2014 Vineyard Vision Fellows Announced

Vineyard Vision Announcement

The Martha’s Vineyard Vision Fellowship is pleased to announce the appointment of ten new Vision Fellows.  The 2014 pool of applicants impressed the selection committee with dedication, passion and vision in many of the Fellowship’s areas of interest.  The decision process was challenging.  The ten new Fellows join a community of 34 past and current fellows, along with their mentors and sponsoring organizations.

The Fellowship works to empower capable future leaders and current practitioners by strengthening their effectiveness within the Island’s non-profit organizations and progressive businesses.  The Fellowship fosters community among Fellows, their mentors, and the sponsoring organizations

The 2014 Martha’s Vineyard Vision Fellows are:

Jaime Billings, who will pursue her Master’s of Social Work Degree from the University of Southern California’s Online School of Social Work, under the mentorship of Jennifer Neary, Program Director of CONNECT to End Violence, a program of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services.  During her fellowship, Jaime will continue  working with CONNECT to provide counseling services and court and medical advocacy services and to train new staff and volunteers and to create and implement community outreach, among other responsibilities.

Kevin Brennan, who will design, implement and manage a 2.3 acre orchard and perennial farming system at Island Grown Initiative’s Thimble Farm, under the mentorship of Jamie O’Gorman, Program Director of Island Grown Gleaning, a program of Island Grown Initiative.  Kevin’s objective is to establish a functional model for truly sustainable agriculture that is applicable on all scales.

Samantha Chaves, who will pursue an undergraduate degree in Marine Biology at Wheaton College in Norton, MA.  Sammi will intern for the Great Pond Foundation (GPF) under the mentorship of Emma Green-Beach and will work on projects central to the GPF’s mission of increasing the overall health of the Great Pond including, in particular, working on oyster restoration with the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group and on water chemistry with Craig Saunders.

Barbara Conroy, who will act as Town Energy Fellow, assisting the up-Island  towns of West Tisbury, Chilmark and Aquinnah in sustainable energy planning and carrying forward work started by former Vision Fellow Wesley Look.  Barbara will aid West Tisbury in the implementation of the Massachusetts Green Communities program, for which West Tisbury received $140,000 in funding.  Barbara will also help Chilmark and Aquinnah assess the merits of joining the program and will ensure that the Island towns take advantage of existing resources from the Cape Light Compact.  She will do this under the mentorship of Paul Pimentel of The Vineyard Energy Project.

Louis Hall, science teacher and learning facilitator at the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School (MVPCS), who will earn an online Master’s degree in Environmental Education from Northeastern University, Boston, under the mentorship of Robert Moore, Director of the MVPCS.  Louis plans for his students to collaborate with past and present Fellows on their projects and to align parts of his project-based alternative environmental science curriculum to the work that Fellows do across the island.


Megan Mendenhall, who will pursue an undergraduate degree in Education and Child Study at Smith College.  Megan will work under the supervision of her mentor, Donna Lowell-Bettencourt, Principal of the West Tisbury School, on an internship project that develops the curriculum and resources to enable children in Project Headway and older children with special needs to learn about farming.  Megan hopes to achieve this by adapting some of Island Grown School’s curriculum to fit special needs classrooms.

Jacqueline Menton, who will pursue an undergraduate degree in psychology.  Jacqueline will intern under the mentorship of Mary Holmes, Memory Care Coordinator for Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.  Jacqueline’s internship work will focus on dementia and memory care.

Luiza Alencar Mouzinho, who will pursue a dual degree in pastoral ministry and counseling at Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry and its Lynch School of Education, under the mentorship of Juliette Fay, Executive Director of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS).  During her summer internships, Luiza will work with children, families and elders at MVCS to help improve mental health and provide a more welcoming environment for the Island’s Brazilian population.  She will also provide translation services, psycho-education, counseling, support and case management services for MVCS clients.

Sophie Ulyatt, who will pursue a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing, under the mentorship of Angela Rhoderick, Volunteer Director and Mentorship Program Advisor of the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.  During her summer internship, Sophie will work in the Skilled Nursing Facility where she will assist the Social Services Director by providing care to rehabilitation, infusion and dialysis patients, and in the Pediatrics Practice, where she will provide support and care to pediatric patients.

Ken Wentworth and Liz Witham, who will create documentary video episodes of Film-Truth Production, Inc.’s “Sustainable Vineyard” series focusing on the sustainability of Martha’s Vineyard ecology, food, culture and community.  These episodes will highlight the work of Vision Fellows and will be distributed locally through public screenings, libraries and public television broadcasts and globally through online distribution and outreach, so that the great work that is being done on our Island can inspire others beyond our shores.  Ken and Liz’s advisor will be Kate Davis, Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker for HBO.