Board of Directors



Sue Cosner, West Des Moines
email: scosner(at)iadg(dot)com

Sue Cosner is Vice President of Community Initiatives with Iowa Area Development Group and manages the Ripple Effect program in partnership with Iowa Network Services. She is the former city manager of Panora with more than 26 years of local government experience including work in redevelopment, rural and urban planning and association management. Cosner also has taught in the department of Community and Regional Planning in the College of Design at Iowa State University. Until 2008, she served a 13-year gubernatorial appointment to the City Development Board.

Back Top


Rosemarie Ward, Des Moines
e-mail: DWard47530(at)aol(dot)com

Rosemarie Ward of Okoboji was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa. She attended public schools in Fort Dodge and in Des Moines, graduated from St. Joseph's Academy high school in Des Moines and recevied a BS in education from Drake in 1968.

Rosemarie was past president of the Des Moines League of Women Voters, chair of the City of Des Moines Planning & Zoning Commission and the coordinator of the Great Books Foundation in Des Moines. She served as chair of the Lakes Art Center in Okoboji, and is the current coordinator of the Great Books Foundation at Lakes Art Center. She is also chair of the City of Okoboji, Planning & Zoning Commission, and a member of the Dickinson County Clean Water Alliance.

Back Top


Jeff Heland, Burlington
e-mail: heland6050(at)aol(dot)com

Burlington resident Jeff Heland is an insurance agent and financial service advisor for the New York Life Insurance Company with his office in Burlington. He is a member of the Southeast Iowa Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. Prior to this he worked as a railroad machinist for the Burlington and Northern Railroad (1979-2000). Heland has a long history of public service including: Solid Waste Commissioner of Burlington (1990-1997), Burlington's Mayor Pro Temp (1990-1994), Mayor of Burlington (1994-1996) and President of the Iowa League of Cities (1997). Heland and his wife, Cindy, have two daughters, Allison and Dustin Jane.

Back Top



Mark Felderman, Chariton
e-mail: mark(at)charitonbenfranklin(dot)com

Mark is married to Rebecca Felderman. He has four children: Marshall (wife Emily), 23; Samuel, 20: William, 15; and Regina, 14. His hometown is Bellevue, Iowa, although he has also lived in Emmetsburg, Cedar Rapids, Ames and Iowa City; Iowa, as well as Texas and Nebraska. He earned a BS from Iowa State University, a BGS from the University of Iowa, and a MS-Ed from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri.

Mark is the owner of Felderman Family Ben Franklin Store in Chariton, Iowa, a teacher at Chariton High School (economics, government, geography, and speech), as well as the tennis coach at Chariton HIgh School, a sportscaster at KIIC Radio (Albia), and adjunct economics instructor at Indian Hills Community College. He is a member of Grace Baptist Church (Chariton), Professional Educators of Iowa, Foundation for Teaching Economics, the Chariton Chamber of Commerce, and the Hoover Library Education Committee. He has been honored as C-SPAN National Champion Teacher, and Iowa National Guard Civilian Supporter of the Year.

Back Top


Past President

Barb O'Hea, Peosta

Barbara O'Hea, of Peosta, was appointed to the board of directors of Humanities Iowa by Gov. Chet Culver. O'Hea is assistant to the president for Resource Development at Northeast Iowa Community College in Peosta where she coordinates college-wide special fundraising efforts, publications, community relations and the development of a strategic plan for the college¹s foundation. Prior to her position at Northeast Iowa Community College, she was a health care consultant and employee benefits manager.

She has extensive community involvement, including board service on the Dubuque Racing Association, the Dubuque Chamber Ambassadors and the Legislative and Health Insurance Advisory committees of Northeast Iowa Community College. She is the past-president of the Loras College Club of Dubuque and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. She is a former member of the Dubuque Boys' and Girls' Club and the Little Cloud Girl Scout Laugher Committee. O'Hea is also a graduate of the Community College Leadership Initiative Consortium, and recipient of the Iowa Governor's Volunteer Award and several distinguished service awards.

O'Hea received a M.A. in Higher Education and Leadership Studies from Iowa State University and a B.A. in Business College.

