2014 February 11 meeting minutes

New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance

Minutes of the February 11, 2014 meeting (snow day)

Present: Ron Becker, Raymond Frey, Georg the Palentine, Paul Israel, Linda Langschied, Maxine Lurie, Marc Mappen, Bill Marsch, Laura Poll, Joanne Rajoppi, Julia Telonidis, Bob Vietrogoski, Lorraine Waldron, Richard Waldron, Carla Zimmerman.

The meeting was convened by Chairperson Lurie at 3:15 pm in the Pane Room of the Alexander Library.

Minutes: The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

Treasurer's Report: Dick Waldron presented the report. Our current balance as of January 31 is a healthy $1,205,79. Funds came in from dues payments and donations, and will primarily be used to support the NJSAA awards program.

Membership Report: Carla stated that we have 89 members. This high number is the result of the appeal we recently put out. Membership dues will not come in at the same brisk pace now that the appeal is over. It was agreed last year that to simplify things, dues will be charged annually, and not on the anniversary date of when the individual joined the NJSAA.

Website: Carla has made upgrades to the NJSAA website; among them the addition of the lesson plan submitted by Joan Ruddiman the winter of the teacher award. Laura has worked to improve the NJSAA Facebook page. Members can send announcements and other items for posting on the site. Maxine reported that Linda Langschied, a Rutgers librarian, has offered to have NJSAA lectures videotaped for placement on the website. The members agreed that this was a good idea.

Author Awards Committee: The chair of the committee, Chad Leinaweaver, was not present, but sent in the committee report. He has put out publicity on the program, including the April 30 deadline for book submissions. Several have already been received.

Librarian Award Committee: Ron said that the committee will be getting into the selection of the 2014 recipient. Watch this space for more information.

Teaching Award Committee: Raymond stated that the committee’s task is to select a deadline for nominations and then send out publicity. There was a discussion about a deadline that would reflect the school year schedule for teachers; October first was one suggestion. Regarding publicity, attendees suggested reaching out to the Council for History Education, the Council for the Social Studies, History Day, and the H-New-Jersey listserv. The committee does not have to give out an award to just one teacher; it could give out separate awards to teachers at the elementary, middle school, high school, and college levels if it so wished. Another question is what venue should be used to present the award(s); in recent years it has been at the New Jersey Historical Commission’s annual conference. Ray vowed to address all of these 2014 issues.

Stellhorn Award Committee: Dick distributed a flyer about the 2014 award that included criteria for submission and evaluation and a list of sponsors. The deadline for nominations will be June 1.

Graduate Student Award Committee: Paul Israel is planning to send out notices of the award, which is for papers or theses from graduate students who have written about the history of New Jersey.

Application for Non Profit Status: Dick has not heard back on our application for non-profit status. In the discussion that followed, it was observed that this is probably the worst time ever to contact the IRS given the cutbacks and controversy at that agency, and that we should be patient.

NJSAA lecture series: Laura discussed several prospects that could be speakers at NJSAA meetings.


New NJSAA Award: Karl Niederer is working on a proposal for a new award; this one to recognize historic preservation activities, including archeology. The state Department of Environmental Preservation has expressed interest in this program.

Trinkets: There was a discussion about doodads (aka tchotchkes) that could serve to raise funds for joining NJSAA. Among the items discussed were magnets that could attach to cars and refrigerators. Also, M&M candy (a NJ invention) can be made up with personalized messages, and maybe it’s time to bring back the Jersey-shaped cookie cutters. These could be sold at history events like the History Fair, Archives Day, and the Advocates annual meeting.

New Jersey 350th Anniversary: Maxine discussed the latest developments in this campaign.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 pm. After which Joanne Hamilton Rajoppi gave an interesting presentation on her new book The Brunswick Boys in the Great Rebellion, which focused on the experiences of a New Brunswick family in the Civil War. Ms. Rajoppi is a former journalist and current trustee of the Union County Historical Society. She chairs the county's Civil War Sesquicentennial Exhibit and has authored several pamphlets on regional history. She is also the County Clerk of Union County and a former mayor of her hometown.

Respectfully submitted,

Marc Mappen