Vermont Humanities

Rory Stein

Development & Communications Intern

Rory is a junior at University of Vermont majoring in philosophy and classical studies, and minoring in music. He has worked previously as a photographer for nonprofits such as the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival and YMCA Camp Abnaki.

Emily Timmerman

Programs Support Specialist

(802) 262-1360 x312

Emily comes to Vermont Humanities with a background in collections management at non-profit art museums and university art collections.

Poet Toussaint St. Negritude reads aloud outdoors in a leather hat with a moon design, a teal jacket, and tortoise shell glasses.

Resisting Hate Through Poetry

On Saturday, June 10, an incident of hate violence in Lyndonville targeted and threatened our partners at the Cobleigh Public Library and our dear colleague, Vermont Humanities Program Officer Toussaint St. Negritude. We stand in solidarity with Toussaint, the library staff, and the Lyndonville community against hate violence and extremism.

Toussaint St. Negritude wears a gray newsboy cap and tan jacket with a green collared shirt, blue tie, and tortoise shell round glasses standing in front of a green outdoor background

Toussaint St. Negritude

Community Programs Officer


Toussaint St. Negritude comes to Vermont Humanities with a lifetime’s breadth of community enhancement, advocating the essential intersectionality of perspectives on the arts, spirituality, justice, sustainability, ethnicity, queer life, and the restorative benefit of our connection to Vermont’s landscape.

Cathleen Barkley

Accounting Assistant

(802) 262-1359

Cathleen holds a Masters in Art History from Goddard College. She has spent nearly two decades as an adjunct faculty, community educator, and organizer.

Chelsea Cockrell Lafayette wears a green sweater with long dark blonde hair and smiles standing in front of a green outdoor background

Chelsea Cockrell Lafayette

Director of Development & Communications

(802) 262-1360

Chelsea joins us with over 15 years’ experience working in the arts and culture sector in Vermont. She started at Vermont Humanities in July 2022 as the lead fundraising and communications strategist to grow support for Vermont Humanities and the cultural organizations we fund.

Noel Clark wears a blue and black checkered shirt standing in front of a green outdoor background

Noel Clark

Communications Officer

(802) 262-1357

Noel holds a Bachelor’s in Professional Journalism from the University of Minnesota and spent over a decade as a radio journalist and a communications professional for diverse arts and cultural organizations. He has served in nonprofit communications roles in both Minnesota and Massachusetts.

Leanne Porter stands in front of a wooden wall with hung instruments holding a white coffee mug wearing a jean jacket

Leanne Porter

Literacy Programs Officer

Leanne is an accomplished author, teacher, and education consultant. In addition to her role at Vermont Humanities, she is an assistant professor and the coordinator of Early Childhood Education online at Northern Vermont University.

Wendy Martin in a red top and checkered raincoat standing in front of a green outdoor background

Wendy Martin

Literacy Programs Officer

Wendy co-develops professional development opportunities for early childhood educators through the new Foundations of Educational Philosophy and Literacy Development and Never Too Early programs. She also works closely with public librarians through the Vermont Early Literacy Initiative.

Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup wears black glasses and a purple shirt and smiles standing in front of a green outdoor background

Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup

Executive Director

(802) 262-1351

Christopher became Vermont Humanities’ third executive director in August 2018. He previously served as a Senior Philanthropic Advisor at the Vermont Community Foundation for 10 years and has held leadership roles at the Flynn Center, Outright Vermont, Rural Vermont, and the Pride Center.