Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic
Carol Hochman serves as Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic in Western Pennsylvania and Ohio and volunteers as president of Friends of Via, a nonprofit organization located in Pittsburgh, which is the fiscal agent for Nadace Via based in Prague. She has taught in public schools and as an adjunct professor at Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh. She has a Master’s Degree and Doctorate in Education from the University of Pittsburgh and is certified as a Reading Supervisor for grades K-12. Carol has made over a dozen trips to the Czech Republic, attended several “letni skola” programs, in pursuit of her dream to regain her skill in speaking the Czech language as she did as a young child growing up in Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh Czech Language Meetup Group
Pavel Tyrpak is the Organizer of the Pittsburgh Czech Language Meetup Group founded in March 2014 in Pittsburgh, PA, USA and serves as a board member of Friends of Via, a nonprofit organization located in Pittsburgh, which is the fiscal agent for Nadace Via based in Prague. He is a professional in energy sector business. He has a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Czech Technical University (CVUT) in Prague, Czech Republic and Master of Business Administration from Sheffield Hallam University in UK. Pavel relocated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from the Czech Republic in 2002. He is an active member of the Czech Genealogical Society International as well as the Carpatho-Rusyn Society.
The Pittsburgh Czech Language Meetup Group
Robin R Zoufalik is a native of Prague and has lived in the US since 1967 following a successful escape from Communist Czechoslovakia by his parents, Vasek and Hana Zoufalik, and subsequent immigration. Moving to Pittsburgh in 2000, he soon became involved in numerous Czech related events including Pittsburgh-Ostrava Sister City Committee and Friends of VIA. Founder of Czechs in the Burgh, the original Organizer for the Pittsburgh Czech Language Meetup Group, Board Member of Friends of VIA, active member of Pittsburgh Rotary and Rotary Youth Exchange Chair for the Pittsburgh Region, Robin is very interested in building awareness and maintaining the Czech Culture. Professionally, he is involved in business development, marketing, and strategic planning with various companies building on his education (BSME from Southern Methodist University (SMU)) and experience within diverse market segments and regions.
Czechoslovak Nationality Room Classroom Committee
Cestmir Houska serves as Chairman of the Czechoslovak Nationality Room Committee chartered by the Nationality Rooms and Intercultural Exchange Programs, University of Pittsburgh. He is one of the Organizers and has been an active member of the Pittsburgh Czech Language Meetup Group. Cestmir has a Master’s Degree in Control Systems Engineering from the Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic and completed studies of Master of Business Administration at Masaryk Institute of Advanced Studies in Prague, Czech Republic. He has been working and gained international experience as both professional and manager in energy business sector. Cestmir was born, grown up and lived in the Czech Republic until he relocated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2007. Cestmir has been interested in promoting Czech traditions, including Czech language, and intercultural understanding.
Milos Hauskrecht is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Born in Bratislava, Slovakia he got his MS degree in Electrical Engineering from the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava and PhD from MIT in Cambridge, MA. He has lived in Pittsburgh since 2001. He is proud that his teenage son Alex speaks fluently both Slovak and Czech.
Maryann was born in Slovakia and spent her formative years in the Czech Republic. At the invitation of her grandfather, she moved to the United States. She is fluent in both the Czech and Slovak languages.
After the fall of European communism, Maryann helped establish an educational relationship between the Slovak government and the University of Pittsburgh and Slippery Rock University. Currently Maryann works at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the president and a founding member of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society and a certified gymnastic instructor of Sokol USA.
Michael J. Kopanic
Professor Michael J. Kopanic, Jr. is an Adjunct Professor of History and Course
Chair of European History at the University of Maryland University College. He completed
degrees from Youngstown State, Notre Dame, the University of Pittsburgh and attended
Studia Academica Slovaca summer school at Comenius University. Dr. Kopanic writes for
Slovak-American publications such as Jednota, the National Slovak Society and the Slovak
Catholic Sokol; he also serves on the boards of the CzechoSlovak Genealogical Society
International and All Saints Catholic School. He is assisting Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr. in
editing a book on Slovak Americans. He raised his daughters to speak Slovak, and his
grandchildren have studied Slovak at the Czech and Slovak School of Pittsburgh.
Angela M. Jumba-Lipchick
Angela A. Lipchick has a degree from Carlow College and graduate work at Duquesne University in Ethnomusicology. She is the Director of The Pittsburgh Area Slovak Folk Ensemble (PAS) - a world- class-performing ensemble. PAS has performed at Deťva, Slovakia representing the United States for their International Festival. PAS also performed at the Bicentennial Celebration and at the Statue of Liberty rededication in New York. Other venues include Disneyworld in Florida, the National Slovak Festival in New Jersey, and The Slovak Embassy in Washington DC among other places. Angela has authored papers about Slovak traditions and customs and was also privileged to experience the many cultures of the world by being the Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Folk Festival from 1995-1997. Besides PAS her greatest loves are being on the staff of East Catholic School, being a wife, a mother and most especially a Baba. It is a great honor to be asked to serve on the Advisory Board of the Czech and Slovak School of Pittsburgh.