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Meet the 2016 Montana Fellows
Tom Aldrich, Tom Aldrich Photo
Tom Aldrich was born and raised in Montana. He is an alum of The University of Montana, holding a Bachelor's in Philosophy and a Master's in Public Administration. Tom is a photographer and enthusiastic traveler with an eye for culture and a community's sense of place. When he is not taking photos, Tom works hard to benefit his community. He is currently seeking work in creative and culturally-minded organizations. His areas of interest include leadership in community development, urban redevelopment, place-making, transportation, facility and staff management, fundraising, public relations, collaborative governance, visual asset creation, and creative sales and marketing. Tom has an eclectic background and repertoire of talents. After finishing his Philosophy degree, he spontaneously moved to France and found work as a hiking guide on the Compostela Trail in the Midi Pyrenees mountains. Tom lived near a small village on a farm with no electricity, taking care of three dogs and 44 sheep. Through the farm's neighbors and friends in the village, Tom was able to gain fluency in French and learn the pastoral values and ancient traditions of the French countryside. Tom continues to spend time in rural Montana, serving as a "farm-sitter," taking care of pigs, chickens, horses, rabbits, and dogs as his clients travel. Through his early college years and some time after, Tom worked as a cook and restaurant manager, building a strong reputation as a saucier and pizza chef. His soup and pizza recipes still remain in the places he has worked, but now he cooks only for his friends and family. Tom returned to Missoula in 2014 to pursue a Master's degree and engage in public service. During his time as a student, he also served as Operations Coordinator for the Downtown Missoula Partnership, managing the Caras Park Pavilion and its staff. Tom remains on the Caras Park Improvements Committee and is an enthusiastic volunteer. His photographs of Downtown have grown very popular and are featured in numerous local and national publications. Tom took a contract with UM to conduct research and teach for his final semester, which concluded with his graduation in December of 2015. Tom is now a "free agent with plenty of creative projects in the works" and his major five year goal is to ride a motorcycle to Tierra del Fuego at southernmost tip of South America.
Becca graduated from the University of Montana in 2014 with a b.s. in natural resource conservation. During her time at university, she was a leader in the UM Wilderness Association and student government. Boslough explored her interest in conservation while working at organizations such as The Wilderness Society, the Glacier Institute, and the US Forest Service. She worked for Senator Tester in both Montana and Washington, DC, and she is a 2013 Truman Scholar. Following graduation and a summer in DC, she moved to Germany as a Congress Bundestag (CBYX) Fellow, where she had language training and completed research on micro plastic pollution in the Baltic Sea. She is now working on climate and zero waste initiatives as an Energy Corps AmeriCorps member in Missoula, Montana.
Anita Green, Direct Support Professional, Opportunity Resources
Anita Green is an equality activist who works full time with adults with developmental disabilities. Anita graduated in the fall of 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Inequality and Social Justice with a minor in Communication Studies. At the age of 24, she became one of the youngest people to run for City Council in the state of Montana. She is also the first openly transgender person to run for public office in Missoula. Anita hopes to serve as a role model and inspiration for young people and transgender folk planning on running for public office. Anita is an executive board member for the Missoula County Democrats and currently serves as the Congressional Committeewoman as well as the Precinct Committeewoman for Hellgate 94.
Emily Harris, Development Director, Forward Montana
Born and raised in Helena, Emily recently graduated from Seattle University in American Politics and Women & Gender Studies. Throughout high school and college, she was heavily involved in Montana democratic politics, including working on the 2012 gubernatorial and 2014 congressional races where she uncovered her true calling of political fundraising. With her hard-earned and excruciatingly expensive diploma in hand, she returned to the Motherland to accept the position of Development Director at Forward Montana--a nonpartisan organization that trains, mobilizes, and elects the next generation of young progressive leaders. Her areas of particular passion include the study of women in American politics (or the lack there of), the (unfortunate) ongoing fight for reproductive justice, closing the gap of disenfranchisement of young people in our political system, and exploring ways to shatter the highest and hardest glass ceiling. When she's not making it rain dolla bills, she dabbles in all things kale, showcases new sassy shades of lipstick, searches for things to complete her alter to honor the Notorious RBG, and spends every second bringing down the patriarchy. She currently resides in Missoula.
Hannah Hostetter, Field Organizer, Northern Plains Resource Council
Hannah Hostetter lives and works in Billings, Montana. After completing her degrees in Environmental Studies and English Literature at Seattle University, Hannah returned to her hometown of Bozeman, MT and served an Americorps term as a Youth Crew Leader with Montana Conservation Corps. Shortly thereafter, Hannah completed an Americorps*VISTA volunteer term as a Gleaning Coordinator for Rotary First Harvest’s food recovery program in Wenatchee, WA. In 2013, Hannah returned to Montana and began work as a Field Organizer at Northern Plains Resource Council.
