polish-american leadership summit 2016

Investing in Heritage: Lisa Wisniewski Travels to Polish-American Summit

In May, Goodwin College faculty member Lisa M. Wisniewski traveled to Washington to participate in the Polish-American Leadership Summit. Wisniewski is an assistant professor of Academic Skills Development in the General Education Department at the College.

The first-time event brought together Polish-American leaders from across the country for a series of meetings. Wisniewski was invited to the Summit as one of several representatives of the Polish-American community in Connecticut. The guests attended a Polish-American Leadership Reception on Capitol Hill and participated in briefings at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, the Democratic National Committee, and the White House.

The Summit participants focused on several issues important to the Polish-American community including political participation, the NATO conference held in Warsaw this year, and Poland’s inclusion in the Visa Waiver program. They also examined initiatives and celebrations in June for Immigrant Heritage Month.

“The Summit was the first time since the 1990s that there was a strong Polish presence at the White House. I was honored to be a part of it,” Wisniewski said. “There is more work that needs to be done, but this was a great starting point. It was an opportunity to meet and work with Polish-American leaders from across the country.”

“Goodwin College is very supportive of faculty members attending conferences and working with the greater community, in this case an international one, on a wide range of interests,” said Dr. Sharon Koch, General Education Department Chair. “It allows them to bring back new insights and perspectives to their work here, and that ultimately benefits our students.”

Wisniewski is finishing her doctorate at the University of Hartford. Her dissertation on the Polish community in Connecticut will include research focused on first-generation college students, access to higher education, and immigrant students.

Read Wisniewski’s article, “Immigrant Heritages Make America Stronger,” published on the Huffington Post blog.