Students from 2022

Alexia Maier

ELP Year: 2022

Major: Public Health

Community Partner: Groundwork Jacksonville

Poster: S-Line Rail Link Biodiversity Corridor Field Guide

I am a Jacksonville native in my junior year at the University of North Florida. I am a consultant, editor, and illustrator with experience working directly with clients from New York to London. My passions include learning about and engaging in sustainability and restoration. I want to participate in the Environmental Leadership Program because it aligns with my most important goals and values. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of a program that will help me to grow and fulfill my potential as an environmental leader.

Allison Beckford

ELP Year: 2022

Major: Biomedical Sciences

Community Partner: UNF Center for Nutrition and Food Security

Poster: Hunger Map: UNF Center for Nutrition and Food Security

I am a Junior here at UNF, and I plan to go onto medical school and become a hospitalist after I graduate with my B.S in Biology. I hope that through the Environmental Leadership Program, I can continue learning about what is going on in our world, and what I can do to help with problems like global warming/climate change and pollution. I would also love to learn ways in which I can be a leader and set an example for those around me with a sustainable lifestyle. Besides the environment, I am also passionate about writing, creating, and spreading kindness.

April Thomas

ELP Year: 2022

Major: Coastal Environmental Science

Community Partner: Duval Soil and Water Conservation District

Poster: Regeneration Park: Developing Green Infrastructure and Creating a Safe Space for Environmental Stewardship

My name is April Thomas, and I am from Middleburg, FL just outside of Jacksonville. I wanted to participate in the Environmental Leadership Program to help work in the community on improving the natural areas remaining, and to incorporate more green and sustainable ways of living in our community. My interests range from marine ecosystems and coastal habitat restoration to organic agriculture practices. I am excited for the opportunity this program will give me so that I can give back to the local community.

Ashlynn Kemp

ELP Year: 2022

Major: Coastal and Marine Biology

Community Partner: South-East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction & Conservation

Poster: Sand Tigers and Shipwrecks

I fell in love with marine biology at a young age when I found my very first shark tooth. After taking an Environmental Science class in high school where I learned about the threats faced by the sea and its impact on the terrestrial environment, I decided to turn this passion of mine into a career.  Participation in the Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) will allow me to develop the necessary leadership and advocacy skills to make a significant contribution to the field both academically and in my chosen profession.

Atalia Vazquez

ELP Year: 2022

Major: Nutrition and Dietetics

Community Partner: Feeding North East Florida

Poster: Increasing Green Foods with the SWAP System

Hello! My name is Atalia Vazquez, and like most, I’m a Nutrition and Dietetics major. I love burritos, nature, and my family, not in that particular order. I don’t have my life figured out, but I believe that if I keep choosing to do what I love, then I’m heading in the right direction. Nutrition fascinates me because it empowers us to nourish and love ourselves. Food is such a powerful thing in our lives, and sharing what we know about it is one of the most humbling and fulfilling aspects of being part of NutriNews.

Cameron Tefft

ELP Year: 2022

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Community Partner: My Green Doctor

Poster: Going Green one Film at a time: Producing an introductory video for My Green Doctor

My name is Cameron Tefft, and I am a first year student at UNF. Creativity has always been a primary motivation for me, whether it be playing Euphonium in the marching band, guitar, or making art, I can always be found making something. I recently exhibited an art show focused on our interaction with the environment, which is a major theme that I explore in most of my work. I became passionate about the environment after I took Environmental Systems and Societies in high school, and learned about the true value that the environment has and how little we do to protect it. I hope that I may continue to do work spreading awareness and making a positive change towards a more sustainable future with the ELP.

Caroline Augustine

ELP Year: 2022

Major: Interdisciplinary Studies

Community Partner:

Poster:

Eleanor Ascheman

ELP Year: 2022

Major: Statistics

Community Partner: National Park Service

Poster: Conveying Historical Narratives using ArcGIS Storymaps: The Story of Jacksonville’s Spanish American Battery.

My name is Eleanor Ascheman and I am a junior at UNF. Since my father was in the military I do not have a hometown per se, but I am most recently coming from Greenville, SC. I am currently working towards a BA in statistics and a minor in leadership, and I am planning to graduate in spring of 2023. Before starting college I took a gap year and worked with FEMA as a planning specialist in California and Puerto Rico. Now in college, I am part of the Hicks Honors College and enjoy doing activities with the Institute of Environmental Research and Education. After college, I hope to work doing some sort of environmental resiliency to natural disasters, focusing on preemptive care to save having to take extreme response measures.

