Clockworks

Anthropological skills are directly translatable to the corporate world. "You can't do an excavation if you don't know how to plan," Connie Stuckert '62 says, "and planning is a key business skill."

Stuckert, an anthropologist, is executive director of both the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc., (NAWCC) and the National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia PA. The museum contains 14,000 watches, clocks and time-related items plus the largest specialized horological library in the world, containing more than 5,000 volumes and 150,000 archived documents. The NAWCC has more than 28,000 members in 55 countries. Also associated is a state-accredited trade school for watch and clock construction and repair.

The NAWCC and the museum are undergoing the process of merging. "That's a major change in corporate culture right there, and managing that change has a lot of challenges to it that I really enjoy," Stuckert says. "I have an opportunity to make a real difference, to enable an organization to move forward, to develop new programs, and to bring opportunities to new people." The museum has set as a goal accreditation by the American Association of Museums. "It's a very ambitious goal, and it's a wonderful board that recognizes the value of pursuing that goal," she says.

Before running her own business as a management consultant, specializing in strategic planning and collections management in the private sector, museums and other nonprofits, Stuckert earned her PhD in archaeology and physical anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. "In anthropology, you learn about organizational change and organizational development," she says. "You learn about different roles that people play at different times, patterns of behavior and how they're reflected in the material world. You learn about all these things in terms of culture, but they translate into business practices and operational issues in either a nonprofit or a for-profit setting."

As Stuckert has found, such a background can be excellent preparation for a career in business or nonprofit management. It has also allowed her to continue with more traditional anthropological projects. She is preparing two publications on skeletons excavated from sites in England. The first site, a very large, Romano-British pagan cemetery in Winchester, dates to the late third through early fifth centuries AD. The Winchester Research Unit is publishing a comprehensive 13-volume study, including "everything that you could possibly know about Winchester up through the medieval period," Stuckert says. She is writing under the editorship of one of England's best-known physical anthropologists, Don Brothwell. The other skeletal report, on a West Saxon cemetery dating to 500 AD with 101 burials and four cremations, was excavated in the 1970s before it lost funding. "I have been funded to finish the report under a grant given to the Wiltshire Archaeology and Natural History Society," she says.

Another passion for Stuckert is horses. She recently recertified as a riding instructor and teaches hunt-seat part time at the beginner and intermediate levels.

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