2016 graduates

2016 Master’s student graduate: 
Sarah Kearsley. sarah-kearsley-loweresI believe experience is one of the most powerful teachers. I’m interested in pushing the boundaries of education to be more adventurous, compelling, and relevant. I have arrived at the College of the Atlantic’s graduate program after years of working in experiential education as a sailing instructor with Outward Bound and as a sea kayak guide with Rippleffect.
My course of study is designed as a specialized teacher-training program, exploring the intersection of “formal” and “informal” science education while fulfilling the requirements Maine Teacher Certification. I hope to validate the efficacy of experiential education and build a roadmap of effective practice.
Sarah is teaching starting in the fall of 2016 Lake Region Middle School in western Maine. She will be great.
Class of 2016 undergrads.


Madeline, Kira, Katie, Roshni, Natalia, Chris, Olivia, Ian Medeiros, and Marina Cucuzza

The 2016 grad group I have worked with the most is a diverse, wonderful group that I am very proud to have known for the last four years.  They range from painters  to writers to scientists, and many of them are all three.  This picture was taken the day before graduation, June 2016.

Olivia Bolus.  Olivia BolusGrowing up in Northeastern Pennsylvania, I’ve always had many opportunities to hike and enjoy the outdoors. Even though it’s a land-locked state, I have also always loved the ocean and the animals in it and have always known I wanted to work with the ocean in some way.  I came to COA with the intention of studying marine biology, specifically marine mammal biology. I have always had a compassion and love for animals, and since I was a little girl my aunt has repeatedly told me I should be a veterinarian. Even though I have always had this love for animals, it was only recently that I realized that she is right and being a vet is what I should be pursuing as a career. Currently I’m taking courses that are allowing me to be a pre-vet major while taking classes like marine biology and marine mammals.

avery-lam-lowresAvery Lam. Avery had a series of setbacks not due to anything she had control over, and had to withdraw from COA.  She is an exceptionally strong student and we are hoping that she will ultimately land on her feet. She is a gifted, hard working researcher, and hope to see her finish up. here is her clip: My earliest fascination with the ocean probably originated from the considerable hours I spent watching BBC documentaries (like Blue Planet) when I was still a little girl. It was but a childhood dream to join those expeditions as a marine scientist and study all the beautifully bizarre marine life around the world. I really started picturing myself pursuing a profession in marine science during my two years in Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong (2009-2011). I was in the coral monitoring team which helped to conduct reef check on a regular basis. As a first attempt to becoming a marine biologist, I did a research on thermal tolerance on three common coral species in Hong Kong for my final year project, afterwards worked on whale sharks in the Phillipines and sex-changing fish in Hong Kong. Contrary to the COA’s focus on marine mammal studies, I am particularly interested in ichthyology and coral reef ecology, especially their behaviour, physiology and genetics. I am working towards my PADI divemaster’s qualification right now. I believe that the unique environment, opportunities and challenges that COA can offer will give me an incredible journey in the near future.

Roshni Mangar.  Roshni MangarI was born in Mauritius, where I lived eight years of my life. At the age of eight, I moved to India and I stayed in Delhi for five years, Mumbai for two years and Pune for two years. In Pune, I attended the Mahindra United World College, where I found out about College of the Atlantic.
With my mom being from India and my dad being from Mauritius, I have had the chance to experience both cultures, learning to enjoy different languages such as French, English, Creole, Hindi and Spanish. I am very passionate about swimming; it’s my favorite sport and it made me love the ocean so much more.  Since the age of five, I have wanted to become a marine mammal biologist, and within that, a focus on whales. I am also interested in learning languages, economics, and literature. My recent courses include Marine Biology, Financials, Human Ecology, Advanced French, Writing Seminar and Biology 1.

madeline-lowresMadeline Motley. I grew up in Wisconsin, so I can’t tell you why I came to College of the Atlantic to study marine biology.  It’s probably a combination of me being in the water 24/7 and my love of animals.  Right now my focuses are in marine biology, conservation & policy, and genetics.  I spent my summer between my first and second year as an intern on a sea turtle and coral reef conservation project in Malaysia.  Until I witnessed it, I didn’t realize how destructive certain forms of fishing could be.  Marine conservation is my ultimate goal, and I’d specifically like to work with sea turtles.   I’m still not entirely sure what my plan is after graduation, but I am equally interested in research, conservation, and rehabilitation as an educational tool.  While at COA, I have done a little bit of each.  Although I loved sea turtles before, I became passionate about them after working so closely with them.  My favorite sea turtle is the Hawksbill.  

Katie Powell. katie pI’m a painter, illustrator and designer, originally from Chicago. A majority of my time is spent illustrating the natural world through oil painting, pen & ink, watercolor, and graphite and my work is viewable online athttp://www.littlebirdartwork.com. During the spring of 2015 I displayed a body work in the Blum Gallery based on my time spent as an artist-of-residence on Mount Desert Rock. A write-up of the event is viewable at https://marinestudiesatcoa.wordpress.com/2015/04/04/artist-on-a-rock/ and during the spring of 2016 I will be showing my senior project, a series of oil paintings based on cacti and succulents.

natalia-lowres  Natalia Zamboni Vergara. I was born and raised in Guatemala City. At 18 I went to The Netherlands for two years to study at the United World College in Maastricht, which brought me to COA, where I’m now in my third year. My main focus is women’s health. I am very passionate about women’s sexual and reproductive rights. In the past winter I did an internship in Mexico working with a feminist organization to create a holistic health center project. I have also been apprenticing with a Certified Professional Midwife on MDI. I plan to study midwifery and go back to Guatemala to work with women and health.
College of the Atlantic has been a great journey for me, learning through different disciplines and also about myself. The island is also very beautiful place to learn and swim in the cold ocean, one of my favorite activities here.