The UF Young Entrepreneurs for Leadership & Sustainability Summer Program Summer Program

Staff

Director

Dr. Kristin Joos is the Director for the Young Entrepreneurs for Leadership & Sustainability High School Summer Program at UF. In 2005 she brought Social Entrepreneurship to UF and co-founded and now directs the Social Impact & Sustainability Initiative in the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Kristin is a UF graduate, earning her bachelors degree in Psychology with minors in Sociology, Religion, and Women’s & Gender Studies. In 2003 she graduated with a Ph.D. in Sociology & a graduate certificate from the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research. Her research interests center around youth & emerging adulthood, social entrepreneurship, sustainability, community service and creating positive social change. Kristin is passionate about teaching students to use the skills & strategies of business to create innovative & sustainable solutions to social, environmental, and economic problems locally and around the world. From 2003–2006 she served as the Coordinator of Admissions & Student Activities for the Honors Program at UF. In 2006 Kristin was named Service Learning Professor of the Year at UF, because of the community service she requires her students to do. In fact, in 2012 her students completed more than 10,000 hours of service totaling more than 1/2 of President’s Goal of 1 Million minutes of service for all UF students. For the 2011–2012 academic year, Kristin served as a Sustainability Fellow and in 2013 she won the UF Champions of Change Sustainable Solutions Award for her academic work (aka Sustainability Professor of the Year Award). Kristin believes education is a life-long endeavor. In November 2012, Kristin was one of 36 students from 22 countries selected to participate in the International Social Entrepreneurship Programme at INSEAD. In July 2013 she graduated from the AACSB PostDoc Bridge Program and was awarded Academic Scholar status. In March 2014 she was awarded a 75% scholarship to attend the Stanford Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship along with 50 other students from 23 countries around the world. Most recently, in May 2014 she earned a Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship, sponsored by USASBE and the Kauffman Foundation. In addition to running YELS, Kristin is passionate about creating opportunities for students to learn about Social Entrepreneurship & Sustainability.

Instructors

SYG2010 - Social Problems & Solutions- Dr. Kristin Joos

ENT4934 - Exploring Entrepreneurship - Professor Christopher Pryor


2016 Staff

Entrepreneurship Professor Dr. Christopher Pryor

Dr. Christopher Pryor is a lecturer in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center at the University of Florida. He joined UF in August 2015. Before coming to Florida, Pryor was an assistant professor of entrepreneurship at High Point University in North Carolina, where he led the effort to launch an entrepreneurship major. His primary interest is in entrepreneurship research, particularly in examining the intersection of individual entrepreneurs and social norms, rules, and laws. His work has been published in a number of journals, including Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. He is also the co-author of a book, Entrepreneurship as Experience: How Events Create Ventures and Ventures Create Entrepreneurs. He obtained his Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University in 2014.

Program Leader

Rebekah Foster is an environmental educator who graduated from UF in the Spring of 2015. This is her third year working for YELS. She was the RA for Girls in 2014, the Service-Learning Coordinator in 2015 and is now the Program Leader. As an undergraduate she studied Sustainability Studies & Women's Studies and was involved in social entrepreneurship, sustainability and positive sexuality initiatives on campus. In the past year she has led middle school kids on week-long backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire, has taught forest ecology at a nature center in the North Georgia Mountains and traveled through Nicaragua and Costa Rica. In the Fall, Rebekah will move to San Francisco to teach in an elementary school garden. Rebekah loves to share meals with friends on her porch, try new vegetarian recipes and do yoga.


RAs for Guys

Danny Gallagher is entering his fourth year at UF, studying Environmental Engineering with a minor in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. He is from the small south Florida town Coconut Creek and graduated from Pompano Beach High School in 2013 with a magnet diploma in information technology. At UF, he works as the Training Specialist for the Academic Technology labs, where he trains the new hirees in lab procedures, and in computer hardware and software use. He is also an active member in both the co-ed service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega (APO), and the Civil and Environmental Engineering Honor Society, Chi Epsilon. While in APO, Danny has had the opportunity to volunteer with many different organizations, including the Humane Society, Salvation Army, and Boys and Girls Club. He has a passion for the environment and sustainability. Danny loves to hike in nature trails, eat Chipotle, and volunteer.

