NURTURING RESILIENCE THROUGH THE PANDEMIC
THIRD CONFERENCE OF ROMANIAN AMERICAN PROFESSIONALS
June 5th 2021
Community civic engagement and social entrepreneurship panel:
The third presenter of the final panel was Mrs. Ana Muresan, Ph.D. the President of the American Romanian Cultural Society (ARCS) Affinity Group at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). She related her presentation to the inspiring speech given by former Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and former Director of the USPTO, intellectual property attorney Mr. Andrei Iancu during the formal opening of the conference. Mr. Iancu was central to their efforts to have the affinity group established and formally recognized. Mrs. Muresan spoke about the various efforts to promote awareness about Romanian culture and traditions along side other such affinity groups working on the large campus of the federal institution. Their participation in the nationalities parade in national costumes or their booths at various events such as international food festivals or wine tastings, or their signature springtime Mărțișor celebration, are all efforts to promote the visibility of the sizable number of Romanian descent professionals working at various levels within this important institution. They too, moved socializing events to the virtual realm supporting each other as the pressures of balancing professional and family lives as well the challenge of having family members in Romania made the experience particularly daunting. They creatively shifted to teaching colleagues about making Mărțișors and involved diaspora youth dressing in national attire and recording videos about their understanding of their heritage. The mailing of these Mărțișors the organizing of virtual tastings of traditional foods by sending care packages to the homes of employees became an empowering mechanism of positive peer support in times when many experienced a sense of vulnerability.