Dr. Andrew Wise, a professor of history and director of the Center for Polish Studies at Daemen University, played a critical role in Piotr Klodkowski’s visit to campus and the City of Buffalo on May 11. We spoke to the Polish historian to learn a bit more about him.
What is your role at Daemen University?
Professor of History
You created the Center for Polish Studies at Daemen. Can you tell us more about the Center and why you started it?
The Center emerged in 2012. By that time, I had developed various connections with institutions and scholars in the U.S. and Poland, and working with colleagues here at Daemen (especially Ann Robinson and Brian Hammer) we were able to create a Center for Polish Studies that served students, faculty, and the local community. The Center facilitated study abroad, service learning abroad, and internship opportunities for students; and faculty exchanges for colleagues at Daemen University, Canisius University, and University of Warsaw. We also have hosted a Fulbright Scholar in Residence from Jagiellonian University (Krakow), as well as a “Polonia Institute” for visiting students from Jagiellonian. Over the past decade, the Center has organized and hosted several major events dealing with Poland, including art and photo exhibits, roundtables on current events, historical conferences, and guest speakers.
The Center for Polish Studies connects students to amazing international opportunities. There’s a proud Polish population in Western New York. How do students engage locally?
The Center connects regularly with the local community. The Center’s success owes much to early and ongoing community engagement in the form of financial support from local institutions and individual donors, partnerships in programming, and publicity in local media. Daemen students have reciprocated by contributing reports about their service learning projects in Poland to local organizations and media and also in contributions to publications abroad.