Miles Marrero is a third year Chemical Engineering major pursuing a minor in Biomolecular Engineering. He is interested in renewable energy production and reducing solid waste through more sustainable packaging methods. As a brother of Alpha Phi Omega, he enjoys doing community service with many local organizations, from the Repurpose Project to Keep Alachua County Beautiful and the Boys and Girls club. He is interested in the outdoors, plants, fitness, health, cooking and eating well, and all that has a positive impact on our world. He is concerned about exploitation of Earth's resources and beauty for short term profit. He is originally from Orlando, and went to Olympia High School, where he participated in wrestling. He enjoys traveling, and has traveled to Costa Rica, Cuba, and Colombia. He wants to continue traveling as often as he can to see all the beauty that the planet has to offer.


RAs for Girls

Rachel Cook is a 2nd year student majoring in Finance and minoring in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance from Windermere, FL. She is a part of the International Scholars Program and Peace Corps Prep. She is involved with many organizations on campus such as Kappa Delta, served as a UF Student Senator for Beaty Towers on the Judiciary Committee, AD for Gators Going Green, AD of Sales for Gator Growl, Model United Nations, Outdoor Adventure Recreation, AD for Gator Day with Florida Blue Key, Director of External Affairs for Enactus, and Outreach Chair for Greeks for Gainesville. She interned with Projects for Haiti as their Finance Intern this past fall and is currently employed with O'Connell Center. She also serves as a volunteer for VITA, where she does tax returns for low-income families. Upon graduation, she plans to work for the Peace Corps and then continue a career with the Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer.

Brooke Kaplan (and Social Media Coordinator) participated in YELS 2014 as a rising senior at the Emery/Weiner High School in Houston, Texas. Now, as a rising second year student with a Public Relations major and a minor in Disabilities Studies, Brooke is perusing a career in non-profit or corporate realm. While at UF she has had the privilege to work on Gator Growl, and has started a club on campus that focuses on Disability inclusion. Being from Texas, Brooke has enjoyed living in Florida for the first time this past year and being apart of the Gator Nation. In her free time, she loves to play sports, read E! News, and of course watch Netflix. She is so excited to be on staff this year and cannot wait meet all the empowering students at YELS this summer.


Activities Leaders

Alex Morrison (Field Trips & Speakers Coordinator) recently graduated with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment with a minor in Urban and Regional Planning. He attended West Broward High School in Pembroke Pines, Florida graduating in 2010. He has research published in the Journal of Sustainable cities and Society, serves on a citizen advisory board for the city of Gainesville, and has writing featured in local publications "The Fine Print" and "Architrave". Also, he will be starting graduate school in the fall but likes to spend his free time reading, writing, and loitering in coffee shops.

Irving Chan-Gomez (Sustainability Coordinator) is a recent University of Florida graduate (2016) with a Masters degree in Sustainable Development Practice, a minor in Organizational Leadership for Nonprofits and a minor in Entrepreneurship. During his time at the Universityof Florida, Irving engaged in several sustainability initiatives locally and internationally. He is focusing onhis career in business sustainability and is eager to help businesses find their role in sustainable development by improving their positive impact in the environment and society. Additionally, he works as a research and extension assistant with the UF department of Environmental Horticulture, where he manages hydroponic research and outreach services to producers in Latin America and Sub Saharan Africa. Irving enjoys traveling and experiencing new cultures, swimming and running, and reading historic novels. After YELS, he expects to move to NYC to work with a sustainability consulting group.

Jasmine Silas (Mentors Coordinator) is entering her second year as a transfer to the University of Florida. Before attending UF, she was dually enrolled in Florida State College at Jacksonville and Jean Ribault Senior High. After graduating from both institutions, she decided to change the world and chose UF to be her training grounds. By pursuing a major in Psychology and minoring in a language, she hopes to spread positivity among a multitude of people- which she strongly believes can precipitate change. Often regarded as optimistic, hard-working and humble, she involves herself in community activities that foster this notion. One noteworthy service activity she takes pride in is mentoring and tutoring a high school student through MycroSchool of Gainesville. In the future, she hopes to become Dr. Silas, a youth psychologist, helping troubled youth become more beneficial versions of themselves.

