Meet Our Team
Diana is a graduate student in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley. She comes to Appalachian Voices with deep family roots in the region and devoted interest in understanding what environmental and economic justice can be. Diana worked as an oral historian across the Southeast for the last twelve years, including in Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia. She earned dual B.A.s from the University of Florida in environmental science, focusing on policy, and in history. In her free time, she enjoys biking and hiking with her dog, rock climbing, and yoga, which she both practices and teaches.
Sam’s family has deep roots in Appalachia. Those connections called him to Boone and Appalachian State University where he earned a B.S. in Political Science and is pursuing an M.A. in Political Science with a concentration in environmental politics and policy analysis. His love for the outdoors has inspired his interest in protecting the environment and sustainably meeting human needs. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking, pickleball, and spending time with his dog, Boba. Sam is excited to be a part of the North Carolina energy team.
Lauren grew up on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina, where she discovered her connection with the natural environment. Soon after moving to Boone, NC., she developed a passion for environmental protection, social justice, and community development. In May 2022, Lauren graduated from Appalachian State University with a B.S. in Sustainable Development and a minor in Sustainable Technology. Lauren is excited to work with Appalachian Voices to encourage community action, equal participation, just policies, and energy democracy in Boone, NC.
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 Utah S.J. Quinney 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.
Meredith is a senior at Appalachian State University majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Community and Regional Planning and GIS. Having grown up in Western North Carolina, the mountains are very close to her heart with their natural beauty and rich culture. Since starting college she has been involved in multiple outreach efforts through environmental education camps, political campaigns and her university’s service organization. She aims to spend her career working towards sustainable solutions specific to rural areas such as those found in Appalachia. She spends her free time outside, crafting or playing the fiddle.
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.
Finn is a sophomore at the University of Virginia where he studies environmental science. Originally, he is from the rural Northern Neck of Virginia. Though his home landscape lacks mountains, it makes up for it in its tidal beauty. Having been immersed in nature since childhood he feels very strongly about its protection through a variety of tactics, from land conservation to divestment. No matter the strategy, Finn believes that those affected should be able to have their voices heard, so he is thrilled to be working with Appalachian Voices this summer to have a future where this is even more possible. In his free time, Finn enjoys hiking, reading, and listening to music.
Reagan Russell is a rising second-year student at Howard University in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is an International Affairs major and Environmental Studies minor from Nassau, Bahamas. She is the founder of Queen.Care, a charity organization based in The Bahamas that provides feminine hygiene products to women and girls in need. She is especially interested in the intersection between women’s issues and sustainability, such as working towards providing women with sustainable period products that are sourced from ethical labor. Reagan is also a Howard University Achievers Scholar and is interested in learning more about supply chain management and minimizing environmental damage that is caused as raw material is sourced. Reagan is a graduate of Suffield Academy, a boarding school in Suffield, Connecticut. At the academy, she served in several roles, such as residential assistant (RA), leader of the Students of Color affinity group, and tour guide leader.
Sarah is a senior at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. She is pursuing her undergraduate studies in Sustainable Development, with a concentration in Community, Regional and Global environmental policy. She was born and raised in Roswell, Georgia and came to Boone to pursue her passion in environmental justice work. Outside of school, she spends her time running, hiking, camping and participating in community organizing efforts. She’s excited and honored to be able to spend the summer with Appalachian Voices!
Ryan is a rising senior at Roanoke College in Salem, VA with a major in Environmental Studies and a minor in history. He is from Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. Ryan has been passionate about environmental issues and global issues from a young age. Ryan enjoys backpacking, ice hockey, trail running, and reading in his free time. After college he hopes to serve in the Peace Corps and later pursue a career in either Natural Resources Policy or International Environmental Policy. He is excited to put his GIS skills to use and to make a difference for a great cause with App Voices.