Born in Coventry, England, Danuta or “Donna” Urbikas immigrated to the USA with her parents and sister, the subjects of the book, in 1952, settling in Chicago, Illinois, and growing up in the Polish community. After attending Catholic grade schools and a public high school in Chicago, she graduated from the University of Illinois—Chicago Circle with a degree in biology and began teaching high school biology.
In 1976, she took her first trip to Poland to meet relatives and explore her parents’ home towns. On the cusp of the Solidarity Movement, her movements were restricted by the Communists and the trip became a significant life experience. Later, she graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois, with a Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering. The author has published her thesis, technical articles, worked as a teaching and research assistant and served as president of the Society of Women Engineers in Chicago, participating in numerous public speaking engagements. She went on to work as an environmental engineer and project manager in charge of water and wastewater compliance at coal and nuclear power plants and as an industry spokesperson.
The author is a cancer survivor, currently working as an Illinois Licensed Real Estate Broker, community volunteer, and writer, living in Chicago with her husband. My Sister’s Mother is a finalist in 4 award competitions: Chicago Writers Association, Society of Midland Authors, The Midwest Independent Publishing Association, and Foreword INDIES.
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