Czech Republic and Slovakia
Student Conference 2001: http://ieconf2000.euweb.cz
"I am proud to have been a part of the process of shaking up standard teaching methodologies, providing the impetus for alternative academic options, and delving into the complexities of cross-cultural exchange in the classroom environment. I wouldn't trade it for anything - in fact, I have learned far more from my students and colleagues that they ever could have hoped to learn from me."
Thomas Murphy, VFF Alumnus,
This current academic year marks the tenth anniversary of Civic Education Project's oldest and originating program. In 1991, the program began with fifteen American Visiting Lecturers (now called Visiting Faculty Fellows - VFFs) teaching at eight universities in what was then Czechoslovakia. In the ten years that have passed, CEP Fellows continue to be well-received by all the host institutions, student numbers continue to climb and Fellows continue to pursue innovative outreach projects.
For academic year 2000-01 CEP supported twelve Fellows - one VFF and five Local Faculty Fellows (LFFs - formerly Eastern Scholars) respectively in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, at a total of six universities. At the same time, the program began to shift its focus from the VFF Program in the Czech Republic to a reliance on Local Fellows to carry the program and its accomplishments into the next decade and beyond.
"The [Local Faculty Fellow] program is much more than a support group for young academics. It is a regional information network dedicated to informing young scholars and their students of various educational and support programs, as well as in extending our existing knowledge about study abroad."
Jiri Sedivy, Eastern Scholar Alumnus
In addition to teaching, CEP Fellows undertake support projects on behalf of the universities and consult with administrators and faculty members regarding university affairs. Some have assisted with writing grants for funding or opening up international contacts for exchanges and collaborations. All have assisted with translation of business correspondence, and preparing students for the CEP International Student Conference. Fellows also uniformly assist students with scholarship applications and opportunities for studying abroad.
In 1995, CEP inaugurated a Teacher Training Program in the Czech Republic. The Jan Hus Educational Foundation later took over administration of the program with funding from the Higher Education Support Program (HESP) and renamed it "Novicius." It is now a cooperative effort of CEP and Jan Hus, with combined financial, administrative and human resources. Each year at CEP partner universities, CEP Fellows assist junior faculty and advanced graduate students in their pursuit of academic careers. The students work intensively for two semesters under the guidance of a mentor. For the third semester they attend western universities. Every fall, certificates are awarded to those who complete the training, including participation in the workshops.
"My Novicius training proved to be a complex and multifaceted experience, vital for my teaching since it has provided me with a multitude of invaluable suggestions. It has been a "concert" of various methodological approaches and student-centered activities serving as a fruitful inspiration for me... The worthwhile example, set by a CEP lecturer, of encouraging students' critical thinking, argument build-up, and analysis of the facts is being continued. The seeds Novicius sowed in Presov are beginning to sprout. I have learned not only how to satisfy students' curiosity about the field but also how to spur it."
Ivana Takacova, Former Novicius
Participant, and 1999-00 Fulbright Scholar
The biggest impact of Novicius has been at the Department of British and American studies at the University of Presov, where two former Novicius participants have been teaching. One of these young lecturers, Patricia Langova, is currently a CEP Fellow; the second one, Ivana Takacova, was awarded "the best applicant" by the Fulbright Commission for the 1999-2000 year. And within CEP, the example of the Novicius Program was taken on and developed in Romania (the Teaching Development Program) and in the Ukraine (Teaching Assistants).
"Formerly as a student, and now as a lecturer, I have had a great opportunity to interact with CEP lecturers to gain the teaching, research, and language skills and experience that otherwise I would not have been able to get."
Dan Marek, Eastern Scholar Alumnus
Regional CEP projects
Prague, 1-3 December 2000
CEP International Student Conference,
CEP Teaching Methodology Workshop in
National CEP projects
CEP Ph.D. Studentship
Support Program (PhDSSP)
John Maynor (Comenius University) offered a course in the Fall semester at the Political Science Department and actively participated in all CEP events, writing calls for papers for the Regional Student Conference, press releases, sitting on different selection committees and sharing his experience with Slovak and Czech colleagues. He donated a collection of his books to the university libraries, and prepared various guest lectures for more institutions.
