Delaware Valley College students travel to Poland to learn about food systems

Jul 15, 2014

Polish Exchange

From top left: Delaware Valley College faculty member Dr. Bruce Richards, Michael Vasconez ’17, Mateusz Borkowski, Dr. Cezary Tkaczuk, Rebecca Goforth ’15, Amelia Wyganowska,  Patrycja Goral, Sara Grafenstine ’15, Regina Luczyszyn ’15, and Anna Lubas ’15 at the Wawel Castle in Poland.

A group of five Delaware Valley College students and Dr. Bruce Richards, a DelVal faculty member, visited Poland from May 20 to May 28 to take an international look at agriculture. The group visited Poland’s cultural and historical attractions; got to know students and faculty there; and learned about Poland’s food system. Thanks to the generosity of others select DelVal students participate each year free of cost. 

This is the seventh year that a group from DelVal went to Poland to learn about agriculture through the Piszek/Evans/Diamond Exchange program with the University of Podlasie in Siedlce, Poland. The exchange also brings a group of Polish students to DelVal each fall.

College Trustee Helen Piszek-Nelson worked with Retired Dean and Honorary Trustee Dr. James Diamond ’61, to start the program in 2007. Dr. Diamond and his wife, Betty, host students and faculty from Poland and have given financially to support the program. Dr. Donald Evans, who passed away before the program was founded, was a faculty member at Penn State who was heavily involved in agricultural programs and exchanges in Poland. Piszek-Nelson and Dr. Diamond both knew Dr. Evans well and chose to include his name in the name of the exchange because of his work in Poland.

The exchange is sponsored by the Copernicus Society of America, which Piszek-Nelson’s late father, Edward Piszek, founded to educate people in the US about Poland. Piszek-Nelson is the president and co-chair of the Copernicus Society of America.

This year’s group included: Rebecca Goforth ’15, Sarah Grafenstine ’15, Anna Lubas ’15, Regina Luczyszyn, ’15, and Michael Vasconez ’17.

The students got to take an in-depth look at agriculture in Poland and toured sites such as a dairy farm, an escargot farm, a meat plant and an alpaca farm. They also visited the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw where they listened to a presentation on agriculture in Poland.

Students also gained a greater appreciation for Poland’s history and culture by visiting historically important sites such as a museum of Polish folk history, former Nazi concentration campus, and Wawel Castle.

Svetlana Shkitko, a faculty member who teaches mathematics, currently coordinates the program.