The cooperation of the faculty with the Catholic University of America deepened

  • Monika Vavrušková
  • 06.04.2023
Representatives of our faculty, together with the rector of the Silesian University in Opava, visited the USA to deepen cooperation with the Catholic University of America. The journey brought new contacts and agreements on specific cooperation in the field of science and research, reciprocal student exchanges or holding joint conferences.

Author: Mgr. Lada Dobrovolná, Translation Mgr. Jana Bortlíková

Based on the initiative of Kateřina Janků, the Vice-Dean for International Relations of the Faculty of Public Policies, in 2021, faculty's cooperation with the Catholic University of America, located in the US capital, Washington D.C., was born. In July 2021, the faculty was visited by the dean of the National Catholic School of Social Sevice, Jo Ann Regan.. At that time, she was a Fulbright scholarship holder at the Cyril and Methodius Faculty of the Palacký University in Olomouc, and among other things, she presented two lectures on the topic of the Pillars of the Social System in the USA. After that, the cooperation between the two sides began, which was confirmed by the written General Memorandum of Understanding.


Unfortunately, the established relations were slowed down by the covid pandemic, so they could only begin to develop more again this year. At the turn of March and April, representatives of SU, went to the United States, in addition to The Rector of the University, Tomáš Gongol, Vice-Dean for International Relations, Kateřina Janků and her colleagues from the faculty, Vice-Dean for Study and Social Affairs, Marta Kolaříková, and the Secretary of the faculty, Josef Vícha. The journey was implemented within the project “Development of R&D capacities of the Silesian University”.


"The purpose of this journey was to concretize the goals of the Memorandum signed in 2021. It was therefore a discussion and agreement on concrete cooperation in the field of science and research, reciprocal exchanges of students, holding joint conferences, or specific professional cooperation between academic staff," explained Vice-Dean Janků and she continued: "We also talked about the functioning of professional facilities and institutions here and in the USA, comparing experiences from the operation and activities of schools, social service facilities and non-profit organizations".


"I personally will continue to be in contact with Professor Michaela L. Zajicek-Farber, who, thanks to her Czech roots, is interested in joint comparative studies in various areas of helping professions. She currently deals with the traumas of children of imprisoned parents, and has recently received a grant supporting work with doubly traumatized children, i.e. those who, in addition to their parents in prison, also have a disability. She was excited by the possibility of excursions to women's prisons in our country, especially in Světlá nad Sázavou, where there are specialized sections for mothers with small children," added Vice-Dean Marta Kolaříková.


In addition to the faculty focused on social studies (School of Social Service), cooperation has also been strengthened within other parts of the Catholic University, namely the Center for Teaching Excellence, School of Nursing, and the School of Business, which opens doors for the exchange of experience and joint work in the field of science and research for the School of Business Administration in Karviná.


"I am glad that it was possible to not only confirm the existing cooperation, but also to extend it to other areas of education at the Silesian University. In addition to the cooperation of academic staff in the field of science and research, we also agreed on the possibility of semester studies for our students in the USA," Rector Tomáš Gongol summarized the benefits of the journey.


"The closest joint activity is a meeting in Rome in June with the students of the School of Social Service as part of the summer school. We will certainly inform about this event and try to present the Czech social system in order to inspire people to visit and study here at the Faculty of Public Policy," concluded Vice-Dean Kateřina Janků.