Our Staff & Board

Meet the dynamic group of people responsible for championing the humanities throughout Maryland!

Our Staff

Claudia Allen (she/her)
Director of Advancement
(410) 618-5633

Isabella Altherr (she/her)
Program Coordinator
(410) 685-0452

Lindsey Baker (she/her)
Chief Executive Officer
(410) 699-3130

Ellie Benedict (she/her)
Development Specialist
(410) 618-5725

Stephanie Boyle (she/her)
Program Officer
(410) 685-4185

Alexandra Cenatus
Director of Programs
(410) 618-0753

Aditya Desai (he/him)
Program Officer
(410) 618-3769

Eden Etzel (she/her)
Program Assistant
Maryland Center for the Book
(410) 685-3715

Robert Forloney (he/him)
Program Officer
(410) 541-7612

Lia Özizmirli (she/her)
Maryland History Day Outreach & Professional Development Coordinator
(410) 618-5429

Emily Ross (she/her)
Program Officer, Grants
(410) 618-5017

Camilla Sandoval (she/her)
Program Coordinator
Grants & Community Engagement
(410) 762-8663

Emmie Schulz (she/her)
Maryland History Day Outreach & Professional Development Assistant
(410) 618-5709

Savannah Imani Wade (they/she)
Grants Specialist
(410) 685-1653

Sarah Weissman (she/her)
Communications Specialist
(410) 618-5893

Lou Williams (they/she)
Operations Manager
(410) 564-1548

Our Board

Alicia Jones McLeod

Baltimore County

Chanel Johnson
Governance Committee Chair and Vice Chair 

Baltimore City

Ronald (Ron) H. Nowaczyk
Finance Committee Chair and Incoming Board Chair

Allegany County

Carmel Roques

Howard County

Julia (Julie) Madden*
Government Liaison
Howard County

Mary Hastler
Harford County

Rahne Alexander, a middle-white woman with glasses and light hair, smiles. She wears a dark blue dress or shirt with white tigers on it and red lipstick. She is in front of a wall that has a combination of letters and numbers but no distinct words are apparent.

Rahne Alexander
Baltimore City

Alejandra Balcázarzar, a young or middle-aged light-skinned Latine woman, in a professional or classroom building on a college campus. She smiles and has long brown hair, wears a navy and light blue striped blouse, and navy slacks.

Alejandra Balcazar
Baltimore County

Kendra Brown
Prince George’s County

Mollie Caplis
Baltimore County

Dr. Brian Casemore, a middle-aged white man, stands outside in front of a fence with trees in the backyard and smiles. He wears a checked button-down shirt and a navy blue blazer.

Brian Casemore
Montgomery County

Tahira Christmon
Howard County

Jill Ferris
Talbot County

Dr. Kara French, a young or middle-aged white woman with dark red or brown curly hair, smiles in front of her bookshelf. She wears a cream-colored blouse with embroidery on top, and hoop earrings.

Kara French
Wicomico County

Veronica Gallardo, a young or middle-aged Latine woman with curly brown hair, poses by standing in front of her green door to a brown house. She subtly smiles and wears a white suit and light blue blouse.

Veronica Gallardo
Prince George’s County

Rachael Gibson
Programs Committee Chair

Montgomery County

Ruth Kim, a young or middle-aged Korean or Korean American woman, smiles in front of a solid gray photo backdrop. She wears a dressy tan jacket, dark grey top, and drop necklace.

Ruth Kim
Montgomery County

Shauna Knox
Montgomery County

Soo Koo
Montgomery County

Kimberly R. Moffitt
Grants Committee Chair

Baltimore County

Jeanne Pirtle
St. Mary’s County

Christian Pulley
Prince George’s County

Tamar Sarnoff
Baltimore City

Jennifer Shea
Talbot County

Saima Sitwat
Development and Communications Committee Chair

Baltimore City

Guffrie M. Smith, Jr.
Calvert County

Marshall F. Stevenson, Jr.
Somerset County

Allyson Black Woodson
Anne Arundel County

*Gubernatorial appointee

Are you or is someone you know passionate about the humanities and lifelong learning and have an interest in volunteer service? Consider nominating yourself or them to our Board of Directors.


  • “[One Maryland One Book is] excellent! I come to as many of the One Maryland One Book events and will continue to do so—always pleased!”

    One Maryland One Book 2016 participant
  • “The researching and communicating skills have made me a more confident person in all academic endeavors. These are skills that will last me a lifetime.”

    ​Maryland History Day student participant
  • “One student who has been held back several years and suffers from emotional disorders spent several minutes asking One Maryland One Book [author Daniel James Brown] questions. He very patiently listened and answered each question. He then signed her book: ‘Write with your heart not your head.’ To watch this interaction was very touching.”

    One Maryland One Book 2015 teacher
  • “This program is a gift, literally and figuratively!”

    One Maryland One Book 2015 teacher
  • I thought the interview was gonna be boring but since it happened I had a lot of fun learning about my veteran’s experiences.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • It was more than just a research project, it was more personal than that.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • I felt that I had a very unique oral history experience. It was very emotional and I feel that I learned valuable information. I got to learn stories and practice skills that normally I wouldn’t have been comfortable with.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • “Lifelong learning is a philosophy, practice, and lifestyle that I’ve long advocated for in both my professional and personal lives. In the rapid pace, constantly changing, technological, social, and cultural environments we find ourselves in, a continuous adjustment to change is necessary. Lifelong learning is essential to understanding where we’ve been, where we are, and where we want to go, both as individuals and as a society.”

    ​Maryland Humanities survey participant
  • “Without support from Maryland Humanities, we never could have put together an exhibit and programming at this scale. This support allowed us to cover many more writers, artists and musicians in the exhibit than we otherwise could have done. It enabled us to offer at lease 50 percent more programming than we could have done on our own. The funds also enabled us to promote the exhibit and programs to a wider market. Furthermore, knowing there was a chance for this grant to be awarded, we felt able to apply for (even more) support from the local cultural arts board… We are enormously grateful.”

    Carol Allen, Director for the Library & Hays-Heighe House, Harford Community College, Major Grant recipient
  • “I completed the book club with 22 students, all of them on the JV football team – so not your stereotypical group of book club attendees. On the last day of our book club experience I asked students for some feedback and also asked if they would be interested in participating in another book club. Nearly all of them said that this was the first time they had ever participated in a book club, and a few said it was the first time they had actually read an entire book. I keep hearing back from them, too, [asking] ‘When is the next book club starting up?’. The discussions we had were powerful and meaningful–this was truly one of the most moving experiences I have had as an educator.”

    One Maryland One Book 2016 teacher
  • “Talking with students also helps those of us who have said little about our combat experiences because, in a sense, we feel guilty about why others died and not us/me? So, to be able to talk about it helps the veterans. The opportunity you provided to both students and veterans is wonderful and I do hope that our messages are meaningful to students.”

    ​Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, veteran participant
  • “[In Veterans Book Group,] I considered other perspectives both of other service members and others who did not serve.”

    Veterans Book Group participant
  • We were enabled to go into the community and get information from real people. Also, the assignment was pretty subjective so we were able to take it in any way we liked. We led the projects and each one is so different from the next.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • “[Participation in the program] continues to remind that as humans, we are diverse and handle situations in accordance with who we are as individuals. Being so reminded fosters patience and empathy in dealing with everyone I come in contact with.”

    ​Literature & Medicine participant
  • “I had never done anything like this before so it was a totally new experience to write a paper, be interviewed, and defend my positions. I now really know how to do research and it has improved my writing skills.”

    ​Maryland History Day student
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