Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin Humanities Council Board’

Adapting and Thriving: We welcome six new board members

Humanities Programs in Focus | June 30, 2020 | By:

The WHC was created as an independent non-profit in 1972 by a congressional mandate. For the past nearly 50 years, board members offer their individual strengths and collective experience to provide guidance to the organization.

This summer, our tri-annual gathering of board members looked a little different. Instead of coming together in person, friendly faces from all over Wisconsin logged in for a virtual meeting. We welcomed six new members and said farewell to four members who had come to the end of their terms.

A huge Thank You to Mary Knapp, Marie Kohler, Roberta Maguire, and Alex Zacarias for their years of volunteer service and unwavering dedication to our mission to support and create programs that use history, culture, and discussion to strengthen community life for everyone in Wisconsin.

Welcome to our new board members!

Inga Cushman lives in Milton, where she is Administrative Services Director for the City of Milton. For over a decade she has worked with the Parks & Recreation Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, and Community Development Authority to help lead the city’s civic and cultural efforts. She was appointed by Governor Evers.

Meralis Hood lives in Milwaukee, where she is Executive Director of Milwaukee City Year and oversees over 100 Americorps volunteers.  She brings expertise in education leadership and in 2019 was included on Madison365’s Wisconsin’s Most Powerful Latino’s List. She was appointed by Governor Evers.

Ann Huntoon lives in Tomahawk and is the retired Executive Director of the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra. She is a dedicated arts and culture advocate and community organizer, as well as a musician, educator, healthcare professional.

Stephen Kercher lives in Neenah and is the Edward H. Rudoy Endowed Professor of History at UW-Oshkosh. He is the director of the Black Thursday Oral History Project, started in 2006, and is a public historian who researches, writes and contributes on subjects of local history, African American history, and Native American history.

Todd Larson lives in Blanchardville, where he owns and manages a family farm. He is a retired Presidential Appointee to the USAID, where he served as Senior Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Coordinator to implement the “International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of LGBT Persons.” He was appointed by Governor Evers.

Jesus Salas lives in Milwaukee and taught for 20 years at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Salas served as a member of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents from 2003-07. As a member of the WHC’s ShopTalk, he shared his personal and academic expertise about the migrant community during the 1960s and 1970s, and the protests, marches, and organizing efforts to secure rights and improve conditions for Latinx in Wisconsin.

What does a WHC board member do?

Wisconsin Humanities Council members work hard.  As volunteers, they review grant proposals three to five times a year. They also attend events around the state serving as ambassadors for the WHC and evaluating our programs. Board members are also critical in helping the WHC make connections and raise money.

We accept nominations. If you know someone who might like to join the WHC board, find out more here.

Board members who have completed their terms rotate off the board, but gratefully they don’t go far: former board members are invited to join our Alumni Circle, an informal group made up of past members.

The Alumni Circle channels their commitment to the Wisconsin Humanities Council into direct action. They put their energy into creating more opportunities for Wisconsinites to have access to the ideas and knowledge sparked through humanities experiences.


Welcome to Three New Board Members

Humanities Programs in Focus | July 12, 2018 | By:

WHC welcomes three new board members

Last month the Wisconsin Humanities Council board met in Oshkosh for our tri-annual meeting. The June meeting is always especially memorable because we are welcoming new board members and expressing our gratitude to those who are leaving.

This year we say Thank You to Raúl Galván, Chia Youyee Vang, and Kathy Ehley (not pictured) and Welcome to Mary Lynne Donohue, Karen Spahn, and May Vang! Read More

Starting the Conversation in Beloit

Humanities Programs in Focus | July 20, 2017 | By:

The Wisconsin Humanities Council is committed to strengthening community life for every Wisconsinite. We are doing this using history, culture, and conversation in different ways every day.

As an organization, we are guided by a board that includes humanities professionals and members of the public. These extremely dedicated volunteers from around the state bring a range of experience and wisdom to their service. We are lucky to get to know each and every one of these people during their tenure.

