Wyoming Humanities governance and direction is vested in the up-to twenty volunteer members who are passionate about the power of the humanities to help our state think critically. They represent the state’s cultural diversity and geographic regions. Five are appointed by the governor. Terms are for three-years and renewable once. Past board members may serve again after a three-year hiatus.

Board members advise the executive director on governance and operations; evaluate and approve grant applications; advocate for Wyoming Humanities with state leaders and our U.S. congressional delegation; exercise fiduciary responsibility; direct and support fund-raising and development strategy; promote awareness and appreciation of humanities throughout Wyoming; and represent Wyoming Humanities at events in their local communities.

Board members meet three to four times a year to review and provide strategic vision, oversee the budget, act on fundraising initiatives, assist with fundraising activities, and supervise the council’s role as an exemplary nonprofit organization. The council meets at various locations throughout the state

  • Rev. Dr. Bernadine Craft Board Member
    Rock Springs, 2017
    Wyoming State Senator, District 12

    Elected to the board in 2014, Bernadine holds a doctorate in professional psychology from the University of Northern Colorado and is currently completing a masters of divinity degree to achieve her lifelong dream of becoming ordained as an Episcopal priest. Bernadine has been a state legislator since 2007, serving first in the House of Representatives and then in 2013 as the senator representing Senate district 12. She is also the executive director of the Sweetwater Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES), an instructor for Western Wyoming Community College, and operates her own private practice counseling service. Bernadine has served on numerous community and professional organizations in the region as well as having received numerous awards such as the 2014 “Friend of Education” award from the Wyoming Education Association and 2014 “Friend of the Arts” for professional residency programs in Sweetwater County, Wyoming.

  • Betty Fear Board Member
    Big Piney 2019

    Elected to the board of directors in 2016. Retired, former UW Trustee and Sublette County Commissioner, Ms. Fear’s ancestors homesteaded the Big Piney area and she has spent her life there and has worn many hats to make a living. She spent most of her life on a ranch and is familiar with the agricultural aspect of our State. She was an owner of a motel and restaurant and raised three children in Big Piney and they are making their livings in Piney as well. She served on the Sublette County School District #9 board, Wyoming State Board of Education, Sublette County Commission, and was appointed to the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees. While serving as a Sublette County Commissioner She attended the legislature on many occasions to promote legislation needed by counties and while on the UW Board of Trustees she attended meetings around the state to further the goals of the university. She is committed to the power of the humanities and is willing and has the ability to commit whatever time is necessary to fulfill the duties of this board.

  • Ignacia “Nish” Goicolea Board Chair
    Rock Springs, 2018
    Western Wyoming Community College

    Elected to the board in 2012. A Wyoming native with Basque heritage, Nish holds a master’s degree in Spanish foreign languages and literature from the University of Nevada-Reno. She is currently working on her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Higher Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  She has studied abroad at the Universidad de Complutense in Madrid, Spain and the Universidad del Pias Vasco in San Sebastian, Spain.  Nish is an assistant professor of Spanish for Western Wyoming Community College (WWCC), where she has worked since 2006.  She also partners with WWCC to facilitate foreign language online courses and instruction in rural areas across Wyoming.  Nish was awarded the 2012 WWCC Distance Educator of the Year Award, was nominated as WWCC’s faculty of the year for the WACCT (2014), and received the Western faculty award for “Going the Extra Mile” in 2014.

  • Hon. Nancy J. Guthrie Board Member
    Jackson 2017

    Elected to the board in 2014. Nancy holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Wyoming. Nancy currently works as a private practice mediator after serving 15 years as the district judge for the 9th Judicial District and nearly thirty years of practicing law. Nancy has served on numerous boards including Teton County Library, CLIMB, Teton Youth and Family Services, and the Jackson Hole Children’s Museum Board. Nancy was named a 2012 University of Wyoming Outstanding Alumna where she was hailed as a true representative of what one can accomplish with a foundation of a liberal arts degree.

  • Barbara McNab Board Member
    Finance Committee Chair
    Big Horn 2019
    Brinton Museum

    Elected to the board in 2014. Barbara holds a bachelor’s of fine arts from Washington School of Fine Arts. Barbara is currently the curator of exhibitions for the Brinton Museum in Big Horn, Wyoming where her interpretive focus is to promote interest in the arts, history, and culture. Prior to that, she was the executive director for the AKC Museum of the Dog in St. Louis where she was for almost 20 years. Barbara has worked for Craft Alliance, Washington University Gallery of Art, and the Saint Louis Art Museum.

  • Thomas Johnson Board Member
    Laramie 2019
    CPO, Wyoming Business Council

    Elected to the board of directors in 2016. Tom is the Chief Performance Officer for the Wyoming Business Council – our state’s official economic development agency – where he directs economic development policy, and is responsible for outcome-based performance management and economic impact analysis of Business Council programs and services. Tom joined the Business Council in 2000 as southeast region director. He grew up near the reservation and went to the University of Wyoming on a baseball scholarship. After graduation, he pursued a career as a screenwriter in Hollywood. He eventually returned to Wyoming where he became involved in economic development. Since 2007 he has been secretly publishing poetry under the pseudonym of Aden Thomas and just revealed this secret at the Ignite Laramie event on April 7.

