Rebecca Brown Asmo

Executive Director

Rebecca is an experienced nonprofit and development leader with a passion for art, history, and community development. An alumna of Georgetown University and an adopted Ohioan since 2004, she lives in Columbus' Fifth by Northwest neighborhood with her two children.

Rebecca is currently reading My Promised Land by Ari Shavit.


David Merkowitz, PhD

Director of Grants, Programs, & Operations

A Cincinnati-born professor and writer, David teaches part-time at Otterbein University and carries out planning and oversight of Ohio Humanities' program activities and grants. He lives in Westerville with his wife and two sons.

David is currently reading 3 Shades of Blue by James Kaplan and watching The French Village on Amazon Prime.


Marc Smith

Business Manager

A former auditor at Huntington National Bank and current Senior Lecturer in accounting at the Ohio State University, Marc manages council funds and is the glue that holds Ohio Humanities together. He lives in Grandview Heights.

Marc is currently reading Summa de arithmetica by Luca Paciola.


Scarlett Rebman, PhD

Director of Advancement

Scarlett is the former Director of Grants at Humanities New York and an adjunct instructor of history at her undergraduate alma mater, Ohio Wesleyan University. Originally from Lexington, Ohio, she currently lives in Columbus with her daughter and two black cats.

Scarlett is watching Trixie Motel and reading Civil Rights Queen by Tomiko Brown-Nagin.


Kiley Kinnard

Advocacy & Communications Manager
Managing Editor, Lumen Magazine

Born and raised in Columbus, Kiley worked in politics and state and local government communications prior to joining Ohio Humanities. An alumna of the College of Wooster and Ohio University, she lives in Columbus' North Linden neighborhood with her two cats, Artemis and Apollo.

Kiley is listening to The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess by Chappell Roan.


Melvin Barnes, Jr., PhD

Program Officer

Melvin was born and raised in Toledo and initially joined Ohio Humanities as a summer research fellow in 2019. Before rejoining the team in 2020, he taught history at the Ohio State University and completed his doctorate in Chinese and East Asian history. He lives in Clintonville with his wife, young son, and a tuxedo cat named Titus.

Melvin is currently reading Salem's Lot by Stephen King.


Aaron Rovan, PhD

Program Officer

Aaron is an adopted Ohioan who has taught English at colleges in West Virginia and Pennsylvania and conducted folklore research in several US communities. He lives in Wilmington with his wife, two daughters, and their rescue pup.

Aaron is currently watching Only Murders in the Building.


Alex Corpuz

Community Outreach Assistant

A Strongsville native, Alex served as an Ohio History Service Corps AmeriCorps Member at Ohio Humanities before joining our staff full time upon completing their year of service. Alex is a recent graduate of the German and Medieval and Renaissance Studies departments at the Ohio State University. They live in Clintonville with their spouse and Whispers, a toothless tortoiseshell cat.

Alex is currently reading Babel by R. F. Kuang and listening to Not Another D&D Podcast.

Board of Directors

Ohio Humanities board members serve as advocates for the public humanities by promoting the mission and vision of Ohio Humanities to sustain vibrant communities and foster lifelong learning. The Board of Directors are the fiduciary stewards of the organization; as a whole, the board establishes policy and ensures the financial health of the organization.

Sarah M. Sisser | Findlay | Chair
Executive Director & CEO, CreativeOhio

Annie Bezbatchenko, PhD | Bexley
Senior Program Officer, The Teagle Foundation

Brodi Conover, JD | Lebanon
Partner, Bricker Graydon LLP

David Descutner, PhD | Athens
Retired Dean & Associate Provost, Ohio University

Deena Epstein | Shaker Heights
Retired Senior Program Officer, The George Gund Foundation

Katherine Fell, PhD | Findlay
President, University of Findlay

Lance Grahn, PhD | Cortland
Retired Dean & Chief Administrative Officer and Professor of History, Kent State University-Trumbull

Ivy Freeman | Columbus
Executive Director, Product Management – Finance Transformation, JPMorgan Chase

Vladimir Kogan, PhD | Columbus
Associate Professor of Political Science, The Ohio State University

Stacia Kuceyeski | Columbus
Chief Operating Officer, Ohio History Connection

Kevin Scott Miller, EdD | New Albany
Superintendent, Licking Heights Local School District

Marilyn Sanders Mobley, PhD | Beachwood
Retired Professor of English, Case Western Reserve University

Dan Moder | Newark
Executive Director, Explore Licking County

Harold Niehaus, PhD | Eaton
Career Connections Director, Preble County Educational Service Center

Mary Jane Pajk | Columbus
Corporate Communications Executive

Tony Sanfilippo | Bexley
Director, Ohio State University Press

Susan F. Smith | Cleveland
Writer and Speaker

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With your support, Ohio Humanities hosts programs and awards grants that support storytellers statewide, from museums to journalists to documentary filmmakers. Donate today to help us tell more stories.