SAVAS 2021

The U.S. Embassy Slovenia and the American Slovenian Education Foundation (ASEF) jointly invite you to The Slovenian American Virtual Academic Symposium (SAVAS), which will take place online on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, at 5-8 PM CET / 11 AM-2 PM EDT / 8-11 AM PDT.


The SAVAS 2020 brought together 200 professors, administrators, and other academics from both nations interested in enhancing formal, informal, research, or exchange-focused relationships. The symposium’s goal was mainly to show examples of highly successful collaborations between the U.S. and Slovenia and introduce available support mechanisms.

SAVAS 2021 will further strengthen cooperation between Slovenia and the U.S. and present existing collaborations in various fields. The emphasis will be especially on interaction and networking among participants.

At the symposium, you will hear from the two outstanding keynote speakers; Erica Johnson Debeljak, American-Slovenian writer and translator, and Janina Golob Deeb, D.M.D, M.S., Associate Professor of Periodontics at the School of Dentistry, Virginia Commonwealth University in the U.S.

The symposium will feature extended time for networking opportunities among participants, who are interested in research collaborations, exchange programs for students and professors, summer schools, and other modes of collaboration.

After the symposium, competitive travel grants will be offered to stimulate new collaborations.

SAVAS 2021 is now available for viewing!
SAVAS 2021


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

5 PM (CET) / 11 AM (EDT) / 8 AM (PDT) Opening remarks

5.15 PM (CET) / 11.15 AM (EDT) / 8.15 AM (PDT) Keynote speaker: Erica Johnson Debeljak

5.45 PM (CET) / 11.45 AM (EDT) / 8.45 AM (PDT) Brief presentation of existing support mechanisms

5.55 PM (CET) / 11.55 AM (EDT) / 8.55 AM (PDT) Brief presentation of the Association of Slovenes Educated Abroad (Društvo VTIS)

6.05 PM (CET) / 12.05 PM (EDT) / 9.05 AM (PDT) Keynote speaker: Janina Golob Deeb, D.M.D., M.S.

6.35 PM (CET) / 12.35 PM (EDT) / 9.35 AM (PDT) Networking with researchers, educators, and administrators in your field

7.55 PM (CET) / 1.55 PM (EDT) / 10.55 AM (PDT) Concluding remarks

Keynote Speakers


American-Slovenian writer and translator

Erica Johnson Debeljak is an American-Slovenian writer and translator living in Ljubljana, Slovenia. She is a PhD student at the ZRC Post-Graduate School in the literary studies module. She earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of New Orleans and a BA in French Literature from Columbia University. Her published work includes autobiographical books (Forbidden Bread, North Atlantic Books, 2009) as well as essays, short stories, and novels. She has also been a frequent contributor to the Slovenian media. Her memoir Virgin Wife Widow Whore was published in Slovenian translation in February 2021 and has been the top selling book in Slovenia for the past three months.


Associate Professor of Periodontics, School of Dentistry, Virginia Commonwealth University

Janina Golob Deeb, D.M.D., M.S. received Doctorate in Dental Medicine from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia in 1996. Following graduation, she completed a year of internship at University of Ljubljana. She continued her education at Oregon Health Sciences University where she received a certificate in Periodontology in 2000 and a Masters degree in Oral and Molecular Biology in 2001. Dr. Golob Deeb is a board certified periodontist and holds active dental licenses in Virginia, Arizona and Slovenia. Dr. Golob Deeb joined Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry in 2013 following 13 years of clinical practice. She is a director of Predoctoral Periodontics at VCU, works as a faculty in several clinics, directs three courses and continues to practice part-time in the Faculty intramural practice. Her research interests are in implantology, lasers in dentistry, clinical studies and dental education.


We welcome all participants interested in enhancing formal, informal, research, or exchange-focused academic relationships between Slovenia and the U.S. across all levels and substantive areas.

Though the symposium is free and open to the academic public, we request that you register in advance via the link below.

Register Now


Andrej Košmrlj, Ph.D., Program Committee Chair, Member of ASEF Board of Directors, and Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, U.S. (

Marina Klemenčič, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (

Tamara Pavasović Trošt, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of International Economics and Business, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (

Teja Pristavec, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor of Statistical Sciences in the Social and Decision Analytics Division, Biocomplexity Institute, University of Virginia, U.S. (


Andrej Košmrlj, Program Committee Chair, Member of ASEF Board of Directors, and Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, U.S. (

Brian J. Street, Deputy Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy, Slovenia (

Barbara Zagorc, ASEF, Slovenia (

Klemen Mesarec, ASEF, Slovenia (

Ms. Ivanka Ponikvar, Exchanges Specialist, U.S. Embassy, Slovenia (