2012 EWHP Board Member Bios

Born and raised in the Midwest – Oklahoma, Illinois, and Michigan – Susan graduated from the University of Michigan in Political Science. She was active in student government, and active in the Presbyterian Church where she was vice president of the largest TUXIS (Together Under Christ in Service) youth group in the U.S. Confirmed before marriage to an Episcopal missionary to Colombia, she did chaplaincy work there when it was part of the Missionary District of the Panama Canal Zone. Back in the U.S., while her husband served in the Overseas Department the family lived at Trinity House, part of the National Church Conference Center in Greenwich, CT. A move to Rapid City, SD, and work with the off-reservation Dakota congregation of St. Matthews re-connected Susan to her ancestor, Stephen Return Riggs, who had translated the Bible into the Dakota language back in the mid-1800’s as a missionary of the Congregational Church. Upon her husband’s election as Bishop of Colombia and Ecuador the family returned to Bogota for eight years, until he was elected Bishop of Kentucky.

In Louisville Susan was assistant to the director of Locust Grove, the home of George Rogers Clark, before returning to graduate school for a Masters in Community Development and ABD status in Sociology at the University of Louisville. While teaching basic courses at U of L, she also worked for the YWCA directing a Department of Labor program for Displaced Homemakers. For the AFL/CIO she directed social services in their high-rises for the elderly, and founded the Kling Center, a senior center housed in an abandoned printing plant in the neighborhood with the highest concentration of elderly in the state, as well as being a high crime area. Volunteer work included service on the boards of Historic Preservation and Seven Counties Mental Health Board, as well as church activities. After relocating to Minnesota following a divorce, Susan re-connected with and married a long-lost college friend. She worked at the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Old Mexico Shop, and later at Honeywell. Now living in Florida, Susan is active in community groups, as well as the church. She was president of the League of Women Voters of North Pinellas County, and taps her interest in genealogy and history as Regent of a local DAR chapter. She recently served on the NGO of the Anglican Communion at the UN Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations. She has made several trips to the Dominican Republic as part of the Diocese of SW Florida Companion Diocese Committee.

Mary Robison is the reference librarian at the General Theological Seminary’s Christoph Keller, Jr. Library, and is a 2009 graduate of the Palmer School of Library and Information Science, where her concentration was in rare books, special collections and archives. She has worked at the library at General Seminary since 2007 and recently completed her second academic year as reference librarian; she also manages the seminary’s archives. Mary holds a degree in religion from Hunter College and served previously as the archivist for the United Methodist Church’s New York Annual Conference in White Plains. A native of Richmond, Virginia, Mary worked for many years as a legal assistant and held other administrative positions for the Supreme Court of Virginia and other state agencies before moving to New York.

Mary has presented on special collections and primary source research to classes at General Seminary, has served as a guest lecturer at the Palmer School, has given workshops on records management and church history, and currently serves as treasurer of the New York Area Theological Library Association. She is a member of the American Theological Library Association, the Episcopal Women’s History Project, the Anglican Society, National Episcopalians and Archivists, and the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Manhattan. Mary lives in the northwest Bronx.

Regarding the EWHP Board, Mary writes, “I would be interested in working on communication initiatives for the Board. In my current position as reference librarian at General Seminary and as board member of a prominent historic church, I think that I’m in a good position to give EWHP some targeted publicity. When I blog for the Christoph Keller, Jr. Library and post updates via Facebook, I include links to EWHP and other historical organizations, and I talk up EWHP every chance I get at school and at church.”

The Rev. Janet “Jan” Watrous is currently serving as the interim rector at Christ Church, Binghamton, NY. Jan has served a number of congregations as interim rector, in the Diocese of Central New York, her home diocese, and more recently in the Diocese of North Carolina, where she is canonically resident. Jan has previously served on the EWHP Board, including a term as president. For several years, she was part of the Southern EWHP group, which sponsored several events. She contributed to the organization of two major EWHP conferences, one in Raleigh and one at Kanuga Conference Center. Jan is observing her 35th year of ordained ministry this June. Throughout her ministry, Jan has opened doors for other women to serve in the church as they feel called.

I’m honored to be asked to join the EWHP Board again. I’m at a very different point in my own life than in my earlier time on the Board, as retirement beckons! However, my commitment to EWHP’s mission has not wavered, and I am delighted to be asked to serve.

All organizations have a life cycle, and points of transition take special discernment and care. My interim ministry years have encouraged me to bring my gifts to just these sorts of moments. I am energized by the possibilities!

A seminarian from the Diocese of Alabama currently enrolled in the Masters of Divinity program at the University of the South School of Theology at Sewanee, TN.  She is a candidate for Holy Orders.  Prior to pursuing her call to the priesthood, she lived in Selma, Alabama and attended St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.  She has been active on the parish and diocesan level beginning with summer camp as a child through adulthood filled with Cursillo, ECW, youth and children programs, as delegate to diocesan convention, among other ministries.  While at seminary, she serves as a Sacristan, member of the choir, participates outreach projects, works with KoS (kids of the Seminary) and is involved in other community worship, and academic pursuits.

Susan Stonesifer has served as Historiographer to the Episcopal Diocese of Washington since 2006. In this capacity she processes and indexes diocesan archival papers and educates Diocesan and local church staff on disposition of materials, consulting with parishes about records management and promoting archival preservation techniques and resources. Ms. Stonesifer also serves as the branch manager for the Miller Branch of the Howard County, Maryland public library system. Her public library experience includes managing libraries and serving as children’s librarian in Howard County, Maryland and Danbury, Connecticut.  She holds a master’s degree in library science from the University of Maryland, College Park and an undergraduate degree with honors in music and history from the College of William and Mary.

Ms. Stonesifer is a member of the Board of the Howard County Historical Society, and also a member of the African-American Episcopal History Collection Advisory Board of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church. She chairs the African-American History Project Committee and participates in the American Library Association, Public Library Association, Library Administration and Management Association, Reference Users’ Services Association and the Maryland Library Association.



  1. […] 2011-12 EWHP Awards & Grants2012 EWHP Board Member BiosA “Holy Woman” Put Forth by West TexasEWHP at General Convention […]

  2. […] 2011-12 EWHP Awards & Grants2012 EWHP Board Member Bios2013 Tri-History Conference and EWHPA “Holy Woman” Put Forth by West TexasEWHP […]

  3. […] research and exploration into our rich history. This past August, your reference librarian, already active in EWHP, ventured forth to Buffalo, NY to bring greetings from the Keller Library, to learn about the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: