Robin Simonton, Executive Director of the Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, NC, and graduate of EIU’s Historical Administration program, recently appeared on VoiceAmerica.com radio’s The Museum Life with Carol Bossert. During the show, which you can listen to here, Robin explains the history of cemeteries, their role in community building and the variety of innovative programming that they offer.
Robin Simonton has been the Executive Director of Historic Oakwood Cemetery since November of 2011. She holds a BA in US History from the University of Hawaii and an MA in Historical Administration from Eastern Illinois University. Robin’s graduate school internship was with Jekyll Island State Historic Site off the coast of Brunswick, Georgia. After she graduated from Eastern Illinois, she returned to Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines in Raleigh. She served in various capacities there, but ended as the Program and Volunteer Services Executive at Girl Scouts — North Carolina Coastal Pines in 2011. While there, she planned historic trips for the girls to participate in to Savannah, as well as developed local historic programming for the Girl Scouts. She also created the event Monumental Fun at Historic Oakwood Cemetery for Girl Scouts to enjoy.
Robin Simonton on the grounds of Oakwood Cemetery with students from William Peace University (photo: Robin Simonton).
She left the Girl Scouts 5 years ago for her dream job and continues to develop educational programming for schools, seniors, church groups and universities at the Cemetery.
Robin wrote a chapter in the book Cemetery Tours and Programming: A Guide, by Rachel Wolgemuth in 2016. She is co-authoring an Arcadia Publishing book on the Cemetery which will come out in 2017.
Robin and her husband Jeff live in Raleigh with their son, 6 year old Cullen. Contact Robin via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the desk of HA Class of 2016-2017:
Throughout the history of Illinois, the prominence of public history has ebbed and flowed, from communities coming together to save historic sites, to last years’ nine-month closing of the Illinois State Museum. Amidst the statewide budget crisis this closure has brought the topic of public history to the forefront of a national conversation. In an effort to raise awareness about the importance of public history, Eastern Illinois University’s (EIU) 2016-2017 Historical Administration class is planning the exhibit A Question of History: Public History in Illinois. This exhibit traces the role of the public and the historical institutions of Illinois to show how history was and continues to be vital to our cultural heritage and identity. The exhibit results from a partnership with the accredited Booth Library at EIU and utilizes the collections and expertise of historical institutions around the state. These include the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the Illinois State Museum, and the Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum.
The Historical Administration graduate class develops an exhibit every year as part of their graduate coursework, often in partnership with institutions such as the Booth Library. The Historical Administration Class of 2017 includes: Aaron Martin, Amanda Roberts, Brock Stafford, Cayla Wagner, Claire Eagle, Elizabeth Papp, Hailey Paige, Jessica Craig, Meagan Patterson, and Sara Mercado.
You can track our progress on Facebook, Instagram, and our Website.
On October 6th, as part of BBC Radio 4’s program “Britain’s Black Past,” Dr. Charles Foy will be featured in its episode “Sailors.” During the broadcast Dr. Foy will utilize his Black Mariner Database to illustrate how in the 18th century the Royal Navy was both a ‘taxi service to freedom’ for runaway slaves and how black sailors were always in danger of being kidnapped and sold into slavery.
The broadcast will be available online shortly after its transmission at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07yvszg/broadcasts/upcoming.