New board members June 2022

Welcome new board members!

Setting the stage for the next 50 years of Wisconsin Humanities!


As we celebrate our first 50 years, we renew our commitment to a future where every person has access to cultural, educational, and civic opportunities.

Since 1972, we have been guided by 25 volunteer board members whose experience, training, interests, skills, cultural background, and community ties bring diversity, energy, and expertise to our programs.

This month we welcome six new board members: (pictured above left to right) Brian Jackson, Sandra Adell, Sergio González, Mario Jiménez Chacón, Debra Barker, and Ruth Olson.

At the same time, we extend our deepest gratitude to our retiring members Diane Lichtenstein (retiring Chair), Celestine Jeffreys, Joshua Ranger, and Joe Salmons, who collectively served Wisconsin Humanities for 25 years! We are especially grateful to them for their guidance, clarity of vision, and ongoing passion through the challenging years of the Covid-19 pandemic. With our board members we never really say goodbye, but we do extend a heartfelt Thank You.


Brian Jackson

Brian Jackson is the Cultural Connections Coordinator at Lac du Flambeau Public School. He is the President of the Wisconsin Indian Education Association and has years of experience working with students and families as an advocate for Native education and cultural inclusion. He is presently working to build an American Indian Studies – Wisconsin Act 31 curriculum that will be used as the guiding principal throughout Wisconsin’s public school system. He lives in Lac du Flambeau.


Sandra Adell

Sandra Adell is a literature professor in the Department of Afro-American Studies at UW-Madison, where her areas of focus include Black Literature, Black Women Writers, Twentieth-Century French Literature and Philosophy, and African American Dramatic Literature and Theater History. She has written and edited five books, including the Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Culture, acted in local theater productions, and directed a play. She lives in Madison.


Sergio M. González

Sergio M. González is an assistant professor of Latinx Studies in the Departments of History and Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. He is a historian with a focus on twentieth-century U.S. immigration and labor, religion, and the development of Latino communities in the U.S. Midwest. He is working on his second book, Strangers No Longer: Latino Belonging and Faith in 20th Century Wisconsin. He lives in Milwaukee.


Mario Jiménez Chacón

Mario Jiménez Chacón is an Assistant Professor in the Spanish Department at UW-Green Bay, where his areas of focus include aesthetics, spirituality, ethics, and politics of migration and border culture in the Latin American and Latinx context. He was born in Jalisco, Mexico and he writes about transnational literatures and cultures. He lives in Green Bay.


Debra K.S. Barker

Debra Barker is the Director of Amerian Indian Studies and Professor of English and American Indian Studies at UW-Eau Claire. She is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (Sicangu Lakota Nation) and her areas of focus include the representation of American Indians in Euramerican culture, Decolonial Studies, and the literary production of Ojibwe writer Louise Erdrich. She lives in Eau Claire.


Ruth Olson

Ruth Olson was the Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures and taught Folklore courses at UW-Madison through the Department of Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies, as well as the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic. She is the author of numerous books and articles and is one of the founders of Wisconsin Teachers of Local Culture, a network of teachers interested in integrating local culture into existing curricula. She lives in Madison.


Learn more about our Board

Wisconsin Humanities' 25 volunteer board members hail from all parts of the state. Approximately half of our board membership is drawn from the academic community and half from the community at large. New members are ordinarily elected to three-year terms at our February meeting, and assume office in June. Six members are appointed by the Governor.

Check out our current board and find a nomination form  ➞

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