Governor's Office of Minority Empowerment
Governor Ernie Fletcher Appoints Members to the Kentucky African-American Heritage Commission
Governor Ernie Fletcher has appointed six members to the Kentucky African-American Heritage Commission.
Gerald L. Smith, of Lexington, is an associate professor of African-American history and the director of the African-American Studies and Research Program at the University of Kentucky. Smith received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in American history, as well as a doctorate degree in history, from the University of Kentucky. He is the author of two books and is currently co-authoring a book about African-American culture in Memphis, Tenn. Smith has been honored as a National Faculty Scholar and was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr., Collegium of Scholars of Morehouse College. He is married to Teresa Smith.
William H. Turner, of Lexington, is the vice president for university engagement and associate provost for multicultural affairs at the University of Kentucky. Turner received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree in sociology and doctorate in sociology and anthropology from the University of Notre Dame. Turner previously served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky. He is a member of the Trotter Group and is married to Vivian Turner.
Karen C. McDaniel, of Frankfort, is a retired professor. She is the former director of libraries at Kentucky State University. McDaniel received a bachelor’s degree in business from Berea College and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Kentucky, where she is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in history. McDaniel is a member of the American Historical Society, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the Association of Black Women Historians and the Kentucky Historical Society. She is married to Rodney McDaniel, Sr.
Dorothy L. Gray, of Harlan, is a retired social service worker. Gray received a bachelor degree in sociology from Union College. She is married to E.R. Gray.
Jerry Cowherd, of Greensburg, is a retired psychology and sociology teacher, high school football coach and business owner. Cowherd is a member of the Greensburg City Council. He received a bachelor’s degree in sociology and physical education from Campbellsville University and a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Western Kentucky University. Cowherd is a member of the Homeplace on Green River Executive Board. He is married to Mary Cowherd.
John A. Hardin, of Bowling Green, is an associate professor at Western Kentucky University. Hardin received a bachelor’s degree in history from Bellarmine University, a master’s degree in history from Frisk University and a doctorate degree in history from the University of Michigan. He is a member of the Kentucky History Society and is chairman of the Kentucky Oral History Commission. He is married to Maxine R. Hardin.
The Kentucky African-American Heritage Commission is made up of 17 gubernatorial appointees. The commission is charged with identifying and promoting the awareness of significant African-American influences upon the history and culture of Kentucky and supporting and encouraging the preservation of Kentucky African-American heritage.