to Historic Whitall House
(National Park, NJ) – A partnership forged between Gloucester County and Rowan University has yielded a new Fellowship position that will enhance preservation efforts and programming at Red Bank Battlefield’s Whitall House historic site.
The Fellowship is named in memory of Megan M. Giordano of Gibbstown, a curator for the Gloucester County Department of Parks And Recreation at the Red Bank Battlefield in National Park, who passed away in May 2011.
Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger said, “It has been a difficult year without a curator at the Whitall House and we are fortunate to have a dedicated staff and volunteers who have pitched in to maintain the house and its programs. We are excited to begin our new fellowship program because the Whitall House is important to our history and to tourism in the region.”
“This new fellowship position allows our county to work with an expert in public history so that we can continue to enhance the site, develop new events, and formulate grant and foundation proposals to fund our programs,” Damminger stated.
Freeholder Director Damminger, Freeholder Adam J. Taliaferro, and Rowan History Professor William Carrigan, Ph.D. introduced Jennifer Lawrence Janofsky, Ph.D. of Jenkintown PA as the Rowan University fellow.
“We want to introduce Dr. Janofsky so our residents can get acquainted with her. She has an exceptional background in public history educational programming and we are happy to welcome her,” said Freeholder Taliaferro, Liaison to the Department of Parks and Recreation.
Taliaferro said, “We have over 240,000 visitors to Red Bank Battlefield each year and it is an important location in Gloucester County. We run programs throughout the year dedicated to living history and we also receive a large number of young students who are eager to learn about the important role Red Bank Battlefield played during the Revolutionary War,” he said.
Dr. Janofsky was one of several applicants who was interviewed and has been hired by Rowan University for the fellowship that will run for 14 months. She is an Instructor of Public History, Villanova University, Department of History, and was a visiting Instructor of Public History, Rutgers University, Camden last spring. She has been a Consultant to the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site since 2001 and a Post-Doctoral Research Associate, McNeil Center for Early American History, University of Pennsylvania since 2004. She received her Ph.D. from Temple University, Department of History in 2004 and a M.A., History, Villanova University in 1997.
Rowan University will contribute $15,000 to the Fellowship and Gloucester County will contribute $30,000. The Fellow's responsibilities to Gloucester County will include implementing plans to enhance the Red Bank Battlefield/Whitall House historic site; developing educational programs regarding the site; formulating grant and foundation proposals to acquire funding for various programs regarding the site; developing new events and programs and enhancing existing events and programs such as 18th-Century Field Day, Heritage Days, and the Colonial Candlelight Christmas Open House; and further developing volunteer programs including a formal internship program.
At Rowan, Janofsky will oversee and help train undergraduate interns in public history. Additionally, she will teach an introductory undergraduate public history course.
“Gloucester County residents and Rowan students all will benefit from this creative partnership that focuses on public history,” says Rowan Interim Provost James A. Newell, Ph.D. “It truly is a win-win situation for all of us.”