Posted 8 months ago
By John Axtell
Gordon native Shannon Smith is the new executive director of the Wyoming Humanities Council. An author and historian focusing on the Northern Plains, Smith succeeds Marcia Wolter Britton, who is retiring after 10 years.
Smith has spent the past 5 years with a non-profit whose mission is to promote the intelligent use of information technology to advance higher education. Before that, she taught for 7 years at Oglala Lakota College, and spent 18 years years in software design, development, and marketing.
Smith has also served as a board member of the Nebraska State Historical Society and the Mari Sandoz Heritage Society.
Humanities Council President David Reetz says Smith rose to the top of a list of more than 60 applicants because of her wide variety of experiences, her outgoing personality, and her commitment to the humanities.
Reetz says the council board is looking for Smith to lead the organization in new and exciting directions to expand its reach and its ability to help cultural organizations throughout Wyoming connect with their communities.
Smith is excited about her new job, saying she “can’t think of a better position” to combine her love of the humanities and all things “Wyoming” with her background in events, grants, technology, leadership, and fundraising.
Smith says she and her husband have taken well over 5,000 miles of Wyoming road-trips over the past 5 years, and are looking forward to even more as they move to Laramie and she works with the WHC board and staff to promote humanities throughout the state.
Smith has written extensively about women of the West…Wyoming in particular…and her book “Give Me 80 Men: Women and the Myth of the Fetterman Fight” won the Wyoming State Historical Society’s 2009 Non-Fiction Book Award.