Ohio Humanities Announces New Chair, Member of Board of Directors

COLUMBUS, OH—Ohio Humanities Executive Director Rebecca Brown Asmo announced this week the selection of Sarah Sisser of Findlay as Chair of the Ohio Humanities Board of Directors. Dr. Annie Bezbatchenko of Bexley will also join the Board.

“Sarah brings a wealth of organizational leadership and a fresh perspective to the helm of Ohio Humanities, and Annie a unique passion for higher education and grantmaking,” said Asmo. “We are thrilled to have them at the helm as we continue sharing stories that spark conversations and inspire ideas across the state.”

Sisser, who previously served as the board’s Vice Chair, is Executive Director of the Hancock Historical Museum, a non-profit history museum founded in 1970 to preserve and share the history of Findlay and the Hancock County community. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design and a Master’s in Community Planning from Auburn University. Since joining the museum in 2013, Sisser has raised and managed $1.2 million in special capital projects and helped triple attendance. Under her leadership, the museum’s nine buildings and programming reach 25,000 people annually.

“Ohio Humanities is our state’s leader in advancing the initiatives and organizations that help us to better understand one another,” said Sisser. “The public humanities in Ohio, including local history organizations like the Hancock Historical Museum, share the stories of our collective human experience. These stories have the power to connect us. I’m honored to help further this work that I believe to be vital in our state today.”

Bezbatchenko is a Senior Program Officer at The Teagle Foundation, which works to support and strengthen liberal arts education. She has taught at New York University, Baruch College, and Sheridan College in Ontario, and her work has been published in Change Magazine, Inside Higher Ed, and The Hechinger Report. She holds a PhD from New York University and MEd from the University of Pennsylvania, both in higher education, and a BA in Leadership Studies from the University of Richmond.

“I am honored to join the Board of Ohio Humanities to support the important work of telling stories of the shared human experience, strengthening communities, and helping to bridge divides,” said Betzbatchenko.

As the state-based partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ohio Humanities hosts programs and awards grants that support storytellers statewide, from museums to journalists to documentary filmmakers. In 2022, Ohio Humanities awarded $743,557 in grants to 75 different organizations in 32 counties across the state. Ohio Humanities grant funds also support programs that serve all 88 counties in Ohio with in-person and digital programming. For more information, please visit our website at ohiohumanities.org.

Kiley Kinnard, Communications Manager kkinnard@ohiohumanities.org