American Center Hanoi’s Events for the Public in March 2018

All of the below events are open free of charge to the public. We would like you to plan carefully before registering with us so that we have enough seats for participants. If you register for our events but change your plan, kindly notify us by email. If you would like to be an American Center member, please register.

***REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR ALL EVENTS EXCEPT THOSE NOTED OTHERWISE. Register here. You can also check out our Facebook page to see event schedule and click “Join” to register with us.***

All events take place at 1st Floor of the Rose Garden Tower at 170 Ngoc Khanh Street, Hanoi, except those noted otherwise. Remember to bring your ID with you. Members of the media are welcome to attend public events at the American Center. However, if you intend to being in still or video cameras‎, please contact the Media Team at least 24 hours in advance so we can determine whether the speaker is comfortable and, if so, request security access for your equipment. Please note that not all speakers will want to be filmed and interviewed. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.

Please Note:

  • As of August 1, 2017 all visitors to the American Center in Hanoi must ‎undergo additional security checks of their personal electronic devices (laptops, cell phones, fitness trackers, etc.). These new procedures are being implemented worldwide to enhance the security of U.S. Embassy buildings. Please note that these new security screening requirements, which includes powering on the equipment in front of the guards, will lengthen the ‎wait times for guests entering the American Center. Guests should plan to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to an event to ensure they can get through the screening procedures in time. The American Center has ordered 30 laptops for visitors’ use, which we expect to arrive in the Fall. We recommend you consider using the U.S. Embassy’s equipment and leaving your devices at home to shorten the screening time for all guests. In the meantime, if you plan to bring this or other electronic equipment to the American Center, please allow more time for these new screening procedures. Thank you for your assistance and patience.
  • In the American Center (AC), we usually record, film and photograph our programs and activities to promote the AC and the work the U.S. Embassy does in Vietnam. We regularly use and post these images on our social media platforms. When participating in American Center programs, you provide your tacit consent for your image to be used in this way. If you prefer that your image not be used for non-commercial publicity reasons, please provide your request in writing to a staff member at the Help Desk. Thank you!
Mar. 1, 5:30 – 6:30 Conversation and Pronunciation Rebecca Garcia
Mar. 5, 3:00 – 4:00 Learning to Create a Life and Career Vision Cynthia McKinney
Mar. 6, 12:00 – 1:30 Pronunciation Workshop Dr. Michelle McCollin
Mar. 6, 3:00 – 4:30 Opening Conversations on Abilities Dr. Michelle McCollin
Mar. 7, 3:00 – 4:30 Women’s History Month: Breaking Barriers Dr. Michelle McCollin
Mar. 8, 3:00 – 4:30 Modern Family‘ Screening and Discussion Michelle Der Ohanesian
Mar. 9, 2:30 – 4:00 An American Entrepreneur’s Journey and Lessons Learned Steve Seiden; Facilitated by Fenghua Wang
Mar. 13, 12:00 – 1:30 Pronunciation Workshop Dr. Michelle McCollin
Mar. 13, 2:00 – 3:30 Langston Hughes’ Dream Poetry Karen Thaler
Mar. 13, 3:30 – 5:00 Debate Club: “Should gun ownership be illegal?” AC Interns
Mar. 14, 10:30 – 12:00 American Culture Presentation Michelle Der Ohanesian
Mar. 14, 4:00 – 5:00 History of Reconciliation between the U.S. and Vietnam Prof. Robert K. Brigham, Vassar College
Mar. 14, 4:00 – 6:30 A Look at the U.S. and Vietnam’s Economies through the Stock Markets
Register here
Prof. Qianqiu Liu, Shidler College of Business, Univ. of Hawaii
Mar. 15, 3:00 – 4:30 Modern Family‘ Screening and Discussion Michelle Der Ohanesian
Mar. 15, 4:30 – 6:00 Storytelling Club AC Interns
Mar. 15, 5:30 – 6:30 Conversation & Pronunciation Rebecca Garcia
Mar. 16, 3:00 – 4:30 Public Speaking Skills: How to Speak Effectively about the NGO Mission Liz Moore, Executive Director of Montana Nonprofit Association
Mar. 16, 5:30 – 6:45 MOOC 40: High Performance Collaboration: Leadership, Teamwork, and Negotiation, Facilitated discussion #1. Register here
Nikki Nguyen
Mar. 20, 12:00 – 1:30 Pronunciation Workshop Dr. Michelle McCollin
Mar. 20, 3:00 – 4:30 Changing the World: One Person at a Time – Session 1 Dr. Michelle McCollin
Mar. 21, 5:30 – 6:45 MOOC 40: High Performance Collaboration: Leadership, Teamwork, and Negotiation, Facilitated discussion #2. Register here
Nikki Nguyen
Mar. 22, 3:00 – 4:30
Women History Month’s Storytelling Contest