Back Top



George Barlow, Grinnell
email: barlow(at)grinnell(dot)edu

George Barlow is a native Californian. He received his B.A. in English from California State University, in 1970. He is the recipient of a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and is a graduate of the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop , earning an M.F. A. in 1972 and an M.A. in American Studies in 1992. He was a Ford Foundation Advanced Study Fellow in 1972-1973 and has taught at the University of California at Berkeley, DeAnza College in Cupertino and Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids. Currently, he is an associate professor of English and American Studies at Grinnell College.

He published his first book of poems in 1974, and has continued to publish poetry in magazines and anthologies. His second collection of poems was selected for the National Poetry Series in 1981. In 2000, he and two other Iowa poets were featured readers at the Des Moines National Poetry Festival. Professor Barlow has twice served on the Iowa Poet Laureate nomination committee.

Back Top



Graciela Caneiro-Livingston, Dubuque
email: graciela.caneiro-livingston(at)clarke(dot)edu

Graciela Caneiro-Livingston, Ph.D. is dean of undergraduate studies at Clarke University. She chaird the university’s Academic Advising Committee, is a member and past-chair of the Retention Committee, and sits on the Retention Staffing Committee. Previously, Caneiro-Livingston served as a faculty member in the university’s Spanish department and was Clarke’s study abroad coordinator. She continues to hold the rank of associate professor of Spanish.

Professionally, she is a member National Academic Advisors Association and its professional development committee. She is also a past-member of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, the Modern Language Association, and the Society of Spanish and Spanish-American Studies.

In the community, Dr. Caneiro-Livingston is a volunteer at the Multicultural Family Center in Dubuque and she has served as an interpreter for the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office, the Dubuque Public Defendant’s Office and other area organizations.

Dr. Caneiro-Livingston earned a B.A. degree from the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, in Spain, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Back Top

Tom Dean


Tom Dean, Iowa City
e-mail: thomas-k-dean(at)uiowa(dot)edu

Tom is the special assistant to UI President Sally Mason as well as the founder and director of the Iowa Project on Place Studies. He is a UI graduate, earning his PhD in American literature in 1991. He has served on the faculties at Cardinal Stritch College, Michigan State University, and Moorhead State University before returning to Iowa City in 1999.

Tom is the author of the forthcoming book of essays titled, Under a Midland Sky from Ice Cube Press. He also is the editor of The Grace of Grass and Water: Writing in Honor of Paul Gruchow and Live Well, Live Wild, a collection of essays by Stephanie Mills and Bill McKibben.

Dean also has been published in such scholarly publications as American Literature Realism, Literature/Film Quarterly, and American Nature Studies. Some of Dean's other published articles include "The Breath of Midsummer" from the Wapsipinicon Almanac and "Confessions of a Tornado Virgin" from Prairie Weather. He also wrote a chapter in the book Letters to a Young Iowan titled "Permission to Love Home."

Back Top


Lynne George, Ankeny
email: legeorgem(at)aol(dot)com

Lynne George, RN, BSN of Ankeny Iowa is a triage nurse with Unity Point Internal Medicine Clinic in Des Moines.  Prior to her current position Lynne has worked in home care nursing and was the Director of Student Health Service at Grand View College for over 23 years.  In that role she coordinated the health and wellness activities for the college.  She served on the North Central College Health Association Board.  Lynne graduated from the Freeport Memorial Hospital School of Nursing and earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.  Lynne has been active in the Iowa Nurses Association and Sigma Theta Tau.

Lynne grew up on a farm in Northwest Illinois where she was active in 4-H.  She is married to Kerry George and has two grown children Christopher and Jessica.  Lynne has served on advisory committees for the Ankeny School district and was active in bond issues to build a pool and add schools to the Ankeny District.  Lynne and Kerry can frequently be found at the Des Moines Performing Arts Civic Center where they are part of the Guest Services Department as well as members.  Lynne is active in the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines church with a special interest in social justice.

