This past summer on the morning of August 20th, our good friend and mentor, Dr. Paul Dine, passed away. Those who have ever had the great fortune of conversing with the gentleman, a highly respected member of the NJIT faculty for 20 years, would tell you that he was easily one of the most interesting people that they had ever met.
Born in London, Dine was a man who found himself captivated by religion. His interest in the subject consequently led him to become a Catholic Priest who obtained his PhD in Theology at the Vatican. Colleagues say that he was a good friend of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, later known as Pope Benedict XVI. After leaving the Church, his company transferred him to Munich, where he worked in television to teach English through the use of puppets.
His work later brought him to Tokyo, where he was a senior manager at Siemens, and from there, he traveled to America to join Rider University as a professor before finally landing at NJIT’s School of Management.
During his time as a professor, he taught both undergraduate and graduate level courses. The School of Management speaks of him fondly, recalling the many times he taught MGMT390, undergraduate principles of management.
“Whenever his name was on the roster, all three of his sections would be filled before any other professor’s section. Everyone wanted to be in his class,” Dr. Asokan Anandarajan, Professor at the SoM, recounts.
Dine shared his passions for international affairs and travel with his students by chaperoning study tours to locations such as China, Argentina, and Brazil. His most notable achievement in the Honors College as Assistant Dean for Student Programs, however, was partnering with the School of Management and NJIT’s Enterprise Development Center to devise methods for relaying healthcare and training multimedia through mobile technology after identifying the need for public health services. Dine received a $10,000 grant from the International Foundation, a global development organization, for the 2013 humanitarian-service trip after submitting a proposal to travel to the Dominican Republic to conduct a small pilot project involving a few dozen participants and a small clinic, and the project has grown considerably since then.
Despite his late age, Dine did not slacken his service to his students during his last years serving the University. Putting his large variety of interests and widespread background to use, Dine organized colloquiums, taught freshman seminars, and served as the advisor for the Honors Student Council, Tech Observer, and the Honors Newsletter. Ms. Lois Chipepo, Assistant Dean for Enrollment and close friend adds that Dine “came in every morning before 7AM to meet with students who were planning to study abroad to teach foreign languages (one of seven that he spoke fluently) and how to interact with people of different cultures.”
Above all, Dine taught the importance of broadening oneself and acting globally. Outside of academics, he believed, there are many more interpersonal skills that one should learn. He spoke of the importance of knowing soft skills, staying focused on one’s goals, and knowing not to get dejected easily. His deliveries at the end-of-the-year Honors College Senior Banquets always included wearing a tie with Latin words, one that he would memorably point to and read, “Illegitimi non carborundum. Don’t let the buggers get you down.”
Dine’s worldliness guaranteed “you [could] never have a dry conversation with him. Never,” imparts Dr. Cheickna Sylla, the Associate Dean for Academics in the SoM. Indeed, the University’s become blanched of some color since his passing. His sophistication, experience, humor, and most importantly, compassion for others will be terribly missed.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at the Dine family home in Princeton Junction, NJ this Saturday, September 12th at 3pm. For more information about the event, contact Lois Chipepo at email@example.com.