Join the movement: Spotlight on Cheryl Kubelick

March 20, 2024

As we celebrate our 50 years of championing the humanities throughout the state, we’re spotlighting some of the people who’ve joined us along the way and contributed to the cause through their donations, time, energy, skills and creativity.

This month, we spoke with Dr. Cheryl Kubelick, who served as a PA Humanities board member from 2014 through 2017. Dr. Kubelick has long been involved in Pittsburgh’s philanthropic community, having served as the former vice president of the Buhl Foundation and the Frick Educational Fund before her retirement. She also served as president of the Westinghouse Foundation, and was a board member of the Young Women’s Christian Association Greater Pittsburgh and the FISA Foundation, which champions equity, justice, safety and inclusion for women, girls and people with disabilities, and combats systemic racism in southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Q: Can you share the impact that PA Humanities has had on you?

A: Through my years of work in a variety of careers I’ve witnessed the impact of the humanities in making our communities, country and world more livable, safe and caring. The most meaningful of my jobs as a teacher, corporate executive and foundation leader demonstrated the core values and examples presented by PA Humanities.

With 25 years in philanthropy, including corporate and private foundations, I talked to many nonprofit executives. When (PA Humanities executive director) Laurie Zierer first visited me, she talked about the changes she and her board planned in order to make the humanities relevant at the community level. It’s been at least 12 years since that meeting, and PA Humanities has evolved into a high-functioning, community-oriented nonprofit.

Q: As we celebrate PA Humanities’ 50th anniversary, what message would you like to share with those who’ve been part of the journey so far and/or those who will be joining the movement in the years to come?

A: When I was invited to join the board, I was so honored to help shape its makeup by being on the membership committee. Additionally, the entire board worked  on the strategic plan that helped transition to the new, improved organization. The staff and board worked well and passionately “to create programs aimed at honoring the people of PA and their stories, traditions and talents.”

If you are looking to make a difference, please consider applying to be involved. Individuals from each part of the state bring their special experiences and outlooks. It is an exciting and interesting opportunity.  Including PA Humanities in charitable contributions is how I now engage since I’ve rotated off the board, and is an option for those with no time but a passion to help.

Q: How do you see the role of PA Humanities and its importance to the future of Pennsylvania? 

A: For 50 years, PA Humanities has tried to build connections in many unique ways. As Pennsylvanians, we are fortunate to have our statewide organization continuously evolving to meet the needs of the community. The last statement in PA Humanities’ website is summarized here: “We invite you to support us – to be collaborators and to imagine pathways for a more equitable future.” PA Humanities’ programs help us appreciate each others’ stories and traditions, which is the foundation for our democracy’s well-being.

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