Mary Rizzo earned her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. Over the last decade she has built a career in public history and the public humanities. Prior to coming to Rutgers University, Newark, she served as the co-editor of the scholarly journal The Public Historian and as Public Historian in Residence at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities at Rutgers-Camden. In this role, she created a series of training workshops for public historians called Public History Boot Camp that focused on issues such as immigration and digital history tools. As journal co-editor, she was instrumental in bringing the voices of public history practitioners into its pages and in connecting the journal with the multi-authored blog, History@Work, of which she is an editor and contributor.
Before MARCH, she was the Associate and acting Executive Director of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She forged connections between scholarship and the public through projects like Literature & Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of HealthCare, PoetryHeals, public forums on environmental justice and racial inequality, historical touring exhibits, and a monthly humanities radio show called Humanities Connection. In addition to these programmatic efforts, she guided grantmaking, marketing and communications, and fundraising and development activities.
Her first book, Class Acts: Young Men and the Rise of Lifestyle, will be published by the University of Nevada Press in 2015. She is currently working on a book examining cultural representations of Baltimore since the 1950s and their relationship with federal and municipal policy. She is a board member of the National Council on Public History and the editorial board of New Jersey Studies, and has served on the planning committee for the New Jersey Historical Commission’s New Jersey Forum conference. She tweets as @rizzo_pubhist.