Charlottesville Welcomed the 2015 SVU Regional Conference
Participants from all over the country converged on the hot weekend of July 17th on the historic grounds of the University of Virginia to attend the 2015 Czechoslovak Society for Arts and Sciences (SVU) Regional Conference. Friday opened with a lovely reception at the Garret Hall of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, a conference co-sponsor, and featured an appearance by Czech Ambassador Petr Gandalovic and his wife.
I want to thank Bruce Vlk, VP of the Central SVU, for the following report to which I added a few personal touches. -- Suzanna Halsey, VP SVU NY
I enjoyed meeting my colleagues from the Washington SVU Executive Committee and other members and friends. Helas, I could not stay longer as I had to attend to family obligations in North Carolina. I was very happy that Dr. Dáša Jendrušáková, one of the participants of our pilot program 6 MINUTES this April, joined other presenters at this conference.
Saturday’s academic program kicked off with a welcome by SVU President Petr Hausner and a message from Ambassador Gandalovic. Morning highlights included presentations on the documentary film “Turning Points,” and a comparative analysis of Czech and Polish Parliamentary behavior. A strong contingent of presenters from the Virginia Czech/Slovak Heritage Society from nearby Richmond, Virginia, spoke in the afternoon. Dr. Mila Saskova-Pierce presented an enlightening look at the early Czech feminists in Nebraska, many of whom were associated with Willa Cather and the Abbott sisters. The day was capped off with a tour of Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the banquet dinner, guests were treated to a brief speech about University of Virginia’s history and little-known facts by friend of SVU, Rob Masri.
Slovak Ambassador Peter Kmec opened Sunday’s session with a presentation about Slovakia’s work within the Visegrad Group to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. He also shared actions within the U.S. to promote Slovak startups and collaborations. Vladimira Briestenska presented via Skype from Europe about women’s entrepreneurial activities in Slovakia and took questions from conference participants.
The conference weekend ended with a group touring Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s fascinating and historic home. Bruce concludes his conference notes with the following fitting thought: “Were he still alive, Jefferson, a world-renown thinker and polymath, would have welcomed the SVU visitors and their varied areas of expertise.”
Abstract of presented papers are available at: www.svu2000.org/publications/SVUNews2015_3.pdf.
You can also view other photos from the conference. Click HERE.