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Career Options for Public Historians: Dr. Craig Stutman

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Posted on November 10, 2015 by Dr. Jack Schmidt .

Dr. Jack Schmidt is Professor of Music and Chair of the Liberal Arts Department at Delaware Valley University where he conducts the Jazz Band and the Symphonic Band. Read his full blog series here

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been introducing readers to Delaware Valley University’s new major in history, policy and society by highlighting the diverse backgrounds of our talented faculty members in the program. I thought the unique interests and experiences of our faculty would not only serve as an introduction to the key people in the new program, but also inform potential students about some of the career options for public historians. This week, I’d like to introduce readers to Dr. Craig Stutman.

Dr. Stutman’s work in the field of Public History began shortly after his graduation from Temple University in the spring of 2008 when he was accepted as the lead research historian and writer on a National Park Service Context Study surveying the history and built-environment of African-Americans in Pennsylvania, a project jointly administered by the African-American Museum in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Dr. Stutman led a team of museum educators and interns from local colleges who travelled around the state to conduct interviews, gather research and collect materials related to the religious, economic, social and cultural history of African-Americans in Pennsylvania. The team met community members in private homes, churches, community centers and schools throughout the state, documenting the voices, experiences and stories of African-Americans and reconstructing the lives of those who, among many other occupations, worked on the farms and in the brickyards, steel mills and coal mines of Pennsylvania. 

The second stage of the project was to organize all of the collected materials into a thematic framework and then write up a historical narrative on the topic. This narrative is now located on Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission website. In addition, he identified historical sites from across the state that he then, helped nominate for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. 

This project laid the foundation for Dr. Stutman’s subsequent work as a public historian. Over the past several years, this work has ranged from curating exhibits at the Germantown Mennonite Historic Trust, located on the site of a 1770 historic meetinghouse, to co-chairing the Toni Morrison Society’s Bench By The Road Committee, a historical memorialization project that has been marking significant events in African-American history with symbolic benches and plaques placed at both national and international locations. Each of these experiences were aided and influenced by the experiential techniques learned on that first job out of graduate school.

Dr. Stutman is truly excited to be part of this new major here at DelVal and looks forward to teaching and mentoring a new crop of public historians. There’s no better place to be to explore the social, cultural, political, economic and religious history, from colonial times to the present, than Northeast Pennsylvania.

DelVal’s location at the center of such an important historic region and our long-term commitment to experiential learning, provide students with unlimited opportunities to apply the techniques of oral history, archival research, construction of historic exhibits and historic preservation. The region’s rich history and amazing preponderance of historical sites are just part of why our new program has so much to offer.

Contact us at any time to speak about DelVal’s new major in history, policy and society. We look forward to speaking with you about how this new degree can pave the way for an exciting future.

Interested students can learn more about the new history, policy and society major at DelVal by scheduling a campus visit

Courtesy: Dr. Craig Stutman Dr. Craig Stutman is interviewed by KYW Reporter Cherri Gregg at a Toni Morrison Society bench dedication ceremony.