New members join Delaware State Review Board for Historic Preservation

This year marks several new and outgoing members of the Delaware State Review Board for Historic Preservation.

In October, Flavia Rutkosky, a wildlife biologist, will be joining the board. Rutkosky has worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for decades, joining FWS’s Delaware Bay Coastal Program at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in the early 1990s.  Her focus was creating a proactive presence for the agency in the highly urbanized Delaware River Watershed, which encompasses part of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. In 2000, the opportunity to revive a latent passion for history appeared in the form of Delaware State University’s graduate program in historic preservation, which she completed in 2003. Her thesis project, “Development of the National Landmark Nomination for Howard High School,” one of the three Delaware cases in the landmark Brown v. the Board of Education case, was funded by the National Park Service and supervised by Delaware’s State Historic Preservation Office’s historian.  

For the last several years, Rutkosky has researched the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) activities in Delaware, the last state to receive a CCC Company to work within the state. This research combines natural resource conservation skills and insights with the skills of a trained historian. Having previously served on the State Review Board from 2010-2016, Rutkosky looks forward to continuing to support Delaware’s Historic Preservation goals via another term on the State Review Board.

In August, former Wesley College history and American studies professor Dr. Susanne Fox joined the board. Fox, who worked for Wesley for 40 years, holds an undergraduate degree in history from Randolph-Macon Women’s College, a master’s from the College of William and Mary and a doctorate in the history of American civilization from the University of Delaware. Her dissertation “Gentry Family Dynamics: The Ridgelys of Kent County, Delaware, 1775-1810” was based on over 800 Ridgely family letters and other Ridgely family papers and account books housed in the Delaware Public Archives in Dover. She also currently serves on the Historic Preservation Commission in Milton where she and her husband have lived for the last 18 years.

Current members Anthony Johnson, Daniel Bond and Laura Keeley also were recently appointed to serve second terms on the board. Jeremy Rothwell, who was appointed to the board in 2018 and has served as vice chair over the last year, will be ending his second term this October. The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs greatly appreciates Rothwell’s service to the Board.

The Delaware State Review Board for Historic Preservation serves as an advisory body to the State Historic Preservation Officer, the state official who has been appointed by the governor to oversee and implement the state’s preservation policies in accordance with federal standards. State review boards were created to function primarily as professional bodies that can objectively evaluate the historic significance of properties and provide professional advice on historic preservation matters. In order to accomplish this, a majority of the members must meet minimum professional requirements established in regulation by the National Park Service and represent certain professional disciplines established by the National Historic Preservation Act.

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