Press Release: MHA Welcomes Chairman of NEH

Missouri Humanities Awards»

Missouri Humanities Awards Welcomes Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities

April 4, 2012

Missouri Humanities Council »

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.— The 2011 Missouri Humanities Awards and High Tea will celebrate exemplary achievement in the humanities in Missouri 4-6 p.m. April 18, 2012, at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in Jefferson City, Mo., with special guest and keynote speaker, Jim Leach, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“The Missourians being recognized with these awards can serve as an inspiration to the rest of us to work harder, and to better support and promote the humanities,” said Geoff Giglierano, Missouri Humanities Council executive director. “Doing so is vital to the future of our democratic society, and there is no better person to help articulate the importance of the humanities than Chairman Leach.”

Each year the Missouri Humanities Council celebrates the accomplishments of individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the understanding of Missouri, its people and its stories. The 2011 awardees include:

Excellence in Education
• Dr. Robert Baum, University of Missouri, Columbia

Exemplary Community Achievement
• Shakespeare Festival St. Louis
• Cathy Barton and Dave Para, vocal and instrumental performers, Boonville
• Karen J. Jones, St. Charles Community College, O’Fallon
• Dr. Mary Barile, University of Missouri, Columbia
• Pastor Earnestine Blakley, Founder and President of H.O.P.E. Outreach Ministries, Inc., St. Joseph

Distinguished Achievement in Literature
• Brian Grubbs, “Community and Conflict: The Impact of the Civil War on the Ozarks,” Springfield
• Kimberly Harper, “White Man’s Heaven: The Lynching and Expulsion of Blacks in the Southern Ozarks, 1894-1909,” Columbia
• Dr. Silvana R. Siddali, “Missouri’s War: the Civil War in Documents,” St. Louis
• Dr. Jeffrey Smith, “The Confluence,” St. Louis

The state delegates to the National History Day competition also will be honored during the Missouri Humanities Awards Ceremony, including Riya Mehta of Pembroke Hill School, Kansas City; Sophia Mauro of Barstow School, Kansas City; and Derek Carter of Joplin High School, Joplin.

About the Missouri Humanities Council
The Missouri Humanities Council was founded in 1971 as an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Its purpose is to promote and support the humanities—areas of study that include history, languages, literature, law, religion, and philosophy—and to foster a more civil, literate and thoughtful society.
It does so by assisting local museums and libraries, and civic organizations by fostering partnerships and by offering grants and consulting services to help make their programs more dynamic, engaging, and successful. Additionally, the MHC also offers programs of its own to encourage the discussion of literature among certain target audiences such as medical professionals, and works to promote reading for families with young children throughout Missouri. The Council also sponsors the annual Governor’s Humanities Awards, which recognizes individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions in the humanities. More information about the many projects of MHC can be found on the Council website at or by calling 1-800-357-0909.

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