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Dr. George Bozzini
Associate Professor Emeritus of English
Professor George Bozzini was born in Milford, Massachusetts. When asked to describe his childhood, he recalls, “I never went to a school in my life that I couldn’t see from our house. I never went to a school that had more than four rooms until I went to junior high school.” Bozzini initially expressed interest in architecture but, as he began studying languages in high school, including Latin, French, German, and Italian, this sparked a lifelong interest in and passion for languages. After exploring a host of language programs, Professor Bozzini decided to leave the Northeast to pursue “adventure,” ultimately deciding on Georgetown University’s School of Language and Linguistics.
After majoring language and linguistics at Georgetown, Bozzini graduated in three years and spent a year studying in Strasbourg, France, a city near the border of Germany and commonly referred as a place “at the crossroads of Europe.” Bozzini returned to Georgetown to pursue a PhD, remarking that he “really loved studying about language as well as studying languages.” He was awarded a Fulbright award to teach in Barcelona in 1963, surrounded by the sounds of both Catalan and Spanish as well as the politics of Generalissimo Franco. Returning to Georgetown after two years abroad, Bozzini completed his doctoral degree in 1971.
Professor Bozzini began his teaching career at the George Washington University in the summer of 1971 and earned tenure in 1975. Though initially hired to teach undergraduate writing, Bozzini was approached to set up and act as founding director for the program in English for International Students for the increasing numbers international students in 1975. The program was successful from its inception, topping out at more than 500 students and approximately 30 faculty members. Indeed, he views this experience as one his most important contributions to his field and the university.
In 1981, Professor returned to teaching full-time, teaching courses in both the English and English as a Foreign Language departments. He fondly recalls his experience teaching literature and narrative fiction in particular, remembering, “It works wonderfully when you’re starting off with freshmen because everyone loves to tell their story. And they tell a lot when asked. And I commended them [for their courage].”
It is truly the international aspect of Professor Bozzini’s career that defines and drives his research and approach to teaching. In fact, he cites his participation in the National Association of Foreign Student Affairs (NAFSA) as another vital contribution to his field. He also served as the president of Washington Area Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (WATESOL) and later took on the role of the association’s archivist. He has also worked as a teaching consultant for English language programs in Brazil, Thailand, Syria, Poland, Spain, and Finland. His longstanding involvement with these professional associations ensured that GW’s English as a Foreign Language program was continually recognized as top program. “My GW connection was known all over,” Bozzini remembers. “In USIA [United States Information Agency], TESOL, and NAFSA…that kind of visibility [for George Washington University] is really what’s been my mark.”
Professor Bozzini continues to be active in both the university and Washington, DC communities. He currently serves as the Society of the Emeriti (SOTE) president and is an active member of St. Augustine’s Parish, performing a host of duties from ushering to homebound ministry. The museums of Washington count among his favorite places in the city, particularly the Main Hall of the East Wing of the National Gallery and the third floor of the Museum of American History in the National Portrait Gallery. One of his current goals is to master Tagalog, a language spoken in the Philippines and the native tongue of his partner of more than thirty years. More generally, Professor Bozzini simply wants to continue teaching, learning, and traveling, a way of being that has profoundly shaped his life and illustrious career at George Washington.
B.S., Georgetown University, 1961
Ph.D., Georgetown University, 1971