- Expert on diplomacy in Eastern Europe, modern Eastern Europe, and interwar and wartime relations
- Published the first English language book on Polish foreign policy in 1938-39
- 2000: Awarded the Polish Cross of Merit for Scholarly Cooperation with Poland by the President of Poland
- 2000: honored for her scholarly publications on Polish History by the History Institute of Gdansk University and the City of Gdansk
- 2007: Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America the Distinguished Achievement Award for her work editing the book Katyn: A Crime Without Punishment
Anna M. Cienciala, Professor Emeritus of History and Russian & East European Studies, has served as an outstanding scholar and representative of the University of Kansas. An expert in the field, particularly on diplomacy in Eastern Europe, modern Eastern Europe, and interwar and wartime relations, with an emphasis on Poland where she experienced as a child much of the turmoil she teaches, she has been recognized for her work internationally.
Her education was received from a diverse collection of countries, including Poland, France, England, the U.S., and Canada. She received her BA from Liverpool in 1942, her MA from McGill in 1955, and her PhD from the University of Indiana in 1962. She taught European, primarily East European, History at the University of Ottawa (Canada) from 1960-61 and the University of Toronto from 1961-65 prior to joining the KU Department of History in the Fall of 1965. In the course of Professor Cienciala’s academic career, she has received awards from the NEH, Fulbright, IREX, ACLS, and the Hall Center at KU.
Dr. Cienciala is the author of the first book published in the English language on Polish foreign policy in 1938-39 based on Polish archival sources (London) and published western sources accessible at the time: Poland and the Western Powers 1938-1939. A Study on the Interdependence of Eastern and Western Europe. She wrote the book in 1968 based on Polish archival sources found in London and published western sources accessible at the time. She has also published one other book, edited 4 more books, and published nearly 40 academic articles in U.S., Polish, and German historical journals. On November 28, 2007, at the Awards Ceremony held in the Polish Consulate General in New York, she received from the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America the Distinguished Achievement Award for her work editing the book Katyn: A Crime Without Punishment.
Professor Cienciala was honored in June 2000 for her scholarly publications on Polish History by the History Institute of Gdansk University and the City of Gdansk, her birthplace. She was also awarded the Polish Cross of Merit for scholarly cooperation with Poland by the President of Poland.
In one Lawrence Journal-World article, Dr. Cienciala is quoted regarding the extensive amount of time she devotes to her research projects as saying, “Historians need patience, because, like good wine, good history also takes time.” She retired as a Professor of History in June 2002, but remains involved with the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University. She continues to actively research and develop/instruct internet courses on Modern Eastern Europe.
- I should have concentrated more on publishing than on teaching. The best time to do research and publish in History is up to the age of 50, before your energy level goes down.
- Don't worry if some students don't get it; some are just not interested in your field or most other fields offered at KU. These students just want a degree to earn more money, and will do as little work as possible to get it.