Committee Members

Committee Members

Albert Cook has been a member of the Social Studies Department at New Paltz High School for 25 years, where he currently teaches World History, AP American History, and Black History. He also has been an instructor in the Urban Education Initiative at Vassar College, where he co-taught classes on the Legacy of Dr. King, the History of Black Voter Disenfranchisement, and the History and Legacy of Mass Incarceration. He has lectured throughout the region on issues surrounding the history of African Cultures and the development of Race and Racism in North America.

Susan Stessin-Cohn, coauthor of In Defiance, Runaways from Slavery in New York’s Hudson River Valley, 1735–1831 and former professor of social studies education at SUNY New Paltz, is currently the Historian for the Town of New Paltz, New York. She is a recipient of the Bruce Dearstyne Award for excellence in the educational use of local government records; the New York State Archives Award for the best use of primary local documents in a curriculum in NYS; and the Pride of Ulster County Award for research on the Ulster County Poorhouse. She has appeared on both CSPAN and PBS.

Ashley Hurlburt-Biagini is a research historian and web developer in the Hudson Valley. She is the former Manager of Collections and Archives at Historic Huguenot Street, where she co-curated various exhibits. Ashley has appeared on WYNT Channel 13, is on the research committee for the Sacred Place of My Ancestors and is the coauthor of In Defiance: Runaways from Slavery in New York’s Hudson River Valley, 1735–1831.

Philip White is a recent graduate of SUNY New Paltz and has been involved since the fall of 2022 in researching the history of slavery in the Hudson Valley. The son of a historian, he grew up in Poughkeepsie, where he first became acquainted with the long legacy of anti-slavery movements in the area. As part of this project, he has been involved in researching and writing about the lives of those touched, both directly and indirectly, by the practice of enslavement in Ulster County.

Sandra Capellaro is a translator, writer, web assistant, mother and dancer who has called the Hudson Valley home for over two decades. After obtaining a degree in history from Freiburg University in Germany, she emigrated stateside where she worked for a German-Jewish research institute in NYC and as a tour guide to historic sites. She recently earned a BA in Written Arts from Bard.

Advisory Board

Erica Brown

Taylor Bruck

Debra Bruno

Jimmy Buff

Wendy E. Harris

Philip Timbrouck

Donna Jeffress

Esi Lewis, Esq

Geoffrey Miller

Jonathan Palmer

Kitt Vanderzee Potter