The Canadian Polish Research Institute

Kanadyjsko-Polski Instytut Badawczy

Est. 1956

Members' Biographies

Iwona Buczkowska

Iwona Bogorya-Buczkowska, PhD
Member / Former Director

Dr. Yvonne Bogorya-Buczkowski was vice-president of the Canadian Polish Research Institute for many years. She was also president of the Polish Canadian Womens' Federation and vice-president of the Provincial Council of Women. Dr. Bogorya was appointed by the Canadian Polish Congress as a delegate to the Board of Canadian Ethnocultural Council where she served as director for three terms. She is a long standing member of the Canadian Ethnic Media and Artists Club (CEEMA) and author of many articles published in Canada, US, England. Currently she works for the Ontario Government as an Inspector at the Private Career Colleges Branch, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. She also teaches part-time at the University of Toronto and was Associate Professor of Management at the Canadian School of Management in Toronto. Active in the community for the past 25 years; Yvonne is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Award and the Order of "Polonia Restituta".


Aleksandra Borkowska

Aleksandra Borkowska, PhD
Member / Research Partner

Aleksandra Borkowska is a practicing psychologist and expert in the field. Since receiving her doctorate in 2007, which focuses on the psychology of stress and interculturalism, Dr Borkowska has held the position of assistant professor in the Department of Psychology of Work and Stress at the Institute of Psychology at Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw. Her professional activities - which include publications, participation in conferences, training, media appearances - focus on the related problems of stress psychology and the psychological well-being of Polish immigrants in Canada and the Netherlands within the perspectives of intercultural relations and education.


Maria Budziakowska

Maria Budziakowska, PhD
Former Member and Secretary

Maria Budziakowski was born and educated in Warsaw. She graduated with a master of laws from University of Warsaw and with a Ph.D. from Silesian University. She worked in the Polish Academy of Science for 10 years before coming to Canada in 1981. Since February 1982 she has been working in the Robarts Library, University of Toronto, in various departments. For the past 10 years, she has been a cataloguer of English and Polish books. She is the co-author of the bibliography about Kashubians in Canada titled Kashub Bibliography (2006), published by University of Toronto Libraries. From 2000 to 2012, Maria was a secretary to the Canadian Polish Research Institute in Toronto. She then resigned from being the Institute's member.


Tomasz Frydel

Tomasz Frydel, MA
Member

Tomasz Frydel is a doctoral student in history at the University of Toronto. He earned a master's degree at Brandeis University. His interests include the history of modern Poland, East Central Europe, nationalism, World War II and the Holocaust. Himself an emigrant from Poland (Zabrze) to the United States, and now to Canada, he is interested in the Polish-Canadian immigrant experience. He has presented his research at a number of international conferences and has published his findings with the Institute of National Memory (IPN). His work has been recognized through various achievements and awards. He joined the Canadian Polish Research Institute in 2012.


Magdalena Goledzinowska

Magdalena Goledzinowska, PhD
Member

Born and raised in Warsaw, Magdalena Goledzinowska obtained her PhD in linguistics at the University of Toronto in 2007. She has been involved in the life of the Polish community through folk dance, teaching in Polish School, as a performer in poetry soirees and a volunteer with the Polish Combatants Association's Executive Board. Her interests include immigrant and cultural integration as well as adult education. Magdalena currently works at ExperiencePoint, a leading developer of computer-based management training simulations. She joined the Canadian Polish Research Institute in 2011.


Jacek Kozak

Jacek Kozak, MA
Member

Jacek Kozak graduated with a master's degree in English from the University of Warsaw. In 1998, he also obtained a master's degree in history from the University of Toronto. For 35 years, Jacek worked as a journalist in printed press, radio and TV in Poland, Canada and the US. Presently he works on popularizing the achievements of Polish Canadians in English Canada, for whom he wrote and published an interesting book How the Polish Created Canada (2011). He also published a collection of essays titled Szkice z bobrem (2005) and is a co-author of the biographical dictionary Polacy w Kanadzie [Who is Who] (2006).


Bogumila Kublicka

Bogumila Kublicka, MA
Member / Former Treasurer

Bogumila Kublicka holds a master of economics from the Economical Academy in Katowice, Poland. She became a member of the Canadian Polish Research Institute in 1993. For 18 years, she looked after the finances of the Institute. Bogumila still serves as a consultant for accounting matters of the Institute.


Regina Olszowka

Regina Olszowka, BA Hons.
Member

Regina Olszowka graduated Cumma Sum Laude with a specialized honours degree in Communication Studies from York University. She was the recipient of the Eric Koch and Jerry Durlak Awards as the top student in Media, Politics and Policy and Communication and Technology courses, among other scholarships and awards. She also holds a Marketing diploma along with certificates in Editing and Internet Publishing from George Brown College. Regina has over 9 years of work experience in administration, event planning, marketing and communications from George Brown College and York University. She is a dedicated volunteer in various organizations that promote cross-cultural understanding and conflict management; she is also an avid supporter of the arts. Regina joined the Canadian Polish Research Institute in 2011 and currently resides in Calgary, Alberta.


