When the National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey needed a hand, Rider University was there, at the ready. Now, five years after the development of an active internship program that benefits both students and the museum alike, the University was honored as the recipient of the National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey (NGMMNJ) Robert A. Dennin Minuteman Award on November 27 on Rider’s Lawrenceville campus.
Dr. Joseph Gowaskie, professor of History, was also recognized by the NGMMNJ for his work to implement the program, which has seen 10 History majors from Rider participate in the 120-hour, three-credit program since the spring 2007 semester at the museum’s locations in Lawrenceville, Sea Girt and at the Trenton War Memorial Annex.
“A large part of the internship is to get students to know about history beyond the classroom,” said Gowaskie, also a retired lieutenant colonel who served a total of 23 years of active and reserves duty in the United States Army. “I hope it continues to grow and develop for many years.”
Col. Leonard Luzky (Ret.), president of the NGMMNJ Board of Trustees, presented the Minuteman Award, conferred annually upon the organization or individual that renders significant contributions in support of the Museum’s mission: to preserve the New Jersey National Guard’s history, along with that of the United States; to tell the stories of the nation’s servicemen and women who have defended our freedoms; and to honor the sacrifices of all the American military.
“We are truly grateful and appreciate Professor Gowaskie’s strong leadership, as well as the interns’ hard work and dedication, to helping successfully achieve these goals,” Luzky said.
Rider President Mordechai Rozanski said he was grateful to Rider’s “good friends” at the NGMMNJ for allowing the students to participate in the mutually beneficial program.
“I’m also glad for Joe, to see recognition of the importance of his service,” Rozanski said.
History majors James Sheridan ’13, Griffith Montferrante ’13 and Steve Gorman ’13, who have all participated in internships through their department, were on hand to see the award presented, as was Dr. Anne Osborne, professor and chair of the History department, and Dr. Donald Steven, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.