In 2010, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Warsaw that created a new and promising partnership between Cleveland State University and the University of Warsaw, the premier educational institution in Poland. Specifically, the college is committed to developing student and faculty exchanges as well as to exploring joint research initiatives. The creation of this partnership was facilitated by the Kosciuszko Foundation, Inc.
Initial fundraising efforts in 2011 raised $27,400 from the Polish American community of Northeast Ohio, including major gifts from the Charles M. & Helen M. Brown Memorial Foundation, Parker Hannifin Foundation, Third Federal Foundation and Mr. Donald E. Washkewicz.
In 2012, the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences hosted visiting scholar Dr. Piotr Wilczek, from the University of Warsaw. He taught two classes, “Polish Culture through Film” and “The Canon of Polish Culture.” The classes were offered for credit and in a continuing education format.
Dr. Wilzcek delivered three community lectures while in Cleveland giving presentations at the John Paul II Polish-American Cultural Center in Cleveland’s Slavic Village, Cleveland State University, and at Sokolowski’s University Inn restaurant.
In 2012, Dr. Edward Horowitz was named the Director of the Polish Studies Initiative. Dr. Horowitz is an Associate Professor of Communication and he has traveled to Poland on three different research trips, and lived in Warsaw for 10 months in 1994.
The College’s Polish Studies Community Advisory Committee looks to build upon the foundation of excellent academic efforts and community outreach begun by Dr. Piotr Wilczek; the Committee will continue to work toward building an endowment to sustain this program.
Under the leadership of Dr. Horowitz, a three-part Polish Studies Lecture Series is finalized for the 2012-2013 academic year. The series offers lectures about Polish poetry, nationalism and communism in 20th century Poland, and how the worldwide economic crisis is affecting Polish young adults.
As we look to the future, we plan on bringing another visiting scholar from Poland in 2014 to build upon the foundation of excellent academic efforts and community outreach begun by Dr. Piotr Wilczek, our 2012 scholar.