The board of regents has approved two new members for the board of the George Foster Peabody Awards program. Joining other experts who select television’s and radio’s most coveted prize winners are William Ferris of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Melanie McFarland, television critic for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Since 2003, Ferris has been professor of history and senior associate director at the Center for the Study of the American South. He served as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1997 until 2001 and then was a public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 2002. Ferris holds a Ph.D. in folklore from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in English literature from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College. A noted filmmaker who has produced 10 films dealing with Southern culture, folk music, blues and the visual arts, he is the author of numerous books and articles on folklore and is editor of the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.
McFarland is a television reporter for the Life and Arts section of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Previously, she worked as reporter and staff writer for the Seattle Times and The Oregonian in Portland, Ore., where she was a member of the redesign steering committee that created the newspaper’s new Arts and Entertainment section in 1996. While a student at Northwestern University she held internships with the Chicago Tribune, the Tucson Citizen and City News Bureau in Chicago. She is a member of the Television Critics Association and has served as a juror for the American Film Institute’s Television Awards.