Affiliated Faculty

Michael Spencer serves as the Director of the Center for Historic Preservation. He is responsible for contract negotiation, budgeting, research design, and oversight of staff and facilities. Prof. Spencer is a preservationist with expertise in architectural conservation and building forensics.  His research has focused on the use of nondestructive technologies to  investigate and assess historic structures.  Such technologies have included include infrared thermography (IRT), resistance drilling, and micro-timing.  Integration of scientific analysis and the increased understanding of historic trades has also been a focus of Prof. Spencer since coming to UMW in 2009.  Currently Prof. Spencer is involved with writing the UMW campus Preservation Plan.
Phone:(540) 654-1311

National Center for Preservation Technology and Training_Infrared Thermography Publication

Historic cottage at Belmont gets new viewing_Free Lance-Star_11-27-12

UMW’s construction detailed_Free Lance-Star_9-21-13

Lectures in History: Historic Preservation of Mary Washington House (C-SPAN3)

Dreams of the Civil War_With Good Reasons_11-2-2013


Andrea Livi Smith served as Center Director from 2009 to 2014, focusing on preservation pedagogy and curriculum development. Dr. Smith has worked on multiple grants relating to transportation in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. She has also conducted data collection and technical assistance for the federal Transportation Enhancements program. Trained as an urban planner as well as preservationist and architectural historian, Dr. Smith has focused her research on the intersection of urban design, transportation, and preservation. Her other interests include environmental psychology and the history and reuse of industrial resources.
Phone:(540) 654-1316


Douglas Sanford serves as the Center’s Director of Archaeological Programs. A professional historical archaeologist, Dr. Sanford has over twenty years of experience in Virginia archaeology, and presently conducts research at Stratford Hall Plantation in Westmoreland County, Virginia. His research interests include the archaeology of plantation slavery, the study of early industrial development in the Middle Atlantic region, the study of historic landscapes and archaeology in Virginia, and Cultural Resource Management.
Phone:(540) 654-1314

UMW students at Stratford Hall go ‘the extra mile’_Free Lance-Star_8-25-14

Excavations reveal how Lees’ slaves lived_Free Lance-Star_8-26-14


Gary Stanton is a material culture scholar with a degree in American Folklore.  In his professional life he has been principally employed as a teacher in a liberal arts college.  Because of the substantial teaching requirements of his work he has focused on topics in close proximity to his work and sought to serve the larger educational goal of making available public records to the general public through electronically facilitated databases.  In fieldwork he strives to capture the micro-level details of structure in individual buildings over the rapid survey of basic plan and materials. Hypothetically, he asserts that builders do not erect buildings—instead they solve the problems posed by the materials and the desires of their employers.  In order to document the earliest configuration of any building structure, especially those built by or for families of modest means it is necessary to identify the problems and solutions posed by the subsequent occupants or builders that cover or replace the original upon any property.  As a teacher he emphasizes the periodic reformulation of basic principles within any profession or discipline and he asserts that a re-configuration of historic preservation as heritage activity is a contemporary example of this need to re-focus and re-value.
Phone:(540) -654-1313


Cristina Turdean Cristina Turdean serves as the expert in Museum Studies for the Department of Historic Preservation where she teaches a number of related classes. In addition to these responsibilities Prof. Turdean also serves on the Museum Studies Minor Committee at the University. Since coming to the University of Mary Washington in 2011 Prof. Turdean has actively engaged her students in the local museum community by planning a number of exhibits, conducting collections management work, developing school programs, and writing grants for organizations like the George Washington Foundation, the Washington Heritage Museums, James Monroe Museum and Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center.
Phone: (540) 654-1310

UMW students build museum exhibit_Free Lance-Star_4-30-2014