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 listening to The Gray Area.


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 program activities and serves as the program officer for major grants at Ohio Humanities. He lives in Westerville with his wife and two sons.

David is watching (and reading) Fleishman Is In Trouble.


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 curating his fantasy football team.


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 husband, daughter, and a black cat named Gozo.

Scarlett is currently reading My Good Man by Eric Gansworth.


Kiley Kinnard

Advocacy & Communications Manager

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 Lady Justice: Women, the Law, and the Battle to Save America by Dahlia Lithwick.


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 and newborn son.

Melvin is watching RuPaul's Drag Race.


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 and two daughters.

Aaron is currently reading Thistlefoot by GennaRose Nethercott.


Alex Corpuz

Ohio History Service Corps AmeriCorps Member

Alex is an AmeriCorps Member placed with Ohio Humanities for the 2022-2023 service year through the Ohio History Service Corps, one of two history-focused state AmeriCorps programs in the nation. They are a recent graduate of the German and Medieval and Renaissance Studies departments at the Ohio State University. Alex lives in Clintonville with their spouse and Whispers, a toothless tortoiseshell cat.

Alex is reading The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune.

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
McMann Arts and Humanities Division Chair, Defiance College

Thomas Way | Steubenville
Executive Director, Urban Frontier Organization

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