  • Mary Guthrie Board Member
    Cheyenne, 2018

    Elected to the Board in 2015.   She holds degrees in English and Law from the University of Wyoming.  Guthrie has a diverse background that includes serving as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of Wyoming, Cheyenne City Attorney and adjunct English instructor for Laramie County Community College.  Guthrie has served on many nonprofit boards.  She was named an outstanding alumnae of the U.W. Arts and Sciences College in 1998.   She is an avid reader, lifelong learner, yoga enthusiast and trombone player.  Mary is a member of the 2016 class of Leadership Wyoming.

  • Dr. Scott Henkel Board Member
    Laramie 2020

    Elected to the board in 2017. Dr. Scott Henkel is an assistant professor in the departments of English and African American and Diaspora Studies at the University of Wyoming. He is a faculty member with the Wyoming Institute for Humanities Research and is the author of Direct Democracy: Collective Power, the Swarm, and the Literatures of the Americas, recently published in the Caribbean Studies series at the University Press of Mississippi. He is currently researching a history of the public humanities during the 19th and early 20th centuries. This project was the subject of a recent presentation Dr. Henkel gave at UW, titled “The Humanities and the Land Grant University Mission from the 19th to the 21st Century”; this presentation is available at https://youtu.be/QZtfpmoy7Vg.

  • Sarah Jo Sinclair Board Member
    Sheridan 2019
    Sheridan College

    Elected to the board in 2016. Sarah Jo was recommended/nominated by Ms. Amy Albrecht of the Center for a Vibrant Community at Sheridan College who is a long-time partner of WHC for Saturday U. Sarah Jo grew up on a ranch in Miles City, Montana where her father served on the Montana Humanities Council. She went to Montana State for her undergraduate degree in English and received a Masters in English from St. Johns University in Maryland. She has been teaching at Sheridan College for the last seven years and is on the Sheridan County Land Trust board and very committed to her community.

  • Isabel Zumel Board Member
    Jackson 2019
    Teton County Library

    Elected to the board 2016. Isabel Zumel is Assistant Library Director for the Teton County Library System. She is a volunteer for the Latino Resource Center and was a founder of the College Bound Latinas mentorship program, partially funded by WHC, that resulted in a video “Latina Voices of Wyoming.” She is recognized in the community of Jackson as a leader and social justice activist with her finger on the pulse of major issues affecting Teton County. She is also a major supporter of programs that celebrate Latino culture. She currently serves on the board of the State Library Association and has served on several boards in Teton County.

  • Dr. Jim Rose Ex Officio Board Member
    Cheyenne 2019
    Wyoming Community College Commission

    Jim is a Wyoming native born in Casper and grew up in Goshen County. He graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree in architectural engineering and then obtained a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Virginia. He practiced architecture in Lander and in 1982, he accepted a faculty position in Civil & Architectural Engineering at the University of Wyoming. During his 18 years as a professor and director of architectural engineering, he also served as a member of the Laramie City Council and for two years as Laramie’s mayor. During his tenure as a faculty member, Dr. Rose conducted two sabbaticals in Italy, the first as the United States delegate to the UNESCO agency ICCROM, conducting studies and research in the conservation of buildings. He received a doctorate in education from UW and in 1998 was elected to serve in the 55th Wyoming Legislature as member of the House of Representatives. Prior to taking his current position as executive director of the Wyoming Community College Commission, Jim was a campus administrator for a community college in Sonoma County California

  • Milward Simpson Board Member
    Lander 2020
    State Director, The Nature Conservancy

    Elected to the board in 2017.  Milward Simpson is currently Wyoming State Director for The Nature Conservancy. He served from 2006 to 2016 as Director of the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. Prior to his appointment, he served for two years as Manager of the Wyoming Arts Council. Before entering public service, he spent several years as a working musician, musical theater director and nonprofit arts organization administrator in Colorado, Minnesota and Wyoming.

    Simpson has served on the boards of a number of national, regional and state organizations including the America’s State Parks Foundation, The Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) and The Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund. He holds a BA in Music Performance from the University of Wyoming and a Master of Humanities from the University of Colorado at Denver. Milward’s wife, Amy teaches music at Hobbs Elementary School in Cheyenne and serves as The National Education Association Director for Wyoming.

  • Dave Reetz Ex Officio Board Member
    Powell 2019
    Federation of State Humanities Councils

    Dave holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from the University of Wyoming.  Dave spent 22 years working in higher education at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, and Northwest Community College in Powell where he was dean of Administrative Services before spending 19 years in banking and economic development.  He served as vice president of First National Bank and Trust in Powell until his retirement in spring of 2009, but still serves on their board of directors.  He served on the Wyoming Community College Commission, was chair of the Wyoming State Cultural Trust Fund board appointed by Governor Dave Fruedenthal, and served as President of the Wyoming Humanities Council during his seven-year term.  He founded and served as president and executive director of the Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation. His wife, Glo, and he own The Real Estate Connection in Powell.

