by Ursula Brodowicz

Two Louis & Nellie Scholarships for Polish Studies were awarded for 2013 by the American Council for Polish Culture (ACPC). Committee Chairperson Ursula Brodowicz reported that the Skalny Scholarship Committee, including Evelyn Bachorski-Bowman, Debbie Majka, Ange Iwanczyk, and Marion Winters, awarded $3,000 scholarships to two outstanding applicants: Christina Loniewski and Katelynn Prebish.

[C. Loniewski photo picture]

.... Christina Loniewski of Lancaster New York attends the University of Rochester and is pursuing a Bachelors in Science Degree in Physics with a Minor in mathematics. Her Polish studies include Polish history and Polish cinema courses at the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies at the University of Rochester. Christina successfully completed courses in Polish language and Polish literature as part of a four week program of study last summer at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. In her essay describing involvement in the community, Christina writes that her father was born in Poland and her interest in Polish history and culture began at an early age at family gatherings. Her exposure to Polish language and customs inspired her to learn about her Polish heritage. She writes that she participated in the many opportunities to pursue Polish studies available to her at the University of Rochester, including study abroad and the Skalny Center programs. Christina also joined the Slavic Club at the University. She credits membership in the Slavic Club as the starting point for her to promote interest in Poland among students at the university. In a letter of recommendation for Christina, Dr. Bozennna Sobolewska, Program Coordinator at the Skalny Center, describes Christina as very active in the Slavic Club and her input as especially important in strengthening Polish identity in the Club predominantly Russian before Christina's involvement. Dr Sobolewska states with conviction that Christina's involvement in promoting Polish culture among the university community invaluable and in students' participation in the Skalny Center programs. Christina describes her study abroad at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow as fantastic and an unforgettable experience. She invited her family to go to Poland as well. Her father was able to reconnect with family in Poznan while her mother and siblings visited Poland for the first time. As a result of that trip, Christina proudly writes that her father is planning a second trip and her mother and sister have enrolled in a Polish language course. Christina continues to promote awareness of Polish history and culture and share her enthusiasm for the country of Poland. She hopes to be admitted to a semester-long Study Abroad Program at the Jagiellonian University, where she would continue her studies in physics and be able to fully immerse herself in the art and culture of Krakow.

[Katelynn Prebish photo picture]

.... Katelynn Prebish of Milwaukee Wisconsin is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics and a Minor in Spanish Language at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has completed four semesters of Polish language courses at the University. Professor Michael Mikos of the Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee writes in his letter of recommendation that although Katelynn began classes with no knowledge of the Polish language, she has been one of his best students, competing successfully with heritage speakers. As the final project for a linguistics course, Katelynn completed a pilot study in how native speakers of English learners of Polish perceive Polish language sounds. In 2012 Katelynn earned a Diploma from the Summer School of Polish Language and Culture at the John Paul II Catholic University in Lublin where she studied at the intermediate level and earned top grades. While in Poland, Katelynn connected with art groups and traveled extensively. Katelynn describes herself as passionate about dance, specifically Polish Folk dance. She has been a member of multiple Polish folk dance groups for the past thirteen years. Most recently, she has been accepted to the Syrena Polish Dancers. This group is described as having a continually changing repertoire of authentic Polish dances and costumes. Katelynn also has an interest and taken classes in Polish folk art. She was a member of the Polish Club while in high school. Katelynn believes that the arts are a way to share one's heritage with others. She describes her love of Polish folk dance and pride in perfecting her craft. She writes that she will continue to find new ways to share her Polish heritage with the community. Katelynn hopes to someday work in Second Language Acquisition or as a translator for the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw.