The Copernicus Center for Polish Studies (CCPS) at the University of Michigan is pleased to announce the establishment of the Dianne Widzinski Visiting Fellowship Fund, which will extend knowledge of contemporary Polish society and politics and provide Polish scholars with opportunities to conduct and share their research at the University of Michigan. "We are thrilled to receive this generous gift that will foster and deepen connections and scholarship between Poland and the United States," says Geneviève Zubrzycki, CCPS director and professor of sociology. "I thank Mrs. Widzinski on behalf of all the students and scholars who will benefit from this fellowship in Poland and in Ann Arbor."

Dianne Widzinski grew up in Hamtramck—the longtime center of Polish culture in metro Detroit—in a family that was deeply integrated in the local Polish community. Dianne’s father, Leon Widzinski, was committed to passing on Polish culture to his children and was a firm believer in education. He championed his daughter’s goals and ambitions, and those lessons led Dianne to a 20-year career as the Performance Hall Manager at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theater and Dance, managing front of the house operations at Hill Auditorium, the Power Center for the Performing Arts, the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, Rackham Auditorium, and the Arthur Miller Theatre.

The Dianne Widzinski Visiting Fellowship establishes a new residential fellowship at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Two opportunities are available and currently accepting applications. The first is a three- to nine-month visit for scholars, artists, journalists, or public figures from Poland to pursue their research, art, or mission while engaging with U-M students, faculty, and the Michigan community. Engagement may consist of public lectures, participation in CCPS events, and/or teaching on topics related to Poland. The second is a one- to three-month fellowship for Polish doctoral students conducting research in Polish studies. Areas of focus and research could include but are not limited to: rule of law or topics of vital importance in contemporary Poland, freedom of speech, women’s rights, issues of equity, and social issues in Poland. Visit the Fellowship page for more information and to apply.

The Copernicus Center for Polish Studies supports public lectures and symposia, mini-courses, Polish language instruction, and student fellowships. CCPS has developed close collaborations with numerous educational and cultural institutions in Poland, including universities in Gdańsk, Kraków, and Warsaw. With these resources and an outstanding faculty whose primary focus is Poland, U-M attracts some of the best students from Poland and the U.S. who are preparing for careers in academia, government, law, business, and environmental protection.