Meet Our Team
Rachel grew up in one of the northernmost counties in Appalachia, deep in the hills of western New York. Her love of the natural world began in her hometown, where she spent most of her youth birding, gardening and identifying wild plants using her mom’s beat-up botanical guide. Since then, she’s studied wildlife behavior and Swahili in Tanzania, graduated with a B.A. in Writing from Houghton College, and relocated to Harrisonburg, Virginia, where she lives with her husband, dog and Siamese fighting fish. She hopes to deepen her connection to the region by fighting to protect the rights of its rural communities and the sanctity of its natural areas.
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.
Sara just completed her first year of the Masters in Public Administration program at Appalachian State University. Her focus is on Nonprofit Management, and she is excited to gain hands-on experience with an organization she respects. Originally from Frankfort, Ky., Sara received her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Kentucky. A Kentuckian at heart, Sara is interested in issues affecting the Appalachian Region, and is looking forward to learning more through her work with Appalachian Voices. Sara loves to meet new people, hike, go to concerts, read and hang out with her cat, Greg.
Locke is a rising Junior at UNC Chapel Hill, she completed her first two years at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. She is a political science major who just finished studying abroad in thirteen countries with Semester at Sea. She grew up in the Appalachian mountains and she and her family have been involved with App Voices for several years. She hopes to learn about the ways in which App Voices engages communities in their fight for environmental justice. She plans to bring the knowledge she gains at App Voices to a career in international politics.
Hannah Gillespie – Editorial Assistant, Spring & Summer 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.
Quenton is a native of Charles Town, West Virginia and he obtained degrees in Spanish, Criminology, and Latin American Studies from West Virginia University. Although a lifelong lover of the outdoors, his awareness and interest in social and environmental justice issues developed in college. Quenton is currently a Master of Public Health candidate at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where he is studying Sociomedical Sciences. His research interests are wide and include occupational health, environmental regulations, and how policy, history, sociology, social movements, and the built and natural environments intersect to perpetuate and exacerbate health disparities and inequities. He’s excited to be a University of Michigan Environmental Fellow in Appalachian Voices’ Charlottesville office this summer.
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.
Mackenzie Morgan is a rising senior at Appalachian State majoring in Multidisciplinary Anthropology with a concentration in Nature, Culture and Capitalism and minoring in Sustainable Development. She is passionate about understanding the myriad ways that humans and non-humans alike are impacted by the exploitative economic system of capitalism and how communities and organizations resist and work to build alternatives. With Appalachian Voices, Mackenzie hopes to hone her organizing skills and build on her ability to have effective dialogue about pressing environmental issues while gaining connections in the environmental justice movement of Appalachia and beyond. In her free time she heads to the hiking trails in North Carolina and Virginia to explore the wonders and beauty of the mountains.
Caroline grew up in Eden, N.C. before attending Appalachian State University in beautiful Boone. In 2013, after graduating with a B.A. in anthropology and a B.A. in film studies, she took the tremendous leap across the Pacific to live in Hokkaido, Japan. After three years of teaching English, trying to learn Japanese, and enjoying the natural splendor of Hokkaido, she moved to Charlottesville, Va., to reconnect with her ancestral roots and live near her 95-year-old Grandma. Caroline is deeply interested in media and learning how to create photo and video content for activism, as well as cultural relationships to media. She is spending time with Appalachian Voices to learn a thing or two about those very things. In her spare time, Caroline enjoys hiking, climbing, playing guitar, traveling, practicing Japanese and pining after other people’s dogs.