Emmary Barnett

ELP Year: 2022

Major: English

Community Partner: Rattle Snake Conservatory

Poster: The Rattlesnake Conservancy

I have always had a love of animals, and an interest in saving the environment. That is why I am minoring in Biology, to find a career path involving animals or the environment in some way. Growing up I was homeschooled, and would always play in the woods outside my house. There were many beautiful spiders there, which are my favorite animals. I hope to make a difference in the world, and I believe the Environmental Leadership Program can help me to do that.

Erin Ogrodnik

ELP Year: 2022

Major: Coastal Environmental Science

Community Partner: National Park Service

Poster: Conveying Historical Narratives using ArcGIS Storymaps: The Story of Jacksonville’s Spanish American Battery.

My name is Erin Ogrodnik and I am a second-year Biology student in the Hicks Honors College. I have a passion for protecting the environment and conserving wildlife and I am currently pursuing a career in Wildlife Biology. I am the current president of the KAO, UNF’s Environmental Honor Society. In my free time, I enjoy trying new foods, tending to my plants, and watching documentaries.

Gabrielle Nelson

ELP Year: 2022

Major: Coastal and Marine Biology

Community Partner: National Park Service

Poster: Phytoplankton Monitoring at Kingsley Plantation

I am excited and thankful to be a part of the Environmental Leadership Program. Although I have not yet been selected for a program, I am hopeful to be in the UNF Plastic Pollution Project. As a young environmentalist, I am passionate about cleaning up the environment and preventing further damage. A fun fact about myself is I currently work with oysters! Not only are they delicious to eat, but they can help restore and protect our shorelines.

Grace Sadoff

ELP Year: 2022

Major: Criminal Justice

Community Partner:

Poster: Native Jax

My name is Grace Sadoff, and I am a double major at the University of North Florida. During the start of my senior year, I was honored to be admitted into the Environmental Leadership Program (ELP). I plan on using my degree to purse a Law Degree and become an advocate for the Environment. I am from Melbourne, Florida where I have been involved in many lagoon clean ups, restoration of the Indian River, and Sea Turtle conservation efforts. The ELP is going to allow me to foster my leadership, organizational, and time-management skills. A fun fact about my self is I love animals and had a pet Hermit Crab for fourteen years named oat.

Karston Gilmore

ELP Year: 2022

Major: Public Health

Community Partner:

Poster: Hydroponics System

I am currently a Junior at UNF working on my bachelor’s in health science with a concentration in Public Health. I also work at First Coast Chiropractic where I began as an intern in 2019 and worked my way up to billing manager. During my Public Health Research class, I was introduced to the Environmental Leadership Program. I believe this program will help me grow as a student along with strengthening my networking and leadership skills and I am excited for the projects I will get to participate in in the future.

Logan Larochelle

ELP Year: 2022

Major: Financial Planning

Community Partner: Native Jax

Poster: Spring Harvest Festival with NATIVE JAX

I have been interested in marine life since the first time I had ever watched Finding Nemo when I was only about 5 years old. I have continued to do research regarding the wide loss of Coral growth throughout the coastal Floridian waters, alongside major research revolving around the BP oil spill in 2010. This led to a video that I wrote and directed regarding the BP spill for my Marine Science class in high school. Many people believe that economics is only about money, although it involves all sorts of scarce resources including our vital coral reefs around Florida, which is why this is important to me as a subject.

Nathaniel Rodefer

ELP Year: 2022

Major: Interdisciplinary Studies

Community Partner: UNF Institute of Environmental Research and Education

Poster: Phasing Out Single Use Plastics, Feasibility, and Student Opinion

Hello, I’m Nathaniel! I’m involved around campus and heard about the Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) from other members in the KAO Environmental Honors Society. Through the ELP I hope to develop career skills in relation to my environmental interests, as well as further developing myself and networking with other like-minded individuals. Besides the ELP and KAO, I’m involved with the North Florida Green Chamber as the UNF student representative, the Interfaith Center, the Presidential Envoys, the Honors College as a Facilitator, and I serve as the University and Student Affairs Chair in Student Government. In total, environmentalism is a big passion of mine, and I’m looking forward to advancing related efforts along with myself through the Environmental Leadership Program!

Noah Miller

ELP Year: 2022

Major: Social Work

Community Partner: Beaches Go Green

Poster: Beaches Go Green

I look forward to making a difference with the help of both the ELP and my community partner, as well as further developing leadership and networking skills through the experience.
Some fun facts about me are: I love the outdoors, even though I don’t get out much. I attended a combined leadership and biotechnology conference in 2018 that sparked my interest in opportunities such as this one.

