William Gangi, Ph.D.
“St. John’s goal of providing an education to everyone, especially those lacking economic, physical, or social advantages is something I can relate to coming from a family of immigrants,” says William Gangi, Ph.D. ’64C, ’65G, government and politics Professor in St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. As a second generation Italian American and the first to attend college in his extended family, Dr. Gangi believes the mission of the University falls right in line with his mission in life.
“I came from a working class Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. There were only two kids on my block that went to college, but I always enjoyed ideas and was a very curious person, so going to college was inevitable. I chose St. John’s because of its dedication to helping second generation students get an education,” says Dr. Gangi.
As the author of over 80 articles and book reviews in various professional journals and law reviews, Dr. Gangi also currently teaches courses in American government, political theory and public administration to both undergraduate and graduate students.
His specific interest lies in U.S. constitutional law, and he has conducted comprehensive research on the subject. He recently completed an extensive law review article called, “One Scholar’s Journey on the Dark Side” published in the fall 2007 edition of the Chapman Law Review.
“In the article I summarize the 40 years I spent as a constitutional scholar as well as offer my reasoning of why constitutional law has declined as a discipline and what we have to do before it, if ever, can recover,” says Dr. Gangi.
Dr. Gangi admits students may find his teaching style tough and demanding, but believes it is the best way to prepare them for a successful future, “Sure, I assign my students over 3,000 pages to read in a semester and the pace is very fast, but this helps build their confidence to go out into the world. To succeed, students need self-confidence and to obtain that they must accept challenges. That is what I provide them with – challenges.”
Dr. Gangi is in the beginning stages of re-examining the Supreme Court decision on coerced confessions—a subject he published extensively on when he was in graduate school, but says his number one priority is teaching, “I get to share who I am as a person as well as the expertise I possess. The greatest joy I get as a teacher is to open a mind, to light the proverbial desire to learn, to explore.”