About the Institute Director

Dr. John Hittinger, Director of the Saint John Paul II Institute at the University of St. Thomas, shares a wealth of education and experience in John Paul II studies:

  • Professor of philosophy who has spoken to more than 100 audiences and published numerous articles on the thought of John Paul II
  • Founded the Pope John Paul II Forum for the Church in the Modern World
  • Seasoned traveler throughout Poland, having made over a dozen trips, including leading 3 study abroad groups through the country
  • Collaboration with scholars at a number of Polish universities and institutes, including the University of Silesia/Katowice, the Catholic University of Lublin, the Józef Tischner Institute/Kraków, the Warsaw John Paul II Center, and the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Kraków
  • Teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses on John Paul II

Phone: (713)-525-2155

Email: hittjp@stthom.edu

SJPII Director - Dr Hittinger

About the Assistant Director of Polish Studies

Dr. Piotr Przybylski, Assistant Director of Polish Studies in the St John Paul II Institute is a Polish native with proven expertise in Polish history and heritage. Since November 2020, he has co-led in the development of the Polish Studies program by creating classes, hiring faculty, and recruiting students. He also promotes the Polish Studies Program at the state, national, and international levels among the Polish diaspora and in Poland, applying for grants and looking for potential donors for the St. John Paul II Institute's Polish Studies program.

  • Born and raised in Kraków, Poland
  • Energetic contributor and prominent leader of Texas Polonia, with more than two decades of collaboration with various key academic and governmental institutions and companies in Poland, the US, and the European Union
  • Fluent in Polish, English, and German
  • 1st Vice President of the Polish-American Council of Texas
  • Advisor of the Polish-American Chamber of Commerce in Texas
  • Expert in Polish history and heritage
  • Accomplished geoscientist and engineer working over 20 years in Academia, the oil & gas industry, and civil engineering

Email: przybyp@stthom.edu

Piotr Przybylski_Photo_2