Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities

Advisory Council


Lynne Carey
Assistant Director, Ames Public Library
Lynne Carey is currently the Assistant Director at the Ames Public Library (APL). She began her tenure at APL as a temporary hourly worker while attending ISU, fell in love with its mission and never left. In previous years, Carey was heavily involved in politics, serving as campaign manager for several candidates and working as an administrative assistant in the Iowa Legislature. She received a BS from Iowa State University in psychology and women's studies. Lynne is one of the rare Story County natives who stayed put. She and her spouse, Navid Emami, love traveling, but appreciate the small town living that Iowa offers. Carey has extensive experience with program planning and coordinates programs for all ages at APL. She is a successful grant writer and fundraiser and currently works with the Ames Public Library Foundation.

Sheryl K. Hall
Director, ArtsLIVE

Sheryl Hall is a retired Iowa educator with a BA in Russian (Secondary Education) from the University of Iowa and a Masters in Secondary Administration from Drake University. She retired in 2004 after 33 years of teaching in Iowa schools. She taught high school Russian and English, coached speech and drama, traveled to Russia with students and the Iowa Friendship Force, served as district Curriculum Coordinator, and completed 11 years as Spirit Lake High School Principal. In 2003 she was one of three finalists for SAI Secondary Principal of the Year. Since retirement she has taught Teacher Evaluator Approval for the Department of Educator, served as community liaison for the Sami Bedell Center for Performing Arts building project in Spirit Lake, and helped create two non-profit arts organizations in the Iowa Great Lakes area: ArtsLIVE (promoting arts year round in the Creative Corridor) and the Friends of the Sami Center (providing support for management, operations, and maintenance of the Sami Center, scheduled to open Dec. 15, 2007). She and her husband Hank, a retired high school art teacher, own Art on 16th, a renovated wood-working studio in downtown Spirit Lake offering a unique environment for art classes, studio rental space, and original artwork for sale.


Frederick L. Kirschenmann
Distinguished Fellow for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, ISU

Frederick L. Kirschenmann, a longtime leader in national and international sustainable agriculture, is Distinguished Fellow for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. From July 2000 to November 2005, he served as the Center's second director since its creation in 1987.  Kirschenmann came to the Center from south central North Dakota where he operated his family's 3,500-acre certified organic farm. He continues to oversee management of the farm and has an appointment in the ISU Department of Religion and Philosophy.


Susan Littell Koehrsen
ISU Alumnus

Susan Littell Koehrsen grew up in the Chicago area before attending college at ISU. She and her husband, also an ISU alum, settled in Muscatine, Iowa in 1965 where they still live. Koehrsen has had three careers. The first was as a full-time homemaker and parent, raising three children while actively participating in the Muscatine community. She has also worked for the Stanley Foundation, an organization working for international peace and justice, as a meeting planner and program administrator. In 1987, Koehrsen and her husband opened an art gallery and custom framing business in which she came to view the presentation and display of art as her special art form. Koehrsen sold the business in the spring of 2007 and looks forward to new opportunities for the future. She has recently developed a renewed appreciation for ISU and especially the university's increased emphasis on the arts.

Phyllis Lepke
Former Vice President, ISU Foundation

Phyllis Lepke has been an Iowa State University student, faculty member, alumni administrator, and development professional. Lepke was on the dance faculty at Iowa State from 1970-1977 before serving as assistant and associate director of the Alumni Association from 1977-1982. Her home for the next twenty-one years was the ISU Foundation, for which she worked as the university's first arts development officer. As the Foundation vice president Lepke managed the fundraising staff for ten years, supervised publications and public relations, grant-writing, special events, donor research, and donor relations.


Gary McKay
Meredith Publishing

Gary McKay has worked in magazine publishing for 28 years, and in many roles including writer, editor, stylist, location scout and photo editor. He is currently a Creative Director at Meredith Corporation in Des Moines. McKay has an MA in creative writing from the University of Houston. For several years McKay served as a member for Lawndale, a nonprofit organization in Houston, Texas dedicated to giving emerging young visual and performing artists their first public audience or exhibition space. He remains an active volunteer for several nonprofit organizations in Central Iowa.

