New Staff Member Joins the Historical Society

May 21st, 2021

By Mel Oles, Visitor Services and Programs Manager at Rose Hill Mansion and Johnston House

woman standing on the front porch of a houseI was recently awarded the position of Visitor Services and Program Manager at Rose Hill Mansion and Johnston House. I am very excited to get started and contribute to this growing not-for-profit.

For over ten years I’ve worked at different museums but the most relevant is the Thomas Cole National Historic Site (TCNHS). I was the Director of Education, Operations and Security at TCNHS, where I planned and implemented a broad range of public programs including, but not limited to, lectures, guided tours, audio tours, guided hikes, workshops, symposia, book signings, performances, and school programs. I worked both collaboratively and as a team leader with the Board of Trustees, the Executive Director, staff, volunteers, and fellows to formulate, conduct, and evaluate public programs. I was a member of the Outreach Community Program and helped to develop and implement the first annual Community Day at the site.

I received my Bachelor’s degree from the SUNY New Paltz with a major in Interpersonal/Intercultural Communication and Media and a minor in Art Studio/Printmaking. I also attended CUNY City College  with a focus in Museum Education. My thesis was on immersive experiences in historic house museums. I was awarded the Barnabas McHenry Hudson River Valley Award through the Open Space Institute in which I served as a Fellow at the TCNHS.

Born in Delhi, New York, I grew up surrounded by nature. Early on, I developed a love for history, art and museums. Now I live on-site in the Carriage House with my two cats. I often spend my free time visiting other museums and historic sites.

I am very excited to get started and contribute to this growing team. I hope to meet and work with all of you soon. If you would like to contact me, please send an email to or call (315) 789-1840.

3 responses to “New Staff Member Joins the Historical Society”

  1. MJ Benda says:

    Thrilled to have you join our “Rose Hill family”!

  2. John B. LaBuff says:

    Welcome aboard.

  3. Pim Larssson-Kovach says:

    I am happy to learn that you will be the new Visitors and Program Manager for Rose Hill and the Johnston House of the GHS. Welcome and looking forward to meeting you some day.

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