‘Con-Cur’ at Mundelein: A Community’s Journey in Radical Educational Reform

By Willow Tomkovicz


This post is part of the WLA blog’s 2022 series written by guest writers. These writers are graduate students in the Public History program at Loyola University Chicago. Each visited the archives during Fall 2021, delved into the collections, and wrote about a topic not yet explored here. We are excited to share their research and perspectives!


Figure 1: Con-Cur Flyer

During the tumultuous 1960s, Mundelein embarked on a curriculum reform experiment that the Chicago Sun-Times called both “perilous and courageous” [1]. Through the Conference on Curriculum, or ‘Con-Cur,’ the students issued a series of proposals to radically alter their education with input from the “TOTAL Mundelein College Community” [2]. Led by the determined co-chairwomen Sister Kathleen O’Brien and Sister Cathleen Stieber, students made their voices heard, successfully securing lasting change [3]. On the whole, this momentous event in the college’s history brought together the entire Mundelein community to ensure each student could “realize her potential as a human being” through an education rooted in “openness, creativity, and the freedom to inquire” [4].   

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A Century of Activism: The Archival Collection of the Polish Women’s Alliance of America

By Kordian Koc


This post is part of the WLA blog’s 2022 series written by guest writers. These writers are graduate students in the Public History program at Loyola University Chicago. Each visited the archives during Fall 2021, delved into the collections, and wrote about a topic not yet explored here. We are excited to share their research and perspectives! 


A large group of people in front of a building

Description automatically generated with medium confidence
Members of the PWAA attending a dedication ceremony for their new headquarters (in Chicago?). 
Photo URL Link: https://luc.access.preservica.com/uncategorized/IO_aabc534b-ebed-4eb3-afe0-6144a8509cd9/ 

Featuring an assortment of different primary sources that researchers and historians of Polish American history can utilize, the records of the Polish Women’s Alliance of America held within the Women Leadership Archives (WLA) are a substantial tool that may help to uncover new histories about the work that Polish American women did for the Polish American community, during the 20th and Early-21st centuries. Donated in 2006 by then President and Treasurer of the PWAA, Virginia Sikora and Barbara M. Miller respectively, the records that the WLA possesses offer a variety of perspectives into an organization that has long stood as a voice for many Polish immigrants that have resided within the United States over the course of the last century [1]. Not only do the PWAA records offer a cultural, economical, and social look at Polish American society and the PWAA’s work between 1900 and 2006, but they furthermore provide a broader view into the experiences that Polish American Women went through to represent Polish Americans within American society during this time period. Altogether, this collection has the potential of serving as the base for a variety of political, social, and cultural historical works focused on Polish Americans and Polish American women. 

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