November 15, 2017

In the spirit of the upcoming holiday, six host families from the School of Public Health faculty, staff and alumni in the area will share their Thanksgiving table with 10 SPH students and partners who wish to experience this American tradition, or who are unable to go home for the holiday. The program is a first for the SPH this year, though several other schools and programs already have the tradition of pairing students with host families at Thanksgiving. 

“We are thankful for the students who have come a long way from home to pursue their education here with us,” SPH Dean Boris Lushniak said. “We want them to feel welcome and to enjoy the holiday, and we hope that this program will create new bonds of friendships among us.” 

Izidora (Izzie) Skracic, a doctoral student in the Department of Family Science, organized the program “because it's particularly hard to be away from home when everyone in your new community is home celebrating with their family.  The program has also received a lot of positive feedback because our SPH community is very welcoming of people from all parts of the world and all walks of life; welcoming students into their homes for Thanksgiving is just one example of that,” she said.

Skracic, who is from Croatia, will spend her second Thanksgiving in the U.S. at the home of a faculty member. “The first time was many years ago in Seattle where I was hosted by a family from the community. It was wonderful to see four generations of the same family under the same roof celebrating together. Very randomly, it was also when I was first introduced to marshmallow fluff!”

Skracic says she is “looking forward to learning more about the Thanksgiving traditions on the east coast and experience that ‘home and family’ feeling that holidays are all about."