National museum seeks help from the University’s CDRE

The Center for Disaster and Research Education (CDRE) at Millersville University has recently teamed up with the National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia, Pa., “To assist in the development of their disaster plan which is part of the museum’s accreditation process by the American Association of Museums,” said Dr. Sepi Yalda, interim director of CDRE.

Opened in 1977, the National Watch and Clock Museum is recognized today as the largest and most comprehensive horological collection in North America, featuring 12,000 items.

The CDRE at Millersville University provides multi-disciplinary education, research, and internship opportunities, and contributes to the education of the next generation. They conduct and disseminate research findings, and contributes to communities within the region and nation. Yalda recruited two students to work with herself and Museum Director Noel Poirier to develop the disaster plan. Devin Fisher, an undergraduate Geography major with a minor in Environmental Hazards and Emergency Management, and Nick Genovese, a master’s student in emergency management were eager to help.

“I knew it would be a great experience to do something that I was not familiar with,” Fisher said, who also works as the undergraduate research assistant at CDRE,“I hope to learn and understand the disaster field and how theoretical information can be used in a professional situation.”

According to the American Association of Museums accreditation guidelines, accreditation means being recognized as a museum committed to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institution improvement.

“I hope to take the knowledge that I have gained from this experience and use it in the future to better protect our nation’s museums and historical landmarks,” Genovese said.

The CDRE’s work in this project will benefit the University in several ways according to Yalda. “First and foremost a University Center is directly involved in providing service to the community, which is part of the mission of both the University and the center; it also provides a good opportunity for our students to be involved in an applied research project and work directly with professionals,” she said,“This project is unique since the museum is going through a process that is part of a national accreditation which may lead to other opportunities for the University and the Center.”

For more information, contact Sepi Yalda at 717-872-3293 or