Professor of History
Director of Polish Studies
Drawing on his expertise in Central and Eastern European history, Dr. Andrew Wise has created unique learning experiences through Daemen College’s Center for Polish Studies and its study abroad program in Poland. In the classroom, he takes great joy in making history relevant to today’s students and enhancing their view of the world. Wise is a frequent speaker, international traveler, and researcher, all of which is inspired by his lifelong interest in history.
What sparked your interest in history?
Growing up with seven siblings in rural Missouri, my parents encouraged us to be active readers to learn about the broader world. I especially loved reading about history, which was my mother’s favorite, and became fascinated with the study of the human condition in different times and places.
What is the Center for Polish Studies?
The center, which is housed in Daemen’s History and Political Science Department, engages students, faculty, and the community with scholarly activities related to Poland. We have hosted international conferences, art exhibitions, speakers, and other events that bring everyone together on the history, politics, and culture of Poland and Polonia. In partnership with global programs, the center also offers study abroad and international service learning opportunities to students.
Describe your recent experience teaching at Jagiellonian University in Krakow and visiting the town of Szamocin.
Teaching in the Institute of History was a great opportunity to work with students from all over the world and engage with them outside the classroom. Several of these students are at Daemen this summer to study the history of our area’s Polish-American community. While in Poland, I also had the chance to visit and learn about the history of Szamocin, where my great-grandfather was born.
What are your research interests?
My research and published works have mainly explored Polish-Russian relations and the experiences of Polish and Russian immigrants in Buffalo, and environmental and public health issues in these immigrant communities. Along with Dr. Penny Messinger, I am currently researching a monograph on Buffalo Marxists Anna and Boris Reinstein.
What advice do you have for your students?
Engage with the world of ideas. Take a history course to learn about the past and how it has shaped the present, and also study abroad. The American experience is forever interconnected with global affairs. To fully understand the challenges and benefit from the opportunities of the 21st century, students should study our collective history and learn how we arrived at this moment.