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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 8, 1999



The President today announced his intent to nominate Linda Lee Aaker, Edward L. Ayers, Pedro G. Castillo, Peggy Whitman Prenshaw and Theodore W. Striggles as members of the National Council on the Humanities.

Ms. Linda Lee Aaker, of Austin, Texas, is of Counsel to the Austin, Texas law firm of Bickerstaff, Heath, Smiley, Pollan, Kever & McDaniel, where she had been a partner from 1983 to 1998. Previously, Ms. Aaker was Assistant Attorney General of the State of Texas from 1974 through 1983, serving as Assistant Chief, Consumer Protection and Antitrust division from 1977 to 1980 and Chief, Antitrust Division from 1980 to 1982. Ms. Aaker is a member of the Board of Directors of Bethphage Great Britain, a non-profit agency providing services to persons with developmental disabilities. An author, she has published a book, A Woman's Odyssey, as well as written over a dozen articles for The Washington Post on widely diverse subjects. Ms. Aaker received a BA from Luther College and a JD from the University of Texas School of Law.

Dr. Edward L. Ayers, of Charlottesville, Virginia, has, since 1980, been on the faculty of the University of Virginia, and became the Hugh P. Kelly Professor of History in 1993. He has received a number of writing awards for his works on American studies, Southern history and race relations. His books include All Over the Map: Rethinking American Regions and The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction, and he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for history in 1992. Dr. Ayers has also received a number of grants and fellowships, including those from the Fulbright Commission, the Carter G. Woodson Institute for Afro-American and African Studies and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He received a BA from the University of Tennessee, an MA and Ph.D. from Yale University.

Dr. Pedro G. Castillo, of Watsonsville, California, is Associate Professor of History and founding Co-Director of the Chicano/Latino Research Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has also served as an Academic Specialist for the United States Information Agency in Peru, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico and Argentina. He also lectures widely, often on Chicano history and politics and empowerment, and has served as a consultant for a number of organizations, including the National Endowment for the Humanities. Dr. Castillo is author of An Illustrated History of Mexican Los Angeles and The American Nation. He received a BA from Arizona State University, an MA from Northern Arizona University and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Dr. Peggy Whitman Prenshaw, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, holds the Fred C. Frey Chair of Southern Studies in the Department of English at Louisiana State University. She is widely published, and among her books are More Conversations with Eudora Welty and Women Writers of the Contemporary South. She has also edited the journal, the Southern Quarterly and the book series, Literary Conversations. Dr. Prenshaw received the Charles Frankel Prize from the National Endowment of the Humanities in 1994, for her outstanding contributions to the public humanities over the past 20 years. She has served as President of the Eudora Welty Society and the Society for the Study of Southern Literature. Dr. Prenshaw received her BA and MA from Mississippi College and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas.

Mr. Theodore W. Striggles, of New York City, New York is an arts and intellectual property lawyer who is currently Counsel to the New York firm of Johnston & Sellers. He has also served as Executive Director of the New York State Council on the Arts, as Chairman of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and as an Adjunct Professor of Public Administration at New York University. Mr. Striggles performed for ten years as a modern dancer with New York based companies. He has served as a pro bono advisor and lawyer to several hundred dance and theater companies, and is the principal author of two guidebooks for artists: Fear of Filing and Poor Dancer's Almanack. He is currently a member of the Purchase College Council of the State University of New York. Mr. Striggles received a BA from Stanford University and a JD from Harvard Law School.

The National Council on the Humanities is responsible for advising the Chair with respect to the policies, programs and procedures necessary for the operation of the National Endowment for the Humanities. In addition, the Council reviews applications for the awarding of grants and makes recommendations to the Chair. Staff support and funding for the council are provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.