During the past several months, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has welcomed nine new staff members including a support services administrator, technicians working with the collections of the State of Delaware, historic-site interpreters at the state’s museums, and horticultural and preservation-maintenance professionals. Following are profiles of these newest members of the division family:
Business-services professionals—doing the behind-the-scenes work that keeps the division going
The division’s Business Services Team provides a fiscal and administrative support-network that is the foundation for all of the agency’s activities.
Samantha Angle arrived on June 10, 2019 as support services administrator responsible for overall team management. The lifelong resident of Sandtown, Del. holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Wilmington University and an associate’s degree in accounting from Delaware Technical and Community College. Prior to joining the division, she worked for the Delaware Division of Accounting, the Delaware Department of Transportation and in private business. She is excited to be playing a role in helping to keep Delaware history alive.
Collections technicians—conserving the state’s historical materials for the benefit of future generations
Serving under a special contract since early spring 2019, the division’s two collections technicians have been working to catalog, preserve and store the significant collection of historical materials owned by the State of Delaware including museum objects, archaeological artifacts, works of art and many others. In particular, they have been re-housing collections items in new, acid-free boxes and cataloging collections items into the division’s PastPerfect collections database.
Hailing from Brownfield, Maine, Savannah Kruguer earned her bachelor’s degree in 2018 from the University of Delaware where she pursued a double major in art conservation and anthropology with a minor in museum studies. After graduation, she served as an intern at the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington, D.C. The Dover, Del. resident’s experience in handling archaeological artifacts from a marine environment has kept her in good stead at the division where she has been working with several objects from the China Wreck and the DeBraak and Roosevelt Inlet shipwrecks.
Prior to her work with the state’s collections, Dover resident Nicole Worthley served as a site interpreter at the New Castle Court House Museum and at Fort Delaware State Park. She graduated in 2015 from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in history and anthropology. During her years of study, she served as an intern at both the Newark History Museum and the Delaware Academy of Medicine, and pursued graduate coursework in collections management. As a technician at the division, she has been working with the state’s historical objects collections.
Historic-site interpreters—the public face of the state’s museums
Historic-site interpreters are the division’s front-line connection with the public, adding a human face to Delaware history. Through tours and special programming, they provide in-depth information about the state’s historic places and help bring the people and events of the past to life.
Jennifer Bowman grew up on a sheep farm in north Dover and now lives in Felton, Del. She holds a master’s degree in environmental science and education from Antioch University of New England and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and animal behavior from Long Island University, Southampton campus. She has worked in environmental education for several organizations including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and has served as a watershed outreach coordinator and environmental planner for the State of Delaware. She is looking forward to using her skills as an educator in her new role interpreting history at the Zwaanendael Museum.
New Castle native Kimberly Elisee studied marketing and business at Catawba College in North Carolina. Prior to joining the staff of the New Castle Court House Museum in April 2019, she worked for the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles. As a child, her parents immersed her in history through a variety of activities including visits to the homes of American presidents including Madison, Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. She also fondly remembers school trips to all the historic sites in downtown New Castle. She is excited about sharing the history of her hometown with both Delawareans and visitors from around the world.
Originally from Milford, Del., Nicole Rogers now lives in Dover and serves as a historic-site interpreter at both The Old State House and Johnson Victrola Museum. She earned her bachelor’s degree in illustration from the Maryland College of Art in 2018 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in American history from American Public University. Combining her passions, she is in the process of creating illustrations for a comic book being written by her mother, Terry Rogers, on Delaware patriot Caesar Rodney. She also enjoys making period clothing and, in preparation, is researching clothing worn by English queen Anne Boleyn and Mary Vining, the wealthy “Belle of Delaware” who grew up on the Dover Green in the mid-1700s.
Leigh Shrewsbury is thrilled to be returning to the New Castle Court House Museum after an absence of many years spent working full time at the University of Delaware. However, she greatly missed her colleagues and the excitement of school tours and was happy to return. The position is a perfect fit with her life as the mother of young children and allows her to spend much needed time conversing with adults! She is looking forward to sharing her love of history with the students and visitors to the Court House for years to come.
Horticulturalists—beautifying the natural environment of the state’s historic places
Division horticulturalists provide landscape support-services at the agency’s sites, maintaining a beautiful and safe natural environment that complements the historic nature of the individual properties.
Originally from a cattle farm in Orbisonia, Pa., John Swartz retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2016 after a 34-year career in which he served in both supervisory roles and as an aircraft maintenance-technician. After leaving military service, he owned his own landscaping business before ultimately joining the division staff. He and his family live outside Clayton, Del.
Preservation-maintenance professionals—there’s no job that can’t be done
With more than 120 years of combined experience in various trades, this group of skilled professionals can handle any challenge that comes their way in order to maintain, repair and preserve the nearly 90 structures administered by the division.
Physical plant maintenance/trades mechanic Bernard Garrison comes to the division after working as a custodian for Clarksville Middle School in Maryland. Prior to that, he retired after a 34-year career working in the Giant Foods distribution center in Jessop, Md. The Millsboro, Del. resident is originally from the nation’s capital where he took coursework in advertising at the University of the District of Columbia.