Jessica Milakovich, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Montana State University
Jess is a Montana native, and teacher at heart. She graduated from the University of Montana with a BA in Spanish, and a K-12 Certificate to teach Spanish. She taught for 5 years at The Odyssey Family of Schools in Goodyear, AZ. During that time she was connected with WATERisLIFE (WiL), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions to partner communities. She was the volunteer Director of Hygiene for WiL for 4 years and developed the hygiene education curriculum for the organization and helped implement it in Northern Ghana, and Kenya. She acted as the ambassador between her school and partner community in Northern Ghana, and organized and facilitated fundraisers to support community projects. Her passion for community health and teaching led her to pursue a MA in Community Health at Montana State University. She is still involved with WiL as the Director of Community Health and Education. She wants to continue to work with schools, administrators, health agencies and nonprofit organizations to create and implement community health interventions where they are needed. When she isn't studying, she is spending quality time with her husband, Duke, and enjoying the outdoors.
Katie Neskey, Program Assistant, Salish Kootenai College
Katie graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Psychology and Social work. She then served 27 months in the Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan as a Sustainable Community Development Volunteer. Katie continued her public service for two more years with FoodCorps Montana at Kalispell Public Schools. While there, KPS integrated local food into their meal programs, built their first school gardens and orchard, and started a Free Summer Food Service Program. Currently, Katie works at Salish Kootenai College in the Community Health and Development Department. She also serves on the Alternative Energy Resources Organization (AERO) board and the Montana Partnership to End Childhood Hunger Committee. Katie and her family are homesteading and raising pastured hogs on their farm, Awesome Acres, in St. Ignatius.
Katherine Sullivan, Attorney, Katherine Sullivan, PLLC
Katherine is the founder of the law practice Katherine Sullivan, PLLC, which specializes in intellectual property law with an emphasis on corporate intellectual property management, intellectual property strategy and trademark prosecution. Ms. Sullivan additionally serves as a member of the Missoula University District Neighborhood Council and is excited to join the board of Missoula’s Poverello Center in 2016. Katie received a Legal Masters (LL.M.) in intellectual property and technology law from the University of Colorado Law School. Ms. Sullivan received a Juris Doctorate (JD) from the University of Montana School of Law. She also received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from the University of Montana in Human Biology, and acted as a research assistant for the University of Montana’s Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience. While in law school Katie passed the U.S. Patent Bar becoming a registered patent attorney. Katie lives in Missoula with her husband Phil Stempin, and in her free time likes to read, cook and ski.
Emily Tosoni, Health Education Specialist
Emily Tosoni is a Certified Health Education Specialist and a Certified Athletic Trainer with a Bachelors in Athletic Training and a Masters in Community Health. Her previous professional work includes five years of work as a Certified Athletic Trainer at the high school and university levels delivering injury prevention, treatment, diagnosis, and rehabilitative protocols for healthy and injured athletes. Ms. Tosoni also worked for the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services for close to three years, her work focusing on primary prevention and social determinants of health. Ms. Tosoni now owns Ascend Consulting & Coaching; a company that provides organizations and communities with the opportunity to create ownership in processes aimed at addressing physical, social and mental health inequities through program or project creation, assessment or evaluation. She also owns her own network marketing business with Arbonne International, promoting health and wellness through botanically-based and chemical-free skincare and nutrition products. Ms. Tosoni is on the Executive Board for the YWCA of Helena and chairs their Social & Racial Justice Committee, working to create grassroots change to address issues around social, racial and economic justice in Helena and the tri-county area. Ms. Tosoni is very passionate about promoting overall health and wellness by integrating with individuals and communities to identify their needs and use their resources and community members to create policies and programs that will be effective, efficient, and sustainable.
Leidy Wagener, Operations Coordinator, Downtown Missoula Partnership
Leidy is originally from Teton Valley, Idaho and moved to Montana in 2007 to attend the University of Montana in Missoula. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Photojournalism and Multimedia in 2011. During her time at UM, Leidy studied abroad in France where she worked as an English language tutor. She returned to school in 2012 to complete coursework for an additional major in French Language and Literature. Leidy currently works as Operations Coordinator for the Downtown Missoula Partnership where she manages Caras Park rentals and the Downtown Streetscapes Program, coordinates communications and volunteers, and manages day-to-day office operations. In 2015, Leidy also served as an intern for the Missoula Urban Demonstration Project, working to expand their Tool Library and assisting with marketing and workshops. Leidy is passionate about the environment, community development, and education. She enjoys doing all things Missoula, from shopping at the Farmer's Market to playing in the river with her dog. Leidy loves traveling, reading, and growing and eating delicious local food.