Laurie works in a similar capacity within the U.S. Department of Defense, developing cultural property protection curricula for military personnel. Using places and features within Rome, she hopes to offer the soldiers from the many countries who attend the NATO Defense College in Rome opportunities to develop a greater appreciation for heritage issues. She expects to bring back examples and lessons learned to military educational institutions in the States.
Italy also offers Laurie an opportunity to learn more about the Carabinieri, the only military force in the world that specifically prepares to offer archaeological site protection. The Carabinieri offered to introduce her to their Command for the Protection of Cultural Patrimony and to visit some of their regional programs, allowing their ideas and methods to be used as examples for U.S. forces. Due to the generosity of the Carabinieri, she has learned far more than she expected, enough hopefully for a book that will introduce their unique organization and extraordinary accomplishments to the English speaking world.
In what she calls her "Rome is the Gateway to the World" program, Laurie is also using the opportunity to live and work in Rome as a base from which to teach and discuss cultural property protection with itnerested audiences from Italy to Jordan and places in between.
From Laurie’s perspective, the biggest challenge of life at the Academy is balancing time for research, writing, teaching, and experiencing the City.
Dr. Laurie Rush has a BA from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, Summa Cum Laude, and an MA and PhD from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where she was a fellow of the University and of the National Science Foundation. She moved to northern New York in 1983 and has been doing museum and archeological work in the area ever since. She was Assistant Director of the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton in the 1980s, set up the archeology curation facility at Fort Drum from 1992-1994, and has been managing the Fort Drum Cultural Resources program since the fall of 1998.
Teams working with Dr. Rush have discovered over one hundred fifty Native American archeological sites on Fort Drum including one dating back over 10,000 years and another documenting earliest French contact in the region. Her research on the possibility for paleo-maritime culture in the Great Lakes has been recognized by eminent archaeologists as having potential for better understanding of the peopling of the Americas. As part of her Fort Drum responsibilities Dr. Rush also established consultation partnerships between the installation and three Haudenosaunee Nations, the Oneida Indian Nation, the Onondaga Nation, and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe.
Dr. Rush is the Booth Family Rome Prize winner for 2010-2011 in Historic Preservation at the American Academy in Rome. She is also winner of numerous military and collegial awards including the 2007 Chairman's Award for Federal Achievement in Historic Preservation, the 2009 Register of Professional Archaeologists Distinguished Service to the Field, and in 2007 and 2009 Manager of the Best Cultural Resources Program and Team in the US Department of Defense. Dr. Rush also recently served on the American Anthropology Association Ad Hoc Commission on the Ethics of Engaging with the Security and Intelligence Communities.
In 2009, Major General Oates requested that Dr. Rush serve as the military liaison for the successful return of the Ancient City of Ur to Iraqi stewardship, and in 2010, Dr. Rush traveled to Kabul with Central Command personnel to participate in Environmental Shuras and to meet with the Director General of Heritage for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and US State Department officials on behalf of establishing increased awareness and military partnership for preservation projects in Kabul and Mes Aynak.
As the Director of the In Theater Heritage Training Program for Deploying Personnel, Dr. Rush has helped to establish a partnership between the Archaeology Institute of America and the Department of Defense. This project, funded by the OSD Legacy Resource Management Program and implemented in cooperation with Colorado State University, produced archaeology awareness playing cards for Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt; Soldier pocket cards in multiple languages; replica archaeological sites for military training; educational presentations for military personnel; and archaeology construction checklists. She is now also working toward improved archaeology mapping for military planning and military guidelines for stability operations in archaeologically sensitive areas. She is editor of the recently released volume, Archaeology, Cultural Property, and the Military.