Get The Latest News!

Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.

Leverne Backstrom will serve on the Illinois State Museum Board.* Backstrom has served on the Board of Directors of the Katherine Dunham Center for Arts and Humanities since 2005 and is currently President Pro Tempore. Leverne is a retired 9th grade Language Arts teacher at East St. Louis Senior High School and a former organizer for the Illinois Federation of Teachers. She is member of the Olivette Park Neighborhood Association, East St. Louis Planning Commission and Trinity United Methodist Church. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Kansas Wesleyan University.

Tamira Brennan will serve on the Illinois State Museum Board.* Brennan is a curator at the Center for Archaeological Investigations and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at SIUC. She has been doing archaeology since 1999, primarily in research-based Cultural Resource Management settings ranging from fieldwork to administration. This work includes a seven-year-long stretch as a field supervisor, lead researcher, and ceramic analyst on the Illinois State Archaeological Survey’s investigations at East St. Louis, one of the largest late pre-Columbian sites in the Eastern Woodlands. She has also recently been active in excavations and research on early historic periods in Illinois and Missouri. Brennan earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and both her Master of Arts and Doctorate of Philosophy from Southern Illinois University.

Andrea Carlson will serve on the Illinois State Museum Board.* Carlson is an artist who has worked with a variety of museums, galleries and educational institutions on the topic of Native American art. Her work has been acquired by the British Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the National Gallery of Canada. She has served on several Native American advisory boards for museums and lectures on museum studies. Carlson is a member of the Ojibwe and speaks Anishinaabemowin, the original indigenous language of the area that is now Illinois.

Sarah Doherty will serve on the Illinois State Museum Board.* Doherty is an Associate Professor of U.S. and Public History at North Park University Chicago. She holds a Ph.D. in U.S. and Public History from Loyola University Chicago. Doherty is currently co-curating an exhibit that will explore how the public lives of women have been transformed over the past 100 years of voting rights with increasing access to power and opportunity. She holds memberships in the National Council on Public History, American Historical Association, and Urban History Association.

Lisa Yun Lee will serve on the Illinois State Museum Board.* Lee is the Director of the National Public Housing Museum. She has served as the Director of the UIC School of Art & Art History where she is an Associate Professor of Art History and Gender and Women’s Studies. As the previous Director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, she oversaw a renovation of the house, installed a new permanent exhibition, and reinvigorated public programming at one of our nation’s most important historic sites. She is also the co-founder of The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council, an organization dedicated to creating spaces for dialogue and dissent and for reinvigorating civil society. She serves on the boards of the American Alliance of Museums, Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, 3Arts, and the Rebuild Foundation. Lee received her Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Bryn Mawr College and Doctorate in German Studies from Duke University.

Article continues after sponsor message

Graham Peck will serve on the Illinois State Museum Board.* Peck is the Wepner Distinguished Professor of Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield. He authored the book “Making an Antislavery Nation: Lincoln, Douglas and the Battle Over Freedom” which received the 2018 Book of the Year Award from the Illinois State Historical Society. He also wrote, directed and produced a feature-length documentary on Stephan A. Douglas which is on permanent exhibit at the Douglas Tomb State Historic Site and has numerous scholarly publications. Peck received his Master’s and Doctorate in American History from Northwestern University and, before joining the UIS faculty in 2019, taught for 17 years at Saint Xavier University in Chicago.

Donna Sack will continue to serve on the Illinois State Museum Board.* Sack has nearly 30 years of historic site and museum association experience. She currently serves as Vice President of Community Engagement and Audience at Naper Settlement. She previously worked as Executive Director of the Association of Midwest Museums, serving museums in an eight-state region. Sack was also Executive Director of the Illinois Association of Museums where she oversaw the transition from being a state-operated entity into a self-supporting nonprofit. She was first appointed to serve on the Illinois State Museum Board in 2016. A graduate of the University of Connecticut, she attended the renowned Seminar for Historical Administration, an intensive program for history professionals.

Beth Shadur will continue to serve on the Illinois State Museum Board.* Shadur is an artist who has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions including at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Drawing Center in New York City and the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York. She has created over 150 large, public murals as public, private, and community art projects in both the United States and Great Britain. She is an Artist-in-Education for the Illinois Arts Council and has served as a visiting artist at many colleges and universities. Ms. Shadur has lectured widely on community arts and has curated numerous national exhibitions. Shadur is a Thomas Watson Fellow from Brown University and has been awarded numerous national and international residencies. Shadur has served as the Gallery Director at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, Illinois for nearly six years. She was first appointed to serve on the Illinois State Museum Board in 2016.

Roger Taylor will continue to serve on the Illinois State Museum Board.* Taylor attended Northwestern University Law School and practiced law with the law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He retired as a partner in 1999 and remains of counsel. In 2001 he became President of Knox College and served in that role until retiring in 2011. He continues a pro bono law practice and teaches trial advocacy. He has received honorary degrees from Carl Sandburg College, Dyersburg State Community College, and Knox College. He was first appointed to serve on the Illinois State Museum Board in 2016.

Nikhil Trivedi will serve on the Illinois State Museum Board.* Trivedi works as the Director of Engineering at the Art Institute of Chicago overseeing the development of interactive applications for web, mobile and in-gallery experiences. He is a regular contributor at The Incluseum blog. His writing has been featured in Model View Culture, Fwd: Museums, and the Journal of Museum Education. Trivedi is also a co-creator of the Visitors of Color blog, where they document the experiences of people from marginalized communities who visit—and don't visit—museums. He earned his Bachelor of Science from DePaul University in Human Computer Interaction.


Thomas Dowling will serve on the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.* Dowling is CEO of TaxProper, and co-founder and Co-Chair of P33 Young Leaders Council. He previously served as Municipal Finance Policy Advisor for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's transition team, Truman SI Fellow for the Council on State Governments, Center for Strategic Research Intern with the AFL-CIO, and Deputy Chief of Staff for State Representative Carol Ammons. Dowling is a Rhodes Scholar, Truman Scholar and Lincoln Laureate. He has been recognized by Forbes for their 30 Under 30 and as an NRDC E2 Fellow. Dowling earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Masters in Comparative Social Policy from the University of Oxford.

*Appointments pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate.

More like this:

Aug 29, 2023 - Gov. Pritzker Announces Six Appointments to Boards and Commissions

Yesterday - Gov. Pritzker Announces Three Appointments to Boards and Commissions

Aug 21, 2023 - Alton School District Board of Education Appoints New Member

Aug 7, 2023 - Gov. Pritzker Signs Bills Expanding Protections For Native Americans In Illinois

Sep 6, 2023 - Centerstone Life; Story Champion Award Winners Announced