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 experience to help build sustainability within communities whose way of life and identity face many challenges.
The Island Fellows Program is an official winner of the
2014 SHIFT Sustainability Award.
How does the Island Fellows Program work?
The Island Fellows Program immerses Fellows within a community, connecting directly with islanders to gain an intimate understanding of island life and apply it to the identified project. Island communities apply to the Institute to place an Island Fellow in residence to work in community based organizations. The Institute then finds highly qualified recent college or university graduates to fill these positions. Fellows spend 12 to 24 months living in island and remote coastal communities, working on critical, community-identified projects.
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 of Lawful Permanent Resident.
- Recent completion of a baccalaureate or graduate degree (within five years) and/or equivalent demonstrated interest and experience in a field relevant to the placement sites, such as community service, community planning, natural-resource planning, GIS mapping, educational outreach, etc.
- A strong service ethic
- 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. 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, the following are required:
- An unofficial copy of your transcripts of complete undergraduate and graduate records
- Two letters 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 remote 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
If you think your community could benefit from an Island Fellow placement, please contact:
Karen Burns, Community Development Director
Island Fellows site applications will be made available in January 2016 and will be due in Mid-March 2016 for a September program start
Ben Algeo is providing direct support to the local electric utilities on the diesel powered islands Monhegan and Matinicus as they work toward energy efficiency measures. Ben graduated from the University of Maine, Orono.
Erin Love is working to strengthen the ties between the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership and Casco Bay island communities in order to develop inter-island programs to address common environmental challenges. Erin is a graduate of Colby College.
Ian Watkins runs a parent support blog through the Ready by 21 Program for parents to share information to help their children succeed. He also works with the Eastern Maine Skippers program building distance learning resources and facilitating communication between participating schools. Ian graduated from Appalachian State University. Ian is supported, in part, by the Willoughby Stuart Fellowship Endowment.
Jessica Duma is working on a joint collaboration between the Great Cranberry Historical Society and the College of the Atlantic to collect information about island agricultural history in order to develop maps as well as a curriculum to engage students and the wider community more directly with their agricultural heritage. Jessica graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Kelsey Byrd is working with the Vinalhaven Community Wellness Coalition on initiatives to increase health and awareness within the community in three areas: substance abuse, aging in place, and fitness and nutrition. Kesey is a Dartmouth College graduate. Kelsey is supported, in part, by the James & Joanne Cooney Island Fellowship Endowment.
Kendra Jo Marsh is working with the Islesboro Central School, Community Connections Steering Committee, and the Town of Islesboro to build a functional directory of resources for island professionals, to raise awareness about resource access, and to identify areas where no resources exist. Kendra Jo graduated from the University of Connecticut. Kendra Jo is supported, in part, by the Louis W. Cabot Fellowship Endowment.
Lucas Milardo is working to plan, develop, and implement high-quality, long-range service learning projects for students in the Frenchboro School. He also works as the Fellows Service Learning Coordinator, assisting in training, strengthening the resource library, and providing support to Fellows as they implement their own service learning projects. Lucas is a Bowdoin College graduate. Lucas is supported, in part, by the William Bingham Fellowship Endowment in Rural Education.
Maddey Gates is spending one quarter each on Chebeague, North Haven, Swan's Island, and Vinalhaven, using different tools to address short-term elder care and aging in place projects, while evaluating each site for commonalities to create a longer-term project to address these issues across islands. Maddey graduated from Western Kentucky University.
Meghan Cooper is building a website to increase awareness and transparency in town government in collaboration with the Town Selectmen on Isle Au Haut. She is also working with the Isle Au Haut Historical Society to catalogue and digitally archive their collection. Meghan graduated from Vassar College and recently spent a year on a fellowship in Azerbaijan.
Sidra Nasir is working with the Chebeague Fire & Rescue Department to create resource maps for hydrants and FEMA, streamline their administrative operations, and develop a community safety awareness program. Sidra is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine.
- 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
- 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
- Hannah Tannebring, Jackson Memorial Library and Service-Learning Fellow
- Hedda Steinhoff, Deer-Isle Stonington Marine Trades Fellow
- Helen Chabot, Chebeague Island Marine Resources 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 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
- 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
- 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 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
- 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
- Thea Youngs, Chebeague Island GIS Fellow
- Wesley Norton, Deer-Isle Stonington Elementary School and Historical Society Fellow