Vincent N. Parrillo

Vincent N. Parri11o was born and raised in Paterson, a motivating factor that led him to advocate for the creation of the University's Paterson Metropolitan Region Research Center, and serve as its director for the past four years. In fact, Vince is a completely local product, having received his bachelor’s degree from Seton Hall University, his master's from Montclair State University, and his doctorate from Rutgers University. After teaching English for four years to juniors and seniors at Pequannock Township High School, he came to Paterson State College in 1966 as assistant director of the evening division. In that capacity he initiated creation of a BA program in criminal justice and directly guided it through the approval process. Promoted to associate director, he went on to become assistant dean of graduate and research programs, twice serving as acting dean.

In 1975 he returned to his first academic love, teaching, and soon became chair of the sociology department, a position he held for 25 years, a still-standing record. Since 2008, he has been graduate director of the MA program in applied sociology, and he initiated and secured its accreditation from the American Sociological Association's Commission on the Accreditation of Programs in Applied and Clinical Sociology, making it the first program in the northeastern U.S. quadrant to achieve this distinction Parrillo has served on virtually all University-wide committees, and given numerous talks at the request of the Alumni Association, the Friends of the Library, and the Office of Institutional Advancement, including one in May 2019 for the Hobart Manor Tea. He was twice the recipient of the University’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Expression. In addition, he is the executive producer and writer of five award-winning PBS television documentaries: Silk City Artists and Musicians (2017); Paterson and Its People (2015), Gaetano Federici: The Sculptor Laureate of Paterson (2013); Smokestacks and Steeples: A Portrait of Paterson (1992); and Ellis Island: Gateway to America (1991). He is the author of two historical novels: Guardians of the Gate and its sequel, Defenders of Freedom, both about Ellis Island, its staff and immigrants. He has authored a half-dozen college textbooks through multiple editions, and they have been widely adopted in Canada and the United States. He is also general editor of the two-volume interdisciplinary Encyclopedia of Social Problems for Sage Publications.

His scholarly articles have appeared in numerous journals, some of them published in nine languages (Chinese, Czech, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Romanian, or Vietnamese). His ongoing field research has taken him in recent years to Albania, Bosnia­ Herzegovina, Canada, Kazakhstan, Poland, and Romania. He is a past vice president of the Eastern Sociological Society (ESS) and a past ESS Robin M Williams, Jr. Distinguished Lecturer. An invited lecturer to dozens of universities in Asia, Canada, Europe, and the United States, Parrillo has gone on numerous assignments for the State Department's former U.S. Information Agency (USIA) and current International Information Program (IIP) to confer with national leaders in Canada, Czechia, Germany, Norway, Poland, Romania, and Sweden on issues relating to immigration and intergroup tensions, and to give public lectures and media interviews. He also conducted numerous diversity training sessions for NCOs and senior officers at various military bases, and for administrators and staff in the Barnabas Health Care System in New Jersey.

Parrillo was a Fulbright teaching fellow at Palacký University, Czechia, and as a Fulbright senior specialist, he worked with faculty at Roehampton University, London, in developing cooperative international courses. Previously, he helped create a PhD program in American Studies for the University of Łόdź, Poland. He was also the keynote speaker at international conferences in Belgium, Czechia, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, and South Korea. His keynote speech, "The Challenge for Educators," given at a bilingual educators conference, was published in Vital Speeches of the Day (October 2001). He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Liege, Belgium, and at the University of Pisa.

Active in regional theater as an actor in many plays, he has also directed dozens of plays of every genre. In 2003, he directed a cast of Broadway stars (including four Tony Award nominees) in a staged reading of the rock opera Hamlet (he is co-lyricist) at the Lamb's Theatre in New York City and in 2005 he co-produced its world premiere in Prague. It has since premiered in Seoul and Tokyo to rave reviews and enthusiastic audiences. As artistic director for Bergen Shakespeare, he directed The Comedy of Errors at Bergen County's Overpeck Park in the summer of 2015.

His community service includes serving on the Paterson YMCA Board of Directors, chairing the Ridgewood Historic Preservation Commission for ten years, and giving more than a dozen lecture series to senior citizens for the Institute of New Dimensions in Teaneck.

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