Loyola University Chicago

College of Arts & Sciences

Spotlight On: Bozena Nowicka McLees

Bozena Nowicka McLees, Director of the Polish Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences at Loyola University Chicago, received the Annual Academic Award from the Polish American Congress (PAC) Illinois Division at its 51st Annual American Heritage Award Banquet.

Bozena Nowicka McLees, Director of the interdisciplinary Polish Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences at Loyola University Chicago, received the Annual Academic Award from the Polish American Congress (PAC) Illinois Division at its 51st Annual American Heritage Award Banquet.

 

This award recognizes McClees' tireless work in creating a truly interdisciplinary Polish Studies Program that offers a range of courses in language, literature, history, film, and political science. It also celebrates how she has built strong ties with Chicago’s Polish-American community by hosting meetings of civic and educational organizations, connecting Loyola students to those organizations, and supporting local cultural events in the Polish community, such as the Polish Film Festival in America, the Chopin Theatre, and the Trapdoor Theatre.

 

McLees has led numerous, internationally oriented Polish Studies collaborations. These range from working with Poland’s State Commission to provide examinations for the Certification of Proficiency in Polish as a Foreign Language to leading the Educational Exchange Subcommittee of Chicago’s Sister City Warsaw Committee. She was a co-founder and Board Member of the Jan Karski Educational Foundation, 2012-2015, and a co-founder of the Polish Film Festival in America in 1988. Since 2016, she has served as the president of the PAC Education Commission. 

 

McLees earned her M.A. in Polish Language and Literature at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is experienced in teaching and developing Polish language, literature and culture curriculum. She has organized and managed several scholarly conferences at Loyola, such as the “Chicago Catholic Immigrants Conference: The Poles.” She has published scholarship on the Polish diaspora in America and on 20th Century Polish literature and poetry.

 

“Bozena McLees exemplifies how our faculty and interdisciplinary programs influence scholarly discourse both nationally and internationally, while at the same time serving local communities, in this case Chicago’s large Polish-American community,” says Peter J. Schraeder, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Loyola University Chicago. “Receiving the Academic Award from the Polish-American Congress affirms her place as one of the leading and most effective academic proponents of Polish Studies in the United States.”

 

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About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences is the oldest of Loyola University Chicago’s 14 schools, colleges, and institutes. More than 150 years since its founding, the College is home to 19 academic departments and 31 interdisciplinary programs and centers, more than 400 full-time faculty, and nearly 8,000 students. The 2,000+ classes that we offer each semester span an array of intellectual pursuits, ranging from the natural sciences and computational sciences to the humanities, the social sciences, and the fine and performing arts. Our students and faculty are engaged internationally at our campuses in Rome, Italy, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, as well as at dozens of University-sponsored study abroad and research sites around the world. Home to the departments that anchor the University’s Core Curriculum, the College of Arts and Sciences seeks to prepare all of Loyola’s students to think critically, to engage the world of the 21st century at ever deepening levels, and to become caring and compassionate individuals. Our faculty, staff, and students view service to others not just as one option among many, but as a constitutive dimension of their very being. In the truest sense of the Jesuit ideal, our graduates strive to be “men and women for others.” For further information about the College of Arts and Sciences, please visit our website at www.luc.edu/cas/