The American Slovenian Education Foundation (ASEF) will hold its annual ASEF Gala Conference on the 16th of March at the Paul Brest Hall, Stanford, California.

This scientific symposium venue unites professors, researchers, educators, and students of Slovenian and other origins. It celebrates their academic, research and entrepreneurial achievements and supports a broadly diverse community of highly talented students.

Venue: Paul Brest Hall, 555 Salvatierra Walk, Stanford, CA 94305 (Click for a map)

Evening Program

6:00 PM Reception

7:00 PM Presentation of the lifetime achievement award.

7:30 PM Keynote presentation by Jure Leskovec and Peter Rozic

8:00 PM Dinner and and musical performance by Kerze Fellows from University of Southern California
- Klara Krklec, cellist
- Iris Becaj, soprano
- Irena Preda, soprano

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Venue: Paul Brest Hall, 555 Salvatierra Walk, Stanford, CA 94305

Parking is free throughout the University. You can park at Parking Structure Six. The entrance to Parking Structure Six, the Wilbur Lot, is underground and immediately on your right.
Organizing committee
- Andrej Kosmrlj, Princeton University
- Jure Leskovec, Stanford University
- Nina Troha, ASEF
- Marinka Zitnik, Stanford University
- Peter Rozic, JESC
- Rok Sosic, Stanford University

Keynote Speakers

Jure Leskovec

Jure Leskovec

Stanford University, USA
Jure Leskovec is Associate Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, Chief Scientist at Pinterest, and investigator at Chan Zuckerberg Biohub. His research focuses on machine learning and data mining large social and information networks, their evolution, and the diffusion of information and influence over them. This research has won several awards including a Lagrange Prize, Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship, the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and numerous best paper awards. Leskovec received his bachelor's degree in computer science from University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and his PhD in in machine learning from the Carnegie Mellon University and postdoctoral training at Cornell University.
Andrej Kosmrlj

Andrej Košmrlj

Princeton University, USA
Andrej Košmrlj graduated from the University of Ljubljana in 2006. He obtained his PhD in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2011. Before joining Princeton University in 2015, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. He is now an Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University. His research interests are at the interface of soft matter, mechanics and biophysics. He has received the NSF Career Award and the Excellence in Teaching Award from the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton University.

Peter Rožič SJ

JESC's director
Peter Rožič SJ has been JESC's director since September 2017. He also acts as Social Apostolate Delegate for the Conference of European Provincials. A Slovenian national, Fr. Rožič holds a PhD in Political Science from Georgetown University. Before arriving in Brussels, he was an assistant professor at the University of Ljubljana and rector of the Residential College in Maribor.

Music Performance By

Irena Preda

Soprano Irena Preda graduated with distinction from Trinity College of Music in London. Only two days after graduating, she made her operatic debut in the lead role of George Bizet’s Carmen.

Ms. Preda has thus far given recitals in Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Czech Republic, China, Croatia, England, Germany, France, India, Israel, Italy, FYR Macedonia, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden and the United States, performing with renowned orchestras and soloists such as Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, Slovenian National Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Croatian National Theatre Orchestra and the Prague Philharmonic Choir.

Ms. Preda has performed before Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. and recently gave a recital at The Kennedy Center as part of her first USA and Canada tour. At the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Slovenian independence Ms. Preda performed at the Houses of Parliament and the Westminster Cathedral in London.

Doris Ćosić

Doris Ćosić (1999) started her music path at the age of six in Velenje, Slovenia. She started learning guitar under Professor Kruno Zlatar, and continued her music education under the teachings of Professor Monika Krajnc Štih.She’s been competing on a national and international level since 2009; her latest achievement is winning 1stprize at Zagreb Guitar Festival in 2017.

She is currently a freshman at USC Thornton School of Music, where she’s studying guitar in the studio of Professor Brian Head, and she’s weekly working with Professor William Kanengiser as well. She has played at a lot of masterclasses throughout the years and learnt from the very best, such as Pepe Romero, Paolo Pegoraro, Mak Grgić, Gabriel Bianco, Margarita Escarpa, Paul O’Dette and many others.

She is actively participating in USC’s guitar orchestra and USC’s a capella group Sirens. This semester she also started learning jazz guitar under the teachings of Professor Steve Trovato, because she wishes to experience other genres of music besides classical. Doris is also interested in composition and has begun scoring short films for USC School of Cinematic Arts’ students.

Iris Bečaj

Iris Bečaj is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Arts at the USC Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles where she regularly ranks on the Dean's list. She is upgrading her singing knowledge in the studio of prof. Thomas Michael Allen. Before she came in LA she graduated from Conservatory of Music and Ballet Ljubljana and got her first Bachelor's Degree in International Relations from Faculty of Social Science. In the past she participated in several opera performances as a soloist, where she appeared as Susana from La Verbena de la Paloma, Mabel from The Pirates of Penzance, Bridesmaid from Trial by Jury, and as part of a choir in the opera Alcina(USC) and Otello(Slovenian National Theatre of Ljubljana). Besides recent performances in USC she has given several concerts in Slovenia where she also performed in Slovenian Philharmonic Hall, Slovenian National Theatre of Maribor, National Assembly and in the Presidential Palace. Over the summer Iris has been fulfilling her singing knowledge with the following professors: Edita Garčević Koželj, Vlatka Oršanić, Thomas Heyer and Snežana Nena Brzaković.

Klara Krklec

Klara Krklec graduated from Academy of Music in Ljubljana under the tutelage of prof. Miloš Mlejnik. She is currently pursuing a Graduate Certificate at the University of Southern California in the studio class of prof. Andrew Shulman. Klara has shared stage with well known musicians, such as Miloš Mlejnik, Martin Chalifour, Lorenzo Cossi, Orfeo Mandozzi and many more.She was invited to perform on a European tour at the age of 14, where she played in famous halls, including Theater La Fenice in Venice and Mozarteum in Salzburg. Her performances have been aired on radio and television, both in Slovenia and Austria. Even though she loves to perform on big stages, she also invests a lot of her time playing for charities, children in need and elderly persons. Klara received first prizes in national and international competitions (Antonio Salieri, Temsig, Alfredo E Vanda Marcosig,..) and has been expanding her horizons at summer festivals with great mentors: Ralph Kirshbaum, Leopold Rudolf, Young-Chang Cho, Susanne Basler,..

Klemen Krklec

Klemen Krklec played on his first violin at the age of four. Soon after meeting prof. Zmago Barin-Turica he gave his first public performance and began competing at the national and international competitions. The next step led Klemen to Austria, specifically to Celovec/Klagenfurt where he graduated from Carinthian State Conservatory with high distinctions. Klemen is currently M.Mus candidate at the USC Thornton School of music in the studio of prof. Martin Chalifour.