expatalachians is an Appalachian journalism project written by those who left–and returned–home. Our writing covers politics, culture, and economics in the region to show its dynamism, problems, and changes.
The expatalachians team was formed in 2017 by a group of Ohio University alumni who were passionate about Appalachia. We were inspired to write and learn more about the region. For us, this project connects us to our roots in Appalachia, a place we all still call home. Nearly a year after we discussed the idea, we released our first article in October 2018. Since then we’ve continued to publish articles every week related to the environment, politics, history, and more in Appalachia.
We hope to continue to grow expatalachians into a dynamic media source. Some of our long-term goals for the project include:
- Highlighting the diversity of people and experiences in Appalachia
- Connecting the academic world with the public, making information more accessible
- Writing stories that reflect the realities of people living in the region
- Connecting with other expatalachians across the US and the globe who still care about their roots
Our Global Team
Our group is made up of young professionals from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. It has expanded naturally among friends and colleagues over time. Many of us attended Ohio University in Southeast Ohio. We’ve all spent time abroad (Scotland, Morocco, France, Ireland, India, Austria, and Jordan). These days, our members are scattered throughout the United States (Ohio, West Virginia, Washington DC, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania).
We are aspiring journalists, community developers, entrepreneurs, scholars, and environmentalists. Our experiences, professions, and backgrounds are ranging. We hope to bring a multifaceted perspective of Appalachia to our readers.
Anthony Hennen – Anthony grew up in southeast Ohio and graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He later earned a master’s degree in philosophy/politics/economics from the Cevro Institute in Prague, Czech Republic. He is editor/writer at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal and lives in Philadelphia, PA. Follow him on Twitter: @anthonyhennen.
Alena Klimas – Alena’s roots are in West Virginia where she often visits and works. She graduated from Ohio University with bachelor’s degrees in Global Studies and Political Science. Then, she spent two years in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco with the Peace Corps. Now she’s in Asheville, North Carolina working on economic development projects in Central Appalachia. Alena is passionate about economic opportunities, community development, and trails in Appalachia. Follow her on Twitter: @Alenaklimas
Nick Brumfield – Nick was raised in Vienna, West Virginia, and graduated from Ohio University with a BA in Political Science in 2015. He received his MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University in 2017, and worked at an NGO in Jordan after graduation. Nick mostly writes about history and culture, with an eye toward both celebrating and critiquing Appalachian identity and popular memory. He currently lives and works in Arlington, VA. Follow him on Twitter: @Nickjbrumfield.
Annie Chester – Annie hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She studied World Religions and Global Studies at Ohio University and Environment, culture and society at the University of Edinburgh. Accordingly, Annie is interested in human-nature relationships in Appalachia and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter: @anniecchester.
Nick Musgrave – Nick grew up in Parkersburg, West Virginia and graduated from Hastings College in Nebraska with degrees in History and Political Science. He’s spent time in Ireland for school and fun. A veteran of multiple political campaigns, Nick returned to Appalachia to work on a campaign based in Wheeling, WV. He currently works and lives in Wheeling with his wife, McKenna. Nick writes predominantly on history and politics, and relishes hearing or telling interesting stories about the past. Follow him on Twitter: @NickMusgraveWV
Olivia Miltner – Olivia is a writer and digital strategist based in Columbus, Ohio, focused on equity, culture, sustainability and health. She graduated from Ohio University with degrees in war and peace and journalism, including a study abroad in India. Her work can be seen at Rewire.news, OZY media, (614) Magazine, WOSU 89.7 NPR News and Accuweather. She is a content specialist at The Ohio State University and previously was a teacher with the YMCA. Find her on Twitter: @Oliviamiltner
Rubén Babío – Rubén is from Galicia, the most northwestern region of Spain. He has a wandering soul and has lived in many different places: Kansas in the US, the Alps and Corsica in France and most recently Cornwall and East Sussex in England. He graduated from Santiago de Compostela University on Spanish language and literature and English studies, and continues to study other languages, such as Arabic. He decided to venture into the Appalachian mountains, although just virtually for now, by translating expatalachians articles into Spanish.