CMU Professor Selected to Receive “Outstanding Polonian” Award

Pittsburgh, PA — The Pittsburgh Chapter of the Kosciuszko Foundation will present its annual Outstanding Polonian Award to Carnegie-Mellon Professor Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, PhD at a luncheon to be held Saturday, September 17, 2016.

As a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry within CMU’s Mellon College of Science, Dr. Matyjaszewski is an internationally recognized polymer chemist who is renowned for his vision, educational leadership and research innovation. His discovery of Atom Radical Transfer Polymerization (ATRP) led to significant innovations in the field of polymer chemistry and revolutionized how macromolecules are made. Macromolecules are necessary for life and include carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, and proteins.

Dr. Matyjaszewski has received considerable international recognition for his contributions to science. In 2004 he received the annual prize of the Foundation of Polish Science, often referred to as the “Polish Nobel Prize.” In 2005 he became a foreign member of the Polish Academy of Science and in 2007 received an honorary degree from Lodz Polytechnic (Poland). In recognition of his accomplishments the Polish Chemical Society awarded him the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Medal in 2012.

He has received honorary degrees from the University of Ghent (Belgium), the Russian Academy of Sciences, the University of Athens (Greece), the Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse (France), the Pusan National University (South Korea) and the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Sorbonne (France). Most recently Professor Matyjaszewski joined a research team at CMU under a $3 million grant to provide the US Military with drones, gliders and other delivery vehicles that can “vanish” once they safely deliver supplies or intelligence to troops.

“Dr. Matyjasewski is truly an inspiration to Polish-Americans throughout the Pittsburgh region and across our nation,” explained Mary Lou Ellena, President of the of the Kosciuszko Foundation, Pittsburgh Chapter. “His accomplishments and international recognition reflect great credit on our region and are a true source of pride for Polonians throughout Western Pennsylvania.”

To schedule interviews with Dr. Matyjasewski contact Mary Lou Ellena at 412-855-8330. Tickets for the event may be ordered from the Kosciuszko Foundation by calling the Pittsburgh Chapter at 412-855-8330. The deadline for purchasing tickets to the luncheon is September 1.

The Kosciuszko Foundation – Pittsburgh Chapter
P.O. Box 258, Gibsonia, PA 15044 – mlellena@zoominternet.net – 412.855.8330

Poles bring home 11 medals from Rio

By Robert Strybel, Polish/Polonian Affairs Writer

For 16 days, Poland’s most avid sports fans went about groggy and bleary-eyed from watching live Olympic coverage that began each day around midnight due to the time difference. Others settled for rebroadcasts and wrap-ups later in the day. Despite periodic outbursts of Polish national pride, when it was all over, some felt unfulfilled.

Things got off to a good start when Polish cyclist Rafał Majka won a medal, bronze, on the first day of the Olympics. The first Olympic gold was captured by rowers, Magdalena Fularczyk and Natalia Madaj, in women’s double sculls. Earlier, Maria Springwald, Joanna Leszczyńska, Monika Ciaciuch and Agnieszka Kobus captured bronze in the women’s quadruple sculls, and canoeist Marta Walczykiewicz added a silver medal to the collection.

But the unquestioned heroine of the Rio games was hammer-thrower Anita Włodarczyk, referred to by the Polish media as “Golden Anita.” She not only won the gold medal when she hurled her hammer an amazing 82.29 meters, but also broke her own world record by 1.21 meters. In addition, the two-time world champion and three-time European champion became the first woman in Olympic history to outdo the men’s hammer-throw champion – in Rio an athlete from Tajikistan who threw 78.68 meters.

One of the event’s biggest disappointments was Polish men’s hammer-thrower, two-time world champion Paweł Fajdek, who not only was sure of a gold medal but planned to break the 86.74 meter record set by a Russian in 1986. But, it turned out that Fajdek didn’t even make it through the elimination phase. The honor of Poland’s male hammer-throwers was defended by Wojciech Nowicki who won a bronze medal in the sport.

Oktawia Nowacka, a career soldier in the Polish Army, brought home the bronze in modern pentathlon, a sport combining fencing, free-style swimming, show jumping, pistol shooting and a 3,200-meter cross-country run. A bronze medal was also won by woman wrestler Monika Michalik.

Discus thrower Piotr Małachowski had his heart set on Olympic gold, but had to settle for silver. His claim to fame, however, transcended the strictly athletic realm, when he decided to auction off his medal to help a little Polish boy. Three-year-old Olek (Aleksander) Szymański has a rare eye cancer and stands to lose one of his eyes. The only hope for saving it is at a New York eye clinic where the necessary surgical procedure costs $264,000. Małachowski got the ball rolling, and others have been pitching in.

This year’s Polish Olympic team was not without its whiff of scandal. Brother weightlifters, Tomasz and Adrian Zieliński, were disqualified and sent home on doping charges. They hotly denied consciously ingesting any illegal substance, but the tests conducted by the anti-doping lab proved otherwise.

As the Rio Olympics were winding down, it appeared Poland might not end up with the 17 medals predicted by optimists, but with the same ten the country had won at the previous three 21st-century games: Athens (2004), Beijing (2008) and London (2012). The balance was tipped by mountain biker Maja Włoszczowska who came in second over a grueling, curvy, hilly, obstacle-strewn course. A major disappointment was the Poles’ failure to win bronze in the handball finals where they lost to the Germans.

