Staff

Managing Director – Małgorzata Kot earned a Master’s Degree in Polish Philology from Holy Cross University, Kielce, Poland. In 1995, she joined the staff at the PMA as Head Librarian. In addition to overseeing a collection of over 100,000 books, Mrs. Kot is a frequent author on PMA and PMA Library themes. After almost two decades of practical experience, Mrs. Kot earned an MLIS from Dominican University in River Forest in January 2013. Since September 1, 2014, Mrs. Kot serves as the PMA Managing Director.

Head Archivist – Halina Misterka completed her education in Poland, earning two degrees, first in education, and later in Cultural and Ethnographic Studies of the Carpathian Region. In 2000, she began as the Archivist for the PMA. During this time, she processed the majority of the Archives collections. Utilizing the documents and photographs from these collections, she also served as curator for several exhibits and authored numerous articles. In 2012, she completed her certification in Artifact Collection Care at the University of Chicago Graham School.

Head Librarian/Special Collections – Iwona Bozek graduated from the University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada with BA in Music. She earned her Master’s in Library and Information Science at Dominican University, River Forest, IL. Impressed and inspired by the resilient activities of the Polish Museum in propagating Polish culture and tradition, Iwona joined the PMA as a volunteer in 2012. Soon after, in 2013, she was hired as the Special Collections Librarian, and is responsible for the Music, Polonica, and Rare Book Collections. In October 2014, she was appointed as Head Librarian, and in addition to special collections, oversees the circulating collections.

Historian - Jan M. Lorys graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1971 with a BA in Political Science and MA in History, also from UIC in 1996. From 1992 till 1996, he was a bilingual teacher with CPS. He is the co-producer and writer of a film on Casimir Pulaski. Mr. Lorys served as the Director of the PMA since June 1996 through February 2014. He played an important role as a Steering Committee member in the creation of the Chicago Cultural Alliance, a partnership of 20 ethnic museums and cultural institutions. He has also initiated beneficial exchanges and collaborations with cultural and government institutions in Poland. As the PMA Historian since March 2014, Mr. Lorys focuses on scholarly research and conference presentations, as well as updating and developing museum exhibits.

Archivist & Librarian - Teresa Sromek earned a MA in English from DePaul University, Chicago, IL, in late 2006, and a MLIS from Dominican University, River Forest, IL, in early 2009. In addition to library fundamentals, her studies focused on archival theory and special collections, and she began her involvement with the PMA through an archival practicum in autumn 2008. The practicum turned into regular volunteering, which in turn became employment in the PMA Archives in 2010. On occasion, she can also be found in the PMA Library.

Librarian - Krystyna Grell earned a Master’s Degree from the Department of Philology, with a major in Library Science and Scientific Information, at Wroclaw University, Poland. She has experience working in Polish libraries and at the Department of Culture and Art of the Governor’s State Office in Legnica, Poland. Ms. Grell received the award for Meritorious Service to Polish Culture from the Minister of Culture and Arts of the Republic of Poland. After her arrival in the United States, Ms. Grell initially volunteered at the Museum and several Chicago Public libraries. As of 2004, she is a staff Librarian at The Polish Museum of America Library.

Membership Coordinator/Graphic Designer - Lisa Terlecki earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois at Chicago, with an emphasis on Exhibit and Graphic Design. Her work has been publicly exhibited and published in design journals. She joined the PMA in 2000 after volunteering for two years.

Photography Collection Curator - Julita Siegel earned a Master’s Degree in Art History from the A. Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland (2000). She continued her education in Photography in the U.S. (Oakton College 2005-2006). In 2005, while lending her photographic talents to the PMA, she designed the PMA Library Ex Libris, which won the Grand Prix in the international competition. In 2006, she started working for the PMA, cataloging and digitizing archival photographs. In addition to overseeing the collection, she also curates photographic (historic and art) exhibitions, photographs PMA collections and events, and manages the image licensing. In 2013, she earned the Collection Care certification from the University of Chicago Graham School.

Weekend Operations Manager – After a long career in the printing industry, Fred embarked on his second vocation at the PMA where he has been a Tour Guide for the past 20 years. Currently, he is also responsible for weekend operations of the museum. Being a native Chicagoan, Fred specializes in the stories of Polish neighborhoods and communities throughout the city.

Tour Guide

Tour Guide – Aleksandra Adach graduated with a BA degree in Applied Linguistics from Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, Poland in 2014. In 2016, she received a MA degree in Sociology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Fascinated by exploring intersections of language, culture, and identity, Aleksandra joined our museum team as a tour guide and event support in September 2016. Since February 2017 she is also a communication project specialist.

Weekend Security - For nearly 20 years, Gregory Wiley has safeguarded the collection of the Polish Museum of America on weekends. A Photography Major at the University of Illinois at Chicago in late 1980's, Greg has also documented the museum's events and collection with his camera since 1997. Currently he serves on the Board of Directors of Chicago Community Darkroom.