Kevin Nordmeyer
Director, Iowa Energy Center, Iowa State University

Kevin Nordmeyer, BA 1987, Architecture, MAR 1990, Architecture from Des Moines, Iowa. Kevin Nordmeyer, AIA, LEED AP, was a partner at RDG Planning and Design. Kevin's particular expertise is centered on sustainable design in Iowa. Nordmeyer is the Chair of the United States Green Building Council-Iowa Chapter and a board member of the Iowa Environmental Council and the Center on Sustainable Communities. Nordemeyer was recently selected to be the new director of the Iowa Energy Center. He is a lecturer at Iowa State University focusing on sustainable design in the Department of Architecture and was the lead designer for the Center for Energy and Environmental Education at the University of Northern Iowa in 1992 - Iowa's first modern sustainable building. He has been recognized nationally for sustainable design with the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities Office Facility- one of the top ten green buildings in the country in 2002, and is currently working on other significant sustainable work in the area including Earthpark, The Great Ape Trust, The Marion Arts and Environment Center, GreenWood, and the College of Design Foundations Pavilion at Iowa State University.

Katherine Perkins
Producer, WOI Radio, Ames

Katherine Perkins is the producer and host of WOI's Talk of Iowa, a daily call-in program produced by both public radio WUSI AM910 in Iowa City and WOI AM640 in Ames. The program brings the voices of Iowa to the world, with topics ranging from politics to the academic world to the arts. Perkins is also the cohost of the midday program on WOI and was formerly the local host of Morning Edition.


Rachelle Saltzman
Iowa Arts Council

Rachelle H. Saltzman, Ph.D. has been the Folklife Coordinator for the Iowa Arts Council/Department of Cultural Affairs since 1995. She has been the recipient of grants from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture to study place-based food in Iowa. She is also manager of Iowa Community Cultural grants and a grant administrator for the Iowa Arts Councils grant programs. In collaboration with Seven Oaks Audio, Saltzman produces Iowa Roots, a series of 5-minute radio programs (broadcast on Iowa Public Radio) that explores cultures and traditions. Saltzman, who obtained her Ph.D. in Anthropology/Folklore from the University of Texas at Austin, is the author of numerous public folklore publications as well as peer-reviewed articles in the Journal of American Folklore, Anthropological Quarterly, Journal of Folklore Research, New York Folklore, Southern Folklore, Southern Exposure, and edited collections.

Jay Semel
Director, Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, University of Iowa

Jay Semel directs the University of Iowa's Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, an interdisciplinary research center within the Office of the Vice President for Research. He established and now administers several Obermann Center grant programs that support interdisciplinary and collaborative scholarship. He was educated at Temple University, the University of Delaware, and the University of South Carolina, was an English professor at the State University of New York-Geneseo, and was a senior Fulbright Professor in the former Yugoslavia. Semel is currently a member of the Humanities Iowa board of directors.


Kathy Svec
Marketing Coordinator, Iowa State University Memorial Union

Kathy Svec, marketing coordinator at the ISU Memorial Union, has a background in art education and continues to work as an artist in the medium of collage and bookbinding. Svec, a longtime Ames resident, has played an active volunteer role in the community, serving as president of the Ames Historical Society, as a board member of the Ames Community Arts Council, and spearheading the initiative to establish the Ames Main Street Cultural District.


Katherine Von Wald
Iowa Center for the Book

Katherine Von Wald received her BA from the University of Iowa in elementary education and a Masters in Library Science from the University of Minnesota. After working as a children's librarian at the Mason City Public Library, she worked as a consultant and then administrator for the Iowa Library Service Areas. The Library Service Areas provide consulting, continuing education and other supportive services mainly to public library staffs, boards and city officials. Since 2002, Von Wald has been the Coordinator of the Iowa center for the Book, a program of the State Library of Iowa. The Iowa Center for the Book is an affiliate of the Center of the Book in the Library of Congress.

Sandi Yoder
Executive Director, Living History Farms

Sandi Yoder was executive director of the Stuhr Museum in Grand Island, Nebraska, for eleven years before becoming director of Living History Farms in Des Moines in 2000. She is the treasurer of the Iowa Museum Association and is on the partnership panel for the Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area, which includes Story County. Yoder began her career at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia as a hands-on craftsperson and master of the shop. She received an MBA in management and operations and an MA in American History from the College of William and Mary.