Pennsylvania Humanities Council Announces New Board And Executive Committee Members

November 5, 2021

Five new members were elected to the Pennsylvania Humanities Council’s (PHC’s) Board of Directors in November:  Daniel Egusquiza (Reading), Maureen McGuigan (Scranton), Erin Molchany (Pittsburgh), Safronia Perry (Carlisle), and Abbi Peters (Ridgway). Each began their term on November 1 and are eligible to serve up to two consecutive three-year terms.

Also new is the election of Dr. Cheryl Matherly, Vice President and Vice Provost for International Affairs at Lehigh University, as Chair. She joined the board in 2017 and succeeds Mary Persico, President of Marywood University. Additionally, Gwendolyn White, Underwriting Manager for the Erie Insurance Group, was elected as Vice-Chair and Allen Dieterich-Ward, professor of history at Shippensburg University, as Treasurer.

“Our new members bring a breadth of experience with civic engagement and community building,” Matherly said. “We are excited at the leadership they will provide for PA Humanities as we seek new ways to engage Pennsylvania residents with using the humanities to lead change.”

PHC is governed by a 24-seat board of directors, which is made up of both elected individuals and governor appointees. All seats on the board are currently filled, with members having backgrounds in business, law, education, philanthropy, government, arts, and culture.

“This impressive new slate of board members adds to our diverse and talented team of professionals from across the state — people committed to the humanities and enthusiastic about our mission to create positive change in their local communities,” said Laurie Zierer, executive director of PHC. “This year we successfully expanded our search for new members to include people on the ground in the communities we partner with and those who have seen our work in action.”

Short biographies of the newest members are below. Complete profiles for all board members can be found here.


Daniel Egusquiza is the Outreach Coordinator at Reading Public Library and the founder of Barrio Alegría, a volunteer‐run community arts organization serving the Hispanic and Latinx community that uses art as a tool for transformative, multicultural community engagement and development.  


Maureen McGuigan is the Deputy Director of Arts and Culture for Lackawanna County, located in northeastern Pennsylvania, where she oversees the $1.3 million local tax generated fund for arts and culture programming as well as the operations of the Electric City Trolley Station and Museum.


Erin Molchany serves as a Senior Advisor of Government Relations at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney in Pittsburgh. She previously served as Legislative Director at the Pennsylvania Department of Health and as the director of Governor Wolf’s Southwest Regional Office representing 16 counties.


Safronia Perry is the Executive Director of Hope Station, a non‐profit that serves low‐income families in Carlisle. She is part of the leadership team and a long-time champion for Greater Carlisle Heart & Soul, engaging local youth in storytelling and action against racial bullying in the schools.


Abbi Peters is Executive Vice President of Operations for the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship in Potter County. She brings 20 years of experience within the creative economy to the Center’s leadership team and played a crucial role in establishing the programs that drive the PA Wilds Center’s place-based entrepreneurial ecosystem.

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