Appalachian Voices is delighted to welcome these passionate, dedicated, smart individuals to our staff. Matt, Terran and Lydia are all in our Norton office, in Southwest Virginia, and Mayzie is located in our Boone, N.C. office.
Originally from Bath County, Virginia, Matt received his B.A. in geography from Virginia Tech with a concentration in Geographic Information Systems and environmental resources. After working in the GIS field for five years, he spent two years in the master’s program at Appalachian State University, focusing on hydrology. Matt returned to Virginia to work for the Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards in Wise County, leading the group’s water program and helping develop litigation strategies against coal companies. He joined Appalachian Voices in 2017, and is based in our Norton office. Matt is a hiker and square dance caller, and loves spending time on the rivers of Central Appalachia
matt.hepler [at] appvoices.org
Our first Highlander fellow, Terran joins the Appalachian Voices team in our Norton office. She is working in collaboration with Southern Appalachian Mountains Stewards (SAMS) and Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN) on a land study project, a continuation of Who Owns Appalachia, a project in the late 1970’s on land ownership in the Appalachian region. A native of Wise County, Virginia, she attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she studied sociology. Prior to the fellowship, Terran worked in mental health for five years as an advocate and direct support specialist. She is currently studying to become a Master Herbalist and is also a writer/producer for Spaceman Productions.
swvalandstudy [at] gmail.com
A native Virginia who hails from Bristol, Lydia received her B.S. in Sustainable Development from Appalachian State University. She has worked on local food and sustainable agriculture initiatives with Appalachian Sustainable Development in Abingdon, where she also served on the Sustain Abingdon Commission and helped organize a number of events for the city, including a residential solarize program. At Appalachian Voices, Lydia works on solar development in the Southwest Virginia coalfields as an Americorps VISTA member. She feels deeply connected to her roots in Appalachia and enjoys learning and working on all things connected to its past and future.
lydia [at] appvoices.org
Meredith, or “Mayzie,” grew up in the intentional community known as The Farm outside Nashville, Tenn. The community works to help insure that all people have access to clean water, sanitation, nutrition and livelihood, a philosophy at the core of her life’s work. Mayzie received a nursing certificate from Caldwell Community College and is also a certified community herbalist. She co-owned an eco-friendly fair trade store in Boone, N.C. More recently, she worked with the non-profit, Go Conscious Earth, in the Democratic Republic of Congo to document and facilitate the installation of five clean water wells that now serve 10,000 people. Mayzie lives on a portion of 165 acres she helped preserve along the Blue Ridge Parkway, where she has raised her three daughters, Lydia, Rory and Charly.