B. A. Rhode Island College. M. Ed. Lehigh University (administration and supervision)
What was your professional background before your current position?
I was director of Glenn Curtiss Museum, and before that spent 21 years in non-public schools, mostly in administration. I also taught history as an adjunct at the Genesee Community College Dansville Campus Center.
Describe your current position:
Director of Steuben County Historical Society.
What do you like best about your work?
Learning more and more about the County's people and history.
What has been your biggest professional challenge?
Finding more volunteers.
How are you seeing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion play a more prominent role in your work environment?
We have been working to make the history of Steuben County women, migrant workers, enslaved people, and "ethnic" (out-of-the-mainstream) religious groups better known. I am currently completing a major study of slavery in Steuben.
What other organizations are you involved with?
Centenary United Methodist Church, Bath; the Grand Comics Database
What advice would you give to someone new to the field?
"Local" history has tended to be inoffensive, and also has tended to focus on "nuts and bolts" -- When was the firehouse built? When was the church founded? Important though such questions are, it's more significant to dig into deeper themes, such as the economic, racial, and ethnic forces that have shaped and channeled the community. Also -- we are not just studying the past! We are also building resources about what's going on TODAY, for the researcher who walks through the door fifty years from now.
Are there any tips you would like to share that help you get things done?
Enjoy what you're doing, and be enthusiastic, but be able to turn it off. Your mind needs a rest, and so do your friends and family.
Favorite blog or website:
What are you most proud of?
My wife Joyce and I have been married for 46 years! And we have two fine sons.
What is one thing you would you like to learn?
Better techniques at genealogy research.
What are you most looking forward to doing this summer?
My wife is taking me to an embroidery convention in Manhattan. So I will be visiting the American Museum of Natural History again!
Thank you Kirk!