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‟A Graduate with a Passion” poll – Magdalena Knapik: a graduate of the month (March 2013)

Within the frame of “A Graduate with a Passion” poll, a graduate of the month (March 2013) was chosen. It is Magdalena Knapik, associated with the Faculty of Philology at the University of Silesia. The goal of the poll is to promote the graduates of the University of Silesia who are distinguished by unusual passions. The title is a distinction awarded to a graduate for his/her interests to which he/she devotes himself/herself with full commitment, as well as for active, distinguished and important social activity and for individual achievements in the field of culture, science or sport. The applications for the title of the graduate of the April month will be accepted until April 15, 2013. After choosing the last graduate of the month, an online voting will be launched in autumn 2013, where all members of the academic community of the University of Silesia will be able to cast their votes. On the basis of the votes cast, the poll commission will award one of the graduates with the title “A Graduate with Passion”.

Uśmiechnięte studentki wśród nich Magdalena Knapik / Smiling students among them Magdalena Knapik

Magdalena Knapik completed a long-cycle Polish studies at the Faculty of Philology of the University of Silesia. Currently, in addition to her professional work, she pursues doctoral studies. As part of her 3rd cycle studies, she conducted classes (for both full-time and part-time students) in the field of communication theory, auxiliary sciences, analysis and interpretation, historical poetics and methodology of teaching Polish as a foreign language, among others. In addition, she constantly conducts language classes in Polish as a foreign language at various levels.

Immediately after graduating and completing additionally Postgraduate Studies in Teaching Polish Culture and Polish as a Foreign Language, she joined the School of Polish Language and Culture at the University of Silesia. Thanks to this, she could participate in many academic conferences, including international ones; she could also be their co-organizer (e.g. a series of “Polish Literature in the World” international conferences).

She co-organized various cultural events for foreign students, but also for Polish ones as well as for students of upper secondary, junior high and elementary schools. She organized and conducted a series of meetings titled ‟With the University of Silesia Throughout the World”. She co-organized intensive adaptation courses for students coming within the framework of the Erasmus programme. For her actions she was awarded the gold badge and the team award of the Rector.

For Magdalena Knapik, working at the School of Polish Language and Culture at the University of Silesia is not only running an office, but also providing comprehensive assistance to foreign students. She organized summer and winter Polish language schools in Moldova, Russia, Canada and Ukraine (in Kharkov, Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk and Mariupol). She also conducted language workshops in Altenberg, Polish language workshops for teachers of Polish in Bulgaria, Kazakhstan and Estonia, as well as the classes in multimedia techniques in teaching foreigners designed for students from Germany studying at Postgraduate Studies of Teaching Polish Culture and Polish as a Foreign Language (many times in Berlin, twice in Leipzig, once in Cologne), Ukraine and Italy. She was also a language teacher during Polish language courses organized within the Erasmus programme and during the Summer School of Polish Language, Literature and Culture in Cieszyn. She promoted the University of Silesia and the School of Polish Language and Culture during the International Education Fairs in Germany, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Georgia. She was a guest lecturer within the Erasmus programme in the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Latvia, Estonia, Germany and many other countries.

Magdalena Knapik on her interests:

My passions are other cultures and languages, getting to know them, but also promoting Polish culture and Polish traditions at the same time. I have travelled a lot and have had the opportunity to meet many interesting people, been able to watch their lives and the diversity of cultures, if even for a moment. I am really interested in various languages and I try to look for places which have something in common with the Polish language. Particularly intriguing are all the holidays and rituals and the opportunity to compare them with the Polish ones.

Everything that I have had the opportunity to do after graduation, I have done with passion and among people with passion. It was from them that I learned to live in such a way so that I would not regret later that I could do something and had not tried. Therefore, I celebrate various holidays several times a year; for example, I celebrate New Year several times: in Chinese, Kazakh, Mongolian, etc. In addition to teaching, I try to get involved in many activities promoting Poland, the University of Silesia, Polish culture, Poland seen through the eyes of foreigners, but also other cultures. I will always remember international Christmas meetings, exotic language lessons, Silesian Researchers’ Night, press briefings, ‟With the University of Silesia Through the World” activities, activities under the Comenius Regio programme, co-organization of international academic conferences, the opportunity to conduct Polish language workshops in distant Kazakhstan or frozen Siberia and all kinds of help for foreign students.

So I would like thank Professor Jolanta Tambor, Professor Romuald Cudak, Dr Aleksandra Achtelik, School of Polish Language and Culture of the University of Silesia and the Department of International Polish Studies for the opportunity of such a life and a career.

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