Bogumila Plichcinska

Bogumila Plichcinska, M.A.
Former Member and Treasurer

Bogumila Plichcinska holds an M.A. degree in English. She graduated from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. She lived in the United Kingdom for six years where she worked in administrative positions in the financial services sector. After she moved to Canada in June 2011, she started doing a certificate in accounting at the University of Toronto. From 2011 to 2015 Bogumila hold the position of the Institute's treasurer.


Patryk Polec

Patryk Polec, PhD
Member

Patryk Polec, PhD, is a historian at the University of Ottawa, where he teaches Canadian history. His main areas of interest include ethnic and immigration history, surveillance, 20th century radicalism, and military history. He is the author of Hurrah Revolutionaries: The Polish Canadian Communist Movement, 1918-1948 (McGill-Queen's University Press: 2015) and the editor of Kpt. mar. Witold Poray-Wojciechowski: Pamiętnik z wojny na morzu 1939-1943 [Navy Captain Witold Poray-Wojciechowski: A Memoir of the War at Sea, 1939-1943] (University of Gdansk Press: 2014). He has also published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals. He joined the Canadian Polish Research Institute in 2011.


Anna Reczynska

Anna Reczynska, PhD
Member / Research Partner

Dr Anna Reczynska is a historian and Chair of Canadian Studies in the Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora at Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland. Her research and teaching concentrate on the history of Polish migrations, ethnic history of Canada, especially the past of Polish ethnic group there and recently the history of ethnic relations in the Roman Catholic Church in Canada. She is an author of more than 40 scientific publications, among them the two following book monographs: Emigracja z Polski do Kanady w okresie międzywojennym [Emigration from Poland to Canada in the Interwar Era] (1986) and Piętno wojny. Polonia kanadyjska wobec polskich problemów lat 1939-1945 [Stigma of War. Canadian Polonia to Polish Problems of 1939-1945] (1997).


Stan Skrzeszewski

Stan Skrzeszewski, MLSc
Member

Stan (Stanisław) Skrzeszewski is the son a Polish lancer who fought in World War II and who instilled in him an interest in many Polish issues. As a Canadian the interests of the son focus on Polish-Canadian history and culture. In his professional life, Stan trained and worked as a librarian and then as a management consultant. In his retirement, Stan works on creative projects, such as the writing of history, poetry and organizing Philosophers’ Cafes and similar events. He assigned himself the title of Curator of Creative Memories. Stan is also a curator at the Museum and Archives of the Polish Armed Forces in Wawel Villa, Mississauga. He is also an active member with the Polish Combatants’ Association, Branch #2, in London, Ontario.


Camilla Szczesniak

Camilla Szczesniak, BA Hons.
Member

Camilla Szczesniak completed her BA at the University of Toronto, specializing in Anthropology and minoring in Polish Language and Literature. She is currently working at Robart's Library at the University of Toronto. Camilla volunteers with the Ward 6 Community Action Team which deals with issues surrounding redevelopment and tenant's rights. As a member of this organization, she serves as a Polish interpreter and translator. Camilla joined the Institute first as a volunteer and then as a member in 2012. She is helping with digitizing the Institute's archives, mostly microfilms of the Polish pre-war newspapers, and also translates memoirs of the Polish immigrants submitted for the recent memoir competition.


Tom Urbaniak

Tom Urbaniak, PhD
Member

Tom Urbaniak, Ph.D., is a political scientist at Cape Breton University in Sydney, Nova Scotia. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario, where he specialized in Canadian and local government. Prof. Urbaniak's books include Action, Accommodation, Accountability: Rules of Order for Canadian Organizations; Her Worship: Hazel McCallion and the Development of Mississauga; and Farewell, Town of Streetsville: The Year Before Amalgamation. Tom has a strong interest in Canadian Polonia. His current projects include research on the survival of Polish communities in small Canadian industrial cities. He is the Nova Scotia representative on the Board of Governors of the Heritage Canada Foundation, serves on the board of the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia, and is a trustee on the Cape Breton Regional Library Board.


Malgorzata Walczyk

Malgorzata Walczyk, MA
Member

Malgorzata graduated with an MA degree in Polish Studies, specialty in editing and creating a personal image through language, from the University of Rzeszow. She is interested in Polish contemporary literature and mass media, which became the main topics of her master thesis. She has gained her editorial experience from the collaboration with a student radio station, local newspapers and various publishing offices. As volunteer, Malgorzata initially helped the Institute with proofreading publications, and then she became a member of the Institute in 2014.


Anna Wolanczyk

Anna B. Wolanczyk, PhD
Member

Anna B. Wolanczyk is a trained psychotherapist and counsellor with a well-established experience in individual and couple therapy and counselling. She has worked in a variety of institutional settings including therapeutical, educational and business institutions. She completed postgraduate studies in psychotherapy at Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Warsaw. Presently she is working on her doctoral thesis about resourcefulness among Polish immigrants in Canada who experienced trauma related to MVA. Anna works in private practice in Toronto and Mississauga. Her areas of expertise include depression, anxiety disorders, marital and relationship problems, life transitions and immigration related problems. She has developed a psycho-educational workshop Goal Attainment Program for Immigrants.


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