In a commencement ceremony held on Oct. 22, 2015, Edward McWilliams, manager of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Collections, Affiliates, Research and Exhibits (CARE) Team, was awarded the Management Development Certificate from the state of Delaware’s Office of Statewide Training and Organizational Development.
The Management Development Certificate was developed in the fall of 2003. Since that time 72 state employees have enrolled in the program which offers supervisors and managers statewide a comprehensive and progressive series of developmental opportunities to continually improve their performance. McWilliams joins the ranks of a very elite group of only seven state employees to graduate from this challenging program.
During the course of his studies, which took place from 2013 to 2015, McWilliams was required to attend 13 required courses and four elective courses, prepare course-summary notes, complete a year-long project, prepare a written report and make a live presentation before program evaluators.
As his certificate project, McWilliams led an inter-organization partnership that created “Forging Faith, Building Freedom: African American Faith Experiences in Delaware, 1800–1980,” an exhibit that explored the state’s black community, its faith experiences and its contributions to the development of religion in the United States. On display from Sept. 27, 2013 to June 14, 2014 at the Delaware History Museum, a unit of the Delaware Historical Society in Wilmington, Del., the exhibit was created by the society’s curatorial staff, which researched and wrote the exhibit narrative and organized loans of exhibited objects; and the CARE team which designed, fabricated and installed the exhibit. In September 2014, the exhibit was the recipient of the American Association for State and Local History’s prestigious History in Progress Award.
During comments at the commencement ceremony, McWilliams discussed his experience in the certificate program and how it will guide him in service to Delaware’s people as a manager within state government. In an interview for this blog, McWilliams praised the program and its instructors, particularly his advisor Marianna Freilich who “demanded the highest standards but who also gave countless hours of encouragement. I would not have been able to complete this program without her support and friendship.”
A native of Wilmington, Del. who currently resides in Laurel, Del., McWilliams has been a Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs employee since 1996 when he began service as site supervisor of the John Dickinson Plantation. He served as curator of exhibits from 2001 until July 2011 when he was named manager of the newly formed CARE Team. In 2009, he was named the Delaware Department of State’s employee of the year. He holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree in arts management from the American University in Washington, D.C.