Parrillo[4]Vincent N. Parrillo is professor emeritus of sociology at William Paterson University, where he twice received its Faculty Achievement Award for Distinguished Scholarship and Creative Expression, as well as its prestigious Legacy Award. He is the author of two critically acclaimed historical novels: Guardians of the Gate and its sequel, Defenders of Freedom, both about Ellis Island, its staff and immigrants.

In addition, Vince is executive producer, writer and narrator of six award-winning PBS television documentaries: Silk City Artists and Musicians; Ellis Island: Gateway to America; Smokestacks and Steeples: A Portrait of Paterson; Gaetano Federici: The Sculptor Laureate of Paterson; Paterson and Its People; and Paterson: A Delicious Destination.

An internationally recognized expert of immigration and Fulbright scholar, Vince has given talks at more than 100 universities in Asia, Europe and North America. He is General Editor of the Encyclopedia of Social Problems (Sage) and has also published numerous textbooks on immigration and diversity, some of them translated into five languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian, and Vietnamese). Vincent N. Parrillo: A Collection of His Work, is an anthology of many of his public presentations in the U.S. and abroad, as well as numerous published essays, book forewords, book chapters, and scholarly journal articles. 

Those articles have appeared in such journals as Social Science Journal, Sociological Forum, Journal of Comparative Family Studies, and Small Group Behavior, and some of them have been published in ten languages (Chinese, Czech, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Romanian, Turkish, or Vietnamese). His recent field research took him to Albania, Bosnia, Canada, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania and the United States, which resulted in a book, Hearts and Minds: Hizmet Schools and Interethnic Relations (Blue Dome Press, 2022).  

An invited lecturer to dozens of universities in Asia, Canada, Europe, and the United States in the past few years, Prof. 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, the Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Poland, Romania, and Sweden on issues relating to immigration and intergroup tensions. He has conducted diversity training sessions for NCOs and senior army officers at various military bases, at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, and for managers in the Saint Barnabas Health Care System in New Jersey. He is also a past vice president of the Eastern Sociological Society (ESS) and a past ESS Robin M. Williams, Jr. Distinguished Lecturer.

In Spring 2000, Prof. Parrillo was a Fulbright teaching fellow at Palacký University, Czech Republic. A Senior Fulbright Specialist, he worked in 2005 with faculty at Roehampton University, London, in developing cooperative international courses. In 1996, he was asked by the Salzburg Seminar to join a team of four scholars to create a Ph.D. program in American Studies at the North American Studies Center in Lodz, Poland. He has also been the keynote speaker at international conferences in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, and South Korea. In October 2001, his keynote speech, “The Challenge for Educators,” given at a bilingual educators conference, was published in Vital Speeches of the Day. In Spring 2010 he was a visiting scholar at the University of Liege, Belgium, as well as a visiting scholar at the University of Pisa in Fall 2006 and Spring 1998.

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. In October 2007, it premiered in Seoul to rave reviews and enthusiastic audience responses, and had a long successful run. He directed the musicals Follies (2022), Guys and Dolls (2017), The Pajama Game (2015), Kiss Me Kate (2014) and  I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (2013) for the Players Guild of Leonia. As Artistic Director for Bergen Shakespeare, he directed The Comedy of Errors at Bergen County’s Overpeck Park in Summer 2015.

8 thoughts on “Biography

  1. Mr. Parrillo, If still available I would like to purchase (2) DVD’s of your film “Paterson and Its People”. Please provide instructions on how to purchase. Thank you

    1. Thanks for your interest in this film, David. DVDs ($20 + $1.50 postage each) are still available. Please send me a check to
      3 Slate Court, Apt B3, Woodland Park, NJ 07424, and I’ll send them right out to you.

  2. Professor Parrillo,

    I am a high school social studies teacher and one of the courses I currently teach is Ethnic Studies. I have found some of your books to be incredibly helpful in my efforts to effectively teach the course, and I particularly enjoy your “Strangers to These Shores” text (just purchased the latest edition yesterday for own review!). I was hoping to speak with you about some best practices for instruction and perhaps what additional resources you might recommend or be willing to share.

    Thank you,

    Christopher Barber

  3. Hi! I’m so glad to have found this page just so I can say hello to a very special professor and theatrical director. You were my sociology professor at WPU and directed me in Godspell in Ridgewood. I always wanted to just reach out and say thank you for your guidance and kindness.

    1. What a pleasant surprise to hear from you, Kim! I hope you’re doing well. I just finished directing Sondheim’s “Follies” for the Players Guild of Leonia , most probably my last show. I’m keeping busy with my writing and enjoying retirement mostly at our Barnegat bayside home in Tuckerton. Take care.

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