Dr. Todd Pfannestiel, associate professor of history at Clarion University, has been named to a three-year term on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC). He is one of five new appointees to the 18-member board.
“I see this as a great opportunity, I’ve always wanted to a part of PHC,” said Pfannestiel. “I will be a voice for humanities development in Northwest Pennsylvania, assisting historical societies, libraries, and several other agencies.”
Since 1973, the Pennsylvania Humanities Council has inspired individuals to enjoy and share a life of learning. Over the last three decades, the PHC has been a leader in making the humanities accessible to every Pennsylvanian. With PHC help, hundreds of organizations—many with little humanities experience and few resources—offer high-quality public programs that affect the everyday lives of people in their communities. Each year, the PHC provides over one million people in the state with opportunities to discover and discuss ideas.
“I have worked with the PHC before,” explained Pfannestiel. “I was a speaker for its Commonwealth Speaker Series for two years and two years ago they asked me to be an external consultant for PHC’s evaluation by the National Endowment for the Humanities.”
Pfannestiel also works as a scholar on call for the Jefferson County Historical Center, helping with the organization’s application process for several PHC grants.
Early this year PHC contacted Pfannestiel, asking him for a letter of interest and resume to be considered for the board. He replied affirmatively and in June received formal notification that he would be a new board member.
For now, Pfannestiel is going through orientation for his new position. He plans to attend the PHC Millennium Lecture featuring Frank McCort, Nov. 10 in the Hall of Assembly, Harrisburg. That will be followed in December by the first of the semi-annual board meetings in Philadelphia. At the meeting the board sets the agenda for the year to follow. He has requested to serve on the PHC program committee, one of three PHC committees along with membership and fund raising.
“I want to be a conduit between the board and the area,” said Pfannestiel. “There are a lot of PHC programs held in Western Pennsylvania and I would like to see more PHC programs and more project funding come to our area.”
Pfannestiel received his B.A. degree from the University of Arkansas, and M.A. and Ph.D. from The College of William and Mary. He has been a faculty member at Clarion University since 1998. He is the advisor to Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society in History and the Clarion University History Club.