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Report of Regents Cultural Education Committee to The Board of Regents

Your Committee on Cultural Education Committee had its scheduled meeting on January 11, 2016. Regent Roger Tilles, Chair of the Cultural Education Committee, submitted the following written report. In attendance were committee members: Regent Tilles, Chair, Regent Johnson, Regent Bendit, Regent Chin, Regent Cottrell, Regent Brown and Regent Ouderkirk. Absent Regents: Regent Cea, Regent Finn. In addition to CE Committee Members, in attendance were Commissioner Elia and Executive Deputy Commissioner Berlin


Chair’s Remarks: Regent Tilles welcomed everyone and opened the meeting.  The meeting was turned over to Mark Schaming, Director of the New York State Museum who introduced the first item for discussion.

Supporting Graduate Student Research

Dr. John Hart, Director of Research and Collections with the NYS Museum, briefed the committee on a program that began in 2001 under a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between SED and the University at Albany School of Arts and Sciences, in which the New York State Museum offers fellowships to Ph.D. students to carry out their dissertation research at the Museum under the guidance of one of its curators.  Dr. Jeremy Kirchman, Curator of Ornithology, discussed with the Regents why student fellows are vitally important for research at the Museum.  In addition to their research, students have the opportunity to participate in curatorial activities, adding specimens to the collections, contributing to the cultural of scholarship and learning at the Museum, participating in public programs, exhibits, and student training.  Students have completed their degrees in anthropology, biology, and history. Presently there are six students participating in the program.  Alyssa FitzGerald, a current student fellow shared with the Regents her research relating to the breeding range of boreal birds.  Regent Rosa asked if there was adequate diverse participation in the program.  Dr. Kirchman expressed that although the program is based on the student diversity and pool of candidates in the University at Albany program there has been interest from high school students, with diverse backgrounds, in the Museum’s after school program.  Commissioner Elia was encouraged by a recent school visit by staff within the Cultural Resources Survey Program to discuss local field work by Museum Archeologists and expressed interest in additional opportunities for student and adult learning. 

POSTPONED Until February CE Committee Meeting:

Increasing Online Access to Archival Materials

Maria Holden, Bureau Chief of Archival Services with the NYS Archives, will brief the committee on an active program of digitization the New York State Archives has had since 1995.  This program of digitization creates electronic versions of records including digital versions of photographs, maps, drawings and documents dating from the colonial Dutch period to present day and are all made available for researchers online.  Staff reviewed the online resources of the State Archives and highlighted several significant research activities that have been made possible through online access to the collections of the Archives.

Associated Agenda Item

Meeting Date: 
Monday, January 11, 2016 - 2:15pm