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Patricia Ard Named Co-Recipient of the 2021 Fred and Florence Thomases Faculty Award

Literature Professor Patricia Ard has been selected to be a co-recipient of the Thomases Award this year, along with Amanda Beecher. The Thomases Award recognizes significant and ongoing contributions to the development of the college. Congratulations to Patricia, who has been an outstanding teacher, colleague and scholar at Ramapo College since 1997. This will be her last year here, as she will be retiring in June. Please join us in celebrating her achievements.

The Award Ceremony will take place virtually on March 10 at 3PM.

Teaching High School AP History Using the Jane Addams Papers Digital Edition

With a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, Cathy Moran Hajo and the Jane Addams Papers Project will be working with a group of New Jersey high school  teachers to explore ways to use the Jane Addams Digital Edition in high school AP classes.

The award, Developing Digital Educational Modules for High School AP Courses, will support a series of virtual meetings between Addams Project staff, and a select group of high school teachers from around the state. This marks the project’s first collaboration with the Jane Addams-Hull-House Museum, as Michael Ramirez, the Education Manager at museum is participating in the project.

Two Ramapo College teacher-education students, Allie Cheff and Marina Kaiafas, will work with the teachers and Addams staff to develop primary-source-based educational materials that draw from the digital edition.

Jane Addams’s work during the Progressive Era and early 20th century was wide-ranging, and available topics range from her work in establishing social settlements, professionalizing social work, fighting against child labor and the persecution of immigrants and African-Americans, working to win support for woman suffrage, and her efforts for peace and social justice through the Woman’s Peace Party and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

Plans are to  hold a virtual symposium at the end of the grant to talk about what we learned and make publicly available to the materials on the project’s Education hub. The Project will also develop a guide for archives and other editing projects to help them create similar resources based on their holdings.Teachers invited to participate are from all over the state and have extensive teaching experience. They are: Staci Anson (Ramapo High School), Yvonne Beatrice (Mahwah High School, ret.), Katherine DeVillasanta (Clearville Regional High School), Joseph Dobis (Franklin High School), Joseph Dwyer (Nutley Public Schools), Angela Funk (Indian Hills High School), Keri Giannotti (Bloomfield High School), Scott Kercher (Sparta High School), Faye Johnson Brimm Medical Arts High School), Allison McCabe Matto (Red Bank Regional High School), Louis Moore (Red Bank Regional High School), Frank Romano, Jr. (Perth Amboy Public School), Robert Schulte (Neptune High School), and Patricia Yale (Hillsborough High Schoo).This grant builds on work that we did a few years back, also funded by the NJ Council for the Humanities, that developed National History Day guides and lesson plans using the digital edition for middle school students. Renee Delora, who led that effort, has joined this project to provide support to the student workers.

Lisa Williams Publishes Forget Russia

Literature professor Lisa Williams recently published a new novel, Forget Russia (Tailwinds Press, Dec. 2020), a story of love, murder, betrayal and revolution.

Forget Russia is about three generations of Russian-American Jews journeying back and forth, throughout the twentieth century, between America and Russia, searching for some kind of home and, of course, finding something altogether different. It is a tale of love, murder, abandonment, and betrayal. In 1980, Anna, an American college student journeys to the Soviet Union to confront her family’s past. As Anna dodges date rapists, KGB agents, and smooth-talking marketeers while navigating an alien culture for the first time, she must come to terms with the aspects of the past that haunt her own life. With its insight into the everyday rhythms of an almost forgotten way of life behind Brezhnev’s Soviet Union, Forget Russia is a disquieting multi-generational epic about coming of age, forgotten history, and the loss of innocence in all of its forms.

For more information, see