On Mon., Oct. 1, Dr. Mary A. Papazian, the president of Southern Connecticut State University, will be the featured speaker at the dinner meeting of the St. James Armenian Church Men’s Club. The topic will be “Education as a Path to Prosperity.”
Papazian currently serves as the 11th president of Southern Connecticut State University, a comprehensive public institution serving nearly 12,000 students that is part of the Connecticut State College and University system. She has enjoyed a notable career as an educator, administrator, and scholar of English literature. Papazian assumed the presidency on Feb. 1, 2012.
Prior to coming to Southern, she served as provost and senior vice-president for academic affairs at Lehman College in the Bronx, which is part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system. Lehman is a senior liberal arts college, founded in 1968 and offering 76 undergraduate majors and programs and 46 graduate degree programs. Similar in size to Southern, it enrolled 12,115 students in fall 2010 (9,841 undergraduates and 2,274 graduate students).
Before joining Lehman’s senior administrative team, Papazian was dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and professor of English at Montclair State University in Montclair, N.J., a position she held since August 2004. During the previous five years, she was associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., where she had been on the faculty of the English department since 1988.
Her scholarly work focuses on the 17th-century English poet and clergyman John Donne, and has been published in a wide range of academic venues. Her book, John Donne and the Protestant Reformation: New Perspectives, was published by Wayne State University Press in August 2003. A second book, The Sacred and Profane in English Renaissance Literature, was published by the University of Delaware Press in June 2008. Papazian served the John Donne Society as secretary/treasurer from 1990-2005 and as president in 2006-07.
A native Californian, Papazian completed her graduate and undergraduate education at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she received her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in English literature. Upon graduating summa cum laude with her B.A. in English, she was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She currently lives in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., with her husband, Dennis R. Papazian, a long-time professor of history and founding director of the Armenian Research Center at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, and their two daughters, Ani and Marie.
The social hour starts with mezza at 6:15 p.m., following by a complete losh kebab and kheyma dinner at 7 p.m. Admission is $12 per person. The dinner meeting will be at the St. James Armenian Church Charles Mosesian Cultural and Youth Center, Keljik Hall, 465 Mount Auburn St. in Watertown. Ladies, as always, are welcome.