Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs welcomes new staff members

Please join the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs (HCA) in welcoming the newest staff members:

Jennifer Bowman

Jennifer Bowman (she/her) has resumed her role as the division’s volunteer services coordinator. Bowman, who has volunteered with HCA since she was a teenager, first joined staff as a seasonal interpreter in 2019 before serving as the part-time volunteer services coordinator starting in spring 2020. In this role, Bowman recruits and engages the talents of dedicated individuals and groups to volunteer with HCA to preserve Delaware’s historical legacy. Growing up on a sheep farm in northern Dover, Bowman’s family actively participated in historic interpretation events with many local organizations and museums, making her work today come naturally since she’s participated in lifelong historic education. Bowman has always enjoyed dressing in costume, visiting new places to show people how cloth was made from wool and other fibers, helping people create and nurture connections between their experiences and the world around them through the past, their community and the natural world that is part of their everyday lives.

Leoné Cahill-Krout

Leoné Cahill-Krout (she/her) joined HCA in January 2024 as a site interpreter offering guided tours of the Old State House and Johnson Victrola Museum. She also assists with research, exhibition, and programs at these historic sites. Her recent work has included creating a virtual museum of the second floor of the Johnson Victrola Museum, which can be accessed online by scanning a QR Code provided onsite. Cahill-Krout has always enjoyed history and served on several museum boards. Before joining HCA, Cahill-Krout served as the executive director of the Old Swedes Historic Site and as the curatorial director of the African American Resource for Cultural Heritage in Frederick, Maryland, where she nominated all of the exhibit candidates for the new Heritage Center. The Pike Creek resident is now serving her third term on the New Castle County Planning Board and enjoys spending her free time at her river house just outside of Chestertown, Maryland, and (when she’s not in a museum) also enjoys activities like fishing and paddle boarding.

Katherine “Katy” Little

Katherine “Katy” Little (she/her) joined HCA in January 2024 as the division’s curator of historical collections. In this role, Little’s main job is to make Delaware’s historic collections accessible to the public. To do that, she works with the state’s museums to develop exhibits, serves as the first line of contact for members of the public looking to donate historic objects to HCA, and writes public-facing content about the objects in the collection. She also assists other curators with research requests and in daily collections work, such as cataloging objects. Little loves stories of the past, and has always found history class to be very interesting and has loved visiting museums since she was a very young child. Her favorite part of history to study and talk about is industrialization and the rapid societal changes it spurred. She believes that the way museums allow people to experience life in the past encourages us to empathize and think more deeply about the people who walked this earth before us, while also offering a chance to analyze the technologies, ideologies, challenges and successes that have shaped society as we know it now. Before joining HCA, Little worked at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore and at the Greenbrier Historical Society in West Virginia as well as serving as a teacher of art and history. She has volunteered at a few historic sites in Pennsylvania, where she said she gained some of her most valuable learning experiences. In her free time, she enjoys creating art, spending time in nature and playing with her cat.

Hemalatha “Hema” Padmanaban (she/her) joined HCA in December 2023 as a fiscal associate, responsible for vouchering and updating the division’s ledgers. She has always been interested in accounting and enjoys working with numbers. In her free time, the Bear resident enjoys cooking and gardening.

Karli Palmer

Karli Palmer (they/them) joined HCA in April 2024 as the division’s curator of archaeology, which means they are responsible for the curation, preservation and documentation of cultural materials recovered from archaeological contexts in Delaware, including artifacts retrieved during investigations performed for compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act, shipwreck artifacts and other archaeological finds donated to HCA. It is their goal to improve public awareness and understanding of the value of archaeological sites and materials, and to improve public access to archaeological collections through virtual and in-person exhibits and research opportunities. Palmer has been interested in history since they were a little kid, but connected with archaeology as a future career during undergraduate studies. Before joining HCA, Palmer worked in the museum collections at Keweenaw National Historical Park in Michigan, and as a seasonal archaeological field technician, and later as a National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) compliance technician for Isle Royale National Park. In their free time, they enjoy video games and tabletop games, reading, hiking, kayaking, identifying wildflowers and cuddling their dog, Chestnut.

Ellen Rendle

Ellen Rendle (she/her) joined HCA as a site interpreter at the Zwaanendael Museum in February 2024. Before joining the division, she worked as the curator of photos and maps at the Delaware Historical Society before moving to Orlando, Florida for her husband’s career. After 12 years, Rendle and her husband returned to Delaware, and today live in the historic Town of Milton with their dog. She is delighted to be thinking and working around Delaware history once again! Rendle is particularly drawn to 20th-century local and American history, especially at the intersection of civil rights and U.S. history. The now-Milton resident volunteers at the Milton Theater, Meals on Wheels and this year participated in the annual Delaware Bay horseshoe crab survey.

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