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New Members Join MH Board

L to R: Scott Casper, Michelle Toni McComb, Jacob Miller, Kyera Singleton

The Mass Humanities Board of Directors welcomed four new members at its September 15, 2023, board meeting. Members serve three year terms, renewable for one-term.

“We are grateful to welcome these four new members, whose expertise and experiences add new perspectives to the amazing group of people serving on our board,” said Brian Boyles, Mass Humanities Executive Director. “As we continue to grow our impact and serve the people of Massachusetts, we look forward to partnering with these leaders in the humanities.”

Scott Casper was appointed the eighth president of the Society in December 2020. A historian of the nineteenth-century United States, he has been associated with AAS for three decades, beginning as a Peterson Fellow in 1990. Before joining AAS he served as dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and professor of history at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and as Foundation Professor of history at the University of Nevada, Reno. Scott is the author of Sarah Johnson’s Mount Vernon: The Forgotten History of an American Shrine (2008) and Constructing American Lives: Biography and Culture in Nineteenth-Century America (1999), which won the book prize of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing. He is the editor, co-editor, or co-author of seven other books, including A History of the Book in America, volume 3, The Industrial Book (with Jeffrey D. Groves, Stephen W. Nissenbaum, and Michael Winship) and Perspectives on American Book History: Artifacts and Commentary (with Joanne D. Chaison and Jeffrey D. Groves). Scott has received fellowships from the National Humanities Center, Winterthur, and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, among other institutions. He served on the boards of the American Council of Learned Societies, Nevada Humanities, Maryland Humanities, and the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance; edited the annual “Textbooks and Teaching” section of the Journal of American History from 2008 to 2018; and was acting editor of The William and Mary Quarterly in 2008-09. Scott has worked extensively with K-12 educators through the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, the Center for Civic Education, and the Northern Nevada Teaching American History Project, and he has been on the faculty of Rare Book School since 2017. He holds an AB in history from Princeton University and his MA, MPhil, and PhD from Yale University.

Michelle Toni McComb relocated to Springfield MA from Hartford CT in June of 2006. Through involvement in her new local church, Toni was given the opportunity to become a volunteer camera person for the Springfield City Council meetings. This was an eye opening experience and sparked an interest in her local community and the need for change. Toni later became a volunteer mentor for the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department through the All Inclusive Support Services program and has been serving individuals returning to the community for over 14 years. For the past 5 years she has also served on the Community Accountability Board also through the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department.

Toni is a graduate of the Clemente Course in the Humanities class of 2017 and currently holds a B.S. in Human Services through Springfield College, a Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies and Doctorate in Divinity through the New York Christian Bible College. Toni is also a certified chaplain and loves to serve the community both spiritually and naturally.

Jacob Miller is a Vineyard Offshore Tribal Lead. He works to build and maintain collaborative relationships with tribal governments and members of tribal nations.

Jacob has many years of government and community development experience. He most recently worked as a Senior Policy Advisor and Community Development Director in the office of Massachusetts State Senator Mark Montigny. He has worked as a union organizer with the Greater Southeastern Massachusetts Labor Council AFL-CIO, a grassroots coordinator with Opportunity Nation, and led multiple community development projects in the United States and United Kingdom.

Jacob holds a bachelor’s in Political Science and English from the University Massachusetts Dartmouth where he was named a Truman Scholar. He spent two years in the United Kingdom as a Marshall Scholar completing a master’s in management from the University of Cambridge and a master’s in Building and Urban Design in Development from the University College London. He is currently completing his Juris Doctor degree at UMass Law.

Kyera Singleton is the Executive Director of the Royall House and Slave Quarters. She is also a PhD Candidate at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in the Department of American Culture. For the 2021-2022 academic year, Kyera Singleton is an American Democracy Fellow, in the Charles Warren Center, at Harvard University. She has held prestigious academic fellowships from the Beinecke Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Emory University’s James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference, and the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

From 2018 through 2019, Kyera served as the Humanity in Action Policy Fellow for the ACLU of Georgia. As a policy fellow, she focused on mass incarceration, reproductive justice, and voting rights. She created the ACLU-GA’s first podcast series “Examining Justice” in order to highlight the voices of both community activists and policy makers in the fight for racial, gender, and transformative justice.

As a public history scholar, Kyera recently served as an advisor on the Boston Art Commission’s Recontextualization Subcommittee for the bronze Emancipation Group Statue. She is also a member of the Board of Public Humanities Fellows at Brown University, which brings together a collection of museum leaders from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

Mass Humanities is actively seeking nominations of qualified individuals to serve on its board of directors.

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