Staats Mill Covered Bridge, Jackson County, WV.
Photo by David Fattaleh.

Program Committee Election: 2024

Please help choose citizen members for the Humanities Council Program Committee. The Program Committee oversees all direct programs and grants of the Humanities Council. This includes reviewing grant applications and making funding recommendations to the Humanities Council board of directors. Your vote gives the public a voice in our grants and program decisions. Review the candidates below, then visit the online ballot to make your choices. Vote for no more than four of these candidates:


Amanda Phillips Chapman, Gilmer County, holds a Ph.D. in Critical and Cultural Studies from the University of Pittsburgh and has taught at the University of Alabama and the University of Pittsburgh. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Language and Literature at Glenville State University. She is a Program Committee incumbent and eligible for re-election.


Susan Feller, Hampshire County, is an artist focusing on traditional handcrafts such as rug hooking, embroidery, quilting, and collage. She has served on the boards of The River House in Capon Bridge and Tamarack Foundation for the Arts, and has participated on review committees for the TFA Creative Entrepreneur Fellowship, Appalachia Reframed, and national committees awarding fiber arts grants.


Tehseen Irfan, Logan County, is a Professor in English at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College at the Logan Campus, where she has taught for the last 20 years. She has a master’s degree in British Literature and a master’s in Psychology. Tehseen brings an interdisciplinary perspective to her classes in English and Psychology, drawing upon her immersion in different cultures and perspectives in intercultural issues. She has taught colleges in the United States and abroad for 42 years. She is a published author and is fluent in five languages.


Francene Davis Kirk, Monongalia County, Ed.D., is a retired educator and storyteller. For 23 years, she worked at Fairmont State University, where she was the Abelina Suarez Professor of Communication and Theatre and a recipient of the Boram Award for Teaching Excellence. While at Fairmont State, Kirk worked with students, faculty, and community members to create Remembering No. 9: Memories of the Farmington Mine Disaster, a documentary-style theatre piece based on personal interviews. She also created Nine Before IX, a one-person “informance” based on interviews with women who were educated before Title IX was implemented. For three years, Kirk served as Director of the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center, where she oversaw the Center’s programing, edited Traditions magazine, and spearheaded The Trunk of Tales, an educational project featuring the work of folklorist Ruth Ann Musick.


Rachael Meads, Jefferson County, teaches Appalachian culture, music, and ethnomusicology as an adjunct faculty member for Shepherd University’s Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities. Rachael is a proud alumnus of Shepherd who has worked in Residence Life, the Student Center, and Student Affairs for more than 20 years. She loves working with leadership development and helping students find a sense of home in their community. She is a Program Committee incumbent and eligible for re-election.


Elizabeth Satterfield, Preston County, is the Curator and Director of Education at Arthurdale Heritage. A Taylor County native, she grew up exploring historic sites and natural wonders throughout West Virginia, which instilled in her a deep love and appreciation for the state’s history and people. In college, she pursued a B.A. in history at West Virginia University, then went on to receive dual master’s degrees in Public History and Public Administration from WVU in 2021. At Arthurdale Heritage, Elizabeth creates new exhibitions, manages and digitizes the archival collection, and expands educational and heritage programming.


Alexandra Schneider, Brooke County, has served as the Director of Brooke County Public Libraries for the last 10 years. She has a master’s degree in Library Science from Clarion University and is a member of the American Library Association, West Virginia Library Association, and Wellsburg Kiwanis Club.

Cast your vote by March 5 here: