Meet Our Team
Jarrett is a junior at Appalachian State. Majoring in Graphic Arts Imaging Tech, he hopes to put his graphic and illustration skills to good use. As his work with comics shows, he uses his graphic skills to spread happiness and enjoyment. Growing up near the forests and creeks of Durham N.C., he learned early on an appreciation for the beauty of nature. He was taught from a young age not only to respect ecologies but also to understand economies. That business, when it helps the environment, is just as important as nature. If not practicing graphics, you can find him caring for his plants, telescoping the moon or browsing online to keep up to date on important issues.
Sarah graduated with her undergraduate degree in Sustainable Development and a minor in Commercial Photography from Appalachian State University in 2017. She is currently working towards her Master of Public Administration from App State and hopes to pursue work in an environmental nonprofit in the future. She has a passion for preserving the natural places of Appalachian while simultaneously supporting the people and animals that live in the region. In her free time she enjoys hiking, gardening, and spending time with her cats.
Christine is a senior journalism major and dance minor at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. She is not sure exactly where journalism will take her, but knows she is passionate about sharing people’s stories. She dreams of starting her own podcast or making documentaries, and hopes to gain more knowledge about the environmental issues facing the region during her time with Appalachian Voices. During the school year, Christine is a resident assistant and writes for the arts and culture section of The Appalachian. In her free time, she loves to listen to music, dance, watch movies and eat lots of food.
Kate is a senior at Appalachian State University majoring in advertising and minoring in art. Although an advertising major, she does not wish to commercialize nature, but to educate and inspire an understanding of this beautiful environment through art. Kate is eager to introduce a different, more satisfying approach to happiness in the natural world. Since growing up on a farm in Cary, N.C., she has always loved animals and nature. Kate enjoys any outdoor activity and you can probably find her at the river.
Caleb is a senior at Virginia Tech majoring in International Public Policy and Russian. He has lived in Southwest Virginia his whole life and appreciates what a uniquely beautiful place it is. He is very interested in learning more about community organizing in the area with people who do it every day. After Caleb finishes undergrad, he wants to go to graduate school in the D.C. area and study environmental policy and sustainability, and hopefully work for a non-profit or NGO. He has one cat and two dogs back home that are the best and he enjoys spending time with his friends and family.
Maxwell is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, with majors in Anthropology and American Studies and a minor in French. He wants to better understand how people experience economic change, going beyond the numbers to find the human story. Though not from the Appalachian region, the area’s history, culture, and environment has interested him since at least high school. In his free time, he enjoys reading and exploring Virginia’s many unique communities. Next fall, he’ll begin a master’s degree in human geography at Université Laval in Quebec City.
Sam is a recent graduate of Appalachian State with a degree in Journalism. She hopes to focus her writing and journalistic career on environmental policy and conservation. She also minored in commercial photography and has a passion for capturing images of our natural world. Appalachia is an incredibly important place and Sam hopes to use her career to continue to uplift the community and preserve its natural beauty. Besides writing, Sam also works full time as a server at Mellow Mushroom. In her free time, she loves to hike and be outside with her dog, Kida.
Saachi Das Kuwayama is a recent graduate of University of Michigan with a master’s degree in
Environmental Justice, Policy, and Communication. Her interests lie at the nexus of
environmental conflict, social justice, and policy. Saachi grew up in Chicago, Illinois and worked at Michigan Sea Grant prior to graduate school. Aside from her academic and professional interests, Saachi is a classical violinist, runner, and amateur cook.
Sara graduated from the University of Virginia’s College at Wise in 2017. She chose to study Communication and Media Studies to better understand relationships and social phenomena. She enjoys activities such as hiking, hammocking, candle making, and cooking. Writing is her forte, so Sara will be writing blogs for Appalachian Voices. She is very excited for the opportunity to grow as a writer and to also stand up for environmental issues. She is looking forward to working with this medium and to begin writing professionally.
Hazel is a junior Sustainable Development major at Appalachian State University. She is interested in learning how to organize people in order to bring about change, to create stronger local communities, and how to in general create a more just and sustainable future for all. Hazel is looking forward to a summer or gaining knowledge from this organization while making time to hang out in Boone’s finest watering holes, garden, travel, and play with some pups.
Penina is a rising senior studying Natural Resources Conservation with minors in Forestry and Leadership Studies at Virginia Tech. When she is not energetically running around trying to get everything done, she can be found perched in the upper branches of a tree or attempting to teach herself guitar. Penina first got involved with environmental justice and pipeline resistance efforts when she moved to Southwest Virginia as a freshman in college. She immediately fell in love with the mountains and the Appalachian community, and knew she wanted to help. Penina is excited to continue her work opposing pipelines and supporting local communities as an intern with Appalachian Voices!