All told, Polish Olympians brought home 11 medals from Rio de Janeiro: two gold, three silver and six bronze. Of the participating 206 National Olympic Committees, in the final medal tally, Poland came 33rd. Although the Poles’ performance wasn’t quite as spectacular as expected, for what it’s worth, it cannot be denied these were Poland’s best Olympic games of the 21st century!

Roots Anchor Pride in Polonia

ORCHARD LAKE, Mich. (7-11-2016) – The Orchard Lake Schools made history on June 22, 2016 at Anno Domini 966, the U.S. celebration of 1,050 years of Christianity in Poland. When asked by a member of his Orchard Lake staff to explain the true significance of this historic event, here is what Monsignor Thomas C. Machalski, Jr., Chancellor-Rector, Orchard Lake Schools, had to say.

OLS: Anno Domini 966 signified history in the making in the United States. Why was this campus selected as the location for the celebration?

MSGR: The campus of the Orchard Lake Schools was chosen as the site of the celebration because Orchard Lake is the heart of Polonia. Since our founding in 1885, we have been and continue to be the place where all things Polish are honored, respected, preserved, cherished and held sacred.

OLS: Based on the homilies, in English by Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, Florida, and in Polish by Bishop Mroziewski of Brooklyn, New York, what were the most important messages taken away from Mass?

MSGR: The most important message contained in the homilies of Archbishop Wenski and Bishop Mroziewski was that we should always remain connected to our roots and traditions. Even though we may be removed from Poland for a few generations, no matter where we are we will never stop being Polish nor, I may add, Catholic because our faith and culture are intimately connected. They are almost inseparable.

OLS: Your guests came from all over the United States to celebrate 1,050 years of Christianity in Poland. What were their responses to both the invitation and attendance at the Mass?

MSGR: The responses that I received were all very positive and complimentary. People really enjoyed the solemn celebration of Mass, Blessing and Dedication of the St. John Paul II Shrine by His Eminence Adam Cardinal Maida, and the decree read by Archbishop Vigneron naming us the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. John Paul II (in the Archdiocese of Detroit).

OLS: The procession into the Mass was very meaningful. Can you share your feedback on all those who came together for the procession into the Chapel?

MSGR: The procession was magnificent! The young people in the colorful folk costumes of different regions of Poland, the Polish Scouts`, Polish Veterans — all make one realize that although we are in the United States, we have never stopped being Polish and we are proud of it. It is also wonderful to see the next generations taking part in such celebrations because they will be the ones to keep alive our heritage.

OLS: Tell us about the people who came to Mass and shared in the Grand Banquet with you and your guests – the Polish people, in particular. What kind of feedback did you hear, and how did it touch on the significance of the celebration?

MSGR: People came from all over Michigan as well as from Ohio, Florida, New York, Texas, Illinois, South Carolina and even from across the border to our north — from Canada for the celebration. People were genuinely grateful that they had an opportunity to mark such a momentous occasion. Of those who were born in Poland, many left there years ago, and others not that long ago, so this celebration allowed them to rejoice in the faith and culture even though far they were from their homeland. Both those born in Poland and those born here of Polish descent were filled with joy!

OLS: How did this celebration mark the beginning of the next 50 to 1,050 years and beyond?

MSGR: I believe that it instilled in the participants a renewed desire to do all that we can to share our beautiful customs, traditions and 1,050-year-old faith with the younger generation and with the larger community. Our beautiful faith, traditions, language, culture and customs will continue if each of us does his/her part to propagate them.

OLS: What is the single most important thing you gained from planning and celebrating the 1,050th anniversary?

MSGR: Like all things that are good, it took a lot of hard work on the part of many people to make this day memorable. However, I would say that, as a fourth generation Polish-American, whose great-grandparents left Poland before World War I and when Poland was portioned and, therefore, not even on the map, it renewed my sense of pride in my roots and gives me the impetus to continue proclaiming to all the beauty of our 1,050-year-old faith and our heritage.

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Statement by the Press Secretary on the President’s Travel to Poland and Spain

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary

The President will travel to Warsaw, Poland, and Spain July 7-11. From July 7-9, the President will attend the 2016 NATO Summit, his fifth and final Summit with NATO leaders. The meeting will afford an opportunity to underscore Alliance solidarity, to advance efforts to bolster security to NATO’s east and south, and to project stability through new partnerships beyond the North Atlantic area. The President will hold a bilateral meeting with the Polish President to discuss U.S.-Polish relations, reaffirm the American commitment to Poland’s security, and exchange views on the broader security environment in Europe. While in Warsaw, the President will also meet with the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission to discuss U.S.-EU cooperation across a range of shared priorities, including countering terrorism, fostering economic growth and prosperity, and addressing the global refugee crisis. Following the visit to Poland, the President will travel to Spain from July 9-11. The visit to Spain, an important NATO Ally, will highlight robust security cooperation, a strong political and economic relationship, and longstanding people-to-people ties. The President’s agenda in Spain will include meetings with His Majesty the King of Spain and the Acting President of Spain.

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