Pauline Uchmanowicz

Pauline F. Uchmanowicz of Rosendale, New York, formerly of Falmouth Heights, died June 1 at her home. She was 61.

She was born in Anchorage, Alaska, the daughter of Major Lawrence Uchmanowicz, USAF (ret.) and Catherine Powers Uchmanowicz.

She was a member of the Falmouth High School Class of 1975 and the first female class president ever in Falmouth.

In 1974, she won Falmouth's 10th Junior Miss Pageant and received $300. She participated also at the state level.

While pursuing her studies for a career as an educator, she spent most of her summers on Cape Cod. Her first job in Falmouth was at The Pancake Man on Main Street; she also worked at the Landfall Restaurant in Woods Hole and the Casino-by-the-Sea in Falmouth Heights.

She earned her undergraduate degree from University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1982, graduating summa cum laude. Three years later she held a master of fine arts degree from the Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa, where her focus was in creative writing with a concentration in contemporary poetry; and subsequently a doctorate from the University of Rhode Island.

She embarked on her career, and taught on campuses including Wheaton College and Southeastern Massachusetts University. While she was on the teaching staff at Wayne State University in Michigan, in 1995, the Enterprise reported that "an article by Dr. Pauline Uchmanowicz of Falmouth was recently published in Z Magazine." The article, "Babes in Toyland,'' had also been the cover story in a Sunday issue of Detroit's Metro Times, and mentioned in a recent issue of College English. Another article, "Vanishing Vietnam: Whiteness and Technology of Memory'' appeared in the University of Rhode Island's quarterly "Literature and Psychology.''

Dr. Uchmanowicz started as an associate professor at the State University of New York (SUNY) New Paltz in 1996 and by 2002 was a tenured professor of English.

During this period she was a published poet and essayist, was writing a weekly food column for The Woodstock Times and was a feature writer for local magazines such as Chronogram, Upstate House, and Catskill Region Guide.

In 2004, Dr. Uchmanowicz received the State University of New York's New Paltz Chancellor's Award for Excellence. The award recognizes professors "who perform superbly in the classroom and who garner the respect of their colleagues, students, and the campus president."

A leading advocate for the teaching of writing in all its forms, she helped develop creative writing curricula in the department of English at SUNY, and also served for many years as the coordinator of composition program, which oversees initial writing courses for New Paltz students.

The campus community recognized her in 2008 as the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Teacher of the Year. 

She continued teaching and writing at SUNY until her death.

She leaves five siblings, Mary Kay Uchmanowicz of Warwick, Rhode Island, John F. Uchmanowicz of Falmouth, Lawrence Uchmanowicz III of Dayton, Ohio, Joseph Taylor of Shrewsbury, and Peter Uchmanowicz of Falmouth; and six nieces and nephews, Michael Uchmanowicz, Stephen Uchmanowicz, Sarah Uchmanowicz, Jordan Branam, Nicholas Adams and Katie Uchmanowicz.

She was preceded in death by her father and mother, who died in 2006 and 2014, respectively.

A memorial service will be held in New Paltz, New York, on Saturday, June 8.

A celebration of her life and interment will be in Falmouth this summer.

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