  • Rev. Warren Murphy Board Member
    Cody 2019

    Elected to the board of directors in 2016. Warren Murphy has resided in Wyoming for nearly 40 years. He arrived in Wyoming from Buffalo, N.Y. where he spent his early years founding and running a home for homeless and runaway youth called Compass House. An ordained Episcopal clergy, he has served churches in Dixon, Lander, Atlantic City, Ft. Washakie and Cody. He served as Rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Cody for 14 years from 1989-2004. He served on the board of the Wyoming Humanities Council from 1993-1999. This included three years as president from 1995-1998. In 2004 Warren became Director of the Wyoming Association of Churches where he served until 2009. This position involved working with the state’s churches in behalf of social and environmental justice. He served on the board of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition from 2003-2010 and was a member of the Leadership Wyoming class of 2008. He presently serves on the board of the Foundation of the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming and monitors grants throughout the state. He continues as an active Episcopal clergy in both Wyoming and Montana. He serves as President of Friends of a Legacy (FOAL), the wild horse advocacy organization headquartered in Cody. His book On Sacred Ground: A Religious and Spiritual History of Wyoming won the best non-fiction history award from the Wyoming Historical Society in 2011. Warren is honored to be asked to again serve on the WHC board.

  • George Vlastos Board Member
    Parlementarian
    Casper 2019
    Star Lane Center

    Elected to the board in 2014 and reappointed in 2016. George holds a masters of fine arts in creative writing. George has been an English teacher in at the Star Lane Center for 15 years. George serves as a Young Authors district coordinator as well as co-coordinator at the state level. George is a rostered artist for the Wyoming Arts Council and has been a previous presenter for WHC’s Laramie Ignite. In 2012, he was the featured artist at the WyoPoets Annual Conference as well as the recipient of the Neltje Blanchan Fellowship.

  • Kristi Wallin Board Member
    Development Committee Chair
    Cheyenne 2017
    State Director, Senator John Barrasso's Office

    Elected to the board 2014. Kristi is proud to be born, raised, and educated in Wyoming.  She holds a master’s in counselor education and a master’s in public administration from the University of Wyoming. Kristi is currently U.S. Senator John Barrasso’s state director, having held that position since the senator’s appointment in 2007. Kristi previously spent over a decade as a development officer for the University of Wyoming Foundation. She started her career working for United States Senators Malcom Wallop and Al Simpson in Washington, DC. In her spare time, Kristi volunteers for organizations that rescue and transport abused and abandoned dogs.

  • Carol Seeger Board Member
    Chair-Elect
    Gillette 2017
    Campbell County Attorney's Office

    Elected to the board in 2014. Carol holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Carol has worked as a deputy county attorney for Campbell County since 1995 with a few years in between in private practice. Carol has served on the Gillette Parks and Beautification Board and AVA, a local community art center. She also served on the board of directors for the Council of Community Services, an organization devoted to providing services to low income individuals. She was appointed by the board of County Commissioners to serve as chairman of the Centennial Committee to orchestrate the celebration of Campbell County’s centennial year in 2011 and she serves on the Halls of Art committee, which is committed to introducing fine art to Gillette’s public buildings.

     

  • Caroline Mills Board Member
    Immediate Past Chair
    Fort Washakie 2017

    Elected to the board of directors in 2011 and reelected in 2014. Caroline holds a master’s degree from the University of Wyoming in educational leadership.  She is currently the learning center director at Fort Washakie Learning Center.  Caroline has been the higher education director for the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and a high school social studies teacher at St. Stephens Indian School.  She served on the board of trustees for Central Wyoming College, and was also the secretary for the Wyoming Association of Community College Trustees.  She is active on other boards including the St. Stephen’s Indian Mission Parish Council, the Shoshone and Arapaho Headstart Policy Council, and the Wyoming PBS Advisory Council. Caroline is also the current chair of the International Partners in Mission (located in Ohio).

2017-2018 Board Committees

Executive Committee Chair – Nish Goicolea, Chair-Elect – Carol Seeger, Immediate Past Chair – Caroline Mills, Treasurer/Finance Committee Chair – Barb McNab, Secretary/Nominations Committee Chair – Carol Chidsey, Grants Committee Chair – Sarah Jo Sinclair, Development Committee Chair – Kristi Wallin
Finance Committee Board Treasurer/Chair – Barb McNab, Nish Goicolea (President), Carol Seeger (President-elect), Caroline Mills (Past President)
Nominations Committee Board Secretary/Chair – Carol Chidsey, Mary Guthrie, Warren Murphy
Grants Committee Chair – Sarah Jo Sinclair, Scott Henkel, George Vlastos, Isabel Zumel
Development Committee Chair – Kristi Wallin, Bernadine Craft, Betty Fear, Nancy Guthrie, Tom Johnson
Advocacy Task Force Dave Reetz (ex officio), Bernadine Craft, Mary Guthrie, Tom Johnson, Milward Simpson Kristi Wallin, Caroline Mills
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