Three New Members Elected to S.D. Humanities Council Board

Kirk, Perry and Kruse Join 18-Member Board

Kelly Kirk, Jay Perry and Heidi Kruse are the newest members of the board, which sets policy and provides programming guidance for the statewide humanities organization.

The Council maintains a board of 18 South Dakotans with varied backgrounds who serve as volunteer members. Four members of the Council board are appointed by the Governor of South Dakota.

Kelly Kirk

Kelly Kirk, is an Instructor of History and the Director of the University Honors Program at Black Hills State University. While advising multiple student organizations on campus and serving on various university committees, Kelly also directs the Veterans' Legacy Program, an interdisciplinary research project aimed at developing a broad collection of public history materials that tell the story of America's veterans buried in the five veterans' cemeteries in the Black Hills region.

She serves on the Grace Balloch Memorial Library Board of Trustees and has led One Book South Dakota discussions. A graduate of Black Hills State University, she completed her graduate work at Montana State University and continues to research and write on local women's political history.

Kelly Kirk is a new member of the SDHC Board of Directors

Jay Perry

Jay Perry is the assistant vice president for academic affairs for the South Dakota Board of Regents, the governing board for the state's six public universities and two special schools. His responsibilities include coordinating the development of new academic programs, developing and administering academic policies, and leading a variety of special initiatives on behalf of South Dakota's public universities and the Regents.

Jay previously taught U.S. and world history and spent a decade as a management consultant for public sector clients.

He earned a B.S. in political science from the University of Evansville, an M.A. in U.S. history from Indiana University (Indianapolis), and a Ph.D. specializing in policy history from Bowling Green State University. He lives in Pierre and does programs at Irish Club of Central South Dakota, among other activities.

Jay Perry is a new member of the SDHC Board of Directors.

Heidi Kruse

Heidi grew up in eastern South Dakota between Doland and Frankfort. She joined the Meade School District as the Elementary Librarian and Media Specialist in 2016 after an early career in marketing and non-profits. She is also a freelance writer.

Heidi lives near Sturgis and Bear Butte with her husband, Troy, and their two children. Heidi has served on a number of community volunteer boards including the SD Festival of Books, Sturgis Big Read, Black Hills Business Council, Black Hills Badlands and Lakes Tourism, and others.

Heidi is a certified professional teacher with both elementary and secondary library endorsements. She holds a Master of Arts in communication specializing in rhetorical criticism from NDSU. At SDSU, she earned a Bachelor of Science in liberal studies with a focus in English and world literature and a Bachelor of Science in mass communication with an advertising emphasis.

Heidi Kruse is a new member of the SDHC Board of Directors.

Learn More About SDHC

The South Dakota Humanities Council board convenes three times per year to discuss policy, award grants and more. To learn more about the programming the board oversees, subscribe to our e-newsletter below.