Candidate Profile

Destinations & Ports
History - Art & Culture
History - General
Travel & Destinations
A native of San Francisco, Professor Pilant received his bachelor’s degree (political science – major – and philosophy – minor) at Loyola University of Chicago, and subsequently attended both the University of Illinois where he obtained his Master’s in Medieval and English Reformation history, and did studies at the University of Notre Dame and at the Rome Center of Loyola University.

After a teaching stint in Austin, Texas, Dr. Pilant moved to the Bronx, where he taught high school for seven years while he was obtaining a degree in educational administration and his doctorate in historical theology. He received his doctorate in 1997, and completed his studies at Fordham with the M.B.A. in marketing and information systems. Since that time, he has also participated in MOOC courses, most recently with the Università di Sapieza in Rome.

He has taught for over three decades at both Fordham University (NY) and Saint Peter’s University (NJ).

Since that time, Dr. Pilant has worked extensively in the field of enrollment management at several local graduate institutions of higher learning. He came to the County College of Morris with the rank of Assistant Professor in 2005, focusing on early and medieval European history. Since then he has also taught honors’ division courses, as well as Early Modern and Modern European history. He has also taught the History of Russia during the spring term for several years, and developed a course in Middle Eastern history. He was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in April 2011, and full Professor in 2017. He went on on sabbatical during the Spring of 2018. During that time, he worked on materials and talks dealing with European art history, as well as on the development of Christianity in the Mediterranean world.

Over the years Professor Pilant has had memberships in several professional societies, including the American Academy of Religion, the American Catholic Historical Society, and the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals. He has published several articles for edited essay collections, book reviews, and is working on research for several potential projects. He gives public talks on a variety of historical and cultural subjects, both at the County College of Morris and, since Fall of 2011, for the great Horizons Project, sponsored by the Morris School District. He has also done editorial work, creating instructor manuals and testing materials for Norton Publishers.

Professor Pilant has been an avid traveler, having spent part of his college senior year in Rome. Since 2010, he has given numerous presentations on cruise ships, dealing with art, culture, and history, on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and, most recently, Viking.

He has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards, including the Bene Merenti award from Fordham University, as well as national recognition with the NISOD award from his tenure at the County College of Morris.
Cruise talks having been given in the past include:

- Death in the Cathedral of Florence, concerning the murder of a Medici prince
- Michelangelo and his artistic temperament
- Why Michelangelo Matters
- Unusual stories concerning religious events and sites in Rome
- The history of Gibraltar
- Picasso and Matisse in the development of French art
- The late career of artist Vincent van Gogh in Provence.
- Hagia Sophia and ancient Constantinople
- Ancient Petra and the Nabateans
- Trade and the ancient World
- Greece: It all began with an apple
- Sex, Violence, and Destiny in Ancient Greece
- The Mysteries of the Parthenon
- The New Acropolis Museum
- Santorini: Living on the Edge
- The Mediterranean's Big Bang
- The Empress Elisabeth of Austria and the Achilleion Palace (Corfu)
- The Origins of Ancient Rome
- Diocletian and the Division of the Roman Empire
- The Great Plague
- Gothic Architecture: the First Cathedrals
- Romanesque Architecture
- Gothic Architecture
- Renaissance Architecture
- Michelangelo's Rome
- Rome: City of Faith and Fountains
- Saint Peter's (San Pietro in Vaticano)
- The Development of Saint Peter's Square
- Three Ages of Michelangelo
- Florence and Brunelleschi's Dome: Completing the Duomo
- Pompeii: City in Cinders
- Everyday Life in Pompeii
- Venice - La Serenissima
- Five Venetian Churches Not to be Missed
- Ravenna: Byzantine Treasure
- Sicily: What the Greeks (and Everyone Else) Left Behind
- Malta: Crossroads of the Mediterranean
- The Barcelona of Antonio Gaudi
- The Sagrada Familia (Barcelona)
- Ivan Mestrovic: The Rodin of Croatia
- The Golden Age of Spain
- Egypt: Gift of the Nile
- Egypt: The Pyramids
- Alexander and Alexandria
- The Silk Road and Trade
- The Suez Canal
- The Trucial States and the history of the Emirates
- Ancient Split and the late career of the Emperor Diocletian
- Constantine and the Challenge of Leadership
- Three Patriarchs of Ancient Israel: Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph
- The Abrahamic Religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam
- The Alhambra and the Moorish Moment
- The Uniqueness of Amsterdam
- The Hanseatic League
- Scandinavian Delights: Three Northern Capitals
- Stavanger, Norway: Growth and Expansion
- Flåm: Fjordland
- Bergen: The World's Village
- Oslo: From the Vikings to the Nobel Prize
- Death on the Neva: Rasputin and the Romanovs
- The Brothers Grimm
- The Vikings: What they were (and what they were not)
- Hemophilia: the Royal Disease
- Ruthless Leaders: Lenin
- Ruthless Leaders: Stalin
- Ruthless Leaders: Peter the Great
- A series on the Rise of Russia
- A series on Egypt and its three kingdoms
- A series on the French Revolution and its aftermath
- A series on Modern art, including Van Gogh, Matisse, and Picasso
- Prince Henry the Navigator and Portuguese Exploration
- The abdication and aftermath of the Duke of Windsor
I have given series of talks on nine previous cruises from 2010 to 2018, on Celebrity and RCI — ranging from European history and events, to art and cultural history — on cruises from the Baltic to the Middle East. Topics have included the oil industry in Norway, events leading up to the demise of the Romanovs, art in the south of France, medieval cathedrals, Petra, and the Suez Canal.
Travels and Talks:

Since coming to CCM, he has made two trips to Alaska, several to Canada, and four trips to the Caribbean and Central America. In July 2009, Professor Pilant voyaged to the Baltic region of northern Europe, visiting Saint Petersburg, Tallinn (Estonia), and the Scandinavian capitals. In 2010 he travelled to Central America, this time traversing the Panama Canal. In July 2010 he travelled to Beijing, and subsequently to the Western Mediterranean.

In July of 2011, Professor Pilant successfully delivered a series of five extended talks as a destination lecturer on the Celebrity Equinox, on a round trip from Rome to Istanbul. During the first half of July 2012, Dr. Pilant delivered a series of six extended talks as a destination lecturer on the RCI Independence of the Seas, during a voyage from Southampton, England to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy and back. His topics ranged from the murder of a Medici prince in the Cathedral of Florence, to unusual stories and sites in Rome, as well as the history of Gibraltar and the late career of artist Vincent van Gogh in Provence.

Since that time, Prof. Pilant has given talks on the history of Adriatic and Mediterranean ports (2013), and continued to do so during the Summers of 2014 (Norway), 2015 (the Mediterranean), and 2016 (the Baltic countries, including Russia). He gave a series of talks on Egypt and the Middle East on the Celebrity Constellation from Abu Dhabi to Rome, via the Suez Canal in 2018.

In January of 2011, Dr. Pilant led 21 students and several chaperones on a guided student trip to Rome, Florence, Pompeii, Paris, Versailles, and London. Spring break of 2012 found him leading another group of students to Spain, beginning in Madrid and culminating in Barcelona, with a special focus on cities in Andalucía. Subsequent trips brought his student trips to Greece and Italy (2013), and to Great Britain and Ireland (March 2014). Thirty-five travelers accompanied him on tour in March 2015, for an intensive ten-day trip from Venice to Rome, including Pisa, Siena, Florence, Ravenna, and Assisi. Large numbers of travelers also traveled to Scotland, England, Wales, and Ireland in March 2016, and to Paris and Spain in March 2017. For the 2018 annual trip for students, the itinerary took his group from Munich (Germany) to Lucerne (Switzerland), Verona, Venice, Ravenna, Assisi, and, finally, Rome (Italy). Late May 2022 will find his travelers embarking for Japan.

Prof. Pilant has been in residence for varying periods of time in southern France, near the Italian border, since 2017. He currently maintains his home in Westchester County, New York.
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Viking Star ST230515 Italian Sojourn 7 Venice Monday, May 15, 2023
Viking Star ST230508 Venice, the Adriatic and Greece 7 Piraeus (Athens) Monday, May 8, 2023