Be a Fellow | Host a Fellow | Current Fellows | Past Fellows | Alumni

The Island Fellows Program is one of the signature programs of the Island Institute. Since 1999, the Island Fellows Program has placed college and master’s degree graduates in Maine’s coastal and year-round island communities for one to two years. Fellowships provide a unique opportunity for recent graduates to apply their skills and gain experience helping to build sustainability within communities whose way of life and identity face many challenges. 

The Island Fellows Program provides support for Maine's island and coastal communities by:

  • Strengthening capacity for the local management of historical, cultural, natural, economic, and information resources
  • Assisting in local research, planning, education, and technology projects

The Island Fellows Program provides support for the Island Fellows by:

  • Offering enriching professional development opportunities for recent college graduates
  • Building professional experiences and networks for Fellows looking to live and work in Maine

Awards and Recognition

  • The Island Fellows Program was recognized with the "Outstanding Program" award by the Community Development Society.
  • The Island Fellows Program is an official winner of the 2014 SHIFT Sustainability Award.

How does the Island Fellows Program work?

Island or remote coastal organizations apply to the Island Institute with a community supported project that could benefit from an extra set of hands (See Hosting a Fellow, below). The Institute then finds highly qualified recent graduates to live for 24 months in residence in the community (See How to Be a Fellow, below). Immersion in the community connects fellows directly with islanders to gain an intimate understanding of island life and to understand the needs and opportunities around the identified project.  Fellows are expected to be active participants in their community and bring their own experiences and skills to share.

Be a Fellow

The Fellowship application period is open from January until mid-March for a September program start. Top candidates are then interviewed in the island or coastal host communities by key contacts who will be working with the Fellow. On-island/coastal interviews are required. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident.

Minimum Qualifications
  • Recent completion of a baccalaureate or graduate degree (within five years)
  • Demonstrated interest and experience in a field such as community service, community planning, natural-resource planning, GIS mapping, educational outreach, etc.
  • A strong service ethic
  • Flexibility
  • A strong desire to live and work within a small, remote community
  • Strong self-motivation and the ability to work with minimal supervision
Island Fellow Benefits

Each Fellow receives a stipend of $15,000, plus rent and utilities, health insurance, paid vacation days and other benefits. The Institute also provides reimbursement for approved work-related expenses, access to a professional development fund, and offers to offset part of the cost of a new laptop for first year Fellows.

In addition to the application form, which will be accessible via a link on this page during the open application period, the following are required:

  • An unofficial copy of your transcripts of complete undergraduate and graduate records
  • One letter of recommendation
  • A concise personal statement
  • A resume

Host a Fellow

The Island Institute Fellows Program’s goals are to provide support for Maine’s island and coastal communities by:

  • Building capacity by meeting community-stated needs through project-based work
  • Increasing capacity for the local management of historical, cultural, natural, economic and informational resources
  • Assisting local research, planning, education and technology projects
  • Offering enriching professional-development opportunities for Island Fellows


Current Fellows

Meredith Ballinger — St. George Fellow — Meredith works with the St. George school to build external networks, and determine the best way to create a service center to provide wrap-around support services to improve student growth and development. She is a graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Public Health.

Maddy Bruno — Islesboro Fellow — Maddy works with the Islesboro Community Center to support intergenerational collaborations between the elder care facility, preschool, and community center. She is also increasing the technical capacity of the artist economic support programing run through the community center. Maddy is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in Geology.

Meghan Cooper — Millinocket Fellow — Meghan works with the Millinocket Memorial Library developing a community resource and volunteer coordination center for the Katahdin region. Meghan is finishing her graduate degree at of the University of Southern Maine earning a degree in Policy, Planning, and Management.

Maria Keeler — North Haven Fellow — Maria works with the teachers at the North Haven Community School to create dynamic, standards based, agricultural curriculum. She is also supporting community health and wellness initiatives. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Morris with degrees in Biology and Psychology.

Stefanie Kowalczyk — Swan's Island Fellow — Stefanie works with the Lobster and Marine Museum helping to curate the extensive collection of local maritime and fishing history. She will also work on marketing, outreach and volunteer recruitment for the museum. Stefanie is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Master’s in Cultural Heritage Management.

