Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Winners of PAHA's 2015 Awards Announced in Atlanta, GA

PAHA President Grazyna Kozaczka announces the award winners.

On January 9, 2016, Dr. Grazyna Kozaczka, President of the Polish American Historical Association announced the following winners of the 2015 PAHA Awards and Prizes.


Mieczyslaw Haiman Award is offered annually to a scholar for sustained contribution to the study of Polish Americans.

Prof. Dorota Praszalowicz’s contributions to the field of Polonia studies are broad and have had considerable influence not only in the U.S. but also in Europe. The biannual migration conferences she organizes gather eminent scholars from the United States and Europe. Also, her editorship of the journal, Studia Migracyjne – Przegląd Polonijny, provides a significant contributions to the development and dissemination of new knowledge about Polonia and provides a valuable forum for comparative studies. She is an independent researcher at the Instytute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora of the Jagiellonian University and an author of numerous articles, conference presentations and two monographs: Polacy w Berlinie: strumienie migracyjne i społeczności imigracyjne and Mechanizmy zamorskich migracji łańcuchowych w XIX wieku: Polacy, Niemcy, Żydzi, Rusini. Zarys problemu, coauthored with Krzysztof Makowski, Andrzej Zięba. Her work has focused not only on Poles in the USA but also in Europe.

Prof. Grazyna Kozaczka addresses the attendees.


Oskar Halecki Prize recognizes an important book or monograph on the Polish experience in the United States. Eligibility is limited to works of historical and/or cultural interest, including those in the social sciences or humanities, published in the two years prior to the year of the award.

Anna Jaroszyńska-Kirchmann and Theodore Zawistowski, Letters from Readers in the Polish American Press, 1902-1969: A Corner for Everybody.

A Corner for Everybody is a unique collection of close to five hundred letters from Polish American readers, which were published in the Polish-language weekly Ameryka-Echo between 1902 and 1969. In these letters, Polish immigrants speak in their own words about their American experience, and vigorously debate religion, organization of their community, ethnic identity, American politics and society, and ties to the homeland. The translated letters are annotated and divided into thematic chapters with informative introductions. The Ameryka-Echo letters are a rich source of information on the history of Polish Americans, which can serve as primary sources for students and scholars. They also provide a new, fascinating, and lively look into the passions and experiences of individuals who created the larger American historical experience.

L to R: Dr. Pien Versteegh, Dr. Silvia Dapia, Dr. Theodore Zawistowski, 
Dr. Anna Jaroszynska-Kirchmann, and PAHA President Dr. Grazyna Kozaczka


Amicus Poloniae Award recognizes significant contributions enhancing knowledge of Polish and Polish-American heritage by individuals not belonging to the Polish-American community.

Dr. Silvia Dapia has provided significant service to Polonia and PAHA through her work on the Polish experience in Latin America. She guest edited a special edition of Polish American Studies on this topic and also guest edited a special issue of Polish Review on the work of WitoldGombrowicz. Beyond this she has presented papers on Polish-related topicsat PAHA and PIASA conferences as well as at the conference organized by Dr. Anna Mazurkiewicz at the University of Gdansk. Further, she organized two complete sessions on Gomrbowicz for the Fifth World Congress on Polish Studies in Warsaw in 2014. (Papers from this conference formed the basis for her guest-edited issue of The Polish Review.) In her position on the organizing committee for a 2014 conference on Gombrowicz held at the National Library in Buenos Aires she was able to obtain invitations for three prominent Polish scholars to participate, and she solicited papers for the completion of the Polish Review issue on Gombrowicz.

Drs. James Pula, Silvia Dapia and Anna Jaroszynska-Kirchmann


Distinguished Service Award is given occasionally to a member of PAHA who has rendered valuable and sustained service to the organization.

Dr. Pien Versteegh’s role as executive director of PAHA since 2007 years has been vital to the smooth and successful operation of the organization and its annual meetings. As Dean of the Avans School of International Studies at the Avans University of Applied Sciences in Breda, Netherlands she directs two bachelor programs: International Business and Management Studies (IBMS) and International Financial Management (IFM). Her own scholarly interests focus on Migration/ and Ethnicity and her contributions as a scholar and as a PAHA officer are a model of service and scholarship to the academic community.


The Swastek Prize is awarded annually for the best article published in a given volume of Polish American Studies, the journal of the Polish American Historical Association. This award, established in 1981, is named in honor of Rev. Joseph V. Swastek (1913-1977), the editor of Polish American Studies for many years, and a past president of the Polish American Historical Association.

The Editorial Board of Polish American Studies recommends that the Swastek Prize for the best article in Polish American Studies for the year 2014 is awarded to Lori A. Matten for “Scouting for Identity: Recruiting Daughters to Save the Traditional Polish Family During the Interwar Years” (PAS 71/1, Spring 2014). The author presents sound exploration of the history and formation of Polish American organizations conceptualized by questions of gender and ethnicity. She skillfully examines understudied processes of identity transformations and assimilation of the second generation in the interwar period, as observed through the lens of gender distinctions present in the Polish scouting organizations in the United States. The article is well contextualized and makes good use of both primary and secondary sources. It can be used in any classroom to foster discussion on U.S. history, Polonia history, and gender relations in ethnic communities.

The Awards Banquet was held in the historic Mary Mac's Tea Room, with the attendees enjoying traditional southern cuisine, including fried green tomatoes, fried okra, shrimp with grits, and peach cobbler for dessert.

In 2016, PAHA has not awarded its Graduate Student Research Prize, Skalny Civic Achievements Awards, nor its Creative Arts Prize.

Dr. Anna Mazurkiewicz, First VP and Meeting Organizer with the Awards.

PAHA Members and Guests at the Mary Mac's Tea Room.

L to R: Michal Mydlowski, John P. Dunn and Halecki Prize winner Theodore Zawistowski

Mary Patrice Erdmans at Mary Mac's Tea Room.

The organizer of the Annual Meeting, Anna Mazurkiewicz celebrates with PAHA Treasurer Prof. James Pula. 

Distinguished Service Award winner Pien Versteegh celebrates with Maja Trochimczyk, last year's winner.

PAHA Officers and Council in Atlanta, GA 

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