Welcome To The SIETAR USA Hall Of Fame
On the occasion of SIETAR USA’s 15th Anniversary in 2015, we celebrated and honored those who had come before to create the unique society that is SIETAR USA.
From its very beginning in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the idea of SIETAR was to create a forum for individuals doing significant work in the intercultural sphere to come together to dialog and collaborate. SIETAR grew out of a cross-cultural training conference sponsored by the U.S. Peace Corps in October 1968.
As Al Wight indicated in his story of Where It All Began, although the 1960s were a time of social unrest and turmoil, it was also a period of idealism, soul-searching, and social responsibility, concern about racial discrimination, injustice, inequity, and prejudice. The small cohort at the conference believed that we must all work toward effective and peaceful relations among the peoples of the world. And that it is a collective work of many caring and concerned professionals who support each other in moving toward this common goal.
The Society for Intercultural Training and Research (SITAR) was formed with Al Wight as the interim Executive Director. In 1971, SITAR moved from the University of Utah into the able hands of David Hoopes at the University of Pittsburgh; and Education was added to the name and mission of the society. In 1974 David and Toby Frank held the first Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research (SIETAR) conference in Gaithersburg, Maryland (a suburb of Washington, DC).
It was always intended that SIETAR would be an international association, which was highlighted when it became SIETAR International under which local and regional SIETARs sprang across the globe. In the year 2000, SIETAR USA was formed by Margaret (Peggy) Pusch. It held its first conference also near Washington, DC in Fairfax, Virginia.
We honor the leaders over the decades who have shaped SIETAR; kept it alive and well; maintained its interdisciplinary character; and welcomed everyone from neophytes to seasoned professionals. We honor the 13 Presidents and the 3 Executive Directors who created the voice of SIETAR International. Also honored are the many members of SIETAR International’s Governing Council who spent hours meeting, reading, discussing and determining the policies and procedures that allowed SIETAR to carry out its mission and fulfill the vision of its founders.
SIETAR USA has had one Executive Director, Peggy Pusch. We celebrate Peggy’s diplomacy and good judgment that were instrumental in forming an association that was user friendly, financially sound, and met the challenges from within and without to the betterment of the intercultural field.
We hold with esteem the 8 Presidents of SIETAR USA, who with the support of the Officers and Board of Directors, have brought together the traditions of the past and the challenges of today to forge a path toward the future.
The conference chairs for the 24 SIETAR International conferences deserve a round of applause, as well as the conference chairs in other parts of the world, and the chairs for all 15 of the very successful SIETAR USA conferences.
We stand on their shoulders and enjoy the fruits of their labors and caring concern.