Dana Mark — Deer Isle-Stonington Fellow — Dana works with the Deer Isle - Stonington Elementary School to bring place based aquaculture education and mentoring opportunities to middle school students, and with the Historical Society training volunteers to use technology and catalogue the extensive collection of oral histories.

Hillary Savage — Vinalhaven Fellow — Hillary works with the Vinalhaven School and Partners in Island Education to build capacity for the afterschool program, adult learning options, and parent support programs. She is a graduate of the University of Maine at Machias with a degree in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts and Creative Writing.

Tarah Waters — Eastport Arts Center Fellow — Tarah will be working with the Eastport Arts Center to strengthen community partnerships through innovative arts programing. She will also be continuing to support the creation of a community makers space. Tarah is a graduate of Salve Regina University with a degree in International Studies.

Exploring Lane's Island during the 2017 Fellows Orientation

Past Fellows

  • Alana Flanagan, Vinalhaven Fellow
  • Alden Robinson, Long Island GIS and Municipal Government Fellow
  • Alexander Harris, James and Joanne Cooney Fellow on Isle au Haut
  • Alexandra Hodges, Islesboro School and Town of Islesboro Technology Fellow
  • Alexandria Brasili, Herring Gut Learning Center Fellow & Louis W. Cabot Award Recipient
  • Ally Day, Vinalhaven Educational Technology Fellow
  • Alyson Fauver, Cliff Island Marine Stewardship and Community Development Fellow
  • Alyson Mayo, Islesboro Affordable Housing Fellow
  • Amanda Poyant, Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School and Community Center Fellow
  • Amanda Ravenhill, Cranberry Isles Sustainable Community Development Fellow
  • Andrew Dorr, Vinalhaven Community and Economic Development Fellow
  • Andrew Mountcastle, Friendship Marine Stewardship Fellow
  • Andy Whitaker, Monhegan School Fellow
  • Anna Rubin, Long Island Library and School Enrichment Fellow
  • Anna Smith, Swan's Island Health Center Fellow
  • Anne Bardaglio, Matinicus School Fellow; Four Island Schools Collaborative Senior Fellow
  • Annie Tselikis, Stonington Economic Development and Digital Media Fellow
  • Ben Algeo, Diesel Islands Fellow, Monhegan and Matinicus Islands
  • Benjamin Odgren, Island Scholars Network Coordinator
  • Betsy Walker, North Haven Historical Preservation Fellow
  • Birgitta Polson, Community Energy Fellow
  • Brooke Brewer, Casco Bay Affordable Housing and Economic Development Fellow
  • Caitlin Gerber, Chebeague Island Recreation Center Fellow
  • Candyce Dunham, Swan's Island Arts Enrichment Fellow
  • Carly Knight, Chebeague Island Historical Preservation Fellow
  • Celia Whitehead, Chebeague Island Community Fellow
  • Cherie Galyean, Vinalhaven Library Fellow; Downeast Libraries Senior Fellow
  • Cyrus Moulton, Cranberry Isles Comprehensive Planning Fellow
  • Dana Leath, Long Island Education Fellow; Casco Bay Senior Fellow
  • Daniel Miller, Swan's Island and Frenchboro Library and Historical Preservation Fellow
  • Daniel O'Grady, Friendship Marine Resources Fellow
  • Danielle Hall, Cliff Island Community Development Fellow
  • David Steckler, North Haven Place-Based Education Fellow
  • Eli Bossin, Chebeague Island Historical Soceity Fellow 
  • Eliza Greenman, Cranberry Isles Sustainable Community Fellow
  • Emily Graham, North Haven School Library Fellow
  • Emma Lishness, Islesboro Community Center Fellow
  • Emma Miran, Stonington Planning and Development Fellow
  • Eric Dyer, Cranberry Isles Comprehensive Planning Fellow
  • Erin Crowley, Long Island Community Planning Fellow