Submit your brief story here by March 11, 2018

American Center
Mar. 22, 5:30 – 7:00 From Strangers to Familiars AC Interns
Mar. 23, 5:30 – 6:45 MOOC 40: High Performance Collaboration: Leadership, Teamwork, and Negotiation, Facilitated discussion #3. Register here Nikki Nguyen
Mar. 26, 2:30 – 4:00 Sports Scholarships and Soccer Player Recruitment in the U.S. Johnny Collins, Korean American Soccer Coach
Mar. 26, 5:00 – 6:30 Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success: Communication. Register here Cynthia McKinney
Mar. 26, 5:00 – 6:30 A Career in Human Resources: Foundational Skills Dr. Keri Ohlrich
Mar. 27, 12:00 – 1:30 Pronunciation Workshop Dr. Michelle McCollin
Mar. 27, 3:00 – 4:30 Changing the World: One Person at a Time – Session 2 Dr. Michelle McCollin
Mar. 28, 2:00 – 3:30 Tools and Strategies for Interacting with Children with Special Education Needs Michelle Peters, Visiting U.S. Speaker & Special Education Specialist
Mar. 29, 3:00 – 4:30 Modern Family‘ Screening and Discussion Michelle Der Ohanesian
Mar. 30, 10:00 – 11:00 Conversation Hour Holly Calkins
Conversation Hour

Fridays, 10:00 – 11:00 am
American Volunteers
Call it a conversation, or any one of this word’s synonyms – chat, colloquy, converse, dialog, discussion, etc. – this is an hour of informal talk and your opportunity to improve your English speaking and listening skills. An American host of the hour will introduce a topic and guide you through discussion around it. Come to chat and learn. Bring your friends and make even more friends!

American English Club

American Center Interns
Come join our American English Club to improve your English speaking skills and enhance your English vocabularies on a variety of topics. The participants will join the host to learn how to sing one of the popular memorable songs as a warm-up activity. Then, the club will continue with its interesting activities that will give you the opportunities to improve your English speaking skills, enhance your vocabulary, and have a lot of fun discussions and presentations.

Debate Club

American Center Interns
The goal of the American Center’s Debate Club is to create friendly environment where anyone can express and freely debate their ideas on interesting current topics. So if you like to analyze facts, communicates openly, or just interested in debate please make your way to the AC to join our club.

AC Student News

American Center Interns
Adapted from the CNN Student News, this program encouraged participants to reflect on and discuss international issues, while using opportunity to sharpen English language skills, especially listening and speaking.

Pronunciation Workshop Series

Dr. Michelle McCollin

Dr. Michelle McCollin is a tenured Associate Professor in the Special Education Department at Slippery Rock University of PA. She earned a BA in African American Studies and International Relations, MA in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, a second MA on Educational Administration, and a Doctorate in Special Education. As an educator, Dr. McCollin has affected lives of children and families through her roles as an elementary school teacher, district staff developer/literacy specialist, junior high school principal and a director of professional development.

