Our Staff & Board

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

Our Staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.


  • “My participation continuance with the program comes from the great cohesiveness of our group… even when new people join… everyone’s ideas and work philosophies teach me something new about how to handle my work and my own life.”

    ​Literature & Medicine participant
  • “We were very proud to have been chosen to partner with the Maryland Humanities on this exhibit project. Small museums, such as ours…are generally not able to field programs of this scope. Maryland Humanities has truly given us an opportunity to bring a nationally recognized program to the City of Bowie and Prince Georges County and have made it easy to reach and stretch and accomplish something that we’ve never done before on this level in our small museum system. The support of Maryland Humanities both financially and professionally is invaluable to us.”

    Pam Williams ~ Belair Manison, City of Bowie Museums, Bowie, MD, Host Site, Museum on Main Street​
  • It was more than just a research project, it was more personal than that.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • “A sophomore on our school’s state-champ runner-up varsity football team was so taken by Joe’s story of the sophomore year on the boat that he got his dad (the coach) and several members of his team to read the book even though they weren’t assigned it in class. Another student described a discussion she got into with her math teacher after school about the relevance of the English curriculum and used her experience with Brown’s work and the field trip to convince her teacher that humanities are just as important as STEM. Great stuff!”

    ​One Maryland One Book 2015 teacher
  • “I feel more connected to history.”

    ​Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • “During a vascular conference a patient with an extensive medical history was being discussed. The surgeons were going over multiple surgical possibilities for the patient. I spoke up and suggested pallative care. They admitted it wasn’t a bad idea. Nothing they were discussing was going to provide any long term benefit. I am not sure I would have thought of pallitive care, let alone, speak up to a group of surgeons without having been in Literature in Medicine.”

    ​Literature & Medicine participant
  • “[I enjoyed] listening to the personal experiences of the panelists as they honestly confronted the universal problems of the 21st century.”

    Pulitzer Panel attendee
  • “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
  • “My students went deeper with primary and secondary sources than ever before. They used critical thinking skills and applied the transfer goals and essential questions on a deeper level than they could have in class. It challenged them to think deeper and defend their findings.”

    Maryland History Day 2019 Teacher
  • “Funding from the Maryland Humanities to distribute our first publication allowed Wide Angle Youth Media to expand our reach and share youth voice in a way we have never done before. With your support, this project has not only been successful in programmatic outcomes, but has inspired and empowered young people, giving them the platform to become published artists and share their voices in our city and beyond.”

    Wide Angle Youth Media, Humanities Fund for Baltimore grantee, Baltimore City
  • “It is difficult to properly express our gratitude to Maryland Humanities for the help and support that we received through the grant-making process and through the project. The grant was crucial to the success of the project, and instrumental in bringing the poet (and 2016 MacArthur Fellow) Claudia Rankine to our campus. As the author of “Citizen: An America Lyric,” Rankine’s powerful reading and discussion of her work provided the anchor for our programming about public education and the role it plays in shaping the political citizen… (Maryland Humanities staff) were a constant source of encouragement and support–and we are proud to have been one of the projects that it recognized this year.”

    Dr. Kimberly Coles ~ Chair, Education and Citizenship Project Committee, University of Maryland College Park
  • “The topic, readings and discussions have encouraged me to consider other ways of interacting with patients and families in the context of culture, lifestyle and economics.”

    Literature & Medicine participant
  • “[One Maryland One Book] brings cross curricular teachers together to the library to read, discuss topics and social issues in the book. It’s a way for students to read good books without the pressure of an assignment.”

    One Maryland One Book 2015 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
  • “My students became more competent researchers, and took ownership of their work. They had total free reign to choose their topic, direct their research, and create their final project.”

    ​Maryland History Day 2015 Teacher
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