Jodi Graham first came to Utah Humanities (UH) in 1996, and was appointed as Executive Director in March, 2018. She has served the organization in a variety of capacities, including bringing scholars and community members together to discuss difficult issues through a humanities lens and managing UH’s grants and outreach programs.
She is a certified Change Leader, and has served on the board of the Utah Cultural Alliance, the U of U College of Humanities Partnership Board, the U of U Bennion Center’s Student Directed Programs Committee, and the UVU Appomattox Project Advisory Board. She is on the leadership team of The Village Square Utah (a nervy bunch of liberals and conservatives who believe that disagreement and dialogue make for a good conversation, a good country, and a good time). Jodi received her BS in Musical Theatre from Weber State University, and still sings with her family whenever she has the chance.
Director of Finance and Operations
Before joining Utah Humanities in 2013, Jamie’s interest in the non-profit world began at Salt Lake Donated Dental Services, where she served in various positions for seven years that included key leadership responsibilities.
In addition to key leadership responsibilities, she played a major role in the development and implementation of a program that became the organization’s primary source of revenue. Passionate about service, Jamie actively participates in community projects and is a long-standing volunteer with a local hospice agency.
Program Manager, Utah Center for Local Initiatives
Though Caitlin has lived in China, India, Thailand, and Washington, D.C., she is always drawn back to the mountains of the Salt Lake Valley. She holds degrees in History and Asian Studies, an M.A. in Asian Studies, and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Utah.
Caitlin's research background is focused on gender equality around the world, most recently presenting her work evaluating mental health services for refugee women in Utah with support from a Journal of International Women's Studies Graduate Fellowship. Caitlin has previously worked for the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the University of Utah College of Humanities as well as a variety of nonprofit organizations, including the Asian Association of Utah - Refugee and Immigrant Center, the United Way of Salt Lake, and the Law and Society Association. She also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Chantaburi, Thailand. Caitlin is passionate about community advocacy and serving marginalized populations. In her spare time, she is a voracious reader, national park visitor, and never passes up the chance to hug a dog.
Program Manager, Utah Center for the Book
Willy Palomo is the son of two immigrants from El Salvador. He brings with years of experience organizing literary and activist programming. Before joing Utah Humanities, he served as a Coordinator for the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at Southern Utah University.
In 2018, he graduated with an MA in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and an MFA in Poetry from Indiana University. Willy serves as a translator and founding editor for La Piscucha Magazine, a bilingual literature and culture magazine launched online by Editorial Kalina in 2019. He writes book reviews for Muzzle Magazine and his creative writing can be found in Best New Poets 2018, Latino Rebels, Antologia de Posguerra, The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States, Guernica, Crazyhorse, and more. Wake the Others, his debut collection of poetry, will be published by Black Lawrence Press in March 2020. He has performed his poetry (inter)nationally at the National Poetry Slam, CUPSI, and V Festival Internacional de Poesía Amada Libertad in El Salvador. He is a McNair Scholar, Macondista, and a Frost Place Latin@ Scholar.
Director of Communications
Prior to joining Utah Humanities, Deena was the Communications Director for the Utah Association of Public Charter Schools where she was responsible for the strategic and tactical elements of the Association’s communications, events, and public relations.
Her previous experience includes communications, event, and public relations work at several nonprofit organizations including The American Cancer Society (Utah County Chapter), and Utah Special Olympics. Her corporate experience includes contract communications work for many successful companies including KSL television, Novell, and Franklin Covey, as well as an account executive position at Allbee Green, an events agency where the team she led earned a prestigious Addy (advertising) Award for creative work. Her education includes a B.S. in Psychology, Organizational Behavior from Brigham Young University, and graduate work in Communications at the University of Utah. She founded Channing Hall, an International Baccalaureate school in Draper that promotes intellectual agility and life-long learning in K-8th grade students. At Channing Hall, she served as the board chair and the chair of the Policy Committee. Deena is also a certified Myers Briggs Practitioner and loves the complexities of what it means to be human.
James began his adventures in the ethereal realms of data in 2014 when he served as the Field Director for a Congressional campaign. His experience has continued over the last five years in the non-profit sector, centering around improving efficiency and the effective use of data.
When he is not working, James is passionate about volunteering, having served as the President of the LGBT+ Coordinating Council for the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Treasurer for OUTreach Utah, and volunteering his time at other organizations to help with their databases. He earned his BA in Philosophy in 2018 from Weber State University, where he focused on the metaethics of Artificial Intelligence.
Megan van Frank
Director, Center for Community Heritage
Megan joined Utah Humanities in 2009 and brings strong project management skills and many years experience with museum cultural collections and public history to her position directing the UH Center for Community Heritage.
Megan's background includes study in anthropology, history, international politics, and museum studies. Her interests in local history and indigenous heritage have motivated her work in museums, universities, local and state government, and community groups. She ran professional education programs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has curated and managed cultural collections at the Australian Museum, Sydney University Museums, Natural History Museum of Utah, and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. Megan spearheads Utah's Museum on Main Street program and Museum Interpretation Initiative – award-winning programs that assist Utah’s small museums tell their community stories – and provides resources, hands-on training, and on-site assistance to museums and cultural organizations around the state.
Director, Center for Educational Access
Josh is a life-long resident of Utah. In the spring of 2017, he earned a MS in Environmental Humanities from the University of Utah. Prior to achieving his graduate degree, he worked for over four years at the Utah Society for Environmental Education.
He received a BS in Environmental Studies from Westminster College in the spring of 2011. Josh’s passion for the humanities intersects with his love of the outdoors and the power of nature to facilitate and enrich the creative process.
Director of Development
Cristi joined Utah Humanities in 2015 and has over 14 years of development experience and a passion for connecting people to people, ideas, and resources.
She began her career at the University of Utah's Central Development office working behind the scenes on various development duties. Wanting to be out more, collaborating and connecting with people, she accepted a position at United Way of Salt Lake (UWSL) managing workplace campaigns and leadership donor networks. After 5 years with UWSL, she wanted to reconnect with her alma mater and began to work in the Dean's office for the College of Social & Behavioral Science. Over the next two years she worked closely with alumni, faculty, and staff on scholarships/fellowships, grants, events, and cultivating important collaborations for the college. Cristi holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Utah in Anthropology.
Program Assistant, Think Water Utah
Nate Housley grew up in South Carolina but relocated to Utah for college and stuck around for the mountains.
He holds a BA in English from Brigham Young University and an MA in History from the University of Utah with a Graduate Certificate in Public History. He is interested in the labor history of Utah and tends to spend his free time gardening, baking, and reading.
Program Assistant, Think Water Utah
Megan Weiss is a graduate student at the University of Utah pursuing an MA in U.S. History.
She has worked in museums in Utah for over three years, and currently studies pioneer migration and material culture in the American West. She enjoys video games, tarot reading, and spending time with her dog Lilly.
Program Assistant, Think Water Utah
Mikee Ferran currently works as the Museum Exhibition and Visual Arts Supervisor at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.
She began her journey into the museum field as a program assistant for the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street program at Utah Humanities in 2016. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Westminster College in History and a Master’s degree from the University of Utah in American History. She currently serves on the board of San Diego Emerging Museum Professionals as the Programming Co-Chair. Accessibility, transparency, and opportunity are the foundations of her personal work philosophy.