Humanities Nebraska Announces New Board Members

Nebraska Access, Civic Engagement, History, Humanities, Statewide

Humanities Nebraska adds four board members, elects officers

Humanities Nebraska (HN) has elected four new members for its Council and Foundation boards of directors.

New members elected to the Council are:

Effie Athanassopoulos (Lincoln): Athanassopoulos is a long-time Lincoln resident, a dual citizen of Greece and the U.S., and an anthropology professor at UNL who has been creating new digital resources to facilitate research and public access to Nebraska’s material past. Athanassopoulos is a fellow of the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, where she is developing a web resource on 19th to early 20th century artifacts from Nebraska.

Michael Evans (Peru): President of Peru State College since July 2021, Evans earned his Ph.D. in folklore from Indiana University, focusing on expressions of indigenous cultures through mass media. He also has an earlier background in journalism as a writer and editor for newspapers and magazines. Previous to coming to Nebraska, he was the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Southern New Hampshire University.

Newly elected to the Foundation are:

Mary Raimondo (Columbus): Raimondo has been a community volunteer for most of her life, with particular affinity for the arts and humanities. She served on the Friends of Lied board for six years and on the Columbus Arts Council for five years, taking on leadership roles for each organization. She was also on the steering committee for the Columbus Public Library and co-chair for the Columbus Area Future Fund.

Sara Woods (Omaha): Woods is the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Chief Engagement Officer and Director of the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center. She has served on and led a number of local and statewide boards for nonprofit organizations in Nebraska, including Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, Omaha Women’s Fund, Nonprofit Association of the Midlands, and the Phoenix Academy.

The Council elected Beth Whited of Omaha as chair and Graciela Caneriro-Livingston of Lincoln as vice chair. Dori Wanitschke of Grand Island was re-elected treasurer, and Connie Duncan of Lincoln is immediate past chair. The Foundation elected Brenda Christensen of Omaha as president, Mike Homa of Omaha as vice president, and Keith Bystrom of Plattsmouth as treasurer.

Humanities Nebraska is a statewide nonprofit celebrating 50 years of what connects us and makes us human. Accomplishing this mission is made possible by the dedicated volunteers on both boards. Nebraska Humanities Council strives to make the humanities accessible to all Nebraskans through programs and grants. The Nebraska Foundation for the Humanities works with the Council to raise private donations and advocate for public funding at the state and federal levels to make this work possible.

HN’s core programs include major and mini grants for humanities-related projects in communities across the state; a Speakers Bureau that provides hundreds of presentations to libraries, schools, and other community groups statewide; Prime Time Family Reading; Capitol Forum on America’s Future for high school students studying global issues; a Chautauqua summer history festival; touring exhibitions from the Smithsonian; and much more. HN is funded in part by the NEH, an appropriation from the Nebraska Legislature, private donations, and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, a public-private partnership with state dollars matching private dollars to benefit the arts and humanities in Nebraska.