AHF Staff

John Rochester, Interim Director

Contact: jrochester@alabamahumanities.org |
(205) 558-3990

The Alabama Humanities Foundation (AHF) board of directors has appointed Judge John Rochester to serve as its Interim Executive Director. He is a former AHF board member, who previously served a term as Interim Executive Director in 2012. The AHF also awarded him with the Wayne Greenhaw Service to the Humanities Award in 2012.

Rochester is a retired Alabama Circuit Court Judge, who served the state as a trial judge for almost 35 years. He continues to hear cases throughout the state. He currently serves on the boards of the Northeast Alabama Community Foundation, Alabama Giving, the Justice Hugo L. Black Memorial Foundation, the Martha C. White Foundation, and the TCR Child Care Corporation.

Rochester hold degrees from Auburn University (BA), Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law (JD), and the New York University School of Law (LLM).

Alma Anthony, Operations Manager

alma anthony

Contact: aanthony@alabamahumanities.org | (205) 558-3989

A vital part of AHF staff since 2001, Alma provides the highest quality of administrative service to the daily operation and administration of AHF. She did her undergraduate work in business administration at Samford University and has more than 25 years of office management and nonprofit experience. Alma has served in many capacities to assure AHF operates effectively.

Melanie Bouyer, Programs Director

Contact: mbouyer@alabamahumanities.org | (205) 558-3999

Melanie Bouyer is a community-minded professional who has worked in diverse settings to assist organizations to expand their initiatives to meet the communities’ growing needs.

Melanie has significant experience in educating and guiding nonprofit and government organizations, including service for a term as Mayor of Lipscomb. Melanie previously worked for the Jefferson County School System as a special education teacher at Gardendale and Clay-Chalkville High schools.

An alumna of the University of Montevallo, Melanie has also earned post-graduate degrees from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Juris Doctor degree from Miles Law School.

Laura Anderson, Special Projects Coordinator

laura-anderson Contact: landerson@alabamahumanities.org | (205) 558-3992

A graduate of the Seminar for Historical Administration, Jekyll Island Management Institute and Getty NextGen Leadership Institute, Laura has significant museum, public history and non-profit experience, including past service as president of the Society of Alabama Archivists and current service on the board of the Alabama Historical Association. Laura came to AHF from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) where she served for fifteen years, including as Archivist, Oral History Project Director and Director of Special Projects.

Laura’s publications include chapter and article contributions to MUSEUMS IN A GLOBAL CONTEXT: NATIONAL IDENTITY, INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING, Eds. Dickey, El Azhar and Lewis (AAM Press, 2013), FOSTERING EMPATHY THROUGH MUSEUMS, Ed. Gokcigdem (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and AASLH’s HISTORY NEWS magazine, as well as CIVIL RIGHTS IN BIRMINGHAM (Arcadia, 2013), an edited collection of photographs on behalf of BCRI.

An alumna of the University of Montevallo, Laura completed graduate degrees in American Studies and History at The University of Alabama and University of West Georgia, respectively.

Jerald Crook, Program Coordinator

Contact: jcrook@alabamahumanities.org | (205) 558-3996
Alabama History Day and PRIME TIME Family Reading Time

Jerald hails from Bay Minette, the county seat of Baldwin County, Alabama. He
attended Auburn University where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and a minor in Sustainability. He also holds a Master of Public Administration degree with a focus in non-profit management and community development from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He began his professional career working in public and academic libraries before joining the Alabama Bicentennial Commission staff as community relations specialist. There he served as liaison between the commission and local organizations and bicentennial committees. Jerald is an avid arts and humanities enthusiast and community development advocate who enjoys finding ways to leverage his skills and experiences to help realize AHF’s goals.

Graydon Rust, Grants Director

Contact: grust@alabamahumanities.org | (205) 558-3997

A longtime resident of Prattville, Graydon previously worked as operations specialist for the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, where he oversaw the commission’s grant program, managed the Alabama Bicentennial PastPort project, and served as webmaster. He is a graduate of Auburn University at Montgomery with a bachelor’s degree in history and is completing a Master of Library and Information Studies degree at the University of Alabama.