Senior Innovation Director

Dr. Lisa Payne Ossian is the senior innovation director of Humanities Iowa as well as executive editor of Voices of the Prairie (the literary magazine of HI) and emerita professor of history at Des Moines Area Community College.  Ossian earned her master’s degree in women’s studies at Eastern Michigan University and doctorate at Iowa State University in agricultural history and rural studies.  She has edited a recently published volume American Women’s War Writings:  A Near Century of Violence, 1852-1945 for a series “Feminist History” and contributed an essay on women activism in Prohibition to the anthology titled The Making of the Midwest (2020).

Ossian has received research and travel grants from the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, the Truman Presidential Library, and the Hoover Presidential Foundation and has been elected to the National Education Association’s national board and twice to the State Historical Society of Iowa board as well as selected for the Hoover Presidential Education Committee, OAH Committee on Community Colleges, and NEA’s academic journal Thought & Action.   

 Her three books-- (1) The Home Fronts of Iowa, 1939-1945; (2) The Forgotten Generation:  American Children and World War II; and (3) The Depression Dilemmas of Rural Iowa, 1929-1933--were published by the University of Missouri Press.  She is currently completing her next manuscript titled ‘The Grimmest Spectre’:  Herbert Hoover’s Global Famine Mission & the Founding of UNICEF during ‘the Invisible Year,’ 1946.  Ossian recently signed a contract for Solemn Promises, Spiritual Reconstruction:  Two Presidents Craft the Marshall Pan, 1947 for Lexington Books, an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield.  She has presented her research papers at over a hundred regional, national, and international conferences.