DelVal welcomes Polish exchange students

Oct 13, 2014


Credit: Delaware Valley College.Top row from left: Patrycja Góral (UPH student), Ola Koper (UPH student), Professor Cezary Andrzej Tkaczuk (UPH faculty), Erik Nelson (Copernicus Society), Rafał Kobyliński (UPH student), Mateusz Borkowski (UPH student), Mateusz Borychowski (UPH student). Bottom row from left: Helen Piszek-Nelson (Copernicus Society) and Dr. Jim Diamond ’61 (a former Delaware Valley College dean of agriculture).

On Thursday, Oct. 9, Delaware Valley College welcomed five students and a faculty member from the University of Natural Sciences and Humanities in Siedlce, Poland as part of the Piszek/Evans/Diamond Exchange. The group will be on campus until Oct. 17.

The Exchange is sponsored by the Copernicus Society to enhance relations between Poland and the U.S. Each year, the organization funds an exchange of students and faculty members between Delaware Valley College and University of Natural Sciences and Humanities (UPH) in Siedlce, Poland.

As part of the visit, the students from Poland toured DelVal’s main campus; visited VEG-E Systems, a hydroponic business run by DelVal alumni; and visited New York City. The students will also visit Harrisburg, where they will tour the capitol and visit a dairy farm; The National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa; Ott’s Exotic Nursery and a Blommer Chocolate Company factory. 

The exchange started with three students and one faculty member in 2007 and has increased to five students and one faculty member over the years.  The 10-day exchanges started out with students focused in agriculture, but have since expanded to all majors. Students and a faculty member visit the respective countries to gain insight into their career fields and the culture of the host country by visiting businesses, organizations, companies and cultural sites. They also stay with local families to get a better sense of life in each of the countries.  So far, 44 DelVal students and faculty and 44 UPH students have participated in the exchange.

Copernicus Society of America President Helen Piszek-Nelson worked with Retired Dean and Honorary Trustee Dr. James Diamond ’61, to start the program in 2007. 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.