Leah Gage

Leah has over a decade of experience in the non-profit sector working in a variety of causes, from international microfinance to coordinating youth programming to grantmaking to support animal rights activism. What connects her varied experience is a commitment to community development while amplifying and learning from underrepresented groups. Leah holds a B.A. from Oberlin College and an MSW from Catholic University. Though she spent most of her youth in Indiana, Leah was born in DC and is proud to have called the city home for over 12 years. She is thrilled to join the HumanitiesDC team to combine her grantmaking experience and commitment to community empowerment with her passion for using art and creativity to convey the human experience. Outside of work, you may find Leah playing drums for different DC bands or out sampling the city’s vegan dining options.

Izy Carney

A recent History graduate from GW, Izy spent her last year of school studying the relationship between environmental justice and labor history through a local sanitation strike in the 1970s. Guided by the principle that history should be accessible and told as an engaging story, Izy has volunteered with DC-based history organizations including HumanitiesDC and the People’s Archive over the last year. Izy has previous work experience in non-profits through the Capital Area Food Bank’s Urban Demonstration Garden, where she worked with community members to teach people how to grow and harvest their own food.Beyond her love for DC history, Izy is a textile artist with experience quilting, dying from natural materials, and using fabric as a means to share stories. She will sooner learn to make something herself than buy it, and she especially loves art made from trash and other discarded material.

Maglyn Bertrand

Born in Lima, Peru, and raised in western North Carolina, Maglyn is a dedicated advocate of the humanities and the arts. She is a graduate of Emory University (B.A, Music & Latin American and Caribbean Studies), UC Berkeley (M.A., Ethnomusicology), and New York University (M.A. Latin American and Caribbean Studies & Advanced Certificate in Museum Studies). Her experience writing about South American musicians with Indigenous heritage, working in cultural institutions with missions focused on BIPOC artists and communities, and managing programs for K-12 immigrant students of Queens, NY, have strengthened her commitment to developing relevant, educational, and culturally rich public programs and initiatives. In her spare time, Maglyn enjoys playing the music of the Great American Songbook on her keyboard, attending live music performances, and watching mystery shows.

Nicole Schenkman

Growing up between a small family farm in New Jersey and her mother’s art studios in New York City, Nicole developed a passion for place-based learning from a young age. Since moving to DC in 2016, Nicole has focused her career on creating engaging and accessible community-centered celebrations and programming opportunities for residents of all ages to connect. Before joining HumanitiesDC, she worked as a Volunteer Coordinator and, most recently, a Communications and Outreach Manager for a DC-based nonprofit, City Blossoms. Schenkman received a BA in Individualized Studies from New York University, where she led her senior colloquium on Narrating the Cultural Politics of Social Spaces. In her free time, Nicole enjoys knitting, practicing cello, experimenting in the kitchen, and spending time with her senior corgi, Larcey.

Hillary Steen

Hillary co-manages HumanitiesDC’s grants portfolio supporting cultural and educational programming and projects. A DC resident since 2014, Hillary has worked at RespectAbility, the Association of Public Health Laboratories, and the Greater Washington Community Foundation. Her roles have primarily focused on fundraising and federal grants management, and she is excited to apply these key experiences to grantmaking. With an understanding of the importance of intersectionality and collaboration in the nonprofit sector, Hillary looks forward to strengthening partnerships with DC organizations. Hillary holds a Master of Public Management with a specialization in nonprofit management and leadership from the University of Maryland, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from New York University. In her free time, Hillary enjoys reading, watching movies, playing tennis, and experiencing everything related to music and theater.

Gabriella Jones

Gabriella has been active in the nonprofit world since 2013. She has communication and leadership experience working with the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Program, CISV international youth camps, and local churches. Before starting with HumanitiesDC, she worked as a 5th grade math teacher and filmmaker, helping produce a 2021 Tribeca film festival official selection. As a native Washingtonian, Gabriella has a passion for the city and her local community and is excited to work on the communications team of HumanitiesDC. Gabriella holds a B.A. in Communications and Chinese from the University of Maryland, and, outside of work, she loves reading, writing, and producing short films. Her favorite TV show is currently Money Heist.

Ramya Vivekanandan

Ramya has had a varied career working in the education policy field all over the globe (in the U.S., Africa, Europe and Asia), with NGOs, governments, UN agencies and other international organizations. Currently, she is Senior Education Specialist and Thematic Lead for Teaching and Learning at the Global Partnership for Education, a multi-stakeholder partnership and fund supporting education in the developing world. Ramya is motivated by a desire to connect the rich humanities landscape of our city, including international perspectives, with education and youth programming. She is parent to a DCPS 3rd grader and is currently a member of the DCPS Parent Advisory Board.

Maceo Thomas

Maceo Thomas is an advocate in the local creative community with over 10 years of experience in programming and event planning. Receiving his Masters in Public Health at the University of North Carolina, Thomas has applied his instincts for public service to creating opportunities for artists in Washington, DC. Working with musicians and painters alike, Mr. Thomas has created various programs including a monthly art exhibit and music festival, garnering the recognition of The Community Foundation with the Linowes Award in 2011.

Malgorzata (MJ) Rymsza-Pawlowska

MJ Rymsza-Pawlowska is Associate Professor of History at American University, where she researches and teaches U.S. cultural history and public history theory and practice. MJ is also very active in DC’s history community, collaborating with a number of local organizations on research initiatives and public programming–she loves seeing how history and the humanities can help people– both natives and newcomers—connect with the city and with each other in new ways. MJ grew up in Ward 5 and now lives with her husband in Ward 3.

Chinedu Felix Osuchukwu