa. After working a couple of years in Turkey, and later in Chicago (USA) to save money for her graduate study, she applied to West Virginia University and got acceptance to start her graduate study as of January 2017. H2HA/GGA members Ismail and Perihan Celik have done whatever means they can to facilitate Filiz’s acceptance to WVU and eventual settlement in Morgantown WV. She is currently pursuing her MS study in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at West Virginia University, Morgantown WV.