Back Top



Kenneth Lyftogt, Cedar Falls
email: ken(dot)lyftogt(at)uni(dot)edu

Ken Lyftogt is a lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Northern Iowa. Lyftogt teaches introductory and advanced courses on humanities, American civilization and U.S. history. He specializes in the American Civil War, and is the author of four books including "Iowa¹s Forgotten General: Matthew Mark Trumbull" (University of Iowa Press, 2005), "From Blue Mills to Columbia: Cedar Falls and the Civil War" (Iowa State University Press, 1993), "Left for Dixie: The Civil War Diary of John Rath (Mid Prairie Books, 2004) and "The Sullivan Family of Waterloo (Sunseri with the Waterloo Public Library, 1998).

Back Top


Cindy McLaughlin, Sioux City

Cindy is a native of Minnesota, who, in her college years, worked in the hospitality and retail industries. She was a women's wear buyer in Minneapolis who relocated to Sioux City in 1986 to open her own business. She has served on the boards of Planned Parenthood, The Humane Society, and Girls Inc. While serving on the board of Girls Inc., Cindy was involved with two major capital campaigns to build new facilities. Currently, she serves on the board of KWIT/KOJI public radio station in the Greater Siouxland area. She has volunteered extensively for events involving the Sioux City Art Center.

In 2010, Cindy sold her business and recently completed a building project in the historic 4th Street area of downtown Sioux City. She is a member of Downtown Partners, an organziation committed to revitalizing the downtown area and is a member of American Girls, a study club founded in 1900. Cindy and her husband, Dwight Packard, live on an acreage on the north side of Sioux City.

Back Top
Sam Mulgrew


Sam Mulgrew, Peosta
email: mulgrew1962(at)gmail(dot)com

Sam Mulgrew was born and raised in Dubuque. There he attended Wahlert High School and Loras College. He also attended Hunter College in New York City and has a B.A. degree in intellectual history. He worked in the financial sector in New York City and for 12 years was a rancher in Jackson County. He returned to Dubuque to serve as the executive director of the Four Mounds Foundation. He founded Mineral Crossing Retreat Center and currently is the General Manager of Trappist Caskets at NewMelleray Abbey in Peosta. He has served on boards and committees of arts agencies and museums and is a former board member of the Jackson County Historical Society. He is married and has two daughters.

Back Top
Image of Ric Nelson, Board Member


Ric Nelson, Ames
email: richard.nelson(at)lpl(dot)com

Investment Representative. Nelson joined First National Bank in 2001 when they introduced First National Investment Services. He continues to provide a variety of financial planning services as well as investment expertise to the Trust Department's Investment Committee. Prior to joining First National, Nelson was a Financial Consultant with Merrill Lynch for five years. He is a graduate of Iowa State University with a B.S. in Finance. He obtained his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification in 2012. Nelson also serves the Ames community as a member of Toastmasters' International, Ames Rotary, ARC of Story County and the Octagon Endowment Committee.

Back Top


Sandra Norvell, Ames
Email: snorvell(at)iastate(dot)edu

Sandra Norvell coordinates the grants office within the Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities at Iowa State University. Her current duties include assisting arts, humanities and design faculty as they pursue research funding and the coordination of special projects related to those disciplines on campus. Prior to this, she was involved in the American handcraft retail industry for almost 20 years and was responsible for the creation of training materials, signage, new store set-ups and openings, and a monthly visiting artist series.  She received her interdisciplinary BA from Hampshire College combining her interests in architecture, arts history and anthropology and her MA from SUNY Buffalo in archaeology where she specialized in ceramic studies and iconography of Mesoamerica and the American southwest.

Back Top



Sally Phelps, Spencer
e-mail: sally-phelps(at)uiowa(dot)edu

Sally Phelps is a lifelong resident of northwest Iowa. She is a native of Forest City, but moved to Spencer when she was 12. She graduated from the University of South Dakota with a B.A. in science, specializing in medical technology. She also did special course training at the University of Iowa.

Ms. Phelps is active in the Spencer civic community, serving formerly as president of the local elementary parent teacher association, the YMCA swim team. She is active in the First Congregational Church in Spencer. She currently is vice president of the Spencer Community Schools Foundation.

