Allison McGovern, Ph.D., RPA, Senior Archaeologist in VHB’s Hauppauge office, was recently honored as third place recipient of the prestigious Mark E. Mack Community Engagement Award at the Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) Conference. This award recognizes individuals and teams demonstrating best practices in community collaboration, engagement, and outreach as part of historical archaeology and heritage preservation work.
Allison was selected for her ongoing Freetown research project in East Hampton, which combines archaeological and ethnographic mapping research with Montaukett Indian community engagement. This work includes ongoing public events with Anjana Mebane-Cruz, Ph.D., of Farmingdale State College. Together they are working with residents, descendants, and community members to understand the relationships that formed around the historic Fowler house and property—and throughout the Freetown neighborhood—while preservation and restoration efforts continue. Allison and Anjana presented a paper on their work during the conference, highlighting the silenced histories of people of color on Long Island.
“Allison’s experience with investigative research is an asset to projects involving archaeological sensitivities and historical properties. Her keen insight and knowledge of cultural resources management make her well-deserving of this recognition,” said Nancy Doon, AICP, Northeast Director of Environmental Services.
Allison recently joined VHB, bringing 15 years of experience with all phases of archaeological investigations and historical research. She has been a member of SHA for seven years and serves on the organization’s Heritage at Risk Committee, a newly formed committee promoting research and advocacy on the impacts of climate change on archaeological and heritage sites.