Meet Our Team – Interns & Fellows

Meet Our Team

Staff  |  Board of Directors  |  Interns & Fellows

Meghan Albritton – Coal Impacts Campaign Assistant, Summer 2023

Meghan is from Georgia and earned her B.S. in Environmental Science and B.A. in Spanish from Berry College in 2019. She just completed her M.S. in Geography and MPH in Infectious Disease at Virginia Tech, and will stay to begin her Ph.D. in Geospatial and Environmental Analysis in the fall. She conducted research on mining and extractivism in Guatemala and is interested in the human and environmental health impacts of mining in communities surrounding mines. She loves hiking, reading and learning new things.

Grace Ficara – Editorial Communications Intern, Winter 2024

Grace has loved Appalachia since she first became a student at Appalachian State in 2020. Currently a senior, she is excited to join the Appalachian Voices team as the Editorial Intern for The Appalachian Voice. While studying journalism in college, Grace became passionate about the surrounding community and wanted to find a way to give back to the area that had given so much to her.

Em Kohl – Sustainability Research Fellow, Summer 2023

Em Kohl is a rising second-year doctoral student at George Mason University studying climate and intercultural communication. They received their M.A. in Environmental Communication and Advocacy Studies from James Madison University in 2019, where they began developing their research interest in environmental justice issues in Appalachia. Hailing originally from Australia but having grown up predominantly in rural central and western Virginia, Em is passionate about protecting Appalachia’s communities and ecosystems through strategic engagement, education and storytelling. They spend much of their off-time doing photography, exploring the mountains with their dog, Odin, and playing music.

Jacob Lineberry – Data Research Intern, Summer 2023

Jacob grew up in Shenandoah County, where he developed a love and appreciation for the Blue Ridge Mountains. During his childhood exploring the outdoors, his curiosity pushed him to understand how and why things work, and led him to a career in physics and education. He taught high school physics for the past 5 years in Washington, DC, before relocating to Roanoke, VA to reconnect with the mountains. As he leaves the classroom, he’s excited to serve as an educator in new and exciting capacities and share knowledge about climate change, equity, and opportunity in Appalachia.

Savannah Little – Outreach and Operations Associate, Fall 2023

Savannah Little is a graduate of Appalachian State University where she studied Sustainable Development, Appalachian Studies and Non-profit organizations. Directly after graduation, she worked as a Naturalist for Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation and later as a Farmers Market Director in the piedmont of North Carolina. She is incredibly passionate about Appalachian ways of life and food systems. In her free time, she loves exploring nature, cooking and playing with her dog, Spud!

Sarah Lown – Research & Communication Intern, Summer 2023

From the small town of Cashiers, North Carolina, Sarah formed her interest for environmental protection while playing in the woods next to her house as a child. Sarah earned her B.S. in environmental science at Western Carolina University, where she also held the position of project manager with the Sustainable Energy Initiative. She is currently a J.D. candidate at the University of Tennessee College of Law and is excited to have the opportunity to work with Appalachian Voices to spread awareness and work towards solutions to further environmental protection of Appalachia. Sarah enjoys reading, hiking and photography.

Taylor Pate — Community Impact Storytelling Intern, Winter 2024

Taylor Pate is a native of West Virginia and an artist whose work focuses on capturing Appalachian narratives. She studied painting and history at West Virginia University and received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Funded by the Murray Dessner Travel Grant, she recently embarked on a research journey across Ireland where she explored ancient Celtic art and its ties to modern Appalachian culture. She is excited to bring her creative skills to help support the mission of Appalachian Voices as a Community Impact Storytelling Intern.

Megan Pettey – Editorial Assistant, Summer 2022

Megan is a recent graduate from Appalachian State where she studied journalism and Spanish. She was born in Raleigh, N.C. but has spent the past four years in the mountains of Boone. In her free time, Megan enjoys spending time outdoors, painting, writing and hanging out with her pet guinea pig. Megan has been passionate about the environment from a young age, and she’s very excited to put her writing skills to use at App Voices to inform the public about environmental concerns and sustainable practices in an effort to protect the Appalachian region she cherishes.

Macey Sheppard – Coal Impacts Team Assistant, Spring 2024

Macey Sheppard is located in Wise, Va., and is the Coal Impacts Team Assistant for Spring 2024. She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science Legal Studies from Virginia Tech and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Higher Education from Liberty University. She has a strong passion for advocacy, education and environmental politics, specifically focusing on the Appalachian region. She is eager to learn, grow and become more educated in this field and hopes that this opportunity will enhance her knowledge of the issues surrounding Appalachian communities.



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