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 and their former shelter dog.

Rebecca is currently listening to Barbie: The Album.


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 watching Lucky Hank.


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 grading his students' final exams.


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 reading Maggie Smith's poetry.


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 reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid.


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 watching The Nanny.


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 reading Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk.


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 reading Index, A History of the: A Bookish Adventure from Medieval Manuscripts to the Digital Age by Dennis Duncan.

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, Hancock Historical Museum

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

Brodi Conover, JD | Lebanon
Partner, Bricker & Eckler

David Descutner, PhD | Athens
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

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

Stacia Kuceyeski | Columbus
Director of Outreach, Ohio History Connection

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

Marilyn Sanders Mobley, PhD | Beachwood
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
Head of External Communications, Global Services, Strategy & Operations, Amazon Web Services

Emily Prieto | Columbus
Case Manager, Molina HealthCare

Kevin Rose | Springfield
Historian, The Turner Foundation

Tony Sanfilippo | Bexley
Director, Ohio State University Press

Susan F. Smith | Cleveland
Writer and Speaker

Carey Snyder, PhD | Athens
Professor of English, Ohio University

Jeremy Taylor, PhD | Defiance
Vice President of Enrollment Management, Defiance College

Thomas Way | Steubenville
Executive Director, Urban Frontier Organization

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