2013 December 2 meeting minutes

New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance

Minutes of the December 2, 2013 meeting

Present: Benjamin Beede, John Beekman, Ron Becker, Raymond Frey, Paul Israel, Maxine Lurie, Chad Leinaweaver, Marc Mappen, David Martin, Jessica Meyers, Karl Niederer, Laura Poll, Bob Vietrogosie, Gary Saretzky, Rich Veit, Lorraine Waldron, Richard Waldron, Carla Zimmerman,

The meeting was convened by Chairperson Maxine Lurie at 3:10pm in the Pane Room of the Alexander Library.

Minutes: The minutes of the previous meeting were approved with the correction that Gary Saretzky’s last name should be spelled correctly in the minutes.

Treasurer's Report: Dick Waldron gave the Treasurer’s report. At the previous meeting the report indicated that the NJSAA was in dire straits, with so little money that we were in danger of being unable to pay the fee to maintain our bank account. But since that meeting there has been a remarkable turnaround. Thanks to donations, payment of dues, and sales of our merchandise, our income as of November 30 was an amazing $1,004, which enabled us to pay for our awards program. The current balance is $959.79. There was much happy discussion about the providential improvement of the organization’s prospects, and the Treasurer’s report was enthusiastically approved.

Membership Report: Carla continued the good news by stating that we have 90 paid up members, which includes 7 renewals and 10 new members added since the last meeting. We are out of the Jersey shaped cookie cutters premium, but have other merchandise we can sell.

Author Awards Committee: Chad noted that the committee had decided not to accept works of fiction. He invited attendees to stay for the panel discussion by the award winning authors.

Award for a Librarian: Ron reminded members that Betty Epstein had received the award this year. Nominations that have not been given an award are saved for future consideration.

Committee on Teaching Award: Maxine stated that the 2013 winner was Joan Ruddiman, who is a social studies teacher in the West Windsor-Plainsboro school district. Ms. Ruddiman sent a lesson plan along with her nomination, which will go on the NJSAA website. Raymond Frey has agreed to be the new chair of the committee.

Stellhorn Award Committee: Dick Waldron reported that the Undergraduate award recipients for 2013 were Rachel Mark of Columbia College and Rebecca Lynn Russo of Rider University. Ms. Mark’s senior thesis was “Reputation and Reality in America’s Model Town: Remembering Racial Integration in Teaneck, NJ 1949-1968.” Ms. Russo’s seminar paper was “Not having the Fear of God Before Her Eyes: Infanticide in Colonial New Jersey.”

Graduate Student Award: According to Paul Israel, the award recipient was Jarrett Drake, University of Michigan “Off the Record: The Production of Evidence in 19th-Century New Jersey”

about the illegal transportation of slaves out of New Jersey. We only received three nominations of student papers. There was a discussion about the on-line journal New Jersey History, which has been slow to publish these student research papers. This issue is being addressed.

Lecture Series: Laura Poll, the new program coordinator, is working to get speakers for the NJSAA lecture series. For spring 2014 the possibilities are JoAnn Rajoppi, the clerk of Union County, who wrote a book on New Brunswick in the Civil War, and the student award winners, if they are available.

Elections Committee: Gary Saretzky presented a slate of officers that was adopted unanimously: Maxine Lurie (chair), Richard Waldron (treasurer), Marc Mappen (secretary), Carla Zimmerman (membership chair), and Karl Niederer (member at large).

Member News: Karl Niederer is now in the Historic Preservation Office, which will be administering Sandy recovery money.

New Business: John Beekman and Marc Mappen reported that H-NewJersey will be moving to H-Net Commons, a new format, along with all the other H-Net lists.

Panel Discussion: At the conclusion of the business meeting Chad Leinaweaver convened a panel of award recipients who spoke about their books and who took questions from the audience.

Respectfully submitted,

Marc Mappen


NOTE the next meetings will be held on February 5th and April 3rd. Agenda and information on the speakers will be sent out later.