By Ken Bombara
Friends of Slovakia and the Slovak Embassy honored the 2015 FOS Slovak Scholars with a well-attended reception at the Embassy on July 22. The reception was co-hosted by Ambassador Peter Kmec and FOS Board Chairman, Joseph Senko, who made remarks honoring the students and scholarship donors. Also attending the reception were U.S. Ambassador Theodore ‘Tod’ Sedgwick, who had just returned to the U.S. after completing his successful term in Bratislava, as well as TFAS President Roger Ream, FOS Founding Chairman, Ambassador Ted Russell, and Slovak-American Foundation Chairman, Mary McPherson.
The five scholars completed The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) Summer Institute held at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia. They joined students from throughout the United States and a number of foreign countries in attending one of the several programs offered through the Institute. The programs offer seminars and lectures by top professors, and the scholars also benefit from the experience gained by interning with businesses, government and non-profit organizations. The scholars return to Europe with insight into American concepts of liberal democracy, entrepreneurship, and American culture. They become part of a growing network of past FOS Scholars who build successful careers, collaborate with other Slovak professionals to contribute to building Slovakia’s economy and civil society, and support FOS’s mission to strengthen the U.S.-Slovak relationship.
Congratulations to the 2015 Slovak Scholars!
Tomas Sakal is from Bratislava, and attends Masaryk University in Brno, Czech republic. He participated in TFAS’s Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems and interned with the Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.
Lucia Cerchlanova is from the small town of Skalice (near Cadca), and attends Northeastern State University in Oklahoma. She also participated in the Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems. Her internship was with The Business-Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC).
Monika Soltesova is from Michalovce and is attending the University of Economics in Bratislava. She attended TFAs’s Institute on Economics and International Affairs and interned with the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA).
Juraj Hostak is from Bratislava and is attending a master’s program at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. He attended the Institute on Economics and International Affairs and interned with the Office of U.S. Congressman John Mica. He also arranged for the scholars to meet with Rep. Mica at the U.S. Capitol.
Lukas Prvy resides in Zurich but was born in Slovakia. He recently earned a Master’s Degree at the University of Amsterdam. Lukas participated in the Institute on Business and Government Affairs and interned with the Embassy of the Slovak Republic.
FOS extends its sincere thanks to the scholarship donors: Amb. Sedgwick; FOS Board member Richard Marko; the Slovak-American Foundation, which sponsored two scholars; and the many individual FOS supporters who contributed to the scholarship fund. Special thanks also to FOS Board member Scott Thayer, and his wife Nena, who held a reception at their lovely home in Bethesda, MD on June 21 to welcome the scholars to Washington.