2014 December 2 meeting minutes

New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance

Minutes of the December 2, 2014 meeting

Pane Room, Alexander Library

Members Present: Georg Apgar, Raymond Frey, Joe Grabas, Paul Israel, Chad Leinaweaver, Maxine Lurie, Marc Mappen, Karl Niederer, Laura Poll, Gary Saretzky, Julia Telonidis, Bob Vietrogoski, Lorraine Waldron, Richard Waldron, Carla Zimmerman, Jon Lurie.

Nonmembers Present: Emily Barbien, Linda Barth, Anne DeGraff, Danielle Hardy, Terri Jung, Steven Kiehn, Nicole Meyer, Michelle Mihalkovitz, Isabel Wagner.

Note: there was an estimated attendance of 31 people at the event. This may be the largest attendance ever for an NJSAA meeting, thanks in large part to the popularity of the guest speaker component.

Maxine Lurie, chairperson, convened the meeting at 3:05 pm.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting: The minutes of the previous meeting were approved

Treasurers Report: Dick Waldron reported that the opening balance on October 1 was $1,295.04, and the closing balance on November 30 was $813.05. The NJSAA awards were the major expense, and additional money will have to be raised to cover the 2015 round of awards. There was applause for Dick’s able oversight of income and expenditures.

Membership Report: Carla Zimmerman reported that there are now 70 paid members. She displayed some of the premiums that we are giving to people who join. Carla also discussed the NJSAA website; she is keeping it up to date. Georg Apgar suggested that history groups at public libraries might be a source of new members. He agreed to look into this.

Committee on Author Awards: Chad Leinaweaver stated that the committee is now getting nominations at the rate of 13 to 17 a year. Authors are happy to be nominated, even if they are not winners. However, a hurdle for nominators is that they must include five copies of the book. In response to a question, Chad said that the committee did not accept nominations for children’s books.

Committee on the award for a Librarian: Gary Saretzky said that the committee would proceed on the next award round.

Committee on Teaching Awards: Raymond Frey reported that the awards for 2014 were presented at the New Jersey Forum. The two recipients were Mary Ellen Fitzhenry from Bayonne High School and Michele Rotunda from Union County College.

Stellhorn Award Committee for undergraduate papers: Dick Waldron reported that there were two award recipients in the term or seminar papers category, and that in the senior thesis category there were two students tied for first place and one in second place. A list of winners, the titles of their papers, and their academic affiliation was distributed. [It will be placed on the NJSAA website]

Graduate Student Papers Awards: Paul Israel spoke about the difficulty of getting nominations in this category – there were only two for the current round and neither was deemed worthy of an award. He then raised the issue of what was meant by the term “New Jersey studies.” We have been considering papers mostly focused under the category of history, but “studies” could bring in the broader social sciences. Gary Saretzky asked about the status of the long awaited digital academic journal. Maxine replied that much progress had been made on the journal but it was not yet ready for prime time. The title is: “New Jersey Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal.”

General observations about the Awards: Maxine stressed that those organizations that cosponsor the various award programs have either contributed funds or in-kind support, funds are appreciated, as are donations to the organization.

NJSAA Lecture Series: Laura Poll reported that John Delaney had agreed to speak on February 17, 2015, and the Stellhorn Award winners will be invited to the April 7, 2015 meeting. In addition a speaker had been selected for October – Brian Regal who spoke about the Jersey Devil at the NJ Forum. Laura also stated that 92 people have “liked” the NJSAA on Facebook. We should keep this up.

Report on H-New-Jersey. Marc Mappen gave the lowdown on the H-New-Jersey network. At present H-NJ has 1,120 subscribers, the largest number it ever had, and larger than the many networks devoted to a single state, such as H-Florida, H-California, H-Connecticut, and more. By being a part of the H-Net consortium at Michigan State University, H-New-Jersey benefits from training of editors, guidelines against abuse, and access to other networks. The editors are Deborah Mercer, John Beekman, and Mappen. The purpose of the network is to support the state’s history community by providing a free, secure platform for announcements and discussion.

Speakers: The business meeting was adjourned at 4:00pm. After the break presentations were given by the two recipients of the NJSAA book awards: In the Non-fiction scholarly category was Walter D. Greason for Suburban Erasure: How the Suburbs Ended the Civil Rights Movement in New Jersey. The winner in the Non-fiction popular category was Leonard DeGraaf for his book Edison and the Rise of Innovation.

Next meeting: February 17, 2015.

Respectfully submitted,

Marc Mappen

NJSAA Secretary