AMERICAN COUNCIL FOR POLISH CULTURESix winners of the 21st annual $5,000 Brig. Gen. Casimir Pulaski Scholarships were announced recently by the ACPC's Pulaski Scholarship for Advanced Studies Committee. A large number of applications (14) was received this year. The scholarship program was initiated 21 years ago as a result of a sizeable endowment by the Conrad R. Walas family with the continuing support from Polonia.
$5,000 PULASKI SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS
Serving on the 2021 Pulaski Scholarship Committee are Dr. Stephen E. Medvec, Chairman; Alicia L. Dutka; Deborah M. Majka; Carolyn Meleski and Peter J. Obst.
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 which could have allowed for several more scholarship awards.
The Pulaski Scholarships Committee wishes these six 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.
The Pulaski Committee selected the following students for the 2021 Pulaski Scholarships for Advanced Studies grants of $5,000 each:
Alexandra (Ola) Baczynska - A native of Chicago, Illinois, Ola has her BS in Environmental Science and a BA in English from Loyola University Chicago. She has an MS in Medical Physiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. At present, she is pursuing her Doctor of Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Her focus is on locomotive therapies for individuals with neurological diseases and injuries, tutoring students from ages 7-17, and as a medical volunteer at the Holy Spirit Clinic in Maggotty, Jamaica. She is also active in environmental sustainability, including floral diversity in prairies. Moreover, Ola translated Polish dialogues and interviews for an article that appeared in print May 2016 as "Nazi Underground" in The New Yorker. Also, in Spring 2016, at the Eighth Student Forum on Central Europe, Ola presented her paper on the LGBTQ community in Polish cinema.
Christopher Kujalowicz - A native of Chicago, Illinois, Christopher has a BSA in Biology and a BA in English from the University of Texas in Austin. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Medicine at the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago, expected in May 2024. He holds the Stritch School of Medicine Admissions Department Scholarship. Inspired by his Polish grandmother's struggles to comprehend non-Polish-speaking doctors, Christopher works with the Polish population of Chicago as an instructor in Loyola's Medical Polish Program where he teaches Medical Polish skills to native speakers of Polish and new learners. He also is a student in the Medical Spanish Program and hopes to have his Spanish and Polish to communicate best with patients throughout Chicago. Christopher also was involved with the club gymnastics program at the University of Texas, where he served as the Men's Team Captain and Men's Team President between 2017 and 2020. This summer, Christopher will be biking across the United States with Texas 4000, raising money and awareness in the fight against cancer.
Angelika Kwak - A native of Oak Lawn, Illinois, Angelika received her BS in Neuroscience with a minor in Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her Master's degree is from Loyola University Chicago. Angelika was also a Parkinson Social Justice Scholar in 2021. At present, Angelika is pursuing her Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health, anticipated May 2024, at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine. She also has studied at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland on a Kosciuszko Foundation Study Abroad Scholarship for immersion in Polish language and culture. She serves as a Committee member at the Medical Polish Organization at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine. She also is a Polish interpreter in hospitals. In addition, Angelika volunteered at Medlife in Riobamba, Ecuador for health education and patient care in Spanish for low-income patients in Ecuador. One of her references noted, "Angelika has a unique scholarly ability to integrate her practice experience, such as her community work in food pantries, with systemic academic inquiry."
Agata Lesniewska - A native of Brooklyn, New York, bilingual in Polish and English, Agata holds a BA in Mathematics and Economics from New York University. She also completed a Pre-Health Post Baccalaureate, Summa Cum Laude, from Rutgers University. She is an MPH candidate, 2021, at Stony Brook University School of Public Health. She is a candidate for Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) at Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine. Agata has served as President of the ADEA Stony Brook Chapter, represents Polish-Americans in dentistry, worked as a dental assistant for three years in Brooklyn; performs community service for Give Kids A Smile, manages soup kitchens and distributes meals throughout New York City, and holds a COVID-19 Constant Tracing Course Certificate (May 2020) from Johns Hopkins University. She was also chosen as one of seven students to fly to Madagascar to extract teeth of Malagasy people in serious risk of infections and life-threatening illnesses.
Laura Le Voir - A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Laura holds her BM in Voice from The Juilliard School. She has her MM in Voice from Rice University. She is currently at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music pursuing her DMA in Voice, anticipated in December 2021. She works as a private voice instructor in Minneapolis, Houston, Cincinnati to develop students's voice affectations, speaking onstage, vocal techniques. Laura has specializations in diction in American English, Italian, German, French, Spanish, with a specialization in Polish. There is competency in Opera, Classical, Golden Age and Contemporary Musical Theater, Pop and Jazz. She plays the piano, trumpet, French horn. Her primary area of research has been on Polish art song, particularly that of Karol Szymanowski. As a descendant of Polish immigrants in the early 20th century, Laura is "grateful for the opportunities music and performance have afforded me to continue the beautiful legacy of Polish music." She won the ACPC Sembrich vocal competition in 2020.
Joanna Sajdlowska - A native of New York City, Joanna holds her BS in Allied Health Sciences and her MS in Health Promotion Science from the University of Connecticut, Storrs. She is now pursuing the degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddleford, Maine. A native speaker of English and Polish, she has participated in the Walking Pilgrimage from Kielce to Czestochowa during the Summer of 2006, served as an active member of Polish Scouts (Zwiazek Harcerstwa Polskiego - ZHP), and was a Miss Polonia contestant in New Haven, Connecticut and in New York City, both in 2016. She holds numerous scholarships in Osteopathic Medicine and is widely published with a concentration in childhood, maternal health, and quality improvement. Joanna has completed AmeriCorps service and is inspired to continue working with underserved and medically marginalized populations.
The Pulaski Scholarships for Advanced Studies Committee wishes these six 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.