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Ukrainian refugee seminar will feature Westminster student

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Posted on Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Westminster College student Ryan Armstrong will be a featured speaker in an online seminar about Ukrainian refugees at noon on Saturday, March 12. 

Presented by Pleasant Hill Historians, the Lawrence County Historical Society and Westminster College, the live discussion will also feature Mikolaj Borkowski, a Ph.D. candidate at Jagiellonian University who is currently located in Kraków, Poland.

“This partnership between the three organizations highlights how close this conflict is to Lawrence County and explores the challenges that these displaced people are now experiencing within Poland,” said Andrew Henley ’17, president of the Lawrence County Historical Society.

Armstrong, a junior History and Biology double major, will share his research conducted with Pleasant Hill Historians as he analyzes the Melting Pot database from the Lawrence County Historical Society. This database lists the majority of immigrants who found their homes in Lawrence County between 1906–1972. Armstrong is currently analyzing how the health of these immigrants was impacted based on their decisions to locate within New Castle or the surrounding communities. Armstrong, also a member of the honors program, is from Pocono Summit, Pa.

Borkowski helps teach the Polish language to the more than one million refugees who have entered Poland since the beginning of the Ukrainian conflict. He suggests supporting the Ocalenie Foundation, which helps refugees, immigrants and repatriates build new lives in Poland.

The partnership between Pleasant Hill Historians, the Lawrence County Historical Society and Westminster College has produced several student research internships. Research has centered on the trees in New Castle’s Cascade Park, the historic district of New Castle’s North Hill, artifacts at Quaker Falls and the health of Lawrence County immigrants. 

The live discussion is free and open to the public. To register for the event, please visit For more information, please contact Henley at