Polishfest 2016

A “family-oriented festival” of Polish live music, song, folk dance performances, ethnic foods, crafts and culture will be presented on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016 from noon to 5 p.m. at the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning (Commons Room, 1st Floor). This cultural event is FREE and open to the public. A variety of cooking demonstrations and food sampling, make-n-take kids crafts, folk art demonstrations, and a holiday craft and gift mart will be centered around “A Celebration Of Christmas in The Old Country.” This year’s festival will also celebrate the rich culture, music and folklore of Pittsburgh’s Lithuanian Community. Take a trip to the “Old Country” without leaving Pittsburgh. It’s FREE!

Featured entertainment will include: Bociai Lithuanian Chorus, Frania’s Polka Celebration, Lajkoniki Polish Folk Ensemble, Living Traditions Folk Ensemble, Radoslaw Fizek (Polish Folk Songs and Christmas Carols) and the Echos of Lithuania.

For more information, contact L.G. Kozlowski, Festival Director, at lgk505@aol.com or 814-969-5940.

Polishfest ’16 is partially sponsored by the Polish Falcons of America and the Polish Falcons Heritage Foundation.

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

A Great Start: 2014 Polish American Summit

By Donald Pienkos
Distributed by the Polonia Media Network

Polish Americans are familiar with the saying: “Three Poles Four Political Parties.” This is an acknowledgment of our well known Polish individualism. At the same time it is often stated as a reproach over our seeming inability to agree on how to work together to deal with the issues we face.

With this saying in mind, it is refreshing to share the news about a recent event where not three Americans of Polish heritage, but more than twenty, got together to discuss, and agree on, a number of important, even critical, issues that we face today.

I am writing about the Polish American Leadership Summit meeting that took place on March 11-12, 2014, in Pittsburgh. This gathering was proposed in Chicago back in May, 2013, at the meeting of the Polish American Congress (PAC) Council of National Directors. The idea was to bring together the leaders of the major national organizations of Americans of Polish heritage for the purpose of their sitting down with each other to discuss the central issues we face today as a Polish American community and to adopt an action program that, if followed, will help respond to these issues.

The proposal to hold such a Summit was approved unanimously by the PAC leadership. A coordinating committee headed by Tim Kuzma, President of the Polish Falcons of America (PFA), and including Barbara Anderson of the Washington Office of the PAC and myself, Professor Emeritus Don Pienkos, then went to work to make the proposal a reality.

By December the committee had put together a letter of invitation setting forth the goals of the Summit. Soon the responses began coming in, all of them positive, including one from Poland’s Ambassador to the United States. By the end of February the leaders of nineteen national Polish American organizations had agreed to come, at their own expense, or to send their representative to the Summit. These fine individuals were from every sector of our community, from the fraternals, the educational and academic societies, the Church, from professional associations, cultural organizations, and from our media. They included the Polish-born and the American-born. A true and comprehensive gathering!

For two days the participants sat down together, talked, and listened to one another, all in an atmosphere suffused with a desire to identify the problems our community faces and to find ways to deal with them, together.

Five general themes came up for discussion. The first dealt with finding ways for Polish American organizations to energize the Polish American community and their own memberships by engaging them in our heritage and in so doing strengthening the organizations themselves. A second focused on reaching out more effectively to young people of Polish heritage. A third concerned building coalitions with like-minded people and organizations outside our Polish American community to advance shared interests and goals. A fourth involved finding ways for our community to more effectively work with Poland so as to advance the relationship between our two countries. Fifth, we looked at how our organizations might better “spread the word” in promoting wider awareness and interest in the activities, accomplishments, and causes that Polish Americans and Poland agree are important.

These broad themes all generated a good deal of discussion. As important, they led to the development of more than forty specific and practical resolutions that all agreed would enhance the role of our Polish American organizations in achieving both their particular and their more general aims, all for the good of our entire community. (For the list of these resolutions one is invited to e-mail this writer at or to contact President Kuzma at .

Taking part in the Summit were: Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf, Msgr. Thomas Machalski (Rector, Orchard Lake Seminary), Rev. Walter Ptak (President, Polish American Priests Association), Anna Sokolowska and James Robaczewski (Vice President and National Secretary, respectively, Polish Roman Catholic Union of America fraternal), Irene Jugan (President, Polish National Union of America fraternal), Sharon Zago (Vice President, Polish Women’s Alliance of America fraternal), Deborah Majka (Past President, American Council of Polish Culture), Gregory Fryc (President, Pangea Alliance), Mary Kay Pieski (Director, Kosciuszko Foundation of America), Alexander Fiedotjew (President, National Advocates Society), Thaddeus Radzilowski (Piast Institute and Polish American Historical Association), Ewa Koch (President, Polish Teachers Association), Dorota Andraka (President, Polish Supplementary School Council of America), Nick Sadowski (Vice President, Nowy Dziennik), Jan Saykiewicz (Director, Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America), James Kaczynski (Polish American Journal), Tim Kuzma (President, Polish Falcons of America fraternal), Bozena Kaminska and Anthony Bajdek (Vice Presidents, Polish American Congress), Barbara B. Anderson (Washington Office, PAC), and Don Pienkos (past director, Polish National Alliance fraternal. PNA/PAC President Spula was unable to attend due to circumstance arising at the last moment.

This story began with a Polish saying. Let’s finish with another: “Krakow wasn’t built in a day.”

Yes, what took place in Pittsburgh represented a great start. Now it’s up to everyone, those who participated in the Summit and those who are learning about what happened in Pittsburgh, to do their part to build on the solid foundation that was established just a few months ago.

Together we can do it!

2014 Polish American Summit Participants; Photo by Courtney Caughey-Stambul

2014 Polish American Summit Participants; Photo by Courtney Caughey-Stambul