AMERICAN COUNCIL FOR POLISH CULTUREby Marion V. Winters
$5,000 PULASKI SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS
Five winners of the 12th Annual Brig. Gen. Casimir Pulaski Scholarships for Advanced Studies, administered by the American Council for Polish Culture (ACPC), were announced recently by Mr. Marion V. Winters, MA, Chairman. Serving with him on the Committee are Mrs. Deborah M. Majka, MS; Mrs. Carolyn Meleski, MS; Peter Obst, MA; and Mrs. Maria B. Winnicka, PhD. The Committee awarded $5,000 to each of the following Polish-American students.
Robert Cyparski is a Doctor of Pharmacy candidate at the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy, Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. He anticipates receiving his PhD this month! He has been employed by pharmacies for nearly ten years now, being elevated along the way from Drug Associate to Licensed Pharmacy Intern, and even picking up a couple of scholarships from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy. Not to be overlooked were 3 scholarships from the Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union. Over the past year, Mr. Cyparski has been gaining APPE Clinical Rotation Experience with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Martinsburg, WV, and other institutions. Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy and Stony Brook Univ. have heaped awards and honors on him over the past ten years. A lengthy list of volunteer services and extracurricular activities is capped with work at the universities annual Health Fair and chairing a Fundraising Committee. Letters from two university professors attest not only to Mr. Cyparski's excellent scholastic record (Dean's list every semester for the past 4 years, but also outstanding research activities, involvement in professional pharmacy organizations, and leadership role in many school events and an exemplary record of volunteer services to the school and community.
Renata Dajnowski, a U.S. citizen of Polish birth, boasts a 4.00 GPA in her quest for a Master of Science degree in Education: Curriculum & Instruction, which she expects to earn shortly as she has only a few classes to finish. She has already acquired a Masters Degree in Education in Poland. Since 2003, Renata has been serving as the principal and teacher at the Polish School in Portland, OR where she is responsible for overseeing 68 students, 10 teachers and the Parents Council. Additionally, she has been holding a Certified Substitute Teacher position since 2007 in the local school district. Renata also was employed as a Polish Language Teacher at the Portland Community College. Earlier, 2004-06, she served as a Kindergarten Enrichment Program Teacher at a Learning Years Day School in Hillsboro, OR. Her teaching experiences actually began in Poland at elementary schools, 1988-1994. Renata's volunteer activities include Scholarship Committee member, Polish Library Association in Portland since 2010; Coordinator at the Kids Center, and in the Cieszyn, Poland exhibition at the annual Polish Festival in Portland since 2003; and Art Literacy Program in the Beaverton School District, 2008-11. Her goal is simply stated - to preserve the Polish language and culture for the future generations to come. Her required final paper, "Preservation of Heritage Language at Community-Based Program at the Portland Polish School earned her the maximum points 30/30. Renata's work with the Polonia in Oregon has been well publicized including interviews with her by the White Eagle and the Catholic Sentinel. A Portland State U. professor writes that in her research proposal, Renata has come up with an exceptional design, having delved into research literature to find worthwhile activities and plans to support her implementation of the program. He also believes that she has an excellent understanding of the Portland Polish community.
Patricia C. Hayes has undertaken quite a scholastic challenge - a highly competitive dual degree program, Bachelor of Business Administration degree and a Master of Business Administration degree at a private university, Robert Moriss Univ. Chicago. She anticipates completing the program next year. Working with another student, Patricia prepared a marketing analysis, which their instructor graded at 100% and informed them that she plans to use it as a good example for her next class. Patricia has been working for Walgreens Pharmacy as an Assoc. Beauty Advisor & Cusstomer Service Rep. since 2008. The store manager writes that Patricia has consistently produced superior quality work and demonstrates excellent team leadership and project management skills. A university professor's letter of recommendation states that Patricia continuously earns the highest scores in the class on virtually all of the assignments and she has mastered the art of research. An officer of the Navy Klub Morskie Oko, a charitable organization, writes that Patricia has been especially helpful in looking out for the welfare of elderly members.
Benjamin H. Schultz is a candidate for a Doctor of Musical Arts, Vocal Performance, which he will be receiving this month, May 2012 from the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison. He had earned a master of Music Degree , Magna Cum Laude, at Belmont Univ. in 2010. Since 2011, Benjamin has been serving as an Adjunct Professor of Applied Voice at the Univ. of WI-Platteville. At Belmont Univ. he served as a Teaching Asst. in 2009 and 2010. He has also had administrative experience as a Marketing & Operations Manager, and also as an Asst. Director University Opera in 2010. Additionally, he held the post of Vice-President in the Graduate Student Council. Benjamin's lengthy record of operatic roles begins as Trio in "Trouble in Tahiti" in 2002 and this year finds him in "Don Giovanni" at the Wisconsin University Opera, Madison. He has performed in operatic roles over several years at St. Norbert College Musical Theater as well as many performances as guest soloist and Master Class Performances at various prominent sites. Benjamin has garnered a number of awards, including 1st place at the National Association of Teachers of Singing in the Wisconsin District, 2003, and in the Mid-South Region, 2009. The Pulaski Scholarship Committee was deeply impressed with Mr. Schultz's academic and career goals. He intends to compile a Polish Art Song Anthology for his doctoral dissertation project. He has already initiated a number of steps to accomplish that goal and potentially lead to publication. He intends to continue this project beyond his dissertation and "to make Polish art song more a ccessible to the English speaking public, namely voice teachers and students. His doctoral proposal has already turned the heads of many professors on and off the Wi Univ.- Madison campus and the President-elect of the Natl. Assoc. of Teachers of Singing asked him to submit an article to their journal and also offered a lecture series across the country on this subject.
Marta Wegorzewska, U.S. citizen born in Poland, emigrated to the U.S. at age four. In the U.S. she was raised in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, which she describes as "a community of transplanted Poles who created a culturally rich environment that shaped my Polish identity." Today, she is a Graduate Researcher at the Univ. of California -- SF, which she initiated in 2008. Here too, she is heavily engaged in Polonia activities, organizing monthly social gatherings with a group of Polish friends to practice speaking Polish. Her aim is to pass down to her children the language their grandparents speak. Her religious spirituality has followed her to SF where she continues to practice her Catholic faith. Since her high school days she has pursued diverse teaching opportunities. Marta has been a teaching assistant for numerous courses, incl. biology laboratory, calculus, and physiology. She aims to have these experiences enrich her development "not only as a scientist capable of communicating scientific information, but also as a mentor. The Pulaski Scholarship Committee was impressed by Marta's stated goal to use the teaching and mentoring skills she has acquired to give back to the communities that are responsible for her development into a Polish-American scientist. Ultimately, she hopes to pursue a career in scientific journalism where she can help communities gain access to scientific information. An Asst. Prof. at UC where she was admitted to the Ph.D. program, "arguably the top biomedical research university in the country", writes that "she is uniquely capable of doing science." This year Marta is the co-first author on a manuscript currently under review at Nature Medicine. The professor adds "Her dedication, intelligence, and work ethic are an incredible combination and she is sure to succeed in this field." A Georgetown Univ. Paduano Distinguished Prof. wrote that he recruited Marta to Georgetown U as an Undergraduate Research Scholar based on her extraordinary scholastic record and her demonstrable interest in a research career -- "she's the very best that Georgetown can offer". Marta's research data in her first two years as an undergraduate contributed to an NIH grant application and to a manuscript published in "Biological Psychiatry", a top tier journal in the relevant fields. She also put together a well-designed set of experiments that, according to a Prof. of Surgery, shows great maturity in her thought processes and he is sure will produce an excellent thesis. Additionally, the Professor points out that "She represents her culture with pride, sharing her country's food and customs with us at social events."
The American Council for Polish Culture is highly pleased to have chosen such exceptional scholars for the 2012 Pulaski Scholarships for Advanced Studies. Polonia may take pride in the remarkable accomplishments of these students who will be playing leadership roles soon in their respective fields and may be expected to continue their participation in Polonia activities within their communities and beyond.