Welcome to our Maintainers Movement Fellows 2022!

Join us in welcoming our first cohort of Maintainers Movement Fellows for 2022!

The Maintainers Movement Fellowship is a year-long fellowship that will advance the movement for maintenance thinking and action. The fellowship will bring together a group of individuals who are interested in learning from and with their peers; communicating complex ideas in accessible ways for a broad audience, and partnering with The Maintainers staff to advance our vision for a more caring and well-maintained world. The Maintainers Movement Fellowship is compromised of fellows whose maintenance, repair, and care work has substantial connections to the environment.

Through The Maintainers Movement Fellowship program, The Maintainers aim to support work that advances equitable maintenance and repair policies; enable meaningful experiences for collaborative knowledge production; and develop a clear set of action priorities that will be published broadly and inform the future work of The Maintainers.

Please learn more about our fellows below:

  • Maximillian Alvarez

Maximillian Alvarez is the Editor-in-Chief of The Real News Network and the host of Working People, “a podcast about the lives, jobs, dreams, and struggles of the working class today.” Prior to joining The Real News, he was an Associate Editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education and graduated with a dual-PhD in History and Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan. His work has been featured in a range of outlets, including The Nation, In These Times, Boston Review, Truthout, and The Baffler. He has a book of interviews coming out in early 2022 with OR Books titled The Work of Living: Working People Talk About Their Lives and the Year the World Broke


  • Rheanna Chen

Rheanna is devoted to the world of ecology, art and connection. She has a lifelong commitment to sustainable development in the Caribbean; using strong systems thinking, capacity building and communication skills to design inclusive spaces for food sovereignty, climate resilience and community empowerment. The loss of her mother to leukaemia at age 4, sparked her interest in holistic health and her journey as yoga/ mindfulness teacher over the last 15 years. She has a Bsc in International Agriculture Development and a Masters in Gastronomy. She is currently based in Trinidad, at Ajoupa Pottery where you will find her in the garden, making pottery and focused on hospitality and food. She lives by the philosophy- grow, gather and nourish.


  • Leila D. Behjat & Sam Bennett 

Leila D. Behjat is a creative solution finder with a high sense for design and aesthetics. With a Diplom-Ingenieur (Masters) in Architecture from Hafencity Universitaet, Hamburg, Germany, she has worked globally in the fields of interior and lighting design on both residential and commercial projects. In recent years, she has focused on renovation with healthier building materials. Her current role as senior researcher at Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons School of Design deepens her motivation to contribute to creating spaces that are healthier and joyful to humans and the planet as a whole.



Sam Bennett is an ethnographer, maker, and designer who believes in slow research that minimally impacts our planet and advocates for human well-being. You can find her investigating people’s relationships to objects in the domestic space, making with mycelium and discarded materials, and co-running Repair Shop.  She is a senior researcher at Healthy Materials Lab and also teaches at Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, and New Jersey Institute of Technology in the Interior Design and Industrial Design departments.


  • Tona Rodriguez- Nikl

As a Maintainers Fellow, Tona is interested in how technological development will adapt to the changing social conditions and physical realities produced by climate change. Tona is a structural engineer by training and is a Professor of Civil Engineering at California State University, Los Angeles. His disciplinary work is in earthquake engineering. Beyond this, Tona is the chair of the Engineering Philosophy Committee of the Structural Engineering Institute and previously served on its Sustainability Committee. He is also the co-author of a textbook on engineering ethics and teaches a class on the social aspects of disasters. Tona’s work as a Maintainers Fellow relates to two broad areas. The first is integrating the idea of care into engineering. The second is understanding engineering’s relation to well-being in a post-growth economy.

Preferred citation: Lauren , Dapena Fraiz. , . (2022, January 12). Welcome to our Maintenance Research Fellows Summer 2021!. The Maintainers. https://themaintainers.org/welcome-to-our-movement-fellows/