Currently, she is the Child Health Specialty Clinic service coordinator for the Spencer Regional Center, a division of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. She specializes in service and care for children with special health needs from birth to age three.

She is a proud mother of four children, all of whom live in Iowa.

Back Top



Richard Ramsay, Orleans
e-mail: rramsay(at)mchsi(dot)com

Richard "Dick" Ramsay of Spirit Lake is the newest addition to the HI Board of Directors. Ramsay has a strong record of public service in the Iowa Great Lakes region. He is a member of the Spirit Lake Protective Association and serves as counsel for the Dickinson County Water Quality Commission. He also serves on the Historic Arnolds Park Board, the Orleans Board of Adjustment, and the Steering Committee of the Dickinson County Clean Water Alliance. Finally, he is a past member of the Pearson Lakes Art Center Board.

Ramsay said that land-use issues are important to him.

"Iowa has the most altered landscape in the nation. The concept of ownership of land must progress from the 'highest and best use' to one of 'stewardship for future generations.'"

Ramsay and his wife, Carolyn, have three grown sons and three grandchildren, two boys and a girl.

Back Top


Marina Sandquist, Johnston
e-mail: marinaJJ(at)yahoo(dot)com

Marina J. Sandquist was born and raised in Bulgaria before moving to the United States in 2004. She receied a BA in economics and an MBA from the University for National & World Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria, as well as a degree in opera. She is fluent in several languages other than her native Bulgarian: English, Italian, Russian, and Serbian. As an opera singer she performed as Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata and as Susanna in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro. Serving on the Humanities Iowa Board is a chance for her to be involved with her passion for the humanities, arts, and languages.

Back Top


Linda Shenk, Ames
e-mail: shenk(at)iastate(dot)edu

Dr. Linda Shenk is associate professor of English at Iowa State University. She teaches courses on early modern drama and poetry, and her teaching of Shakespeare has earned her the nickname "Shenkspeare" among her students. Dr. Shenk has published numerous articles on early modern drama as well as on Queen Elizabeth I. He recent book, Learned Queen: The Image of Elizabeth I in Politics and Poetry, reveals that Elizabeth's learned persona leads not to the contemplative seclusion of the royal study but rather to the heart of England's role as a burgeoning international power - a connection that reveals how poetry, foreign relations, and intellectual culture are far more integrated than scholars have hitherto imagined.

Shenk received her PhD from the University of Minnesota and her MA from The University of Alaska - Fairbanks. In addition to her interests in all things Renaissance, Dr. Shenk is interested in environmental writing and issues of social justice.

Back Top


Steve Siegel, Ottumwa
e-mail: sj_siegel(at)yahoo(dot)com

Siegel is a native of Bettendorf and a graduate of Grinnell College. He also has an MA in American studies from the University of Kansas and a MSW from the University of California at Berkeley. He works as a Union Representative for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 61. Siegel also has a strong record of public service. He is currently serving his fourth term on the Wapello County Board of Supervisors. He has worked to enhance the Wapello County trail system and worked on the establishment of the American Gothic House Welcome Center in Eldon.

Back Top


Larry Simons, Mount Vernon

email: lrysimons(at)aol(dot)com

Larry has lived in Eastern Iowa his entire life.  He grew up in Bellevue then went on to attend Wartburg College in Waverly.  After graduating in 1981 with a BA in Secondary Business Education and Psychology, he started his teaching career in Central City.  During his six years there, he earned an MA in 1985 from Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University) in Kirksville, MO with a degree in Secondary School Counseling.  He spent his final year in Central City as a K-12 Counselor then started his career with the Cedar Rapids Community School District in 1987.  Larry is currently in his 27th year with Cedar Rapids, the last 18 being a counselor at Washington High School.  He also teaches Driver Education for Kirkwood Community College.
Larry has been an EMT and volunteered his service as a fireman and an ambulance attendant while in Central City.  He also served several years as a member of the School Board Advisory Committee for the Mt. Vernon Community School District.  For the past several years, he has been the faculty advisor for a Student Rotary Group (Interact) at Washington High School and has enjoyed assisting students volunteer their service to others.   Larry is married and has three children.

Back Top