Dr. Michelle McCollin also runs a Non-Profit Organization – “EYES4AFRICA Foundation, Inc.” and have collected over 2,000 pairs of eyeglasses people in Nigeria. Additionally she also volunteers as a Mentor to girls and advocates for individuals with disabilities.

She believes “I have to push against the boundaries of what would be, and move towards the center of what should be, in order to reach my purpose, my promise, my potential.”
especially listening and speaking.

Changing the World: One Person at a Time

March 27, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Dr. Michelle McCollin

“Changing the World one person at a time” is a series of interactive, hands-on and engaging conversations about developing an agenda of personal, professional and global strategies to become change-agents in our communities.

Dr. Michelle J. McCollin, 2018 Fulbright Scholar, Vietnam will explore some of the skillsets used in developing the characteristics of a world-changer, which will in-clude but not be limited to developing and building : self-esteem, self-efficacy, per-severance, courage, focus, determination, and personal strength.

She will also share her journey to developing and founding, a Nonprofit organization/NGO which brings vision resources and school supplies to those, all over the world, who may not have access.

Her personal, professional, and humanitarian philosophies converge at the point where she believes …

~“I have to push against the boundaries of what would be, and move towards the center of what should be, in order to reach my purpose, my promise, my potential.”~

Conversation & Pronunciation

March 1, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Rebecca Garcia
Join us to discuss important American and international current events. Different topics related to politics, popular culture, and business may be featured each week. This is an opportunity for us to share our ideas and ask questions so we can all learn together. This session will also include a brief pronunciation lesson to support English learners who seek to improve their speaking.

Learning to Create a Life and Career Vision

March 5, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Cynthia McKinney

Understanding the “big picture” or vision for our lives and careers, helps to direct our life mission or purpose. With these cornerstones laid in our lives, we can develop better goals that will help us achieve our life vision and purpose. In this session we will discuss how and why to develop this vision. We will also look at tools to use for this.

Opening Conversations on Abilities

March 6, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Dr. Michelle McCollin

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations.

Disability is thus not just a health problem. It is a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives. Overcoming the difficulties faced by people with disabilities requires interventions to remove environmental and social barriers.

In our “Opening the conversations on Abilities” series, we will explore our own personal stories of victory and triumph in the face of a disability and gain greater insights and understanding into the strengths, motivation, and perseverance of those with disabilities. ~Dr. Michelle J. McCollin, Fulbright Scholar Vietnam.

Women’s History Month: Breaking Barriers

March 7, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Dr. Michelle McCollin

Women’s ‘her-story’ was virtually an unknown topic in the K-12 curriculum or in general public consciousness. After much lobbying and international support from leaders around the world to correct this missing link in society’s story of development, March 8 has been internationally declared as the day that highlights the worldwide contributions of women to events in the past, contemporary, and future society.

In her conversational-styled lecture, Dr. Michelle J. McCollin, 2018 Fulbright Scholar, Vietnam will share some of the highlights of phenomenal everyday women, from around the world, who through their own strength, courage and wisdom have changed their communities through their personal, professional and or humanitarian efforts. Participants will also have an opportunity to share their stories of women who have impacted their lives and create a link of “her-stories’ for young women and young men around the world. Dr. McCollin believes…”Stories change lives, and by capturing the stories of everyday people we are better able to impact the attitudes our global and personal communities.”

An American Entrepreneur’s Journey and Lessons Learned

March 9, 2018, 2:30 – 4:00 pm
Steve Seiden; Facilitated by Fenghua Wang

Steve, an engineer and technology professional, is a true entrepreneur and small business thought-leader. He began his first and primary company, Acquired Data Solutions, out of graduate school almost 20 years ago. Staying in business for as long as he has while serving government and consumer-facing clients is no small feat, and as you can imagine he has had to “reinvent” himself in order to evolve and remain successful. Steve is in a constant state of learning and as a small business owner with the tenacity of a sales executive he has learned how important practicing a variety of techniques including mindfulness and meditation have contributed to his inner happiness. He has served on for profit and non-profit boards including McKinley Tech High School and Byte Back, where he was the Board Chair. Never one to be content to do one thing, he has started many new partners and companies including The Reinvention Convention as a way to give back to communities and the entrepreneurs who serve them. Steve is a member of Leadership Greater Washington, Entrepreneur Organization, National Small Business Association and the DC Chamber of Commerce. He enjoys spending time with his wife Erica and their two children, one of which attends Basis Charter School and the other Ludlow-Taylor Elementary where he is the PTA President.

