During the past several months, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has welcomed five new employees to its staff. Following are profiles of these talented individuals who are helping the division in its efforts to save Delaware history.
Nate Betts is a contract employee working with the division’s State Historic Preservation Office in transferring information previously stored on microfiche to digital files. The digitized information will then be made available to the public on the agency’s Cultural and Historical Resources Information System (CHRIS), a web-based Geographic Information System. A long-time resident of Kent County, Del., Betts was trained in data analysis at Computer Aid, Inc. (CAI) and has also worked as an electrician.
Historic-site interpreter Valerie Kauffman recently joined the staff of the division’s downtown Dover museums (Old State House and Johnson Victrola Museum) after serving as a volunteer at those sites since June 2016. A former art teacher in the Capital School District, Kauffman shared her creative skills with the division’s museums in a variety of functions including designing props, and serving on the planning committee, for the “Listen Up!” spoken-word program. In recognition of her many contributions, she was awarded the division’s Newcomer Award during the agency’s staff-recognition event on Nov. 12, 2016.
Smyrna native Christian Rieth serves as a physical-plant maintenance-mechanic helper with the division’s Preservation-Maintenance Team which maintains, repairs and preserves the nearly 90 structures administered by the agency. A graduate of Smyrna High School, Rieth has apprenticed and worked in a wide variety of trades, most recently as an automotive-repair machinist. He also holds a commercial driver license from the American Driver Training Academy. An avid avocational musician, he plays several instruments most notably drums and trombone, and has performed as a World War II historical-re-enactor.
Contract employee Michael Sutherland has been working with the State Historic Preservation Office to enter the locations of historical Delaware properties into the agency’s Cultural and Historical Resources Information System (CHRIS). Utilizing old paper maps, he is locating parcels, checking addresses, mapping points and filling out digital data-fields in CHRIS that provide information about the sites. Sutherland is a recent graduate of Penn State University where he majored in geography and minored in geographic-information-system technology. The Hellertown, Pa. native now lives in Smyrna.
Daquan Wilson has been assisting Lynn Riley, the division’s senior planner, with data entry and computer applications that are needed in administering the agency’s Cultural Asset Management Program (CAMP) and in other planning activities. A life-long resident of Wilmington, Wilson graduated from A. I. du Pont High School and has studied information technology as part of ITWorks, a program of Tech Impact.