Saturday, January 14, 2017

PAHA's 2016 Awards and Awardees in Denver, Colorado

At the conclusion of its 74th Annual Meeting in Denver, CO, held on January 5-7, 2017, the Polish American Historical Association announced the winners of its 2016 Awards and Prizes.  Prof. Grazyna Kozaczka of Cazenovia College, NY, PAHA President in 2014-1016 presented the following awardees.

Mieczysław B. Biskupski

PAHA President Grazyna Kozaczka presents the awards. 

The 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 award. The 2016 Halecki Prize was awarded to Prof. Mieczysław B. B. Biskupski, for his book The Most Dangerous German Agent in America (NIU Press, 2015). The Stanislaus A. Blejwas Endowed Chair in Polish and Polish American Studies at the Central Connecticut State University, Prof. Biskupski is the author of nine books, and numerous journal articles.  A past president and a long-time Council member of PAHA, Prof. Biskupski currently serves as the President of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America. He previously received the Mieczyslaw Haiman Award, and the 2010 Halecki Prize for , Hollywood's War With Poland, 1939-1945 (Knoxville: University of Kentucky Press, 2010).

Dr. Alvin M. Fountain II & Brenda Bruce

Dr. Maja Trochimczyk, Dr. Alvin M. Fountain II, Brenda Bruce and Prof. Grazyna Kozaczka

The Amicus Poloniae Award recognizes significant contributions enhancing knowledge of Polish and Polish-American heritage by individuals not belonging to the Polish-American community. It was presented to Dr. Alvin M. Fountain II and Brenda Bruce who co-founded the Paderewski Festival in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2014 ( Dr. Fountain, the President of the Festival, is a former administrator with the State of North Carolina and for more than 25 years he taught history at North Carolina State University. In 2008, Dr. Fountain was appointed as an Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland. The Vice-President and Secretary of the Festival, Brenda Bruceis an accomplished pianist, harpsichordist, acclaimed teacher, and accompanist dedicated to the promotion of classical piano performance of the highest quality.

Dr. Stephen Leahy

Dr. Stephen Leahy of Shantou University, China, received the Distinguished Service Award, given occasionally to a member of PAHA who has rendered valuable and sustained service to the organization. Dr. Leahy’s crucial role as the co-founder and moderator of PAHA’s Facebook group is just one of his many achievements as a long-time PAHA Board member, dedicated to the promotion of the association and its research interests world-wide.

Prof. Paweł Ziętara

The Swastek Prize is awarded annually for the best article published in a given volume of PAHA’s peer-reviewed journal, the Polish American Studies. 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 PAHA. The Editorial Board of the Polish American Studies recommended that the Swastek Prize be presented to Prof. Paweł Ziętara of Warsaw, Poland for “Troubles with ‘Mela’: A Polish American Reporter, the Secret Services of People’s Poland, and the FBI” (PAS 72, No 1, Spring 2015). Prof. Ziętara’s article assembles massive, painstaking research and presents a portrait of communist activity in the USA in the postwar period that is not well known. It brings to light a subject both significant and fascinating, and is based almost entirely on original archival sources.


Dr. Maja Trochimczyk

The Creative Arts Prize was bestowed on Dr. Maja Trochimczyk, for her achievements as a poet, especially her two books dedicated to Polish victims of WWII, Slicing the Bread (Finishing Line Press, 2014), and The Rainy Bread, (Moonrise Press, 2016). Her books of poetry include Rose Always, 2008; Miriam’s Iris, 2008; Into Light, 2016; and two anthologies,Chopin with Cherries, 2010, and Meditations on Divine Names, 2012. Dr. Trochimczyk served as Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, Los Angeles in 2010-2012, and received many honors for her work, including a Polish government’s medal for the promotion of culture, fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies, and PAHA’s Distinguished Service Award and the Swastek Prize.


The Skalny Civic Achievement Awards honor individuals or groups who advance PAHA's goals of promoting research and awareness of the Polish-American experience and/or have made significant contributions to Polish or Polish-American community and culture.  Established in 1989, the Awards are named after the Skalny family (Aniela, Anna, Ben, John and Joseph) that donated the funds to support this project. The 2016 Skalny Awards recognized the following individuals:

Marta Alicja Swica

President Grazyna Kozaczka with Marta Alicja Swica

Marta Alicja Swica of Minneapolis, MN, a former Business Manager, Scholarship Program Chair, and member of the Executive Board of the Polanie Club Minneapolis and St. Paul, an important cultural association of Polish women, active since the 1927 and distinguished through their vast publishing activities. After the dissolution of the Club, Ms. Swica led the effort to secure its historical records and successfully negotiated their placement at the Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota, and the Polish Museum of America in Chicago.

Honorary Consul Tomasz Skotnicki

President Kozaczka with Tomasz Skotnicki 

Tomasz Skotnicki Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland in Denver, CO, since 2005, is strongly linked to local Polonia communities, first in Santa Barbara where he organized Polish community events to celebrate national holidays. In Colorado, he co-organizes visits of representatives of Polish government including President Lech Walesa, organizes consular events, cooperates with the Polish Club and the Kosciuszko Foundation. Mr. Skotnicki actively promotes Polish culture and history and helps Poles who are in need.

Katarzyna Zak

Katarzyna Zak shares her award with Vice President of the Polish Club, Iwona Salamon

Katarzyna Zak, President of the Polish Club in Denver, who has made numerous contributions to the promotion of Polish culture and activities of local Polish society, including numerous events, support for the Polish library, and more. She is a member of the Polonia Council convened by the Consul General of Poland in Los Angeles. At the ceremony she shared her award with the Vice President of the Polish Club in Denver, Ms. Iwona Salamon.

Elizabeth Kanski and Vladek Juszkiewicz 

President of the Polish American Film Society, Elizabeth Kanski and Artistic Director of the Polish Film Festival in Los Angeles, Vladek Juszkiewicz,  recognized by the 2016 Skalny Award for their work as organizers of the Film Festival, held in Los Angeles for the past 16 years and promoting Polish cinema and international film collaborations ( through hundreds of screenings, lectures, and panel presentations in Los Angeles and Orange County, in collaboration with CSUN, USC, UCLA and other partners.

Awardees with President Grazyna Kozaczka

Joanna Kulpinska, Jagiellonian University

The Graduate Student Research Paper Award was presented to Joanna Kulpińska from the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland for her paper “Multigenerational Migration Chains of Families from Babica: An Attempt at Typology.”  Established in 2008, the Graduate Student Research Paper Award recognizes outstanding research into Polish-American history and culture by a young scholar in the humanities or social sciences and consists of a travel grant and presentation at the Annual Meeting.

Aleksandra Kurowska-Susdorf, University of Gdansk

Aleksandra Kurowska-Susdorf with President Kozaczka

The newly instituted Graduate Student/ Young Scholar Travel Grant (established at the 2016 Board Meeting in Atlanta, GA) was offered to Aleksandra Kurowska-Susdorf from the University of Gdańsk, Poland, for her paper “Creating Identity: Discussion around Kashubian and Polish Identity in Canada and Poland.”

The Awards Reception was held on Saturday, January 7, 2017,  at the Polish Club of Denver. Jazz vocalist and violist KaroliNa Naziemiec and pianist Robert Lewandowski performed  a concert of Polish Christmas Carols.

Karolina Naziemiec, Kasia Zak, and Robert Lewandowski

No comments:

Post a Comment