Meet Mike


Michael D’Innocenzo passed away in November 2021. His obituary may be found at Hofstra University.

Professor D’Innocenzo received the American Historical Association Eugene Asher National Distinguished Teaching Award in 2009.  During 59 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). D’Innocenzo led for twenty-four years 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. Mike was a founder of Hofstra’s Institute for Peace studies in 2015. In the fall 2019 semester, he will team-teach “Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies” (the core course for Hofstra’s newly approved minor field of “Peace Studies.”) During the spring 2020 semester, Mike’s 60th year at Hofstra, he will teach a course on “History and Media.”

Mike’s regular opinion column can be found at The Island Now, under the “Opinions” section of the site.

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of."
(Benjamin Franklin)

"We go farther, faster, when we go together."
(Martin Luther King Jr.)

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
(Margaret Mead)

"Gladly would [they] learn and gladly would [they] teach."
(Geoffrey Chaucer, updated for gender inclusion)

"If we think the people not enlightened enough to exercise power with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take power from them, but to inform their discretion through education. We must preach, my dear sir, a crusade against ignorance, for a nation that expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be."
(Thomas Jefferson)