Greetings from Eleuthera! For the Summer Term 2011, we have seven Alumni Mentors on staff!  Alumni mentors are Island School alumni who want to come back to the Cape, gain teaching experience, and support high school students through this intense summer journey. Examples of responsibilities include serving as a student advisor, where the alumni provide mentoring to make each student successful in the program and liaise with parents as necessary. Mentors also assistant teach human ecology classes, stand duty on campus, support kayak trips, and lead and support student activities such as morning exercise, evening events, and community events. Our seven Alumni Mentors are thrilled to be back at The Island School and support the students on this incredible journey! A short introduction about each Alumni Mentor can be found below.

Jenny Donnelly is entering her junior year at Yale University and attended The Island School in the spring semester of 2008. She is an environmental studies major and a member of the Varsity Cross Country and Track teams at Yale. Jenny is also an Early Education Childhood Fellow, which involves working alongside teachers at local schools and attending seminars on various topics in education. In her free time Jenny can be found running, aqua jogging in the ocean, eating passion-fruit off of the trees on campus, and working with the Flats Research group. She is particularly interested in The Island School’s focus on renewable energy and sustainable agriculture, and is super excited to guide students in learning more about their everyday choices!

Kelsey Muller is going to be a junior at Wesleyan University and attended The Island School in the fall semester of 2006. She is a biology major fulfilling the requirements for pre-med and an environmental studies certificate. Kelsey is a member of the Varsity Women’s Ice Hockey team and works as a residential advisor at Wesleyan where she gets the chance to help students in various ways and plan fun programs. Kelsey is from New Hampshire and grew up in an active, outdoorsy atmosphere where she regularly skis, runs, swims, and hikes. She is very excited to be back at The Island School as a mentor and member of the Shark Research team where her previous experiences and knowledge can help the students of this year’s summer term!

Julie Thomsen is entering her junior year at Bates College. She is an Environmental Studies – Ecology major. Julie enjoys spending her free time teaching fish Identification, directing games and working on the Conch Research project. She is looking forward to spear-fishing Lionfish and SCUBA diving the reefs she learned to dive on as a student at The Island School in the Fall of 2007. She is excited to be back in The Island School community sharing her love for the Island and the program with new students.

Lexie Marino is a senior at the University of Michigan where she will be graduating next semester with a BA in English and environmental studies. Lexie spent the last five months studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina and gained an appreciation for the people and place of South America, similar to her love for Eleuthera. In her free time she enjoys reading Omeros, swimming with sharks and helping students write blog entries for The Island School Blog. She made her Island School debut in the fall of 2006 and served as an alumni mentor for the pioneer summer term last summer. Lexie is excited to take on more responsibility inside and outside the classroom, be a co-advisor of the Lemon Shark Research Project, and support the student journey throughout the term.

Dominique Keefe is from Ellsworth, Maine, and is entering her senior year as a biology major at Barnard College.   She is a member of the Barnard EcoReps, an environmental education group, and conducts research on the microbiology of green roofs in New York City.  She attended the Island School in the spring of 2007, and since then just can’t stop coming back. In her free time, Dominique loves picking tamarinds and being on and in the water.  She is so excited to work with new Island Schoolers and hopes that Eleuthera will come to mean as much to them as it does to her.

Kit Norris is entering his junior year at Colgate University. At Colgate Kit plays on the squash team, sings acapella with the Colgate 13, and is double majoring in Environmental Biology and Economics. Kit enjoys the finer things in life: black coffee, live music, sailing, and almost anything that is related to the ocean. Kit attended The Island School in the Spring of 2008 and is excited to be able to give back to the community he believes in so completely. Kit is interested in both sustainable business and finance, though what Kit will do next is open to conjecture.

Matt Vetter is entering his sophomore year at Dartmouth College. He is an Economics major and Sustainability minor. He is also a member of the Dartmouth Rugby Football Club, the Dartmouth Outing Club and The Dartmouth Review. In his free time Matt enjoys SCUBA diving, fishing, leading optional free time activities, and working with the Lionfish Research group. He is particularly interested in the community spirit of The Island School, as well as the focus on rainwater usage. He attended The Island School in the Spring of 2009, and is excited to have a chance to work on the faculty for the summer.