Growing up in eastern Massachusetts, Susan Snow Lukesh heard stories of ancestors from New Bedford, Massachusetts, studied the family tree of her maternal grandparents with family lineages extending back to the early seventeenth century, lived among a handful of family antiques, and was entrusted with a gold bracelet—her third great grandfather’s fiftieth wedding anniversary gift to his wife. Clearly, this instilled an abiding interest in the past and when she went to college, she elected to study the Classical Mediterranean. Ultimately, PhD in hand, she excavated prehistoric sites in Southern Italy and Sicily (1972-2000)—how much farther from her family history could she travel and yet still appreciate the study of the past?
After some thirty years as an administrator in higher education, excavating during the summer, an opportunity to live and work in the Middle East arrived. Coming at a time when her decades-long colleague had retired and her field work ceased, the chance seemed irresistible. While there (2007-2010) she traveled to many surrounding countries during work breaks and reported her daily life and travels in a blog so family, friends, and colleagues could see that part of her life. The Middle East was beginning a chaotic time and she feels fortunate to have visited eight countries in the region while living and working in Qatar. During this time out of the US she reflected on what drew her initially to archaeology and to consider the possibilities of using her research, problem solving, and writing skills to further explore, understand, and share her family history.
Once back in the US, she took up this effort, starting with the skeletal family tree developed by her maternal grandfather, added many branches to the tree and proved the dates and people provided, finding, in fact, that the family was descended from eight Mayflower families. The depth and complexity of this small band of colonists and the families they started suggested that she consider ways to tell their stories. She reached out and met her mother’s cousin—Deborah Snow Simonds—who was delighted to discuss family history and share many documents and stories. One such treasure is the carte de visite album created by Susan’s great-great grandmother that is the basis for Frozen in Time. And so, the story of her nineteenth-century ancestors was born. After its publication, she began the study of her great aunt Agatha’s 1912 sketch book developed during her 3-month tour of Europe in 1912. She studied the images and the brief comments, pulling threads to explore what the cryptic comments of Agatha mean. Agatha’s original images and comments are presented in Agatha! Agatha Snow Abroad: A Sketch Book from her 1912 European Tour accompanied by much more—what did some of these brief comments mean, who were the people she and her friends met and briefly traveled with, and what happened to the various players in this brief trip after it ended as the world moved into the first World War and even beyond? Yet a final question remains—how to present the extended family from all the seventeenth-century ancestors? Stay tuned.
Editorial Associate, ACM Inroads, Nov. 2012 –
In addition to copy editing this quarterly magazine, she developed guidelines for formatting and submitting articles for publication and currently serves as gatekeeper for submissions, reviewing the formatting and moving along to the EICs.
Founder and Principal of Susan S. Lukesh, LLC, 2010 –
The transition of her research from the excavation and study of prehistoric settlement remains to genealogical research and the study of personal and local histories is reflected in her recent and current activity: a long-term project of genealogical research of family members from the Mayflower forward as well as short genealogical research projects; development of biographies of Adolph Ochs and Jacob Schieffelin for the German Historical Institute; substantive copy editing of a 400 page novel by young woman from the mid-East; development of a Wikipedia entry for colleague R. Ross Holloway; major upgrade of the Wikipedia biography of her great aunt, Margaret Fitzhugh Browne.
Assistant Dean of Academic Planning and Development, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, 2007-2010.
Associate Provost for Planning and Budget, Hofstra University, 1988-2007, where responsibilities also included:
Oversight of School for University Studies, 2005–2007
Oversight of the Saltzman Community Services Center, 2001–2005
Interim Dean of the Library, 1997–2000
Consultant, Manager in the non-profit and higher education market, KPMG (previously Peat Marwick and Main) 1985 – 1988
Systems Analyst, Brown University, 1978-1984
Visiting Assistant Professor of Archaeology, Brown University, 1977-1978
Associate Director, Brown University Expeditions in the Mediterranean, 1977-2000
Associate Curator of Antiquities at Rhode Island School of Design, 1975-1977
M.S., Library and Information Science, Palmer School of Library and Information Science, Long Island University 2000
Ph.D., Classical Archaeology, Brown University 1976
B.A., Classics, Brown University (Phi Beta Kappa, with honors) 1969
Archaeological Institute of America (AIA)
American Library Association (ALA)
Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA)