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UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/ Daily Collegian)

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/ Daily Collegian)

University of Massachusetts professor Joseph Bartolomeo will appear as a contestant on the game show “Jeopardy!” Thursday night, according to a news release by Associate Director of UMass News and Media Relations Daniel Fitzgibbons.

Bartolomeo is a UMass English professor whose principal research interest is 18th British literature. He is also the associate dean of operations and planning of UMass College of the Humanities and Fine Arts.

In late September, Bartolomeo traveled to California to record his appearance for the show.

“After years of watching ‘Jeopardy!’, appearing on the show was even better than I expected,” said Bartolomeo for the news release. He also stated that “the production staff was good-humored and supportive, the other contestants friendly and engaging, and Alex Trebek a consummate professional.”

Bartolomeo did not reveal details on his performance. For that, viewers must watch the Jan. 5 episode.

Appearing on “Jeopardy!” was on Bartolomeo’s bucket list, according to the release. He became a viewer as a child when he started to watch the show with his mother.

In early 2016, Bartolomeo made it past the online test, the first qualifying round. According to the release, from the pool of around 70,000 online test takers, about 3,000 were selected for auditions. 400 people from that group were invited to appear on the show.

“Blessed with a good memory,” Bartolomeo competed in school and local competitions throughout his life, and enjoys reading in different areas, said the release.

In 2000, Bartolomeo appeared as a contestant on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” but did not made past the “Fastest Finger” round to the “hot seat.”

Bartolomeo joined the UMass English faculty since in 1986 after earning his doctorate from Harvard. In 2007, He served as chair of the department of English until 2013. In 2013, he was appointed associate dean of operations and programs for HFA.

Danny Cordova can be reached at and followed on Twitter @DannyJCordova.

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