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Joseph D. Dilella

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Joseph D. Di Lella, Ph.D (July 9th, 1956) was born in San Diego, CA and has lived there most of life for exception of a five year professorship at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU). Joseph taught bilingual education, multicultural education, teacher education and reading at ENMU from 2005-2010. Before teaching at ENMU, Joseph has taught English as a Second Language (ESL) at such places as Stanford University, San Diego State University (American Language Institute), and UC San Diego.

Personal Life

Joseph's father, Paul Romero Di Lella (1918-2005), was professional singer, musician and aerospace engineer. Paul reached second billing to Frank Sinatra in the famous Rustic Cabin in New Jersey and was a singer in the Ray Herbeck Swing Band at the same time Sinatra was an emerging star in the Las Vegas strip in the early 1940's. He also appeared as a solo singer on the Tonight Show with Steve Allen. Later in life, Paul became a quality control inspector for Ryan Aeronautical and Teledyne for a dozen years. Joseph's mother, Helen Jean Di Lella, still lives in the family home in Point Loma, a neighborhood above Ocean Beach in San Diego.

Joseph is married to Elsbeth Wolf Di Lella and has a two-year old daughter, Daniella, who born on November 21st, 2008.


Joseph earned his B.A. in Sociology from UC San Diego; his M.A. in Sociology at San Diego State University and his Ph.D. in Education at San Diego State University and Claremont Graduate School.

Professional Life

Although Joseph has spent many years teaching in higher education over the past ten years he has worked as a short story author, poet and television screenwriter. In the past decade (2000-2010), Joseph moderated and contributed to six panels at the San Diego Comic Con focusing on helping aspiring writers reach their dreams of pitching to the Star Trek franchise. "How to Pitch and Write for Star Trek" featured such notable writers as D.C. Fontana, Harry Kloor, Jimmy Diggs and Jack Trevino. Joseph himself pitched to Star Trek: Enterprise for several years, finally earning a 'sale' for a work he co-wrote with Jack Trevino and Steve Fratt. Unfortunately low ratings and high production costs forced UPN to trim two episodes from the series in its' third year, thus canceling the official sale or payment to any of the three men.

Undaunted by the failure to sell an idea/teleplay to UPN, Joseph turned to writing short stories for Pocket Books Star Trek: Strange New Worlds series (a book dedicated to amateur writers). In the final installment of the series, Volume Ten, Joseph's story, "Cheating Destiny" was selected as a finalist for publication my Dean Wesley Smith (chief editor of the series run), but once again Dr. Di Lella ran into bad luck. Since the book series was never a money maker for Pocket Books, the division decided to cut down their series of 24 stories to 19 total, thus knocking Joseph out of the running for a spot in the final publication.

Most Recent Works

Dr. Di Lella's most recent works of short stories and poems can be found in such e-zines on the Internet as Mad Swirl, Calliope Nerve, Clockwise Cat and Every Day Poets.

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