Newly Appointed Board Members Announced

The Willa Cather Foundation, along with a global community of scholars and lovers of classic American literature, recognize that Willa Cather’s work is as appreciated and globally relevant today as it was at the time of publication. From her childhood home of Red Cloud, Nebraska, the Willa Cather Foundation has spent 60+ years promoting her legacy. Recently, the WCF welcomed three new members to its board of governors.

Marian Fey works in the Millard Public Schools in Omaha as the Clarke Community Initiative Facilitator. Ms. Fey most recently served as the Executive Director of the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, an organization that provides financial support for the arts and humanities throughout Nebraska. Prior to leading the NCE, she led arts advocacy for the state as ED of Nebraskans for the Arts and was the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of The ARTery and the Dancing Classrooms program. Marian served two terms on the Omaha Public Schools Board of Education and is committed to advocating for public education. Of her election to the Willa Cather Foundation Board of Governors, Fey remarked “I am so honored to serve and have come to admire and respect the work of the Foundation.” She continued, “The dedication to the mission by the Board is evident in their commitment to Red Cloud and through their personal enthusiasm for the increased understanding and appreciation of Willa Cather’s life and work.”

James Jaap is an associate teaching professor of English at Penn State Greater Allegheny. Dr. Jaap’s scholarly work centers on Cather and Pittsburgh. In addition to numerous conference presentations and several published articles, he was awarded a Woordress Fellowship in 2013, co-directed the 2016 International Cather Seminar, and will be co-editing the Cather Studies volume 13. Dr. Jaap resides in the East End neighborhood of Pittsburgh, not far from where Cather lived during her time in the city. “I believe by meeting and working with various Pittsburgh groups and by working with others to help research and preserve Cather’s Pittsburgh sites, we can continue to promote and preserve Cather’s legacy, both in Pittsburgh and throughout the world,” said Jaap.

Diane Prenatt is professor of English at Marian University in Indianapolis, where she teaches American and European literature. Dr. Prenatt is an Americanist whose research interests include the representation of domestic acts and ethnic identity in narrative, especially in the fiction of Willa Cather. She has published several essays in Cather Studies and the Willa Cather Review and delivered a plenary presentation at the 2016 spring conference. She is currently writing a life of the writer and social activist Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant. Of her new role on the Willa Cather Foundation Board of Governors, Prenatt remarked “I value the collegiality of the Cather community as I’ve experienced it at conferences, in the archives, on tours of Red Cloud, and I look forward to contributing to sustaining that community.”