SC Humanities is pleased to recognize our newest Board Members, who began their terms on November 1, 2015: William Balk of Williston, Beryl Dakers of Columbia, and Jo Angela Edwins of Florence.
William A. Balk is a retired businessman from Williston. He is a regular essayist for the Lowcountry Weekly and for the international online journal, Weekly Hubris. William enjoyed many years in the bookstore business, first as a manager of Kramer bookstores in Washington, D. C. and for 17 years with the Bay Street Book Store in Beaufort. He has friendships with numerous authors and publishers—he was involved in setting up several series of author lectures and events in Beaufort (and was a volunteer for five years for the SC Book Festival.) For several years he was an instructor and lecturer at the Smithsonian Institution and The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. He served on the Board and as the President of the Lowcountry Master Gardeners Association, continues to add to his three thousand hours of volunteer work with the Master Gardeners, and is on the Community Advisory Board for the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service. His degree is from the University of South Carolina in English and French. He taught French one year at Dentsville High School in Columbia. William also served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of the Linton Company in Birmingham, Alabama, an energy and real estate company.
Beryl Dakers joined SCETV in 1977 as director of news and public affairs and has hosted panel discussions, newscasts, documentaries, talk shows, debates, town meetings, video magazines, and even one sporting event—The Carolina Cup! Dakers has created numerous programs for SCETV and has garnered numerous awards, including several Emmy nominations and a National Association of Black Journalists award for best documentary for Sylvia’s Story. Dakers is a long-time arts advocate and serves on several arts-related boards in addition to working with numerous community service organizations. She has had the honor of interviewing many poets of note—among them Nikki Giovanni, S.C.’s Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth, Kwame Dawes, Carrie Allen McCray and Allen Ginsberg.
Dr. Jo Angela Edwins is an Associate Professor of English at Francis Marion University in Florence. Jo Angela has taught at Francis Marion since 2004, and prior to that was an Instructor in the English Department at the University of Tennessee. Her doctorate in English was awarded in 2001 at the University of Tennessee. She served as director of the Writing Lab at Francis Marion from 2005-2013, and during that time was Assistant Coordinator of First-Year Composition. She has numerous poems published in various journals and reviews, has appeared in various conferences and literary functions, and received numerous awards for her poetry. In 2014 she was the poetry fellow award winner of the SC Academy of Authors. She sits as an Editorial Board Member for the Studies in American Culture and The Raymond Carver Review. Her work, writing, and professional memberships are academic in nature, but she did have some experience as a copy editor and reporter for newspapers in North Augusta and Edgefield in the early 1990s.
Board Members continuing to serve are: Ghussan R. Greene (Chair) of Orangeburg; Kim Shealy Jeffcoat (Vice Chair) of Lexington; Marie C. Boyd of Columbia; John H. Busch of Chapin; Daniel J. Ennis of Conway; Walter Fiederowicz of Charleston; Belinda Gergel of Charleston; Samuel M. Hines, Jr. of Charleston; Billy Keyserling of Beaufort; D. Delores Logan of Columbia; Randolph R. (Randy) Lowell, Esq. of Blythewood; Tom Mack of Aiken; S.C. (Cal) McMeekin, Jr. (Secretary) of Columbia; H. Graham Osteen II of Georgetown; The Honorable Elizabeth D. (Betty Jo) Rhea of Rock Hill; David E. Rison of Summerville; G. Garrett Scott of Spartanburg; William Mathews “Bubba” Self of Greenwood; Revonda L. Spratt of Inman; and L. Andrew Westbrook III (Past Chair) of Greenville.
SC Humanities bids a sad farewell to three outstanding Board Members who are retiring from the Board. J. Herman Blake of Charleston, Portia Cobb of Edisto Island, and Courtney Tollison Hartness of Greenville. Each served the Council with great diligence and passion and will be sincerely missed.
The Board of Directors of SC Humanities consists of volunteer academic and public members. Board members initiate and develop projects, seek to make the humanities accessible statewide, and take active roles in Council fundraising.