Click on each team members image to learn more.
Kim returned to her hometown of Missoula in 1989 and spent the next eleven years caring for her two children and working out of a home office as both a free-lance writer and editor and the executive director of several nonprofit arts organizations. Before returning to Missoula, she worked in New York City as the editor for an international business newspaper, The Journal of Commerce, an associate editor for a national magazine, Quest, an associate editor at Arbor House Publishing, a division of the Hearst Corporation, and as subsidiary rights agent for the literary agency Lescher & Lescher, Ltd. As a free-lance writer articles, essays, fiction and poetry have appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Journal of Commerce, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, Horizon, The Financial Times, Quest, and others.
Director of Programs and Grants
Brooke received her B.A. (Hons) in Communication Studies from the University of Montana and an A.A. in Music (Vocal Performance) from Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles, CA. During her time as an Arts and Culture Reporter for the Montana Kaimin at UM and student ambassador for the Kakehashi Project in Japan, she explored the intersect of cultural values, artistic expression and the human experience, and how those important stories are communicated to the public. Brooke manages the internal and external communications for Humanities Montana’s various programs, initiatives, events and grant opportunities and is always looking for fresh ways to connect Montanans to the humanities.
Operations and Communications Manager
Sierra Cornelius is a hard-working, born and bred Montanan originally from Great Falls. She recently transferred to the University of Montana after taking a few years off from studying Biblical Literature at Northwest University. After moving back to Montana, she chose Missoula as her home and began a family here. She is now busy pursuing a B.A in English Literature, raising her 5-year-old twin boys, and working part-time. Always drawn to studying the human condition, she’s found the perfect home here at Humanities Montana.
Scott Crichton retired from the American Civil Liberties Union in 2015 after 26 years as the Montana Executive Director. His grassroots organizing in Montana spans decades building coalitions to advocate for peace and justice. He’s lived in Missoula since 2008.
Interim Executive Director
Born and raised in Montana, Sam earned her Master of Arts in literature, with a minor in art and an emphasis in science from the University of Montana. She loves finding the humanities connections in a broad array of topics and fields. Sam originally worked at Humanities Montana from 2011-2016 before taking two years to teach ceramic arts at The American International School of Muscat in Oman, returning to Missoula in 2018. In her role as program officer, Sam plans a variety of programming, including Montana Conversations and Montana Center for the Book programs. She is always looking for new partnerships that will help bring the humanities to more Montanans.
Valerie moved from the Adirondacks in northern New York to Butte, Montana just last summer in 2018. She has experience working with agencies, small businesses, and nonprofits and loves the one-on-one interactions with her clients. When not at work you can find her hiking, woodworking, or focusing on personal projects.
Digital Communications Specialist
Sara was raised on the east coast and earned her B.A.Sc. with a concentration in History from the Wilkes Honors College in Florida. She has lived in many states due to her father’s career in the U.S. military but has called Montana home since 2010 when she moved here as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer. Sara fell in love with all Montana has to offer and was committed to continuing her work with nonprofit organizations after completing her national year of service. She has worked with local, state, and national nonprofits across the state and enjoys connecting individuals and communities with causes they are passionate about. Outside of the office, Sara loves exploring Montana and looks forward to sharing this great state with her new son.
Alden Big Man
Dr. Alden Big Man Jr.is an enrolled member of the Crow Nation of Southeast Montana and a trained historian. He earned his Ph.D. in Western History from the University of New Mexico in 2011 and his Masters of Arts and History in 2001. He is a former cabinet head of Crow Homeland Security for Crow Agency and has taught at each level of the educational system including Universities, Tribal Colleges, and K-8 spectrums. He was the director of the Crow Tribe’s Water Resources department and oversaw the rehabilitation of the Crow reservation irrigation system. His latest research is regarding American Indian Vietnam Veterans and telling their story from a Native Perspective.
Alden Big Man
Carol Bradley was a newspaper reporter in her home state of Tennessee, New York and Washington DC before escaping to Montana 25 years ago to write for the Great Falls Tribune. She was a 2004 Nieman fellow at Harvard and is the author of two books about animal welfare. She lives in Great Falls with her husband, Steve L’Heureux, and a pair of rescued border collies.
Great Falls (2023)
Mandy Smoker Broaddus
Mandy Smoker Broaddus is a member of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux tribes in northeastern Montana. She currently works for Education Northwest as a Practice Expert in Indian Education. Her current work focuses on the work of equity and inclusion for Native education in the Pacific Northwest. She was formerly the Director of Indian Education for the Montana Office of Public Instruction for almost ten years where she saw statewide efforts related to closing the achievement gap and Indian Education for All. In 2015, Mandy was named the Indian Educator of Year by the National Indian Education Association. She currently serves on the National Advisory Council on Indian Education as an appointee by President Barack Obama. She is the author of a collection of poetry, Another Attempt at Rescue, and has coedited an anthology of human rights poetry. She served as the writer and a cultural consultant on the award-winning PBS documentary, Indian Relay. Before coming to OPI in 2005, Mandy worked as an educational administrator in her home community of Frazer. In addition, she has served as an instructor at the University of Montana and Fort Peck Community College.
