News and Notes from MHA

By January 27, 2011

MHA put up its quarterly newspaper this week, and there are a few items worth noting. Most importantly, the MHA Board announced the candidates for the new president-elect and board members, to be voted on and made official at the next board meeting. The current president-elect, Richard L. Jensen, will receive the MHA “seer stone” from Bill MacKinnon at the annual conference this May. The outgoing board members are Spencer Fluhman, Noel Carmack, and Jenny Reeder.

The nominees are as follows:

  1. President-Elect: Glen M. Leonard. Glen has worked as a journalist , a publications editor for the Utah State Historical Society, as senior historical associate in the LDS Church?s History Division and director of the LDS Museum of Church History and Art for 26 years. Glen received B.A. and M.A. degrees in history and journalism and a doctorate in history and American Studies (1970) from the University of Utah. He has authored or co-authored four books: (1) with James B. Allen, The Story of the Latter-day Saints (1976); (2) A History of Davis County [Utah] (1999), (3) award-winning Nauvoo: A Place of Peace, A People of Promise (2002) and in 2008 (4) Massacre at Mountain Meadows, with Ronald W. Walker and Richard E. Turley Jr. Glen has published several dozen articles on Utah and Mormon history. He has served MHA as a member of several committees, and as associate editor of the Journal of Mormon History.
  2. Board Member and Awards Committee Chair: Polly Aird. A native of San Francisco, California, and resident of Seattle, Washington, Polly Aird attended Wellesley College and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with Distinction in History. She worked as a scientific editor for the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D. C., for the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona, and later managed communications for the computer science division of The
    Boeing Company. Ms. Aird has written award-winning articles for the Journal of Mormon History, the Utah Historical Quarterly, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, and the Nevada State Historical Quarterly. Her book, Mormon Convert, Mormon Defector: A Scottish Immigrant in the American West (2009), won MHA?s Biography Award and was a finalist for the Western Writers of America?s Silver Spur Award.
  3. Board Member and Publications Committee Chair: Gary J. Bergera. Gary is managing director of the Smith-Pettit Foundation, headquartered in Salt Lake City. Previously , he was managing director of Signature Books (1985-2000) and managing editor of Dialogue. A Journal of Mormon Thought (1992- 98). He is the author of Conflict in the Quorum: Orson Pratt, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young; co-author (with Ron Priddis) of Brigham Young University: A House of Faith; editor of The Autobiography of B. H. Roberts and Statements of the LDS First Presidency; co-editor (with Devery S. Anderson) of Joseph Smith?s Quorum of the Anointed and The Nauvoo Endowment Companies; among other publications. He is twice a graduate of Brigham Young University (psychology; public administration), where he also taught French at the Missionary Training Center and worked as an editorial intern at BYU Studies.
  4. Board Member and Student Representative: Christopher C. Jones. Christopher is a doctoral student in History at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. He earned a B.A. (2007) and a M.A. (2009), both in history, from Brigham Young University. In addition to Mormon History, his research interests include the intellectual, cultural, and religious history of the early modern Atlantic world and the early American republic. He has published essays and articles in Mormonism: A Historical EncyclopediaMormon Historical Studies, and the Journal of Mormon History. He worked for three years as a student research assistant for the Joseph Smith Papers Project and at BYU?s Religious Studies Center, and blogs at The Juvenile Instructor: A Mormon History Blog ( and Religion in American History (

I think it’s safe to say that this is a very qualified and deserving list of nominees, and that all four will do a great job improving MHA. We here at JI are of course biased, but I especially think Chris will do a splendid job serving as the student representative—they couldn’t have made a better choice. Though he definitely has some big shoes to fill in replacing Jenny!

Other news in the newsletter include the announcement of the pre- and post-conference tours for this fall in St. George, the new article awards being offered this year (already covered here), and a few other odds and ends to go with the usual features.

If you haven’t already, go join MHA now!

Article filed under Announcements and Events JIers in Print


  1. Congrats, Christopher.

    Comment by J. Stapley — January 27, 2011 @ 4:34 pm

  2. Congrats, Chris!

    Comment by Jared T — January 27, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

  3. Glen and Chris are good friends. Glad to see them involved.

    Comment by smb — January 28, 2011 @ 9:07 am

  4. Thanks, all. I’m excited about the opportunity and more than a little intimidated to be following in the footsteps of Keith Erekson and Jenny Reeder, both of whom served superbly in this position previously.

    Comment by Christopher — January 28, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

  5. Congratulations Chris.

    Comment by Steve Fleming — January 30, 2011 @ 11:15 am


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