CLF Annual Recognition Banquet

Held in April 3, 2011 at the UNL East Campus Student Union with all proceeds going to provide for $300 scholarships for Czech language students at UNL



Jana Racova, cultural Attache, Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, D.C., accompanied by Dr. Mila Saskova-Pierce, professor of Russian and Czech at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, greeted each of the attendees in a reception line, prior to the meal.

The audience of was led in the American and Czech anthems by Stephanie Vocasek, current national Czech-Slovak Queen, and then following a wonderful buffet meal, were treated to the 3rd movement of Dvorak's Cello Concerto played by David Boese accompanied on piano by Christina Vlad.

Racova's keynote address touched upon 1) Czech-American relations (especially in cultural area); 2) Support of US compatriots and Czech language in the United States; 3) Cultural diplomacy at the Embassy of the Czech Republic - current projects: a) Democracy and Human Rights: Lessons from the Past for the Current Czech Foreign Policy; b) Mutual Inspirations: Antonin Dvorak. 

All Czech language students attending the banquet were recognized by Czech instructor, Katarina Cermakova. All Scholarship donors attending were recognized by Joe Swoboda, Vice-president of the Czech Language Foundation, and Chairman of the Scholarship Committee. 

This year's winner of the Lois and Stephen Jon Fiala Memorial and Cultural Award was Jennifer Kroft, second year student of Czech, her winning essay follows. Jon Fiala presented Ms. Kroft with a check for $500. All second and third year students are eligible for the award. 

The silent auction had many wonderful items including car wash tickets, Bohemian crystal, a garnet necklace, and many mo5re.

CLF Board Members Steve and Trudi Stastny contributed a new barbecue grill for the raffle. Tickets will continue to be sold until $1000 dollars worth of raffle tickets are sold. 

The final musical entertainment of the evening was provided by Svetlana Yashirin and William Carpenter who played a duet of Opus #8 of Dvorak's Slavonic Dances. 

This report was written by Layne Pierce, President of the Czech Language Foundation, and master of ceremonies for the event for the event.



Right: Sharon Valasek, Martin Mejstrik, Less Talk More Polka 

The Czech Language Foundation held its annual Scholarship Donor Recognition Banquet on April 9th at 7:00 p.m. in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Student Union Ballroom. All sponsors who supported Czech language students during the 2009-2010 academic year were recognized, as well as Czech students attending, who were introduced by the Czech teacher, Katarina Cermakova.

Honored Official Guests attending the event were the Honorable Frantisek Gal, Deputy-Consul of the Czech Consulate in Chicago, as well as Sharon Valasek, Honorary Czech Consul from Kansas City, and Ross Marine, Honorary Slovak Consul from Kansas City. Martin Mejstrik, former Senator of the Czech Republic and leading student activist during the Velvet Revolultion was the main speaker. Mr. Mejstrik spoke about the need for those who committed crimes during the Communist era in Czechoslovakia to be brought to justice. He pointed out that to date only 8 people have been found guilty of any crimes. The silent auction featured many unique Czech items including a real hockey team jersey from the Czech Republic, and a beautiful garnet necklace. Live entertainment was provided by the band Less Talk More Polka. There was also a performance of two Czech folk dances by Brad and LuAnne Anderson.

Brianna Tichy wins the $1,000 Fiala Memorial Scholarship

The Lois and Stephen Jon Fiala Memorial Scholarship and Award is awarded by John Fiala, in cooperation with the Czech Language Foundation, and is presented each year at the annual Czech Language Foundation Recognition Banquet. The award is given to a second or third year Czech student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Students must fill out an essay, and submit it to the judges. Miss Tichy is also the current president of the Komensky Club, and also the current National Czech-Slovak Queen.


"Czech and Slovak Americans: International Perspectives from the Great Plains," was the theme for the 36th international conference hosted and sponsored by the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The symposium April 7-9 at the Great Plains Art Museum, 1155 Q St. , and the Nebraska Union, 1400 R St. , examinSed Czech and Slovak immigrants and their descendants in the North American Great Plains region, their relationships with other Czech- and Slovak-Americans, and with Czechs and Slovaks in Europe and other parts of the world. Keynote addresses were presented by Toni Brendel, author of books on Czech and Slovak heritages; Martin Mejstrik, a pivotal student leader in the "Velvet Revolution" and former senator in the parliament of the Czech Republic; Daniel E. Miller, professor of history of the University of West Florida; the Honorable Frantisek Gal, Deputy Consul, Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Chicago; andDr. Milada Polisenska, Provost at the New Anglo-American University in Prague, Czech Republic.


Arriving from Brno in October of 2008, Katarina Cermakova joined Dr. Mila Saskova-Pierce, and Layne Pierce in teaching the Fall 101, 201 and 301 Czech language classes at UNL. Ms Cermakova, is currently working on her dissertation on Czech syntax. She is highly energetic and fun for students to work with. She came to UNL as part of a program partially funded by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Czech Language is her specialty. This Spring she is teaching 102, 202, and the online Czech 101 class. Shortly after she came to Lincoln, Nebraska, The Nebraska Chapter of Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences had a welcome get together for her to have the opportunity to meet members of the Czech community.