Biography: Bożena Nowicka McLees

Ms. Bożena Nowicka McLees is a Polish literature and language instructor and director of Interdisciplinary Polish Studies at Loyola University Chicago.  She 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.  In addition to her work at Loyola, she has taught at the University of Illinois in Chicago and Harper College.

Ms. McLees’s academic interests include advanced Polish language courses and 20th century Polish literature, as well as maintenance and promotion of Polish language and culture in the Polish diaspora in America.  She contributed to the following publications:

  • Language Diversity in the USA, Polish in the USA: Cambridge University Press, 2010
  • Five Poems from Vade-Mecum by Cyprian Kamil Norwid, Translation, The Polish Review, vol. XXVIII, no. 3, New York 1983

Ms. McLees has focused on connecting the evolving academic programs in Poland with the existing network of schools, educational institutions and Polish American organizations in Chicago, to promote interest and understanding of Polish culture and the acquisition and maintenance of heritage language skills.  She has collaborated with Poland’s State Commission in providing examination for the Certification of Proficiency in Polish as Foreign Language and with the Chicago’s Sister City Warsaw Committee in leading the Educational Exchange Subcommittee.  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. She also worked for the Polish American Congress Charitable Foundation, 1980-1984. Since 2016 she has been serving as the president of the PAC Education Commission. 

In 2008 Ms. McLees was appointed Director of Interdisciplinary Polish Studies at Loyola University Chicago to further develop an academic program that meets the needs and aspirations of the Polish heritage students and non-Polish students who are interested in Polish language, history and culture. Under her leadership the Polish Studies Program http://www.luc.edu/polishstudies/ has grown to offer 14 courses that enroll over 300 students per semester. She has organized and managed several scholarly conferences at Loyola University:  

  • Chopin & Paderewski 2010, November 11-13, 2010
  • Jan Karski 2014 Conference, September 19-20, 2014
  • Chicago Catholic Immigrants Conference: The Poles, November 13-14, 2015
  • 75th Anniversary of the Polish American Historical Association Conference,       September 7-9, 2018

Bożena Nowicka McLees

1434 S. Plymouth Court 

Chicago, IL 60605-2729

Mobile: 312 – 804-1305 

bozenamclees@gmail.com 

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