Welcome to Three New Board Members

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!


Welcome to our new board members!

May Vang lives in Whitewater where she is Assistant Professor of Education at UW-Whitewater. She brings a personal and academic understanding of the Hmong language and culture, as well as linguistics and bi-lingual education. She developed a course for non-Hmong students to learn about the history, heritage and language of the Hmong diaspora as part of UW-Milwaukee’s Hmong Diaspora Studies Program. Vang is an active member of the Hmong community in Wisconsin and beyond.

Mary Lynne Donohue lives in Sheboygan and brings to the WHC experience from around the state and the world. Through the Center for International Legal Studies, she taught at law schools in Europe and she is now actively involved in projects that support women and political access. Donohue is Secretary of the State Bar of Wisconsin Board of Governors and a Fellow of the Wisconsin Law Foundation. She is currently an alderperson in the City of Sheboygan and the former president of the Sheboygan School Board of Education, the John Michael Kohler Art Center board of directors and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters board of directors.

Karen Spahn lives in Milwaukee and brings considerable experience working with the state’s major cultural organizations. Spahn recently retired from the Milwaukee Public Museum, where she was Senior Vice President of Development. She was previously director of development at the Milwaukee Art Museum and a development officer at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. Spahn has also worked for Milwaukee County, served on the Milwaukee City Arts Board, and run her own consulting firm.

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. The also attend WHC and grant-funded events around the state serving as ambassadors for the Council and evaluating our programs. Board members are also critical in helping the WHC make connections and raise money. With their individual strengths and collective wisdom, our board contributes a great deal to make history, culture, and conversation happen all over Wisconsin. 

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. Thanks to the passion of the Alumni Circle, for example, we partnered with the storytelling group Love Wisconsin to make one of our ShopTalk member’s story more widely sharable. (Jim Leary is a folklorist with a great story to tell. Find it here!)


Congratulations to 14 organizations awarded $78,791 in Major Grants and Mini Grants in June! Read about the projects here.

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