Executive Director and CEO
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Shannon D. Smith was appointed the sixth Executive Director and CEO for the Wyoming Humanities Council in 2013. Prior to that she was an associate director and research fellow at EDUCAUSE in Boulder, Colorado and taught history and humanities for seven years at Oglala Lakota College on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. She is a historian and author of several works on women of the American West including “Give Me Eighty Men”: Women and the Myth of the Fetterman Fight, a 2009 book award winner from the Wyoming State Historical Society. She continues to research and write history and publishes a monthly article on the creative and cultural network of Wyoming in the Casper Star-Tribune.
Director of Operations
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Josh joined Wyoming Humanities in 2014 and was promoted to Assistant Director in 2016. Josh was an award-winning chef until he changed paths to finish his BA in English from the University of Wyoming where he was the editor-in-chief for the Owen Wister Review, the school’s literary journal. Under his direction, the review won the prestigious Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) Magazine Pacemaker Award for the first time in its 30+ year history and then won it again the following year. He has worked as a nightly newspaper editor, restaurant consultant, and has extensive technology, graphic design, copy editing, and management experience. He has also consulted on websites, social media, and graphic design for businesses here and in Colorado and has a MS in Project Management.
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Sheila joined Wyoming Humanities in 2008 and was promoted to Program Officer in 2013. Sheila holds an MA in American Studies from the University of Wyoming. She has considerable experience with community and nonprofit organizations through her work for the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office. She taught western civilization, western history, and Wyoming history at Laramie County Community College.
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Emy joined the staff as a Field Development Officer based in Jackson in June 2010 and is now responsible for all programming and grants activity in Western Wyoming. Emy received a BA in journalism from California State University, Long Beach, and completed additional work in journalism from Colorado State University. She was program administrator and director for Mosaic in Motion, Inc. in Denver for ten years, marketing associate for the Santa Fe Opera, and marketing director for the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce. She currently works part time as the director of marketing for the Off Square Theatre Company, Jackson.
Erin Pryor Ackerman
Director of Grants and Community Engagement
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Erin joined the staff as Membership Coordinator in 2015 and is now responsible for membership development and grants operations. Erin holds a BA in English and Biology from Lawrence University and a MA and PhD in English from Indiana University. She’s taught at Indiana University and Westminster College in Salt Lake City and has a background in writing and non-profit work.