Friday, October 20, 2017

Sarah's first pilgrimage to national PA  on MSU campus 2011.

Next week I travel to Bozeman, Montana for my last Project Archaeology Leadership Team meeting. Six years since my first team meeting, I'm in a sentimental mood. I first became aware of Project Archaeology 18 years ago during my Masters  program at East Carolina University (go Pirates!). Charlie Ewen was my advisor, and I opted to do an internship with Patricia Samford who at the time was the archaeologist at Tryon Palace in New Bern. Tricia introduced me to Intrigue of the Past lessons published by PA, and I was hooked.

Jeanne Moe presents at my first PA workshop in WV 2006.
When I moved to Kentucky, Gwynn Henderson and Jay Stottman  at the Kentucky Archaeological Survey furthered my education into Project Archaeology. With them, I attended my first Project Archaeology meetings and I met Jeanne Moe for the first time. Jeanne was sharing the building blocks for the next chapter for Project Archaeology: the Investigating Shelter curriculum. It was a time of change and transition as we were trying to better understand how to meet the needs of teachers first, which meant understanding how students learn and language to fit in with educators.

Project Archaeology Conference at Crow Canyon in Cortez, Colorado 2004.

Gwynn Henderson in front of Bozeman public library.
The Florida Public Archaeology Network started in 2005, and I applied for every position posted across the state. It wasn't one of the main reasons for moving to Florida, but when I did, I realized that I--Sarah Miller--could ascend to the much coveted position of State Coordinator for Project Archaeology in Florida. Gwynn Henderson was the State Coordinator for Kentucky, and by moving to a state without a program yet, the position was vacant and needed.

I first realized there was such a thing as the Leadership Team during a Project Archaeology meeting where the Leadership Team members had to put on a skit and help present information to other coordinators. Who were they? What did they do? Who would I have to push down the stairs so I could join this team of leadership?

Joelle Clark facilitates 1st facilitator training in Florida 2009.
Jeanne answered all my questions, and definitely encouraged me to not go the stairs route. She cites the Leadership Team as one of her best decisions in the 27 years of the program. Leadership Team members are nominated and elected to a three year term. They serve as an advisory board and help national Project Archaeology staff with annual work plan objectives. They help review material, train facilitators who go on to offer workshops, and help draft policy that helps the overall Project Archaeology network survive.

Gwynn Henderson nominated me to the Leadership Team in 2011. Maybe she was worried about the stair factor, but I like to think she wanted to fan the spark in my heart for archaeology education. Lynn Alex from Iowa, who I long admired from her work on the Society for American Archaeology's (SAA) Public Education Committee, was also nominated and elected with me that year. We  traveled for the first time to Bozeman in 2011 where I roomed with Joelle Clark and we got to business of Archaeology Science for All, curriculum development updates on Food and Land, watched the professional development video to be used for promotional and training purposes, discussed website updates, and reviewed a rock art special unit. I learned Leadership Team retreats are somehow even MORE intense than Project Archaeology conferences, which are all day, full engagement exercises in team building and collaboration.

Gwynn and Gail rappin' *

Virginia and Alex chattin' *

Viginia carrying Jeanne's guitar for strummin'

9 pm at night and Ranel, Maureen, and Gail are still in the room I shared with Joelle focused on PA!

Project Archaeology received a US Secretary of the Interior's Partners in Conservation Award 2011.

Professional development in a fav place: a cemetery!
Project Archaeology hosts a biennial conference, and the Leadership Team meets on the off year from the conference. I traveled again to Bozeman in 2015, the delay somewhat due to Hurricane Sandy (2012) and a year later the 2013 government shut down. For my second round, the topics we discussed included commemoration of Project Archaeology's 25th birthday, sustainability, process of curriculum development, and success of Leadership Academy. Teresa Moyer from NPS was my roommate at the Lark and came to discuss informal education.

I don't know who my roommate will be this year, or what joys and challenges we'll be sharing. I do know it will be solid days of hard work and cold walks up the hill to MSU campus. I'll see Project Archaeology peeps still at conferences and the biennial meeting, but I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Jeanne Moe, Crystal Alegria, and the rest of the national Project Archaeology staff over the years: Courtney Agenten, Erika Malo, Rebekah Schields, Kathleen Fransciso, and Lawson Moorman. I want to thank Gwynn Henderson for the nomination, and my roommates Joelle and Teresa for continuing to digest each day's meaty topics until midnight. And all the people who served and continue to serve on Leadership Team.

I'm grateful, and I'm looking forward to fanning the sparks of others eager and willing to serve.

Lianne Bennett: 2010 1st PA workshop at Cumberland Island, PA instructor 2011 at Kingsley, and now Leadership Team member for Florida!

In order of appearance on agendas starting in 2011:
Virginial Wulfkuhle - Kansas
Gail Lundeen - Missouri
Ranel Capron - Wyoming and BLM liaison
Maureen Malloy - Chesapeake region and SAA liaison
Gwynn Henderson - Kentucky
Joelle Clark - Arizona
Lynn Alex - Iowa
Shelley Davis-Brunner - Idaho
Dani Hoefer - Colorado
Theresa McReynolds Shebalin - North Carolina
Samantha Kirkley - Utah
Elizabeth Reetz - Iowa
Lianne Bennett - Florida
Carol Ng-He - Oriental Institute
Elizabeth Pruitt - SAA liaison
Courtney Agenten - Minnesota
Becca Simon - Colorado

And signing off Sarah Miller - Florida

Text & images: Sarah Miller, FPAN staff
*Gwynnlish appears courtesy of Gwynn Henderson- never a pecknad, and so very very yeay

One Response so far.

  1. Sarah, you may be gone for the moment, but certainly not forgotten. And don't worry; we will find another Leadership spot for you soon. Thank you for your service on the Leadership Team and for all you do for Project Archaeology.

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