Professor D’Innocenzo received the American Historical Association Eugene Asher National Distinguished Teaching Award in 2009. During 55 years at Hofstra University, D’Innocenzo served as both a Professor of History and The Harry H. Wachtel Distinguished Teaching Professor for the Study of Nonviolent Social Change. He has degrees from Columbia University (where he was a Danforth Scholar and an Edward John Noble Leadership Fellow) and from Union College (where he was recognized with the Freling Smith Prize for outstanding history thesis, and received the Bailey Prize for outstanding senior service). For the past twenty-four years, D’Innocenzo has led the Hofstra Social Science Associum and Public Policy Institute. Working closely with the Kettering Foundation, the National Issues Forums Institute, and the Public Agenda Foundation, Hofstra’s programs have involved more than 50,000 people over that time span, mostly high school students and teachers, but also increasingly reaching into the community to sponsor intergenerational programs. These extended programs have developed into “town meeting” sessions at nearly a dozen public libraries where D’Innocenzo leads “current events in perspective” discussions. Because of these endeavors and others, he has received many public recognitions and has written extensively on themes of diversity and communication, both historically and in the present.
In 2013, Mike was appointed to the Advisory Board of the National Issues Forums Institute. In 2007, Mike was a founding member of the Hofstra Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) and served as the first chairperson of its advisory board. He is now working to help establish an Institute for Peace Studies as part of the CCE.