2013 October 21 meeting minutes

New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance

Minutes of the October 21, 2013 meeting

Present: Linda Barth, Ron Becker, Benjamin Beede, John Beekman, Tim Corlis, Brian Eichner, Bette Epstein, Raymond Frey, Bonita Craft Grant, Paul Israel, Joseph Klett, Linda Langschied, Maxine Lurie, Gail Malmgreen, Marc Mappen, Jessica Meyers, Gary Saretzky,

Julia Telonidas, Bob Vietrogoski, Carla Zimmerman,

The meeting was convened at 3:15pm by Maxine Lurie, chair.

Minutes: The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

Treasurer's Report: In the absence of Dick Waldron, Maxine gave the treasurer’s report. We have a serious problem – the worst since our founding. Paying a fee to the IRS to obtain non-profit status has used up most of our funds, and our account is just $2 above the new minimum required by the bank to be on deposit. The sliver of good news is that paying the IRS non-profit incorporation fee was a one-time expense. A discussion followed on how to raise the money we need in order to continue our no-fee bank account, and to every year pay for the student awards. One suggestion was to raise the dues, but it was decided to postpone that until the next meeting to see if the current membership drive produces sufficient revenue. Another suggestion was to send a separate appeal letter to individuals who have won awards from the NJSAA. Yet another was to put a check-off on the dues form encouraging donations. See update note at the end.

Membership Report: Following up on the above discussion, Carla stated that she has sent out dues requests. We currently have 73 members, including 12 new enrollees. Carla also discussed our dues structure -- three year memberships for $15. She showed the pen and bumper sticker premiums that new enrollees get.

Committee on Author Awards: Chad Leinaweaver sent in the report. The 2013 winners were selected in September and publicized on the H-New-Jersey listserv. The winners have been asked to come to the next meeting of the NJSAA on December 2. The committee will review the awards guidelines.

Committee on the Award for a Librarian: Ron Becker announced that Bette Epstein of the NJ State Archives was the award recipient. The award was given at the end of the business meeting. Bette gave a charming acceptance speech.

Committee on Teaching Awards: Maxine urged members to send nominations to Alan Lucibello.

Stellhorn Award Committee – for undergraduate papers: The list of award recipients has been announced and the award-winning papers have been posted on the NJSAA website.

Graduate Student Papers Awards: Paul stated that the committee only received three papers this year after receiving seven last year. The committee is looking at ways to increase the number of entries for next year. At the time of the meeting we had not yet come to a decision. Since the meeting we have chosen Jarrett Drake, a recent MS in Information Science at the University of Michigan, as the recipient for his paper “Off the Record: The Production of Evidence in 19th Century New Jersey."

Lecture Series: We need a chairperson for the Lecture Series. For spring speakers, Dick suggested asking NJSAA student award winners for one of the sessions.

Hosting “New Jersey History: An Annotated and Selected Introductory Bibliography”: A third edition of this booklet has been completed by Dick Waldron. It is 50 pages and will be given out for free in digital format. It is hosted on the NJSAA website, and a paper copy has been deposited at Rutgers Special Collections.

Other Business:

Gary Szaretsky agreed to serve as the chair of the nominating committee for NJSAA officers.

A motion to have Dick Waldron serve as the Treasurer was adopted.

Member News:

Paul Israel announced that a map of Thomas Edison in New Jersey has been added to the curriculum materials on the Edison Papers website.

Maxine N. Lurie gave an update to the 350th anniversary of New Jersey celebration, which will kick off with a concert at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank. She invited members to look at the 350th website for information on events and other features. The URL is http://officialnj350.com .

Ron Becker spoke of the need for judges of the three New Jersey History Day competitions.

Next meeting: December 2, 2013

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Guest speaker: At the conclusion of the meeting, Raymond Frey gave an informative lecture about the history of Centenary College in Hackettstown.

Respectfully submitted

Marc Mappen


Update on finances. A number of those present at the meeting and several since paid their dues and added donations. The account has more than doubled since the meeting averting a crisis and enabling NJSAA to fund the student awards this year. All donors are thanked for their generosity and we will continue to look for a permanent solution. MNL