Alumni Spotlight

Kelsey Evans & Ben Matthews

Graduation Year: 2010 & 2009


KE: BA Self-Designed Major in Anthrozoology

BM: BA Conservation Ecology with a concentration in Natural History

Current Hometown: Orrs Island, ME


KE: NorthWoods Stewardship Center, and Freelance Web & Graphic Design

BM: Watershed Restoration Specialist The Nature Conservancy in Maine

Photo of alumnus Ben Matthews looking through binoculars


Can you tell us about the work you are doing now?

KE: I work remotely for the NorthWoods Stewardship Center in East Charleston, VT. Ben and I lived and worked there for a number of years after graduation, and formed a love for the organization and the community who keeps it up and running. I handle NorthWoods’ online communication and marketing, which allows me to work remotely from Maine. So a typical day might include creating promotional emails for a Forestry workshop, updating Camp brochures, researching new ways to streamline our online Corps job applications, designing a social media fundraising campaign, and strategizing long-term marketing goals with the board. I find it is a balance between keeping us up to date with modern technologies and remaining accessible to those who may not prefer online/mobile communications. After all, a lack of focus on technology is one of the traits that makes the NEK wonderful!

I’m sure you’ll notice my major has nothing to do with my current position, but the remote aspect of my job allows me to travel and have a flexible schedule, which I use to remain involved with animal training and care.

BM: I work doing sea run fish habitat restoration, replacing culverts and removing dams to allow for upstream and downstream migration of diadromous species like eels, salmon, alewives and sea lamprey. The most interesting parts of my job are the monitoring and prioritization portions, when I get to gather and analyze data on the work that we’re doing and use it to inform where we focus our efforts in the future.


How did Sterling influence your current career path?

KE: Sterling provided the community connections which brought me to NorthWoods. I learned web and graphic design before attending Sterling, but living in the NEK made me realize the need that existed in helping nonprofits and small businesses in rural areas get online.

BM: Honestly, Sterling didn’t directly influence my career path so much as give me the knowledge, experience and confidence I needed to pursue the path I’m on now.


What is your most memorable Bounder/Expedition memory:

KE: The taste of smoky water, Cody Sayers bringing us M&M’s on the second day, which seemed like manna from the heavens at that point.

BM: I will never forget how good a block of frozen cheese tasted while on the death march back to the Common on the final day of expedition.


Any words of wisdom for the current Sterling generation?

KE: Early morning communions with Rex, walks with Dick Smythe, the taste of autumn carrots, those amazing vistas, music around the fire– don’t take these things for granted!  As a senior or a recent graduate it is easy to fall into a period of being grumpy and cynical … don’t waste your time on that; for most people there is no magic button that gets you everything you want upon graduation.  The most useful things you learn at Sterling do not necessarily appear on your transcript.  Also–  be ready for a lifetime of randomly running into Sterling graduates in the strangest places!

BM: I’d be much more interested in hearing the wisdom that they have for me. I’d love to know where the mAd PoEt ended up…

Filed Under: Alumni Blog