Wladyslaw Zacharasiewicz


The Eye of the Eagle

Wladyslaw Zachariasiewicz Memorial Journalism Scholarship for 2020
Administered by the American Council for Polish Culture

Application Deadline - April 30, 2020

A $5,000 award toward college or graduate school tuition and school-related expenses other than room and board for students with a clearly demonstrated, defined interest in a career in enterprise journalism in the public interest.

View the application form [Arrow Picture]

Application criteria and requirements are given below.

Scholarship Criteria

Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, or a permanent resident of the U.S., admitted for at a fully accredited university in the United States or Poland. Special consideration will be given to students of Polish-American heritage and those of non-Polish heritage who have a clear and thorough understanding of Polish culture and values. Awards are based solely on professional and academic merit with an appreciation for issues that affect Polish-Americans.

Entrants will submit all writing and any video or multimedia materials on three non-returnable duplicate flash drives.

Please include a check for $25 as an application fee to cover ACPC's review costs.

Applicants submitting completed applications will be provided a one year membership in ACPC.

Required materials

1). Transcripts supporting the last four years of academic achievement, official documents preferred

2). Two to three concise writing samples that illustrate the student's understanding of the principles of journalism and command of the English language. Videos or photos may supplement but not substitute for writing samples.

3). Three letters of recommendation, at least one journalism related

4). A personal essay (maximum 500 words) on what is means to be a Polish American in the United States. A video may supplement but not substitute for this component.

Please provide concise written responses to the following questions.

1). What do you see as the current primary strengths and weaknesses of journalism in the United States and globally?

2). What do you see as the the biggest issues currently facing either Poland or the Polish American community?

3). Have you been to Poland? If so, describe your experiences. If not, what would be the first three things you would do or see upon arrival and where would you most like to visit?

Select one of the three hypothetical scenarios below, then discuss what you see as the stories, who you plan to interview, what documents you believe are essential to write or broadcast the stories, and what potential challenges and ethical concerns arise from each situation.

Scenario one: A developer in your community has announced plans to acquire the meeting hall of a Polish fraternal group to tear down and convert the site into low and moderate income apartments for recent non-European immigrants. The Polish group's board of directors voted for this at a meeting where four members of the nine-member board were absent. A dissenting board member offers you information that shows the group was having undisclosed financial difficulties brought on by spending on an unrelated Polish group and poor record keeping. The sale of the building would cover the group's debts but effectively ends the Polish community's presence in the center of town. Your grandparents were married at this facility, which is historic but not officially designated as such.

Scenario two: The school board superintendent in your community makes the following statement: "We need to educate young people about the horrors of the 20th century, and hold accountable everyone who was responsible. We owe it to those who suffered at Polish death camps during World War II." Shortly afterward, a group of parents sign a petition asking the school board to demand the superintendent correct his statement. The superintendent refuses, and suspends a junior high school honors student after the student shouts out that the superintendent is a liar at a school board meeting.

Scenario three: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Polish American groups have reached an agreement on a set of meat quality standards for U.S. produced-kielbasa similar to purity and place of origin laws in Europe for beer and cheese. A new "Genuine Polish" label has been approved for sausage that meets the standards. However, an Arkansas meat processor has sued to prevent implementation, claiming the standards are arbitrary, will harm their business and that "Polish sausage" is public domain.

Important notes

The applicant must demonstrate a clear commitment to traditional enterprise, research journalism. Materials that reflect partisan political opinion writing or advocacy should not be submitted. The scholarship committee and ACPC retain the unlimited use of scholarship applicant writings and electronic materials. Award recipients agree to be interviewed by media designated by the ACPC as a condition of their award, and consent to use of their photos and biographical information for any ACPC promotional materials. Materials submitted with application will not be returned.