December 21, 2017. ASEF and the U.S Embassy celebrated the 2017 ASEF Fellows together at what has become an annual reception. This bond is stronger every year as ASEF is growing with more Fellows, Alumnis and greater visibility in Slovenia. The Ambassador Brent R. Hartley and the Deputy Chief of Mission Gautam Rana expressed their enthusiasm to host the ASEF New Year reception next year.
The 2017 reception was honoured by the presence of Minister for Slovenes Abroad Gorazd Žmavc, who gave warm encouragement to the young ASEF generation and expressed the wish of his Ministry to be a stronger partner to ASEF. 2017 sent 14 ASEF Fellows to leading U.S. Universities. Starting with three fellows in 2014 ASEF is planning to appoint 20 fellows in 2018. In addition ASEF is beginning a new exchange program for Americans wishing to study in Slovenia.
Fellow Angelika Vižintin who spent 10 weeks at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center with Prof. Mihaela Pavličev doing research on gene expression in placenta stressed the importance of seeing the differences between the U.S. and Slovenia. During her stay in U.S. she experienced the friendliness of Americans and a more diverse and multi-cultural environment at universities - this is something she wishes to see also in Slovenia in the future. However, Angelika also noticed that the U.S. could look up to Slovenia when it comes to social security, gender equality and environmental protection. Slovenian relations with the U. S. are a very important element to help develop a positive attitude in the Slovenian environment and mentality. ASEF Fellows are significant links in the chain of connection towards better cooperation with the U.S. as well as the increasingly successful story of Slovenian-Americans.