Category Archives: Alumni

CEI November Shark Expedition


The Geronimo, an experiential education vessel operated by St. George’s School from Newport, Rhode Island, under the direction of Captain Stephen Connett, conducted shark research cruises from the early 1970′s through to the mid 1990′s throughout the western Atlantic. From autumn 1979 through to spring 1981, regular seasonal surveys were conducted in Bahamian waters focusing on a shallow bank known as “the bridge” that connects the southern tip of Eleuthera to the northern tip of Cat Island. The data resulting from these surveys, representing a snapshot of Bahamian shark abundance from over 30 years ago, have never been rigorously analyzed or published. Edd Brooks, manager of the Shark Research and Conservation Program at CEI, is collaborating with Stephen Connett and Jeff Stein (University of Illinois) to recreate these surveys over the next two years, with the goal of identifying potential shifts in the diversity, abundance and demographic population structure of sharks in the North East Exuma Sound over the last 30 years. The first field season took place earlier this month and Edd, Jeff, and Stephen successfully completed surveys of the bridge with the assistance of two Bahamas Environmental Stewards Scholars, Ann Marie Carroll and Brandon Jennings, Stephanie Liss (former CEI shark program intern and graduate student at University of Illinois) and Christopher Koch. Christopher, an experienced captain and diver, has supported the Shark Research and Conservation Program since his daughters, Hanna and Melanie, studied at The Island School in Fall 2006 and Fall 2008, and offered to return to Eleuthera once again to help on this exciting expedition. Just goes to show that IS alumni aren’t the only ones that can come back to The Island School and CEI–parents can, too!

Bates Bobcats Donate Once and Give Back Twice

Bates College has one of our strongest alumni networks, not only in the number of alums that are students there, but also in their presence in the greater community. Last month, Bo Cramer (S08), Owen Minott (S08), Emilie Geisenger (S08), and Lucy Triedman (S10) participated in a 10K as part of The Dempsey Challenge, which raises money for The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Maine. Together, they raised $2035, but a program called Positive Tracks matched their donations so they raised over $4000! What a PERFECT example of “giving back twice!” Congratulations!

With 2 weeks of CONCHtribution 2011 down, Chris Maxey wants to remind you all to participate and continue on your quest for the Golden Conch…

“Conference Caffeine”


For those of us in the professional workplace, we know all too well that our day-to-day can get overwhelming, disheartening and sometimes banal. Even scientists, as exciting as our research can be, feel this too. At CEI, there is so much going that on that it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture and take for granted this amazing place where we live and the truly interesting work we do. Long hours of fieldwork, scrubbing tanks, struggling through statistical analysis can sometimes can leave asking, “what is this all for?” To alleviate this, we look for “pick me ups”, which for many comes in the form of coffee, or, for the Brits among us, a cupp’a PG Tips. I find that taking a plunge into the ocean or a run around the loop also gets the job done. But these practices are…well, just not sustainable! The trick, I’ve discovered, to really get energized and motivated – I mean really excited about what you’re doing, your job, your day to day – is to attend a conference! Conferences bring like-minded people together to discuss similar topics of interest. They inform, spark dialogue, entice collaboration and get people enthusiastic about their work. I like to call this getting your “conference caffeine.” Continue reading

Kate Gibson (F04) Donates Once and Gives Back Twice!

The theme for this year’s CONCHtribution is Donate Once and Give Back Twice. We are asking alums what they are doing to make an impact in their community once they have made an impact in our Island School community by donating to the Cape Eleuthera Foundation’s annual fund. Check out what Kate Gibson (F04) is doing to give back:

“Currently, I’m very involved in the local community here in NYC. I just became a Girl Scout Troop Leader for 4th and 5th Graders in East Harlem, the Junior Troop! I am working with a friend from college on running the troop for the entire school year. We are going to focus on the environment, and I plan on bringing a lot of Island School curriculum into my troop planning! Continue reading

Alumni Spotlight: Ami Adams S11!

Congratulations to Spring 2011 alumna, Ami Adams who was named Agriscience Student of the Year Runner Up at the 84th National FFA Convention! She was awarded this honor based on the agriscience-related research she conducted on diamondback terrapins, which are the only sea turtles common to southern New Jersey. Read more about her experiment and the National FFA Convention here. Way to truly carry out The Island School’s vision of “leadership effecting change!”

Island School on the Road!

During the fall, The Island School goes on the road to visit alumni and host admissions receptions for prospective students. Here are some pictures from our travels:
Spring 2011 and Fall 2010 alumni at Hannah Twombly’s house in Falmouth, ME for an Island School admissions reception last Tuesday! From Left: Aldis Gamble, Izza Drury, Eliza Hazen, Mia Thomas, Sarah Becker, Hannah Twombly, Adam Wriggins, Ellen Doughty, and Hannah Leeman. Thanks for coming out! Continue reading

First On-Island Alumni Reunion Weekend

The weekend of October 7-9 should have been the first official on-island reunion for Island School alumni. However, due to damages and unforeseen obstacles caused by Hurricane Irene in late August, the original plans for this reunion required some adjustment. Despite the various setbacks, The Island School was still more than happy to welcome back the small number of alumni who made the trek to Eleuthera last weekend. Gracie Payne (F’01), Patrick DiLoreto (F’04), John DiLoreto (F’08), Wes Mize (S’06), and Kevin Delaney (F’08) joined us for a weekend full of all things Island School!

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Alumni Giving Back

Dynamic duo Julia Rew and Dorothy Long (both F’10 students) gave a great presentation about their Island School semester to classmates at Princeton High School this week. It was a perfect example of how our alumni continue to give back and make a difference, even after they leave The Island School. Not only did their presentation encourage the next set of potential Island School students to apply, but it also educated those in the audience about renewable energy systems and some of the other things we do down here on Cape Eleuthera. Great job, Julia and Dorothy!

Middlebury Solar Decathalon Team Finishes Fourth!

Congratulations to Katie Romanov (F’05) and the rest of Team Middlebury College for their impressive finish in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathalon 2011!


Solar Decathlon is a biennial competition that challenges twenty collegiate teams from around the world to design and build net zero energy houses that are attractive, affordable and entirely solar-powered. Team Middlebury College’s entry, Self-Reliance, received 1st place in three of the ten decathlon contests: communications, home entertainment and market appeal.

As the first undergraduate liberal arts team ever to make it into the finals on their own, Team Middlebury College is extremely proud to have performed as a top contender amongst teams from technical architecture and engineering institutions. Right before the final results announcement in West Potomac Park on Saturday Oct. 1st, the team’s Communications Coordinator Katie Romanov ’11 commented, “If we could finish in the top five, and be the little engine that could, we’d be thrilled!”


Read the full press release here!