SOCORRO, N.M., November 3, 2000 -- Mary Dezember was appointed prior to the start of the fall semester to the full-time, tenure-track position of assistant professor of English at New Mexico Tech.
Dezember accepted the post at the state-funded research university after having received her doctor of philosophy degree in comparative literature from Indiana University in Bloomington. She specialized in comparative arts; her Ph.D. minors are in art history and performance studies.
Dezember also garnered her master of arts degree in comparative literature from Indiana University and earned her bachelor of arts degree cum laude in English composition at the University of Evansville in Evansville, Ind.
This fall semester at New Mexico Tech, Dezember is teaching three undergraduate humanities classes: "English Composition," "Art History," and "Science Article Writing."
"I also plan to become active with students who are interested in poetry, perhaps initially by coordinating poetry readings and conducting non-credit creative writing workshops," Dezember says.
Dezember's dissertation focused on several of America's best poets; and she, herself, is a poet. She has performed her poetry in numerous Bloomington festivals, radio programs, coffee houses, and other public venues, and at academic conferences in Indiana and Arizona.
She currently is working on completing a book of poetry, entitled "Heritage: The Quest to Identity by a Cherokee Granddaughter." Several of her poems are published in literary journals, as well as in various audio, electronic, and print anthologies of modern poetry.
Her extensive professional background also includes that of Associate Instructor at Indiana University and positions in writing for the media as a science journalist, a public relations manager, an advertising copywriter, a copywriter/director for a television station, and an editor for an in-house magazine.
Dezember considers her relocation to Socorro "a return to the desert Southwest": she relates that she spent her formative years living in the Phoenix area.
"I love the landscape here," she says. "I think it's beautiful!"
In fact, the New Mexico landscape has already inspired her to write a new poem, "Beyond Socorro."
The surroundings of her new home have also prompted Dezember to again pursue one of her former favorite past times--hiking up mountains.
"I've also taken to driving my convertible out on Highway 60 toward the VLA on a regular basis," she relates. "Now, that's what I call fun!"