Image of NMHC staff member Brandon Johnson


Brandon Johnson, a native of Utah, came to NMHC in 2017 from the National Endowment for the Humanities where he served as Senior Program Officer in the Office of Challenge Grants. Prior to working at NEH, he was Director of Grants and Historical Programs at the Utah Humanities Council. He holds degrees in history from the University of Utah and the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a PhD in American History from the University of Chicago. He is a father of three and an avid fly fisherman.



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Image of NMHC staff member K. MICHELLE QUISENBERRY

K. Michelle Quisenberry,
Deputy Director

K. Michelle Quisenberry joined the New Mexico Humanities Council in 2004 as Program Officer and was promoted in 2010 as Senior Program Officer. She grew up in Las Cruces, NM, and graduated in 2002 from the University of New Mexico with a double major in Cultural Anthropology and Spanish with an emphasis on literature and Southwest studies. Michelle assists the Executive Director in overseeing the organization and manages the day-to-day operations of the Council. She has directed and administered a variety of initiatives and programs including the grant program, the traveling Smithsonian Museum on Main Street program, Talking Service Reading Discussion program for veterans, the Centennial of Pulitzer Prizes, and the 2018 Journalism, Democracy and the Informed Citizen initiative. She fluently speaks, writes and interprets Spanish text and uses these skills in public events and in NMHC literature. She oversees communications, edits the Council’s monthly e-newsletter, is responsible for NMHC’s Pasa por Aquí blog-editing content, seeks contributors, and advises on topics for writers. From January through August 2017, she served as interim director.

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Image of NMHC staff member CARLYN N. PINKINS


Carlyn, a native of the state of Georgia, is grant writer and development assistant for NMHC. She began working with NMHC in 2019 as its National History Day outreach coordinator and occasionally serves as an NHD judge. She is also a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at the University of New Mexico. Her research interests are African American history in the Southwest and twentieth century North American indigenous history. Her dissertation research will explore black homesteading and settlement in the territory and state of New Mexico near the turn of the century.

She received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from Georgia Southern University and is currently serving her second year as the Dr. Charles E. Becknell, Sr. Fellow at the Center for Southwest Research. When she’s not engaged in academic or professional endeavors, Carlyn enjoys supporting her favorite soccer teams, Liverpool FC and New Mexico United, playing pub trivia, and exploring new areas of her adopted city and state on the back of her scooter.

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Image of NMHC staff member Abby Boling


As a grant maker, Abby is passionate about providing funding support to libraries, museums and other non-profits that are helping engage communities in conversation and storytelling. She is our current website designer and webmaster.

Abby has a long history of working with organizations in a way that merges strategic planning, creativity and operational systems. As a result, she has often worked managing projects across multiple departments, served as a board member, consultant and Executive Director. Abby also helped develop the groundwork proposal for UNM’s new Arts Leadership + Business minor which is available to both undergraduate and graduate students with a declared major from any field. The Arts Leadership + Business minor was designed with a focus on: intersectionality across fields, using creative problem solving to influence systemic social change and to be able to operate with basic business and marketing skills.

Abby holds a Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, from NMSU and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of New Mexico. She also completed an honors thesis in Socially Engaged Art, and a minor in Arts Management.

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Image of NMHC staff member Keelyn Byram


A recent transplant from Wyoming, Keelyn began her career in the humanities as an intern with Wyoming Humanities. During the pandemic, she was able to continue pursuing a career in the public sector by working at the Johnson County Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum as a Collections Assistant. She was hired by the New Mexico Humanities Council as a contractor in June of 2021 to manage the American Rescue Plan COVID-19 relief grants. Now a full time staff member, she serves as the Grants Manager and Speakers Bureau Manager, and aims to help bring high-quality humanities programs to rural and underserved communities.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Master of Arts in American Studies, both from the University of Wyoming. Prior to attending graduate school, Keelyn volunteered at archaeological excavations around Wyoming and in the University of Wyoming’s Paleoindian Research Lab. Once in graduate school, her interest in macabre history and her own spiritual practice eventually led her to her thesis topic. Her research centered on modern witchcraft and explored topics such as the commodification of spirituality, the witch archetype in popular culture, and how magic-based spiritual practice mirrors Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction techniques.

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Image of NMHC staff member Bethany Tabor

Bethany Tabor,
SENIOR Program Officer

Bethany Tabor is a community engagement specialist with experience in crafting public programs with a multidisciplinary approach. Before joining the Council in 2020, she worked in New York City in the nonprofit arts sector. She organized and produced large and small scale public programs ranging from roundtable discussions to site-specific performances at New York City cultural institutions including Pioneer Works, The Trust for Governors Island, and The Green-Wood Cemetery. For the Council she produces the Starting Conversations program and created the Cemetery Stories community story slam program in partnership with Albuquerque’s Historic Fairview Cemetery. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Philosophy from Saint Mary’s College, and a Master of Arts in Performance Studies from New York University. Her scholarly work centers around differing cultural attitudes toward death and dying; she is most interested in the recent cultural shifts in ritualization and memorialization in the West.

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Image of NMHC staff member Sammi Carillo


Sammi received a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art with a second major in English from the University of New Mexico. She worked for the local newspaper the Corrales Comment for six years doing a little bit of everything, from writing articles and managing ad traffic, to customer service and bookkeeping. Sammi has owned her own freelance graphic design business, Oh Boy! Sam, since 2018 working with small businesses and nonprofits. One of her biggest inspirations, both creatively and in general, is Jim Henson (creator of the Muppets).

In her role at NMHC, Sammi is most excited about promoting the organization’s events which give people all around the state more access to the humanities and different cultural perspectives.

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Image of NMHC staff member Stephanie Wilson

Stephanie Wilson, National History Day State Contest Coordinator

Stephanie Wilson, a native New Mexican, is the National History Day in New Mexico State Contest Coordinator for the NMHC. Stephanie graduated from Albuquerque High School, and went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in University Studies from the University of New Mexico, and her master’s degree in Secondary Education from the University of Georgia. Stephanie is a Level III teacher with over 15 years of experience teaching Social Studies, English Language Arts, and Gifted Seminar in the classroom.

Stephanie was first introduced to NMHC and NHD in 2017 while studying for her Gifted endorsement. She learned that NHD is an excellent project-based learning opportunity and implemented the program at Hope Christian School that same year. As a first year NHD teacher, one of Stephanie’s students went on to win a prize for “Best Native American History Project” at the national competition. She credits her student’s success to the support she received from the NHD program. Stephanie’s goal as NHD State Contest Coordinator is to continue the council’s legacy of supporting New Mexican humanities teachers and to provide every New Mexican student – grades 6th-12th – the opportunity to participate in National History Day.

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