Meet Our Team
Jessie Albright – North Carolina Social Work Intern, Spring 2018
Jessie is a second semester senior at Appalachian State University studying Social Work and Political Science. She always had a love for the mountains; however, her true passion lies in working alongside individuals and communities who are increasingly at-risk and disproportionately affected by injustice. She has been involved in a range of areas all of which bring awareness to an issue and is always trying to find ways to give a voice to those who need it most. At Appalachian Voices, her goal is to explore the relationship between social work and environmental justice as it relates to vulnerable communities within the State of North Carolina, and how her background in Social Work can be used to address these issues on a larger, macro-basis to instill sustainable change for those who need it most.
Lauren is a senior, majoring in sustainable development at Appalachian State University, with a concentration in agroecology and a minor in journalism. Originally from Mint Hill, North Carolina, Lauren spent the last year abroad as a marketing director for a nonprofit in Nairobi, Kenya. Settled back home in Appalachia, she hopes to grow her skills in sustainable agriculture and environmental advocacy. She is currently working towards attaining her GIS and permaculture certifications before she graduates next May. If she’s not at the farm, you can find her reading a good book, writing, or taking care of her plants.
Jessica has a bachelors in Sociology and Religious Studies and recently received her masters in Social Responsibilities and Sustainable Communities from Western Kentucky University. Jessica’s graduate coursework centered around environmental justice and community engagement. She is originally from Franklin, Ky. and currently resides in Blacksburg, Va. Jessica also teaches dance and enjoys hiking, bike rides and exploring new restaurants.
Emma Dolby – Virginia Grassroots Intern, Fall 2017 & Spring 2018
Emma is a second year student at the University of Virginia studying Environmental Science and Government. She is a member of the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition and she hopes to continue developing her political organizing skills and to more effectively fight the Atlantic Coast Pipeline with App Voices. Emma is passionate about the outdoors and has a life goal of visiting every national park. In her free time, she likes to travel, try new foods, and take photos.
Hannah Gillespie – Editorial Assistant, Spring 2018
Hannah is a native of Travelers Rest, S.C., where she developed her love of mountains. She is a recent graduate of Appalachian State University where she obtained a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a concentration in Journalism and Sociocultural Anthropology, a minor in Commercial Photography and a certificate in Interdisciplinary, Experiential Education. At Appalachian, Hannah and three of her peers established an oral history project for Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, and heard stories of victory over mountaintop removal coal mining companies. This project informed Hannah’s first article with The Appalachian Voice, which is featured in the December 2017-January 2018 edition.
Ashley is a senior at Appalachian State University, studying English with a minor in communications. Ashley was born an ocean lover in Tampa, Fla., but today she migrates between her parents’ eight-acre plot of North Carolina forest in Waxhaw and the mountains of Boone. She aspires to be a journalist, and her favorite topics include food, the arts and environmental issues. When she’s not writing, you can find Ashley thinking about her dogs, Poseidon and Pepper.
Shelby is currently a senior at Appalachian State University majoring in Journalism with a minor in Nutrition and Foods. She was born and raised in Charlotte, N.C., where she completed her two-year degree at Central Piedmont Community College before transferring to Appalachian State. Her passions revolve around anything to do with cooking, travel and sustainability. She hopes to elaborate on these passions and strengthen her writing during her time at Appalachian Voices.
George is a masters student at Appalachian State University studying appropriate technology with a focus on renewable energy systems. After graduating from Virginia Tech, he became passionate about renewable energy and weatherization while working as an intern at Community Housing Partners in 2016. At Appalachian Voices he is helping educate electric cooperative members about available energy saving programs through talking to community members and building a new online tool for easy reference to electric co-op information. He recently completed construction of a 13kW ground-mounted solar array in Central VA acting as the project manager and enjoys hiking, climbing, beekeeping, cooking, and being outdoors.
Mariah is a senior at Appalachian State University studying anthropology and communications with a focus in Journalism and a minor in English. Through her work with Appalachian Voices, she hopes to learn more about ways to combat environmental degradation. By gaining experience with an organization promoting environmental protections, she aims to influence readership to consider mindful, environmentally friendly practices in their daily lives. When not in class or working, Mariah enjoys trail running, yoga, swimming, or any other active outdoor activities.