HIGHLANDS – The Twin Lights Historical Society has retained Jenna Paterno on a full time basis at the historic museum, citing it as a major move in planning the re-opening and further expanding the importance and significance of the Twin Lights Historic Site.
“We are so proud and happy to report Jenna has accepted our offer of employment, is already on the job, and is looking forward to meeting specific goals and greater achievements,” said Jeff Tyler, president of the Board of Trustees of the Society.
Paterno, who lives in Point Pleasant, has been active with the museum since 2019 when she became the Historic Educator as an intern with the State of New Jersey. As such, she assisted Historian and Resource Interpretive Specialist Nicholas Wood and aided both Wood and Tyler in opening the Life Saving Station after several decades of closure. Additionally, research was conducted during her employment with the State of New Jersey about the Life Saving Service, to illustrate the organization’s purpose and history within the Life Saving Station.
A graduate of Monmouth University, where she earned her undergraduate degree with honors in history with minors in geography, archaeology and Spanish, and her master’s in history, Paterno did related coursework in history and heritage sites, museum and archive management, oral history and field method in archeology. She also worked as a graduate teaching assistant advising students in understanding subjects, writing and editing essays and establishing a supportive environment for incoming college students. Paterno assisted professors and students in adjusting to remote learning and presented lectures using independent research with unique perspectives on class themes. Prior to graduation, she also was employed at Garden State Art Studio in Brick, instructing students in fine art skills, as well as the Info Age Science History Learning Center in Wall Township, where she was a research intern conducting research at the National Archives in College Park, MD.
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She served as president of the History and Anthropology Club at Monmouth University where she applied for grants, collaborated with other university clubs and scheduled and hosted events.
Now in the full time position, Paterno said she is eager to continue work in digitizing Societies museum collections with a goal towards sharing them on the Twin Lights Historical Society’s Museum website and social media to provide further educational resources for the general public. After her experience with working on multiple projects with the New Jersey State Park Service, she is ready to spearhead additional projects for the Society. Additionally, Paterno is continuing work closely with the State and the Society’s exhibition committee in bringing new exhibits and ensuring maintenance of artifacts both on and off-display. Working alongside the Park Services Resource Interpretive Specialist, Nick Wood, both have created a partnership to establish new exhibits, direct educational programming and provide tours to private parties and school groups.
The New Jersey State Parks Service has regularly maintained the grounds and structure at Twin Lights during a year of closure due to the Coronavirus pandemic, furthermore, the State has been working on internal projects, in which Paterno has been involved. With the doors closed for a year due to Coronavirus safety protocols, Paterno said, “My immediate goal is to bring the Society and assist the State Park Service in bringing the site back up to speed after this year of closure. We have a lot to do ahead of us, but with our hardworking team at the Twin Lights Historical Society and New Jersey State Parks, we can do it!”
Twin Lights State Historic Site is owned and operated by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. For further information on the Twin Lights Historic Site visit https://www.twinlightslighthouse.org/, Twin Lights Historical Society on Facebook, or call 732-872-1814. Grounds are open daily from 9:00am to 4:30pm.