Michael Spencer serves as the Director of the Center for Historic Preservation. He is responsible for contract negotiation, budgeting, research design, and oversight of staff and facilities. Prof. Spencer is a preservationist with expertise in architectural conservation and building forensics. His research has focused on the use of nondestructive technologies to investigate and assess historic structures. Such technologies have included infrared thermography (IRT), resistance drilling, and micro-timing. Integration of scientific analysis and the increased understanding of historic trades has also been a focus of Prof. Spencer since coming to UMW in 2009. Currently, Prof. Spencer is involved with writing the UMW campus Preservation Plan and assisting the National Trust for Historic Preservation in developing plans for HCBU’s across the country.
Andrea Livi Smith served as Center Director from 2009 to 2014, focusing on preservation pedagogy and curriculum development. Dr. Smith has worked on multiple grants relating to transportation in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. She has also conducted data collection and technical assistance for the federal Transportation Enhancements program. Trained as an urban planner as well as preservationist and architectural historian, Dr. Smith has focused her research on the intersection of urban design, transportation, and preservation. Her other interests include environmental psychology and the history and reuse of industrial resources.
Christine Henry, the newest member of the faculty, has worked for four years as a project coordinator on cultural resource surveys with the Washington DC Regional Office (WASO) of the National Park Service while working on her doctorate in Urban Planning at the University of Maryland. Prior to returning to school, Ms. Henry worked for over a decade as the Federal Preservation Officer at the Institute of Museum and Library Services, in addition to working with museums around the country to manage their collections and programming projects. Trained as both an architect and as a preservationist, Ms. Henry focuses her research on placemaking, the intersection of the built environment and community identity. She is particularly interested in issues of social justice and diversifying the communities who participate in preservation.
Phone: (540) 654-1313
Cristina Turdean serves as the expert in Museum Studies for the Department of Historic Preservation where she teaches a number of related classes. In addition to these responsibilities Prof. Turdean also serves on the Museum Studies Minor Committee at the University. Since coming to the University of Mary Washington in 2011 Prof. Turdean has actively engaged her students in the local museum community by planning a number of exhibits, conducting collections management work, developing school programs, and writing grants for organizations like the George Washington Foundation, the Washington Heritage Museums, James Monroe Museum and Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center.
Phone: (540) 654-1310
Lauren McMillan joined the department full time in 2017 as the resident Historical Archaeologist. Since 2015, she has been directing UMW’s archaeological and historical investigations at Sherwood Forest Plantation in Stafford County exploring nearly 200 years of occupation on the property. She was recently awarded a grant from the Council of Virginia Archaeologists to support student research on the African American history at Sherwood Forest Plantation. She has also conducted research and published on the archaeology and history of the 17th-century Potomac River Valley and on the archaeology of clay tobacco pipes. Dr. McMillan was recently awarded a grant from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to analyze the Nomini Plantation archaeological collections- a 17th-century site that was excavated in the 1970s but was never processed. She has included, and continues to include, undergraduates in both the Sherwood Forest and Nomini Plantation research projects, resulting in several UMW student conference presentations.
Archaeology Lesson Heats Up on Jefferson Square (October 2017)
UMW Students Unearth Unknown Histories (September 2017)