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Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello Elected Board Chair for 2020-22

Mass Humanities announces the appointment of Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello as 2020-2022 Chair of its Board. Elected to the board in 2014, Duclos-Orsello is a publicly-engaged scholar, educator, leader and activist with over two decades of experience in the higher education, museum, social service, k-12 and cultural sectors in the US and Europe.

“Liz is the quintessential public humanist,” said Brian Boyles, Mass Humanities Executive Director. “As a scholar, activist, and educator, she strives to expand access to the humanities, in particular the important stories of the many immigrant communities of Massachusetts. I’m thrilled to partner with her as we lead Mass Humanities into a new era.”

Duclos-Orsello is Professor of American Studies and Chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at Salem State University where she has led university initiatives related to civic engagement, strategic planning, general education and internationalization. Her scholarly work – much of it public- facing – relates to the intersections of race, gender, ethnicity, immigration, religion, place-making and the cultural construction of a community.

“I’ve crafted a life and a career at the intersection of the public humanities and social justice and I’m honored to have this opportunity to lead and co-create with a talented Board and staff at this critical moment,” said Duclos-Orsello. “A moment in which it is more apparent than ever the ways in which the humanities writ large—and their transformative power—can and must be called upon to tackle the most pressing issues of our time. Critically, our work over the next two years will be focused on expanding the public’s understanding of which voices define and shape the humanities, raising awareness of the impact of the public humanities on the health of individuals and communities across our state, and, most centrally, expanding access to the tools, skills and wisdom of the humanities in service to building a more just, equitable and inclusive Commonwealth.”

Joining Duclos-Orsello as officers of the board for 2020-22 are Peggy Kemp (Vice Chair), Bruce Grinnell (Treasurer) and William Fowler (Secretary). Click here for a full list of Mass Humanities board members.

For further information or to schedule an interview, please contact Sara Seng at

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