In June, we eagerly greet our newly nominated members as they rotate onto the board. This year was no exception. We are excited to introduce you to (l-r) Juan Jimenez, Alton “Sonny” Smart, Kathy Laakso and John Viste! Read More

New Board Members Join Us this Summer

Humanities Programs in Focus | May 25, 2016 | By:

Meeting by the Mississippi!

We always look forward to June board meetings when we welcome new members to our board AND we visit a new community. This June, it’s La Crosse (last year we were hosted by the Menominee Tribe!). We will meet three new board members and say big thank yous to those leaving us.

hear hereIn La Crosse, we’ll get to check out Hear, Here, a WHC-funded social history project. Walking the downtown streets, we will be scouting for orange street-level signs with the Hear, Here logo. Read More

Reflections: Our Favorite Humanities Experiences of 2015

Humanities Programs in Focus, Our Working Lives Project, Tips for Grant Writers, Voices from the Field | January 20, 2016 | By:


The past year has been an important year at the WHC. We have been working hard to use our online presence to support and strengthen the statewide humanities community. These efforts include using Facebook to spread inspiration, encourage curiosity, and celebrate your work, and ours. We also participate in the lively and often reverential Twitter conversation about the public humanities.

And here, on Humanities Booyah, we are sharing best practices for public programming, talking about the challenges of writing grant proposals, and highlighting voices, ideas and projects with articles written just for you. A year ago, we declared our goals for this online magazine. In the coming year, we will be Read More

The Year Ahead: Make New Friends and Keep the Old

Humanities Programs in Focus, Voices from the Field | January 6, 2016 | By:


If you’ve ever gotten a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, then you may have mentally thanked the WHC’s board, knowing that they’re the folks who saw the promise in your proposal.  You may not have known that there are twenty-five members at any given time, each serving up to two 3-year terms.  In addition to humanities scholars from UW campuses and private colleges like Northland, board members come from many different backgrounds and parts of the state. 

While serving on the board, members meet in person three times a year.  They get to know one another and, through grant review and program attendance, increase their familiarity with the cultural landscape of the state. We’ve often wished we could just keep adding to and expanding our circle without ever losing the talent and friendship of our past board members. Until recently, we didn’t have a formal structure for maintaining a connection with these outstanding resources, ambassadors, friends and allies. Read More

The Humanities among the Trees: Our visit to the Menominee Forest

Humanities Programs in Focus, Voices from the Field | June 18, 2015 | By:

Menominee Res 2

Once every year, for our June board meeting, we hit the road as a Humanities Gang. This year, we were invited by board member Arnold Chevalier to Keshena, Wisconsin. The Village of Keshena is the seat of government for the Menominee Tribe. That is Arnold, an enrolled member of the Menominee Tribe, above, with Dena Wortzel, Director of the Wisconsin Humanities Council.

What an experience we had! After a special welcome from Tribal Chairman Gary Besaw on Thursday night, we enjoyed a feast complete with some local specialties, including wild rice and venison. 

Friday morning we spent several hours in the Menominee Forest as guests of Menominee Tribal Enterprises. Read More

Welcome to Five New Board Members!

Humanities Programs in Focus | June 3, 2015 | By:

Every June, the WHC welcomes new members to our board – and says good-bye to departing members.  Most of the great people leaving us served two three-year terms.  That’s a lot of time and a huge contribution.  This year we gratefully thank Jasmine Alinder, John Savagian, Jarett Fields, David Hankins and Bob Cook for all they brought to the WHC.

And this summer we welcome five new folks who bring with them a wonderfully diverse array of talents and backgrounds. Read More

Reflections from a board member: I was a newbie, and now I say farewell

Voices from the Field | April 9, 2014 | By:

by Norlisha Crawford

Norlisha Crawford at the Rock County Historical Society Museum

Although I knew well the value of the humanities, when the opportunity was offered to join the WHC’s board, I was new to the state and the region and wondered if I could offer anything of value to the Council.

I had arrived at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh on August 1st, 2005. As an African American woman, life-long Washingtonian (D.C.), English professor, and the new director for the African American Studies program on campus, I was a distinct minority at the university and in town. Within two weeks, however, I was asked to facilitate discussion of a film in the downtown theater’s new monthly series. Read More