Jared Gardner is Director of the Humanities Institute.  He is Joseph V Denney Designated Professor in the Department of History, where he teaches courses in American literature, film, comics, popular culture, and medical humanities.  More about Jared's far-flung interests can be found at

Rick Livingston is Associate Director of the Humanities Institute, and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Comparative Studies.  He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Yale University, and was affiliated with the Center for Literary and Cultural Change at the University of Virginia (1990-1993) before moving to Ohio State University.  He has research interests in environmental humanities and citizenship, literary and cultural theory, postcolonial literature and 20C European literature.  He is a member of the Executive Committee for InFACT (the Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation), one of OSU's University Discovery Themes.  He served two terms on the Board of Ohio Humanities (2008-16) and is part of the Advisory Group for STEP (the Second Year Transformational Experience Program), where he has been a mentor since 2012.  A member of the Columbus Art of Hosting Conversations That Matter community of practice, Rick has facilitated strategic planning sessions for departments and groups on and off-campus.

Nick Spitulski is the Administrative Manager for the Humanities Institute.

Cassie Patterson is the Assistant Director of the Center for Folklore Studies and the Director of the Folklore Archives.

Lori Botnick Fireman works with the director and Jewish studies faculty to develop, plan and implement Melton Center programs, concerts, lectures, exhibits, and conferences on and off campus from inception to completion. Lori is in charge of marketing and public relations strategies, edits all Melton Center publications, writes grants proposals, and manages the Melton Center's website. She also works with students to create programs for the student community, develops outreach programs to increase interest in the Center's work and programs, and forges partnerships with community leaders and organizations on special projects and programs. Other responsibilties include fundraising and recruitment.