  • Erin Fisher, Deer Isle-Stonington Marine Resources Fellow
  • Erin Love, Casco Bay Estuary Partnership Fellow
  • Hannah Tannebring, Jackson Memorial Library and Service-Learning Fellow
  • Hedda Steinhoff, Deer-Isle Stonington Marine Trades Fellow
  • Helen Chabot, Chebeague Island Marine Resources Fellow
  • Ian Watkins, Deer Isle-Stonington High School Fellow
  • James Essex, Peaks Island GIS Fellow
  • James Westhafer, Islesboro School and Town Technology Fellow
  • Jeff Killian, Deer Isle-Stonington Marine Trades Fellow
  • Jeremy Gabrielson, Downeast Economic Development Fellow
  • Jesse Minor, Cranberry Isles Marine Stewardship Fellow
  • Jessica Bellah, Frenchboro Town Planning
  • Jessica Duma, Great Cranberry Agriculture Fellow
  • Jessica Stevens, Monhegan Maine and Historical Stewardship Fellow
  • Kaitlin Webber, Swan's Island Library Fellow
  • Karen Burns, Vinalhaven Arts Enrichment Fellow
  • Kate Power, Long Island Recreation Center Fellow
  • Kathleen Reardon, Islesboro GIS Fellow
  • Katie Chapman, Alternative Energy Fellow
  • Keely Felton, North Haven Arts Enrichment Fellow
  • Keith Eaton, North Haven Education Fellow
  • Kelsey Byrd, Vinalhaven Community Wellness Fellow
  • Kendra Jo March, Islesboro Community Fellow
  • Kerrie O'Donnell, Vinalhaven Marine Resources & Community Development Fellow
  • Kurt Lynch, Vinalhaven Marine Trades Fellow
  • Lana Cannon, Matinicus School and Historical Preservation Fellow
  • Laura Bolton, Great Cranberry Island Historical Preservation Fellow
  • Laura Kramar, Port Clyde Marketing and Branding Coordination Senior Fellow
  • Leah McDonald, Chebeague Island Recreation Fellow
  • Liv Detrick, Penobscot Bay GIS Fellow
  • Luke Milardo, Frenchboro School Fellow
  • Maddey Gates, Eldercare Fellow, Chebeague, North Haven, Swan's Island, and Vinalhaven
  • Maggie Small, Peaks Island Environmental Action Fellow
  • Margaret Snell, Isle au Haut Comprehensive Planning Fellow
  • Maria McMorrow, Downeast Salmon Federation Fellow
  • Mary Terry, Casco Bay Affordable Housing Fellow
  • Megan Powell, Swan's Island Environmental Education and Art Fellow
  • Megan Wibberly, Isle au Haut Community Planning and Economic Development Fellow
  • Meghan Cooper, Isle au Haut Fellow
  • Meghan Vigeant, Swan's Island Historical Documentation Fellow
  • Meredith Harr, Fishers Island Community Development Fellow
  • Michele Tranes, Peaks Island Community GIS Fellow
  • Mike Felton, Vinalhaven Education "Pioneering" Fellow
  • Morgan Witham, Isle au Haut Education and Library Fellow
  • Nate Geraldi, Vinalhaven Marine Education Fellow
  • Nate Gray, Peaks Island and Fishers Island Community Development Fellow
  • Nate Howe, Port Clyde Marine Education Fellow
  • Nathan Michaud, Vinalhaven Community Development "Pioneering" Fellow
  • Peter Levandowski, Vinalhaven Public Health Fellow
  • Rebecca Graham, Vinalhaven Non-Profit Management Fellow
  • Ryan Albright, Islesboro Comprehensive Planning Fellow
  • Sarah Curran, Peaks Island Community Development and Stewardship Fellow
  • Sarah Ebel, Stonington Fisheries Management Fellow
  • Scott Sell, Frenchboro Rural Education Fellow
  • Sean Gambrel, Vinalhaven GIS Fellow
  • Sherry Marcum, Islesboro School Library Fellow
  • Shey (Veditz) Conover, Islesboro GIS Fellow
  • Sidra Nasir, Chebeauge Island Fire and Rescue Fellow
  • Siobhan Ryan, Swan's Island Library and Historical Preservation Fellow
  • Stacy Gambrel, North Haven Community GIS Fellow
  • Susan Little, Casco Bay Marine Research "Pioneering" Fellow
  • Tarah Waters, Eastport arts Fellow
  • Thea Youngs, Chebeague Island GIS Fellow
  • Wesley Norton, Deer-Isle Stonington Elementary School and Historical Society Fellow