Langston Hughes’ Dream Poetry

March 13, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Karen Thaler

James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz poetry. Hughes is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance — an intellectual, social, and artistic explosion that took place in Harlem, New York, spanning the 1920s. The Movement also included the new African-American cultural expressions across the urban areas in the Northeast and Midwest United States. The Harlem Renaissance was considered to be a rebirth of African-American arts.

The poetry of Langston Hughes is as applicable today as it was during the Civil Rights’ Movement of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Hughes embraces the need to protect and support the dreams of all individuals and warns of the consequences of denying hope to any individual or group of individuals. Like all good literature, his message is universal and timeless. Please join me as we examine Hughes’ dream poetry.

History of Reconciliation between the U.S. and Vietnam

March 14, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Prof. Robert K. Brigham, Vassar College

Please join us in a discussion on U.S.-Vietnam history of reconciliation with visiting U.S. Professor Robert K. Brigham from Vassar College. Robert. K. Brigham, Professor of History and International Relations, is a specialist on the history of U.S. foreign policy, particularly the Vietnam War. Along with several teaching awards, he has also earned fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for Humanities, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. In addition, Brigham has been Albert Shaw Endowed Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, Mellon Senior Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University (Clare College), visiting professor of international relations at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, summer seminar faculty at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and Mary Ball Washington Professor of American History (Fulbright) at University College Dublin.

Brigham is author or co-author of nine books, among them Reckless: Henry Kissinger and the Vietnam War (PublicAffairs, 2018); American Foreign Relations: A History, Volume I & Volume II, 8th Edition [along with Thomas Paterson, J. Garry Clifford, Michael Donoghue, and Kenneth Hagan] (Cengage, 2015); Iraq, Vietnam, and the Limits of American Power (PublicAffairs, 2008); Is Iraq Another Vietnam? (PublicAffairs, 2006); ARVN: Life and Death in the South Vietnamese Army (Kansas, 2006); Argument Without End: In Search of Answers to the Vietnam Tragedy (PublicAffairs, 1999), written with former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara and James G. Blight of Brown University; and Guerilla Diplomacy: The NLF’s Foreign Relations and the Vietnam War (Cornell, 1998).

A Look at the U.S. and Vietnam’s Economies through the Stock Markets

March 14, 4:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Prof. Qianqiu Liu, Shidler College of Business, Univ. of Hawaii

A look at the United States and Vietnam’s Economies through the Stock Markets, jointly organized by the American Center and Vietnam Executive MBA in Hanoi, University of Hawaii. Please join us for a free talk on “The Predictability of Stock Returns” by Qianqiu Liu, Distinguished Professor of Finance, Director of Ph.D Program at the Shidler College of Business, University of Hawaii at Manoa. This will be followed by panel discussions on “The development of Vietnam’s stock market based on the experience from the United States” and “The Investment outlook for Vietnam’s stock market in 2018.” The panelists include:

  • Professor Liu
  • Ms. Le Thi Le Hang – CEO, SSI Asset Management Co., Ltd. (SSIAM)
  • Mr. Vo Tri Thanh – Senior Expert, Former Vice-President, Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM)
  • Mr. Can Van Luc – Chief Economist, Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV)
Public Speaking Skills: How to Speak Effectively about the NGO Mission

March 16, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Liz Moore, Executive Director of Montana Nonprofit Association

In order to bring more people and resources into the NGO mission, leaders must become comfortable speaking publicly about the mission and activities of the NGO. Even though we are often passionate about our work, it can be difficult to describe to others why we are so engaged in the NGO mission. In this interactive workshop, participants will learn how to start with why they exist rather than what they do. They will learn how to create the NGO’s narrative, and why it is important. They will also learn some key steps for connecting with the audience through story.

