Pitt’s Martin Votruba Receives Milan Hodža Award of Honor

PITTSBURGH—One of two annual Milan Hodža Awards of Honor was presented to Martin Votruba, head of the Slovak Studies Program in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures within the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. The Milan Hodža Awards are named after the last prime minister of Czechoslovakia before Nazi German influence and recognize the sciences and work that links Slovakia and the rest of the world.

The award was given “for the advancement of knowledge of Slovak history and culture in the Slavic department at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh and for his support to the preservation of Slovak culture in the awareness of Slovak-Americans and public at large,” according to the award citation. Robert Fico, prime minister of Slovakia, and Miroslav Pekník, chair of the award committee and director of the Institute of Political Science within the Slovak Academy of Sciences, signed the citation. Votruba received the award earlier this summer.

Pitt is the only university in the United States where students can enroll in Slovak language and culture classes and receive a minor in Slovak studies. An endowment created by the Slovak-American community underwrites the Slovak Studies Program.

Votruba received a PhDr and PhD from Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia, and a diploma in English studies from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He has written about Slovak filmmaking and linguistic minorities in Slovakia. Votruba delivers talks on Slovak topics in Pittsburgh and other locations and has been invited by the U.S. Department of State to give presentations annually for over two decades.

September 11, 2015