Campus participates in 77th International Food and Cultural Extravaganza

This year's theme of the International Extraganza was "Sports Around the World." | Photo by Jessica Warren
This theme of this year’s International Extraganza was sports around the world. | Photo by Jessica Warren

The International Students Association’s 77th Annual International Food and Cultural Extravaganza attracted around 300 people to participate in a night of cultural exchange April 9.

Emceed by mass communications majors M. Talha Qureshi of Karachi, Pakistan and Sarah Zarr of Pueblo, the theme of this year’s extravaganza was sports around the world. The event featured a potluck style feast with various dishes representing many heritages.

In addition to international cuisine, the event included an international sports fair, fashion show, talent show and recognition of the International Supporter of the Year.

The International Supporter of the Year award is an award given to families based upon their contributions and support to the international students at CSU-Pueblo.

Seven families from the Pueblo community were nominated for the award this year, including Helen and Don Banner, Karen and John Zondlo, the Grossman family, the Baker family, Martha Brown, the Edwards family and the Gasper family. This year, instead of honoring only one family, CISA honored all seven families for their contributions.

Other awards given at the extravaganza included recognizing the accomplishments of international students during the 2014-2015 academic years, including those who participated in one of CSU-Pueblo’s 22 intercollegiate athletic teams.

Hosts Sarah Zarr and Talha Quereshi address the audience. | Photo by Daniel Potter
Hosts Sarah Zarr and Talha Quereshi address the audience. | Photo by Daniel Potter

The fashion show, which was hosted by business administration student Harshita Ojha, featured 30 models displaying various traditional outfits and sportswear from around the world. Each model and outfit were popular with the crowd, but Center for International Programs Director Annie Williams said mass communications professor Julie Armstrong was the showstopper.

“The event went well. Having organized this program for over 30 years, I can say it was one of the best to date. The entertainment segment went very well, with multiple acts performing.  We had close to 300 people attend, including several CSU-P administrators,” Williams said.

The International Extravaganza branched out and decided to have a first annual after-party.

“It, too, went better than anticipated, with several international and American students hanging out to dance, mingle and take photos of each other,” Williams said.

Ivan Pagano Aragona, who is from Brazil, served as the disc jockey for the event and Girl Scout Troop 1652 from the Corwin International Magnet School helped to end the night with singing, “Make New Friends.”

According to CSU-Pueblo’s website, this semester CSU-Pueblo is home to 150 international students, representing 34 countries, including large contingencies from China, South Korea, Brazil and Germany.