Seven new members have been named to the National Council on the Humanities. The council is a twenty-six member board of distinguished private citizens appointed by the President for six-year terms.
Linda Lee Aaker (Austin, Texas) is counsel to the law firm of Bickerstaff, Heath, Smiley, Kever & McDaniel, where she was a partner from 1983 to 1998. Aaker was assistant attorney general of the State of Texas from 1974 to 1983, serving as chief of the Antitrust Division from 1980 to 1982. Aaker is the author of A Woman's Odyssey: Journals 1976-1992. She is a member of the board of directors of Bethphage Great Britain, a nonprofit agency providing services to persons with developmental disabilities. Aaker received a bachelor's degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and a law degree from the University of Texas.
Edward L. Ayers (Charlottesville, Virginia) is the Hugh P. Kelly professor of history at the University of Virginia. Ayers has written extensively on Southern history and race relations. His books include: All Over the Map: Rethinking American Regions and The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction. He is the founder of the Valley of the Shadow project at the University of Virginia. Ayers has received a number of grants and fellowships, including a Fulbright. Ayers received a bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee, and his master's and doctorate from Yale University.
Ira Berlin (Washington, D.C.) is a professor of history at the University of Maryland, where he has served as dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. Berlin is author of several books on slavery and African American life, including: Slaves Without Masters: The Free Negro in the Antebellum South, which won the Bancroft Prize for the best book in American history, and Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery, which received the Frederick Douglass Prize for 1999. Berlin was a Fulbright Bicentennial Professor at the University of Paris. He received a bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctorate from the University of Wisconsin.
Pedro G. Castillo (Watsonville, California) is associate professor of history and founding codirector of the Chicano/Latino Research Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Castillo is author of An Illustrated History of Mexican Los Angeles and The American Nation. He lectures widely on Chicano history and politics, and has served as an academic specialist for the U.S. Information Agency in Central America and South America. Castillo received a bachelor's degree from Arizona State University, a master's degree from Northern Arizona University, and a doctorate from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Evelyn Edson (Scottsville, Virginia) is professor of history and humanities at Piedmont Virginia Community College. She is author of the book Mapping Time and Space: How Medieval Mapmakers Viewed Their World, and recipient of the Newberry Library Fellowship. Edson was project director of a three-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities on Strengthening General Education Through the Humanities. She received a bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College and a master's and doctorate from the University of Chicago.
Peggy Whitman Prenshaw (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) holds the Fred C. Frey Chair of Southern Studies in the Department of English at Louisiana State University. A widely published scholar and editor of southern literature, Prenshaw's books include: More Conversations with Eudora Welty and Women Writers of the Contemporary South. Prenshaw was a 1994 recipient of the NEH Charles Frankel Prize. She served as president of the Eudora Welty Society and the Society for the Study of Southern Literature. She received a bachelor's degree and master's degree from Mississippi College and a doctorate from the University of Texas.
Theodore W. Striggles (New York, New York) is an arts and intellectual property lawyer and author of two guidebooks for artists: Fear of Filing and Poor Dancer's Almanack. He is currently counsel to the New York law firm of Johnston & Sellers. Striggles performed for ten years as a modern dancer with New York-based companies, and has served as a pro bono advisor to several hundred dance and theater companies. He has served as executive director of the New York State Council on the Arts and as adjunct professor of Public Administration at New York University. Striggles received a bachelor's degree from Stanford University and his law degree from Harvard Law School.