Since 1999, the Island Institute’s Island Fellows program has placed 145 college graduates in Maine’s coastal and island communities for two-year fellowships. Fellows are placed at host sites, including schools, nonprofit organizations, historical societies, libraries, and other areas to complete community-developed projects in areas such as town planning, education, marine science, land-use planning, the arts, health care services, and more.
Fellows apply their skills to these projects while gaining experience helping communities whose way of life and identity face many challenges.
There are currently ten Island Fellows, including five who began their work in September. Their projects include technology integration in schools, community-based climate action, and comprehensive plans to healthy living. Follow the Fellows on Instagram.
Returning Fellows are:
Mia Colloredo-Mansfeld, North Haven, who supports the town of North Haven and the North Haven Collective by facilitating conversations, collecting data, developing webpages and communications, and increasing information available to residents and visitors alike. Colloredo-Mansfield grew up in Iowa and North Carolina and graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in geography and environmental studies.
Kawai Marin, Machias works with the Sunrise County Economic Council, focusing on marketing, outreach, and communications. Originally from Brazil, Marin spent the majority of his life living in Massachusetts. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Bates College where he studied environmental studies and anthropology.
Paige Atkinson, Eastport works with the city of Eastport on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and senior housing. She grew up in California and graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2019 with a degree in environmental studies then joined the Peace Corps and served in the Philippines.
Melanie Nash, Long Island is working with the town of Long Island on multiple projects including the development of a new comprehensive plan. She grew up splitting her time between Connecticut and the Pemaquid Peninsula. After graduating from Clark University in 2019 with a degree in human environmental geography, she earned a Master’s in marine affairs at the University of Rhode Island.
Hallie Lartius, Deer Isle-Stonington works with Deer Isle-Stonington’s Healthy Island Project, a non-profit organization that provides information, and coordinates projects to promote healthy living. Her fellowship focuses on increasing internet access and programming within the local senior population, collaborating with the Maine Digital Inclusion Initiative, local organizations, and service providers. Originally from rural Iowa, Lartius has a degree in global health.
New Fellows are:
Olivia Lenfestey, Islesboro, works with the Grindle Point Lighthouse Museum and Islesboro’s Sea Level Rise Committee. She grew up in Santa Fe, N.M. and graduated from Pitzer College in Claremont, California, where she studied English, creative writing, and environmental analysis.
Brianna Cunliffe, Mount Desert Island, works with A Climate to Thrive on Mount Desert Island focusing on education and community-based climate action. She has worked with the National Parks Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and Dogwood Alliance, and recently graduated from Bowdoin College with a degree in environmental studies and government.
Olivia Jolley, Swan’s Island works with the Swan’s Island Historical Society organizing and digitizing artifacts and archives. Born in North Carolina, Jolley grew up on the coast of southern California and moved to Maine to attend College of the Atlantic. She graduated with a degree in human ecology focusing on marine biology, coastal history, fishery policy, and illustration.
Katie Liberman, Columbia Falls works with the Wild Blueberry Heritage Center in Columbia Falls to capture the economic and historical heritage of the wild blueberry industry and share it with local schools and museum visitors. She has degrees in marine biology from the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine and experience as a research assistant and science technician at the National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center.
Kaylin Wu, Vinalhaven works with the Vinalhaven school on technology integration. She also helps a growing Lego robotics club and other technology centered after-school experiences. Wu graduated from Simmons University with a degree in English and studio art.