What is one of your favorite memories from working at the National Park Service?
This is a hard question to answer, as I have many, many wonderful memories from working in the National Park Service. One of those memories, certainly, is related to my relationship with interns. In addition to managing the more than 400 units of the National Park System, the National Park Service also administers Cultural Resources Programs, such as the well-known National Register of Historic Places (for which I worked for the first 30 of my 40-year career). For the last 25 years of my career, I managed an NPS education program, which employed a number of interns. Some of those interns came from the John Glenn School (now College) of Public Affairs at Ohio State University. Senator Glenn always hosted a reception for his interns and their sponsors. One of my favorite memories is getting to meet and chat up Senator Glenn, who I'm actually old enough to have watched excitedly on TV when he became the first American to orbit the earth.
If you had one interesting factoid to share about our Nation’s parks what would it be?
Many people think of national parks primarily as our county's beautiful natural wonders, especially those in western states (think Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon). Yet two-thirds of the units of the National Park System were designated for their historic or cultural significance. These include historic battlefields, such as Gettysburg; homes of famous Americans, such as Harriet Tubman; ancient ruins of the earliest continental residents, such as Chaco Canyon; places of notable events, such as Kitty Hawk; and many other places with important historical associations.
What do you love most about being a part of the SSSAS community?
There's so much to love! I love still being in touch with so many of my classmates—50+ years after our graduation. I love that the school continues its excellent work to prepare students for additional education and for living productive, fulfilling lives. And I love how hard the school and its outstanding staff strive to nurture the school's sense of community and also consistently find ways to invite alumni like me to remain active members of that community.