Have You Met Rutgers-Newark?
Robin Foster, American Studies Program, Ph.D.
Visitors to the third floor of the Newark Public Library in summer and fall of 2013 come face-to-face with her passion for sharing the past with today’s population. Robin co-curated “Bricks, Mortar, Memories and Pride: The James Street Commons Reconsidered,” an exhibition celebrating the life and times of a vibrant Newark neighborhood, James Street Commons. She spent more than a year combing through archives in Newark as well as the National Archives in Washington to develop the exhibition.
Working as a curator is a perfect way for Robin to blend her various areas of college studies – she has a bachelor’s in education, her master’s in museum studies, and is working on her doctoral dissertation in American Studies at Rutgers –Newark. She also has worked as a museum educator with the New Jersey Historical Society and the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, as well as a curator with the Hoboken Historical Museum and Cultural Center. The Journal of Urban History’s September 2013 issue will include Robin’s article on the creation of the South Street Seaport during the turbulent 1960s.
Currently Robin is interim executive director of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.
She loves the American Studies program which she describes as a “big umbrella” that encompasses her museum experience and cultural heritage interests. Robin also praises its flexibility in accommodating her work schedule, and the fact that she will have a Rutgers Ph.D. when she completes her dissertation in 2014. “If I wasn’t accepted here, I would have kept applying until I got in. I didn’t want to go anywhere else,” she notes.