Patricia Langova (Presov University: American Studies, International Relations) is the first former Novicius participant to become a Local Faculty Fellow and take over the majority of American studies courses. She chaired a panel at the Regional Student Conference and supervised eight students in writing their theses. In addition, Patricia completed her thesis and will be awarded a Slovak Ph.D. She also won the project for a new curriculum of a new course in European Integration at the Jan Hus Educational Foundation.
Andrej Findor (Comenius University) chaired a panel at the Regional Student Conference and actively participated at all national events. He was awarded a three-year postgraduate fellowship by the Volkswagen Foundation. Andrej will spend the academic year 2001-2002 at the University of Bielefeld in Germany as a researcher and teaching assistant.
Marek Rybar is the mentor for PhDSSP participant Nela Holeckova at Comenius University, Political Science Department. Marek chaired the selection committee for the CEP International Student Conference and was actively involved in the preparation for the Regional Student Conference in Prague. He has been working with the center for European Studies at Comenius University, with the Academia Istropolitana Nova's European Studies and the Society for Higher Learning. He has been working on a textbook on comparative politics, and on an international project on political party organizations in Eastern Europe, and has prepared two new courses at the department since September 2001.
Juraj Sedivy was co-author of the HESP Slovakia grant proposal for the Regional Conference in Prague. He also assisted with the interviews of the PhDSSP applicants. Along with his work in the Auxiliary Historical Science Department at Comenius University, Juraj has been active in many international projects. He finished his dissertation thesis in June and plans to prepare a text-book for his teaching subjects.
At Catholic University of Ruzomberok, Marian Kuna works as the university contractor for the program of academic mobility, SOCRATES-ERASMUS. He organized a lecture by CEP Fellow Jaroslav Miller (Palacky University) concerning the reign of Scottish monarch James I. He has been developing new teaching materials and is in preparation of the new degree course in philosophy, and is responsible for the entrance examination into this program (for the current academic year). In addition, he has been accepted to the Ph.D. program at the Central European University.
Martin Elbel belongs to the young reform minded department that has brought changes, new ideas and courses to Palacky University. He participated in the Central European Studies Program for students from Nebraska University and the Associated Colleges of Midwest, and has received the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for research at the Warburg Institute in London. He prepared his presentation for the conference on religious life in early modern Central and Eastern Europe (held in early September in Cluj, Romania). His next Fellowship will bring him to Edinburgh in the fall semester.
Gaudenz Assenza (Palacky University) has continued as academic coordinator of a new MA program on Public Administration, developed jointly with Valdosta State University, USA. This was the second year he went to Valdosta University to lecture for six weeks as part of the project. He has initiated an Internet e-learning platform at Palacky University as a demonstration project for future rollout in the entire Central/Eastern Europe region.
Jiri Lach published a monograph based on Joseph usta and the History of Mankind (Olomouc, 2001). He was also involved in a number of departmental and cross-national projects. Together with the chair of his department, Jiri went to the partner Valdosta State University in Georgia, USA for six weeks to teach and continue the development of the PA program. Jiri gave guest lectures in Bratislava, taught a course at the Department of History, and coordinated the European Credit Transfer System at his department.
Together with 20 other historians from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Hungary and the United Kingdom, Jaroslav Miller (Palacky University) participated in a comparative urban history research project. A member of the European Science Foundation, he won a scholarship for a research visit to Toronto University last winter. He also arranged a radio interview for himself and CEP Country Director, Zora Vidovencova, on CEP, at the Radio One Olomouc; published a provoking article on higher education in a wide spread daily newspaper; worked on the PhDSSP proposal, and introduced clinical methods of teaching in Legal History.
Radmila Slabakova worked with students on a database of sources on modern history and historiography, and managed the creation of a digitized catalogue for the departmental library. She also maintained web pages of the department. She cooperates with the History Department at the Sorbonne and plans to organize a Franco-Czech-Austrian symposium on Nobility in the Nineteenth Century in the history department at Palacky University in October 2001. She also prepared a special research seminar, which brought her to France.
At the Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education of Charles University (CERGE), Radim Bohacek is actively involved in all CEP projects and selection committees. He chaired a panel at the Regional Student Conference, and participated at conferences and workshops in foreign countries.
Universities Hosting CEP Fellows in the