Rafe Thomas

ELP Year: 2022

Major: Interdisciplinary Studies

Community Partner:

Poster: Jacksonville Parks and Recreation: A Focus on Community

My passion for the environment dates back to my childhood years. Since I was a child, I have always had a heart for the outdoors and the natural beauty the world has to offer. Whether it be fishing, camping, or surfing, I have always felt most at home in Florida’s outdoors. One day, I would like to work as a park ranger or work in environmental restoration and conservation services. I believe the Environmental Leadership Program is a great way for me to grow as a leader and serve my community. I look forward to growing with my peers and the opportunities I will receive through this program.

Ruby Cox

ELP Year: 2022

Major: Interdisciplinary Health Studies

Community Partner: UNF Institute of Environmental Research and Education

Poster: Feasibility of Phasing out Single Use Plastics at UNF

Salutations! My name is Ruby Cox, and I have been a Jacksonville local for over 15 years, & my interest for environmental conservation and sustainability was sparked by this beautiful city at a young age, when I wished to celebrate each year by doing beach/city cleanups rather than birthday parties. That was just the beginning, my love for this community continues to grow daily and working with groups such as Feeding Northeast Florida, Girls Gone Green, Cleanyour904, and Beaches Go Green has given me a blueprint for what I would like to pursue post my bachelor’s degree, teaching and constructing more sustainable ways of living for people in our community and globally! I especially find myself drawn to helping communities learn on an household-individual level what works best for them, from starting home gardens in neighborhoods in food deserts to teaching communities the importance of safe & sustainable water consumption in places without regulations, to even creating limiting waste plans for local businesses, I really feel drawn to working closely with people who need it most. I look forward to a career in helping teach people to not only enjoy our environment but learn how to protect & nourish it as well!

Samantha Anne Surratt

ELP Year: 2022

Major: Communication

Community Partner: Jacksonville Zoo and Garden

Poster: The Last Plastic Playground With the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

At the beginning of this semester, I began the journey of my college future. This future had started by joining the LLC. The Environmental Sustainability living-learning center. With this opportunity, I learned about the ELP. Through talking to the administration, I had found that there is no longer a recycling program on campus. So, I began talking to my friends, and they had told me that their recycling had stopped entirely. I want to help teach the community about the dangers of single-use plastics.

Savanna Courtney-Durrett

ELP Year: 2022

Major: Political Science

Community Partner:

Poster: Enviro Rights Map: Examining Regional Constitutional Environmental Provisions

I am excited to be a part of the Environmental Leadership Program this year to strengthen my understanding of leadership and personal skills in this area, as well as to learn more about environmental sustainability. Apart from this program, at UNF I am involved in the Hicks Honors College and the Millennium Fellowship. In my free time, I enjoy spending time outdoors especially spending time at the beach, hiking, and as of recently—kayaking! Some fun facts about me are: I lived in Hawaii for two years when I was in elementary school, I have been a vegetarian my whole life, and I love to travel and in particular I would love to go to Greece because I love Ancient Greek mythology.

Sephora Khoulalene

ELP Year: 2022

Major: International Business

Community Partner: Beaches Go Green

Poster: Beaches Go Green

I am a transfer international student from France, interesting in
management and leadership. I am curious about plenty of subjects.
As a vegetarian, I have an interest in nutrition, sport, and
environmental global warming. In addition to these hobbies, I am
also involved in law and news related to business.
The Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) will help me grow
and develop my leadership, networking, and communication skills.
But also visualizing and creating a workable strategy for the achievement of the goals. I am
expecting myself to pilot a project and be independent during this process while following the
values of the company.
Some facts about me: I really enjoy traveling and already visited more than 12 cities in America.
I am passionate by mode, but I try since these past years to fight fast fashion by buy-in thrift store.

Shannon McNeil

ELP Year: 2022

Major: Coastal Environmental Science

Community Partner: Jacksonville Zoo and Garden

Poster: Educating the Public on Invasive Species

My name is Shannon McNeil and I am currently a Senior at the University of North Florida with my expected graduation date being Summer 2022. After graduating I am particularly interested in conservation work, with wetland ecology currently being my field of choice. An interesting fact about me is that my family has rescued several pets over the years spanning across ten different species. I am very excited to participate in this ELP and be able to make a difference in our local environment.