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News And Events


Lecture by Prof. Leszek Balcerowicz
Poland Shortlisted for US Sci-Fi and Fantasy Translation Awards
Janusz Korczak and Children's Rights in Contemporary Perspective
Renovation at The Polish Institute
• Rev. Prof. Janusz Ihnatowicz,winner of the Award of the Union of Polish Writers Abroad (London) - 2011

Meetings in photographs

72th Annual Meeting (2014)
64th Annual Meeting (1996)

Current Topics

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The Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia on March 17, 2015 honored five finalists for the 2014 Professor of the Year Award which honors an outstanding faculty member at a West Virginia college or university. PIASA member, Lisa Di Bartolomeo, was named First Runner-up for this honor and received a cash award of $2,500.

Dr. Di Bartolemeo is the Armand E. and Mary W. Singer Professor in the Humanities and Director of Slavic and Eastern European Studies at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. Professor Di Bartolomeo was the first recipient of PIASA's Ambassador Kazimierz Dziewanowski Memorial Dissertation Award in 2002 for her doctoral dissertation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, "Other Visions: Krzysztof Kieslowski's 'Trzy Kolory' Trilogy."

Our warm congratulations!

In memoriam
PIASA expresses its deep sorrow at the passing of Cardinal Egan who was a friend to us and all people of goodwill. He will be greatly missed.

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(Courtesy of Janusz Skowron)


Board meeting with the Honarable Consul of Poland's Ms Urszula Gacek

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General Walter Jajko, longtime PIASA member died on October 18, 2014 in Fairfax, Virginia and was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on February 6, 2015. He was the son of Polish immigrants from Pennsylvania. After graduating with honors from the University of Pennsylvania he enrolled at Columbia University where he earned a Master’s degree and a certificate from its East European and Russian Institutes. It was while he was a graduate student at Columbia that he learned about the existence of the Polish Institute through one of his Professors, Ludwik Krzyzanowski and volunteered his services to become editorial assistant of the Institute’s scholarly journal, “The Polish Review”. Professor Krzyzanowski was at the time the editor-in-chief of “The Polish Review”.

General Jajko had a long and distinguished military career in the US Air Force. He served in fighter, reconnaissance, bomber, airlift, special operations and intelligence units in Southeast Asia, North Africa and elsewhere. Following his retirement from active duty he served in many capacities including as Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight. He was “one of the very rare officials to have worked at the nexus of military strategy, diplomacy, public diplomacy, strategic communications, counterpropaganda, psychological strategy and political warfare”. At the time of his death he was Professor of Defense Studies at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, DC. General Jajko never forgot the Polish Institute and remained its loyal, committed member. As late as June 2011, he actively participated in PIASA’s 69th Annual Meeting as a discussant in a session on” PIASA: Its Origins and Early History”.

May he rest in peace.

Dr. Thaddeus V. Gromada Past President and Exec. Dir. PIASA

Nominations are being sought for the 2015 Casimir Funk Natural Sciences Award
The Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America (PIASA) Casimir Funk Natural Sciences Award identifies and honors an outstanding scientist of Polish origin (Polish born or of Polish ancestry) living and working in the United States or Canada. The nominee should have contributed in a major way to scientific research and be widely recognized.  This year, the presentation of the Casimir Funk award will take place in New York, September 2015.  

1. Can be made by anyone (PIASA member or not), from anywhere in the world.
2. Should include a nomination letter stating the achievements on which the nomination is based and a brief Curriculum Vitae of the nominee.
3. Will remain under consideration for 4 years.
4. Should be sent by email prior to the April 1, 2015 deadline to the Chair of the Casimir Funk Natural Sciences Award Selection Committee:

Dr. Hanna Chroboczek Kelker, kelker01@verizon.net

Background information:
The previous winners of the Casimir Funk Award are as follows:
1995    Dr. Roald Hoffmann, Nobel Prize Laureate (Chemistry) Cornell University
1996    Dr. Alexander Wolszczan, (Astronomy) Pennsylvania State University
1997    Dr. Hilary Koprowski, (Virology, Immunology) Thomas Jefferson University
1998    Dr. Peter T. Wolczanski, (Chemistry) Cornell University
2001    Dr. Andrew Wojcicki, (Chemistry) Ohio State University
2003    Dr. Waclaw Szybalski, (Molecular Biology) McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research
2005    Dr. Benoit Mandelbrodt, (Mathematics) Yale University
2008    Dr. Frank Wilczek, Nobel Prize Laureate (Physics) Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2013    Dr. Maria Siemionow, (Medicine)  Cleveland Clinic
2014    Dr. Zbigniew Darzynkiewicz, (Cell Biology) Brander Cancer Research Institute.

Casimir Funk (1884-1967), for whom the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences’ Natural Sciences Award is named, made important contributions to the fields of hormone research, enzymology and chemical synthesis.  However he is best known for his pioneering research that lead to the discovery of vitamins and for defining the role of vitamins in nutrition.  Funk postulated that nutritional deficiency diseases “can be prevented and cured by the addition of certain preventive substances which we call "vitamines”.  The term “vitamin” (coined by Funk from “vita”, Latin for life, and “amine”) has become accepted as the description of a group of functionally related but structurally distinct substances.  His hypothesis has had a major impact on the direction of research in a field that, before his discoveries, was filled with controversy.  His work has guided the developing science of nutrition and had an impact on biochemistry and medicine.

We look forward to hearing from you,
Members of the Casimir Funk Natural Sciences Award Committee
and of PIASA Board of Directors:

Hanna Chroboczek Kelker, Ph.D. (Committee Chair)
Anne Hermanowski Vosatka, M.D., Ph.D.
Wlodek Mandecki, Ph.D.
Joanna Pols, Ph.D.

It is with a great sadness that we learned that on December 24, 2014 a long committed member of PIASA  - Professor (Emerita) Anna Cienciala  - died in a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Few have contributed as much to PIASA as Professor Cienciala, who served for many years on the Board of Directors of the Institute and on the Editorial Board of The Polish Review, to which she was a prolific contributor.

 Professor Cienciala was born in the Free City of Danzig in 1929.  Forced to leave Poland by the Second World War, she pursued studies in the UK and Canada, receiving her PhD from Indiana University under the direction of Piotr S. Wandycz.  She was a member of the faculty of the Department of History at the University of Kansas for more than 30 years, retiring in 2002.  As an eminent scholar in the fields of recent Polish diplomatic and political history, she is perhaps best known as the author of “Poland and the Western Powers, 1938-1939. A Study in the Interdependence of Eastern and Western Europe (1968)” and co-editor of ”Katyn: A Crime Without Punishment (2007).”  She received the PIASA Distinguished Achievement Award in 2007, and just last month was presented the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit with Stars of the Republic of Poland.
There will be a mass offered in the name of Anna on January 18, 2015 at 12:00 pm at the St. Stanislaus, B.M. Church in Manhattan.

We have lost a distinguished scholar, a prolific author, a dear friend, and a patriot. 

On behalf of the PIASA Board of Directors

we wish all our members