AMERICAN COUNCIL FOR POLISH CULTURESix winners of the 20th annual $5,000 Brig. Gen. Casimir Pulaski Scholarships were announced recently by Dr. Stephen Medvec, Chairman of the Pulaski Scholarship Committee, American Council of Polish Culture (ACPC). A large number of applications (16) was received this year. The scholarship program was initiated 20 years ago as a result of a sizeable endowment by the Conrad R. Walas family with continuing support from Polonia. Three years ago, long-time chairman Mr. Marion Winters retired from the committee and his place was taken by Dr. Stephen Medvec. Serving with him on the Pulaski Scholarship Committee for 2020 are Alicia L. Dutka; Deborah M. Majka; Carolyn Meleski; and Peter J. Obst.
$5,000 PULASKI SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS
The exceptional qualities of school work and research plus dedicated community services performed by the applicants made the final selection process difficult. The Committee felt that most of the applicants deserved recognition for their outstanding achievements and honestly wished that funding was available that could have allowed for several more awards.
The Pulaski Committee selected the following students for the 2020 Pulaski Scholarships for Advanced Studies grants of $5,000 each:
Beata Kaminska-Kordowska - A native of Grajewo, Poland and a US citizen, Beata has her BS in Developmental Neuropsychology and a BA in Spanish from the University of Connecticut in Storrs. At present, she is pursuing her Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Behavior at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Her research focuses on how individual differences in alcohol preference and alcoholism affect the workings of the prefrontal cortex. Beata's commitment to the Polish community has remained strong throughout her pursuit of higher education. She is very active as a Troop Leader of the Polish Girl Scout Organization in New Britain, Connecticut. In addition, Beata is engaged in fundraising for Wielka Orkiestra Swiatecznej Pomocy.
Kamila Maria Orzechowska - A native of Wethersfield, Connecticut, Kamila received her BS in Chemistry with a concentration in Pharmacy from the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Connecticut. At present, Kamila is pursuing her Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree at the University of Saint Joseph School of Pharmacy in Hartford, Connecticut. Kamila has significant laboratory experience, and recently developed a drug compounding application, which is now available as ARx via Apple since August 2019. She is currently working on an international weight loss supplement project in conjunction with graduate students from Alexandria University in Egypt. Kamila is also active as a Troop Leader of the Girl Scouts in Hartford and serves as a Polish lector at SS. Cyril and Methodius Roman Catholic Church in Hartford.
Joanna Podosek - A native of Chicago, Illinois, Polish her first language to kindergarten, Joanna is pursuing her degree of Doctor of Occupational Therapy at the College of Heath Sciences, Occupational Therapy Program, Midwestern University in Downers Grove, Illinois, a graduate in 2018 from Monmouth College with a BA in Behavioral Neuroscience (aka Biopsychology). Joanna's concern for the disabled derives from the cognitive experiences of her older sister, to whom Joanna is very devoted. She wishes to work especially with 3-to-5-year-old children and with stroke victims. Joanna's professor wrote "Joanna has a level of maturity, professionalism, and intellect which surpasses her peers. She is the 'whole package.' Anyone would be blessed to have her as a mentor."
Helena Shoplik - A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Helena is in her fourth year of Ph.D. studies in the School of Psychology at the University of Maryland in College Park, from which she also holds her MA. She expects to complete her doctorate in 2021. Helena holds her BS in Psychological Science from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Her area of specialization is to overcome anxiety among kindergarten children and their parents. Helena won the Kosciuszko Tuition Scholarship in 2019.
Joanna Szupinska-Myers - A native of Los Angeles, California, Joanna is pursuing her PhD in Art History from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). She also holds her MA in Art History and BA in Studio Art from UCLA, plus an MA in Curatorial Practice from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, and also studied at the School of Central and Eastern European Studies (SCEES) at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. After having worked a decade in museums, Joanna returned to her alma mater of UCLA to pursue her doctorate to enter academia. Her research involves twentieth-century Polish art, in particular how communist-era artistic practices subverted official governmental narratives. She is focused upon the Polish photographer Zofia Rydet (1911-1997), who documented with her camera "traditional forms of architecture and dress, religious icons and glimpses of nature spilling in from windows, in some instances the black-and-white images appear as if made in the nineteenth century . . . to catch something that was fading away."
photo by Nikolay Maslov
Ann Margaret Zelenka - A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Ann Margaret is a graduate of the University of Baltimore, in Jurisprudence (BA) and Negotiations and Conflict Management (MS). She also holds an MA in Law from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Ann Margaret has spent a good part of her career in Washington, DC with the federal government. At present, Ann Margaret is pursuing her Ph.D. in Leadership at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky. Her research discusses the contributions made to business leadership by 19th, 20th and 21st century Eastern European women, concentrating on three women. Ann Margaret is of Polish and Czech heritage.
The Pulaski Scholarships for Advanced Studies Committee wishes these four outstanding students continuing success and is confident that they will attain their career objectives fully. The Committee trusts that they will honor their heritage by ultimately remaining close to the Polish community wherever possible during their careers.