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A journal of social practice & professional engagement for the Antioch community

Dayton is notable for its attempt to make itself an “immigrant-friendly city” through the establishment of Welcome Dayton, a policy and organization that tries to boost up the immigrant community while boosting up Dayton itself.

I aim to find ways in which members of the Turkish community have integrated to traditional American culture, as well as ways in which they have maintained traditional Turkish culture. I will also look at how Welcome Dayton has impacted this, either for better or worse.

I am working with Brooke Bryan at Antioch College in my efforts to interview members of the Turkish community, as well as those from various organizations, which will extend into my senior project.

[Editor’s note: This project was created and implemented within one 11 week term at Antioch College (detailed in this post) as an opportunity to learn oral history research methods and tools for digital scholarship at the culmination of the junior year sequence. This IRB-approved project uses an abbreviated life story interview methodology, published with the help of ESRI Story Maps platform (page 2), PopUp Archive (page 3), and SoundCloud to stream the audio. Katie is currently engaged in a second phase of project development for her senior project capstone.]

On August 26, 2015, I interviewed Melissa Bertolo, Welcome Dayton Program Coordinator. We discussed topics such as why Welcome Dayton was created, how it helps immigrants and refugees, how Dayton benefits from the influx of people, and more. Listen to the interview below.

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<p><strong>Katie Zechar</strong> is a fourth-year history major at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. She  was born and raised in Kettering, Ohio. Throughout her time at Antioch, she has worked at a law firm specializing in bankruptcy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, established a community garden in León, Nicaragua, put together a zoning proposal and application for the Antioch College Farm, and researched the Turkish immigrant population and Welcome Dayton program in Dayton, Ohio. These co-ops have helped make her well-rounded in work experiences. Her co-op in Nicaragua provided her with a way to immerse herself in the Spanish language, becoming proficient. Working with people in Philadelphia and Nicaragua helped her become a team player, while working for the College and in Dayton helped hone her skills at working independently. Katie is open to any new experience, wanting to learn as much as possible.</p>

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