Oct. 2, 2003 — There are several new faces among the staff and board members of the V.I. Humanities Council.
Following Magda Smith's retirement and, subsequently, Simon Caines' departure for a position at the Legislature, the Council mounted a search for a new executive director. The search has concluded as Mabel J. Maduro has assumed the position, bringing experience in managing nonprofit organizations and in developing and directing territory-wide program initiatives, according to a release from the Council.
Maduro was for 15 years executive director of VITAAL, the V.I. Tourism Awareness and Advancement Link, and project director of the V.I. Workforce and Economic Development Institute at the University of the Virgin Islands.
"I look forward to engaging the members of our community in the humanities and increasing their awareness about an area that is very much embedded in our daily lives," Maduro said in the release.
She leads a team of three, with two new hires. Rosa Thomas Mannix, who has a history degree and who was formerly a commercial loan officer at FirstBank Virgin Islands, is the new program officer and Rochelle Davis joined the staff as office assistant early in the summer. They join Shellie Tobias, who has been with the Council for seven years.
Programs and Plans
The VIHC will continue its active grants program under the new leadership, Mannix said, and plans to expand public relations so the institution becomes more recognized throughout the community.
A librarian has been hired to reorganize and expand the library, and that project will be completed and ready for public use by Black History Month.
The next public program, in the Council's "Scholarly Consultancy" series, will be Oct. 25 at the Florence Williams Public Library on St. Croix. It will feature University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, anthropology professor Dr. Jorge Duany, speaking on "Between the Island and the Mainland: Contemporary Migration to and from Puerto Rico." Dr. Duany has presented many conference papers and published several books on aspects of migration, basing his work on a variety of original sources. Among his most recent works are "The Puerto Rican Nation on the Move," published in 2002, and a chapter, "Making Indians Out of Blacks: The Revitalization of Taíno Identity in Contemporary Puerto Rico," in "Taino Revival," published in 2001.
The next VIHC publication will be a translation from the Danish by Dr. Arnold Highfield of Hans West's account of St. Croix. The Council has previously published two works by West, who lived from 1758-1811. The publication is expected to be released by year's end.
Additions to the Board of Trustees
Also announced is the addition of two new board members: Oswin Sewer of St. John and David Edgecombe of St. Thomas.
Sewer, a public educator for 30 years, now retired, writes a monthly column for the St. John Times. His community involvement includes the St. John AARP chapter, the Nazareth Lutheran Church council, Safety Zone board of directors, and memberships in the Love City Pan Dragon Parent Group and the St. John Oral History Association.
Edgecombe, director of the Reichhold Center for more than 10 years, has initiated several dynamic programs: STARFest, Repertory Theatre Company, Digital Media Institute and the Youth Move Making Workshop. A published and performed playwright with ten plays to his credit.
They join a board led by Dr. Roberta Knowles, chairperson; Nereida O'Reilly, vice chairperson; Geraldine Heath, secretary; and Stanley Jones, treasurer. The other board members, alphabetically, are Deverita Carty-Sturdivant, Cassandra Dunn, Tulip Fleming, Wayne Petersen, Pamela Richards, and Dr. Lorna Young-Wright.
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