Mandy Smoker Broaddus
Rancher, business owner, mom, comedian, storyteller and Maternal Mental Health Advocate, April Iris Charlo is a proud Bitterroot Salish woman and a member the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. She recently co-founded “Snqweylmistn,” translated as “The Place Where One Does Their Best,” an organization that will take 30 children from the foster care system and raise them in an intentional community within “Forever Homes.” April credits her success to the decision 16 years ago to choose sobriety and is both humbled and honored to advance the development of Recovery Centers in Montana. Holder of an Associate’s Degree in Native American Studies, a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Education Leadership, her passion for Indigenous language revitalization is evidenced in her entertaining and informative Ted Talk at
David Dietrichreceived his Juris Doctor (JD) from the University of Montana College of Law. He is a fourth generation Montanan with a diverse ranching, real estate and estate planning background. His Billings-based law firm, Dietrich &Associates, P.C., has provided real estate tax and estate planning services to the region for over 24 years. He is passionate about promoting and enhancing the appreciation (for grade school children through college students) of literacy and the performing arts, notably in the South Central and Eastern Montana region. David and his family enjoy living in the Big Sky Country; he is an avid outdoor digital camera user, skier and hiker.
Jeanette M. Fregulia is Associate Professor and Chair, Department of History, Carroll College, Helena, Montana. She holds an MA in Middle East Studies from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies, and a Ph.D. in Renaissance History from the University of Nevada, Reno. Her research and publications center on commerce, trade, and cultural exchanges between Medieval/early modern Italy and the eastern Mediterranean, and also on the history of the Middle East and Islam. In addition to articles and book chapters, her first book, A Rich and Tantalizing Brew, a History of How Coffee Connected the World was published in March 2019, by the University of Arkansas Press. She has two additional books under advance contract with Taylor and Francis.
Lynda is from a fourth generation Meagher county cattle ranch established in 1878. She earned a degree in Ag Business from MSU and has served as an officer in state and local cattle organizations. One of three Montanans on the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, she sits on the Export Growth committee working to increase global demand for beef. History, art, music and community service have influenced her life since childhood. She is a graduate of REAL Montana and currently Chair of the Stillwater County Library board.
Carla Homstad has lived in Montana, both east and west of the divide, for most of her life. She earned her B.A. and M.A. in History from the University of Montana and worked as a consulting historian in Missoula for 20 years. In that capacity her work covered such topics as water rights, tribal histories, and cultural landscapes. She recently retired to focus more on writing poetry. She currently lives in Stevensville, the Bitterroot Mountains her constant companion.
Chris Hopkinsearned his B.S. in history, with a minor in art history, at Humboldt State University, Arcata California and has a Master’s Degree in business administration from the University of Utah. He is currently the CEO at Montana Health Network in Miles City. A hospital owned company providing support and services to rural hospitals statewide. Chris serves on the Healthcare Administration Advisory Board at MSU Billings and several local boards. Chris loves to travel all of Montana for both work and recreation.
Miles City (2021)
I am a professor of English literature specializing in the literature of the medieval period, particularly late medieval literature. I also study the history of lyric poetry and work in the field of translation studies, specifically Middle English translations of Latin and French writing in the fifteenth century. My book Imago Mortis: Mediating Images of Death in Late Medieval Culture (Brill, 2013) studies the art and literature of death and dying in the early 15th century. I am also the editor of the medieval volume (800-1450) in the Bloomsbury series A Culture History of Death, forthcoming in 2020. I have also published recent articles on neuroscience and literature, as well as word-image relations in both medieval literature and in the work of a contemporary American poet, Cole Swensen. Past work includes several articles and an edited collection on the French writer and diplomat Alain Chartier, the most influential European author of the 15th century. I am developing a project comparing the aesthetic structure and social dialectics of the Luttrell Psalter and Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. I am a co-PI on a Keck Foundation grant to develop an integrated curriculum in neuroscience across multiple disciplines. I serve on the Institute of Health and Humanities, and the Humanities Institute at the University of Montana. I have extended my research and thinking on death into public humanities projects, including funding from the Institute of Health and Humanities to develop writing workshops on death, and to produce a modern adaptation of a 15th century multi-media art form known as the “Dance of Death.” Since Fall 2017, I have served as Associate Dean of the Graduate School.
Aaron Parrett has lived in Montana for most of his life. After obtaining his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Montana, he moved to Georgia to earn his M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of Georgie. Soon after, he returned home to Montana where he has remained and currently works as a Professor of English at the University of Providence in Great Falls. Amidst numerous awards, board memberships, and public service positions, Aaron is an active writer, covering various topics within the state of Montana.
Director and General Manager, MontanaPBS
For over 25 years, Aaron has provided leadership in programming, production, fundraising and management at MontanaPBS. He served as Executive Producer for many award-winning productions including11th & Grant with Eric Funk, Class C: The Only Game in Town, Fort Peck Dam, The Violin Alone and C.M. Russell and the American West. Pruitt collaborates with independent filmmakers distributing programs to national PBS, such as Wolves in Paradise(PBS PLUS), Before There Were Parks: Yellowstone and Glacier Through Native Eyes(PBS NPS) and two PBS INDEPENDENT LENS documentaries, Butte America and Indian Relay. In addition to serving on the Montanans for 4-H board, Aaron serves on the Friends of MontanaPBS board of directors and is an ex-officio board member of the Montana Broadcasters Association.