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Prof. Lisa M. Wisniewski: I’m always interested in studies on identity

Lisa M. Wisniewski – A sociology professor with experience in higher education. Doctor of Education (EdD) from the University of Hartford, specializing in educational leadership. Specialized in Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as a teaching pedagogue. Research focuses on immigrant students, teaching and learning and effective teaching practices related to Universal Design for Learning. Has conducted research regionally (New England area), nationally, and internationally. Consults on effective teaching practices (pedagogy, curriculum design, course design) at the higher education level. In the near future she plans to focus on research on women in leadership, particularly in higher education. 

The article is part of a series of Coopercnius conversations with Polish scientists with foreign scientific backgrounds.

How did your journey into academia begin?

My journey into academia began during my studies when I attended optional advanced sociology courses. I’ve always been curious about the world around me and found a discipline that helped me answer my questions. It broadened my interests in the field.

Do you maintain contact with the Polish academic community?

Collaborating with the Polish academic community brings me pleasure. I’ve collaborated with several universities across Poland on sociological subjects as well as educational and instructional initiatives.

What are you currently working on, and what are your research focuses?

I’m writing a book about Polish communities in the northeastern United States. The history of immigration to the region is much longer, but many of these stories haven’t been told. I’m learning a lot about this community through interviews and recounting their stories during research.

What recent achievements in your field of research are particularly interesting?

I’m always interested in identity work. Especially in Eastern European communities, identity work is somewhat limited. I’m looking forward to expanding that knowledge base.

What is your most significant scientific achievement or discovery? Why is it important?

I think with my current project, I’m connecting with contemporary communities as well as the past. These are incredibly powerful connections that can support future work. Some of these stories haven’t been told in a long time, so it’s important to bring them back into the conversation. I think it shows the connections between our past, present, and future.

What scientific problems in your discipline are you most looking forward to solve, and why?

Expanding awareness of Eastern European communities. There’s much more to discover and discuss. Especially in the United States, there aren’t too many works on this topic. Continuing this initiative is important, especially regarding the contribution of Eastern Europeans in America.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your scientific work?

Simply finding the time. Research is my passion, but I also teach at the university. Finding balance can be a bit challenging because each aspect of the work is important.

What are the most important research questions you plan to address in the near future? What directions do you see for the development in your field?

I plan to expand my work in the Eastern European community. So far, I’ve only spoken with a few participants, and I know there’s much more to discover. I hope to develop this research further in the future.

Do the results of your research have practical implications or potential applications? How do you see their impact on society and the economy?

Certainly, one of them is awareness. Eastern Europeans have contributed a lot to life in America, but perhaps it’s not currently common knowledge or discussion. Bringing this awareness is very helpful. Additionally, it can shape the experiences of these communities by participating in key decisions (policy) or feeling greater acceptance in American life.

What advice would you give to young scientists at the beginning of their scientific career?

Choose a topic that’s important to you. Work is important and can change lives, but you have to love what you do. If you don’t, you won’t be excited to engage with it. Find a topic you’re passionate about because it could be the contribution the world needs.

Fot. Unsplash

Lisa Wisniewski
Bio:
I am a professor of sociology at Goodwin University. My area of research focus is on immigration, first generation college students, and college access. I am also a trained Teaching Fellow in Universal Design for Learning, a teaching framework that supports diverse learning styles.
Marta Sikora
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