From Strangers to Familiars

March 22, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
AC Interns

From Strangers to Familiar is a program that engages people in deep conversations in order to develop connections between humans. From Strangers to Familiars not only gives participants an opportunity to master their English communication skills but also helps them create ultimate long-lasting networks through the program’s chain of deep talks. Everyone has a chance to share and everyone is listened.

Sports Scholarships and Soccer Player Recruitment in the U.S.

March 26, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m
Korean American soccer coach Johnny Collins

Please come join us in Coach Johnny Collins’ talk about sports scholarships and how recruiting works in the U.S.
Collins is a U.S. Soccer Federation “A” licensed coach and has been coaching throughout Asia at all levels for over 20 years, including work with a number of national and professional teams in the region. He has worked as team trainer and adjunct coach for the men’s national team of Hong Kong and Kuwait. He currently coaches about 200 students across various local and international schools in Seoul, including as the varsity high school boys coach at Yongsan International School of Seoul. During his off-seasons in Korea, Collins has held soccer clinics and camps for international schools and local soccer clubs throughout Asia. In addition, Collins uses his extensive network of U.S. university soccer coaches to help recruit and place Asian soccer players to study and compete in U.S. colleges and universities.

A Career in Human Resources: Foundational Skills

March 26, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Keri Ohlrich, PhD

What skills are needed for a career in Human Resources? How do you become an HR Warrior? Human Resources is an honorable and altruistic function that has a very difficult task: influencing, coaching, encouraging, and advising humans to make good choices in the workplace. Without successful employees, no company can be successful. People are the soul of any company, and if that soul isn’t healthy, the company won’t be healthy. Join Keri Ohlrich, PhD, for a discussion on becoming an HR Warrior. The HR Warrior is a professional who can be counted on to get the job done right, to inspire others, and to set the expectations that increase the work output of everyone around them. HR Warriors care about what they do. They see their work as an opportunity to have a positive impact on the business every day. Keri Ohlrich is an outcome-focused Senior Executive with more than 25 years of success in the HR, manufacturing, consumer goods, and consulting industries. Keri obtained her PhD in Human Development and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University. She holds an MS in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University, a BS in Psychology & Business from Carnegie Mellon University, and an MS in Global Human Resources from Loyola University Chicago.

Tools and Strategies for Interacting with Children with Special Education Needs

Michelle Peters, visiting U.S. speaker & Special Education specialist
March 28, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Are you interested in the topic of special education? Are you an educator or parent interacting with children with autism and learning/emotional disabilities? Do you want to learn more about tools and strategies in this field? Please come join us in a talk with special education specialist Michelle Peters! Ms. Peters obtained her Master’s Degree in Special Education from George Mason University in the U.S. and has been working in the field of special education for more than 15 years. She is a committed advocate for children with special needs. She will talk about Applied Behavior Analysis, Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS), and guides and tips for parents to interact with their children with autism at home.

Ms. Peters is currently the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (IBMYP) Coordinator and Instructional Leader at Poe Middle School in Annandale, Virginia. She works with teachers to develop individualized educational and behavioral strategies to support the diverse needs of all learners including students with Autism. Ms. Peters is also the co-founder of the MicheLo Project, sponsored by Rotary International. Her program supports the hands-on education and training of educators in the areas of special education, music, adaptive physical education, and health. Ms. Peters has earned several awards over the years including Teacher of the Year 2013-14, the Rotary District 7610 Nominee for the Rotary International Woman of Action Award in 2015 and was the Rotary District 7610 nominee for the Rotary International Global Service to Humanity Award in 2013.