A native of Greece, Professor Mazis earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and has been at Hamline since 1999. He teaches introductory courses in European history (ancient and modern) as well as upper level courses in such topics as the Russian Empire and the USSR, Europe during the World Wars, and history of Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Besides teaching on campus, Professor Mazis leads study abroad courses to Greece to study that country's ancient and modern history. In 2006 he was awarded the Agnes Hulburd Conger Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Work in the Humanities. He is the author of the book The Greeks of Odessa: Diaspora Leadership in Late Imperial Russia (Columbia UP, 2004) as well as of a number of articles and book chapters dealing with the Greek diaspora in Imperial Russia and the political history of modern Greece.
In his teaching, Professor Mazis is more interested in the how and why rather than the what and when of history.
"Names and dates are easy to memorize or find on the Internet. Understanding why people acted in the way they did, and how such actions elicited reactions and were connected with other historical events, is what history is all about."
- John Mazis