Christina Smith, Cultural Resource Specialist for the Natchez Trace Parkway, received the 2013 Southeast Region Employee of the Year Award for excellence in cultural program leadership. The Southeast Region is comprised of 66 National Park Service units and employs almost 3,400 people.
The award is presented annually to one employee from the Southeast Region in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the work in their field; in this case for cultural programs, resource protection, and historic preservation. Nominees are submitted for their positive contributions toward the public’s understanding of the National Park Service and the resources it protects.
Southeast Regional Director Stan Austin presented the award to Smith in honor of her overall cultural program leadership throughout the year. Austin stated, “Christina is to be commended for her work on the two largest repatriations in the history of the Southeast Region. This multi-year effort involved collaboration between the Southeast Archeological Center, the Regional Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act Coordinator, Margo Schwadron, PhD., the National Park Service Southeast Regional Office, American Indian Nations, the University of South Florida, and numerous Parkway staff in the planning, organizing, and overseeing of the project from start to finish.”
“Christina has worked tirelessly to promote the history, cultural resources, and preservation of the Natchez Trace Parkway within the National Park Service, and this honor is well-deserved” stated Superintendent Mary Risser. “We are very proud of her accomplishments and of the partnerships she has fostered with the American Indian Nations. This is the first time a Natchez Trace Parkway Cultural Resource Specialist has ever received this honor, and we celebrate with her in this recognition of outstanding work.”