The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community (PCCC) received a $10,000 donation from Albert Papazian in honor of his wife, Alin, who worked at the Center as an arts administrator for nineteen years. The Alin Papazian Poetry Center Memorial Fund, set up as an endowment through the College Foundation, will support Poetry Center programming.
A trailblazer in her family, Alin emigrated from Turkey to the U.S. in 1956, at the age of 17, to attend Vassar College on scholarship. After graduating from college, Alin moved to New York City and worked as a physical chemist for ten years at the Thomas J. Watson IBM Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY, at a time when it was unusual for a women to get a research job in the hard sciences. She holds two patents.
Alin married Albert in 1965, and had two children, Elizabeth and Gregory. While her children were young, she held part-time jobs in computer programming and in a lab specializing in AIDS research. A former resident of Ridgewood, NJ, Alin gave back to her community through volunteer work, which included organizing performing arts events. This led to her taking a job in 1991, as an assistant director in the Cultural Affairs Department at PCCC, where she worked until her retirement in 2010. She loved working in the department, especially on Poetry Center programming, and her energy and organizational skills were legendary throughout the College.
“Alin’s intelligence, patience and devotion were treasured by the Cultural Affairs family, as she called us. I am grateful for all that she contributed to the Poetry Center and my life,” said Maria Mazziotti Gillan, executive director of Cultural Affairs at PCCC and founder of the Poetry Center. Since its founding in 1980, the Center has hosted thousands of poets of national and international reputation through workshops, readings and conferences, publishes the Paterson Literary Review and other anthologies, coordinates four literary contests, and partners with community organizations to run arts programming.