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Introducing the 2023-24 Horseshoe Farm Fellows

Jason Cobert

Jason comes to us from the rainy city of Seattle, Washington. He is no stranger to long car trips as he pursued Neuroscience at the University of Rochester. At Rochester, Jason played four years of varsity baseball and was his team’s captain for two years! For fun, Jason loves anything that is outdoors including hiking, biking, skiing, and all else that goes fast! Indoors, Jason loves to read nonfiction. Jason aims to attend medical school after his year at Project Horseshoe Farm. He is very excited to be living and working in Marion, especially to meet people in the community and to eat southern food! If you see Jason, give him a hello!

Sam Somerville

Sam, a Birmingham native, will be hard to miss as he is a staggering 6’7’. He attended the University of the South: Sewanee where he completed a pre-health fellowship and played 4- years of varsity football (I sure wouldn’t want to tackle him!). Sam enjoys hiking, gardening and anything outdoors. If he isn’t exploring what nature has to offer, he will be cooking up some of his favorite meals like his famous Thai curry. Sam hopes to attend medical school with aims to return to the south. He is excited about being part of the Marion community and meeting new people.

Ely Miller-Wilson

Ely hails from Philadelphia Pennsylvania. While he is not a huge sports fan, Ely will firmly support any and every Philly team no matter what. Ely graduated from Bowdoin College, majoring in Religious Studies and minoring in Biology. During his time at Bowdoin, he was involved in the crew and rugby teams as well as Jewish life on campus. In his free time, Ely enjoys swimming in the ocean in the winter (not necessarily for the health benefits, just for fun!). He also loves to knit, and is a big Billy Joel fan. Ely is excited to make new friendships in his upcoming year in Marion, and he has greatly appreciated everyone’s warmth and hospitality here.

Ryley Boddeker-O’Connor

Meet Ryley, a spirited individual hailing from the heart of Columbus, Ohio. She is a proud Buckeyes fan and avid biker. After graduating from high school, Ryley journeyed to Northwestern University where she majored in social policy and minored in legal studies. While at Northwestern Ryley was part of a student run non-profit that provided after-school and field trip support to public school students. Through her time at Northwestern, she discovered the joys of hammocking by the scenic shores of Lake Michigan and plans on continuing to hammock throughout her time in Alabama. Ryley enjoys a wide variety of the music spanning from oldies such as the Beach Boys to newer alternative rock music. In another life she would’ve been a drummer! Ryley is excited to get to know the people of Marion better as she settles in for the next year and is grateful to have been welcomed so whole-heartedly by the community.

Mary Sophia

Mary Sophia, a native of Nashville, Tennessee, is entering her second year as a community health fellow at Project Horseshoe Farm. In high school, she was an exceptional lacrosse player. Unfortunately, her dreams of competing in collegiate sporting competitions were dashed by a career-ending injury. However, since moving to Alabama she has continued to shine on the field as a high-scoring player during Wednesday night pick-up Ultimate Frisbee games in Greensboro. After high school Mary Sophia pursued her education at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. There, she immersed herself in the study of Government, while simultaneously pursuing her passions for biology and psychology. In her free time, Mary Sophia finds solace and inspiration in the music of SZA, whose artistry resonates deeply with her. Mary Sophia plans on attending medical school after her fellowship at Project Horseshoe Farm.


Chris, who hails from the vibrant city of Seattle, Washington, is a dynamic individual with a passion for soccer and good music (he is an avid listener of the alternative rock band The Head and the Heart). Chris is entering his second year as a community health fellow at Project Horseshoe Farm. Chris attended Vassar College in New York before moving to Marion. At Vassar, he played varsity soccer where he was a much beloved team member. While he has adjusted to the Alabama heat, he still isn’t adjusted enough to play a game of midday outdoor soccer in an Alabama August (but he’s not sure if anyone could ever be comfortable enough in the heat for a full game). Chris looks forward to staying engaged with the local community and exploring even more of the Alabama outdoors. Chris plans on attending medical school after his fellowship at Project Horseshoe Farm.