Sammy Felman (Service Coordinator) graduated this May with a degree in Sustainability Studies and Political Science. She attended Beachwood High School, in Beachwood, Ohio. At UF, Sammy was a member of Alpha Phi Omega, co-ed community service fraternity, and a TRiP leader for the Travel and Recreation Program (TRiP). Sammy spent this past summer studying non-profit management and international development in India, and the previous summer working on a farm on the Big Island of Hawaii. She enjoys being outside, vegetables, reading, backpacking, volunteering, and burritos.


Teaching Assistants

Brandon Fantozzi is currently enrolled as a student at the University of Florida in the Innovation Academy. While majoring in Anthropology and minoring in Innovation, he enjoys taking courses in variety of subjects. Prior to attending the University of Florida, he attended Cardinal Gibbons High School, class of 2013, in Fort Lauderdale Florida. He has been working at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation as a Teaching Assistant for Dr. Chris Pryor for a year now in his Principles of Entrepreneurship class ENT3003 and will continue until graduation and hopefully even afterwards. He is planning on graduating in 2017. After graduation, he will pursue an MBA at UF and focus on Entrepreneurship. One day, he will even pursue a PhD in Entrepreneurship in order to complete his life's aspiration to become a college professor and to be successfully recognized through his future research. Brandon has Taed for Professor Pryor all year and is excited to serve as his TA for the ENT4934 course this summer.

Heejin Ahn received a BA in Political Science with minors in African Studies and French. She is currently a program assistant for Sahel Research Group (SRG) at UF. During her undergraduate years, she has interned for the Enough Project, a nonprofit organization based in Washington D.C. In Summer of 2014, she received Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) grant to travel to Kenya to conduct field research on alternative business financing options for women groups. She is a firm believer in creating positive changes through social entrepreneurship and innovation. She will pursue a MA in International Development in the fall and her eventual goal is to become a project manager to evaluate and monitor international human relief and development programs by international agencies and organizations. Heejin attended Spruce Creek High School in Daytona Beach, Florida. Heejin was the TA for SYG2010 in YELS 2015 and is excited to return again this summer.


Registration Coordinator

Emma Stetter is in her second year at the University of Florida majoring in Telecommunications with a concentration in production and a minor in innovation. She has been working with YELS for about 2 years. Emma loves traveling and will be completing her second study abroad this summer in Australia and Fiji taking classes with a focus on sustainability. She graduated from the Academy of Entrepreneurship at Buchholz High School in 2014.


Volunteers

Laura Melendez attended Lake Highland Preperatory School in Orlando, Florida. She is going into her third year and is majoring in Nutritional Sciences and minoring in Sustainability Studies at the University of Florida. On campus she volunteers with the School Health Interdisciplinary Program where she helps teach young children about health and fitness. She recently returned from studying abroad in Costa Rica where she studied Spanish, Sustainability, and Environmental Science. She is also a ballet dancer and has been training since she was four years old.



2015 Staff

ENT4934 - Exploring Entrepreneurship - Professor William Rossi

William Rossi is the Associate Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Florida, and a Wells Fargo Faculty Fellow. He has extensive experience in finance, general business, sales and operations management, and has held several senior level positions with Ford, Goodrich, and Picker International. Since relocating to Florida in 1986, Professor Rossi has worked in executive management positions in smaller entrepreneurial companies. He served as Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for Applied Digital Technology, Inc., a Florida corporation that provides turnkey solutions for the compression, storage, editing, transmission, and broadcasting of digital audio and video information. Professor Rossi holds an MS degree in Operations Research from the University of Massachusetts and an undergraduate degree in Mechanical and Industrial & Systems Engineering from Ohio University. Professor Rossi manages GatorNest, the Centerʼs experiential learning program. Professor Rossi teaches “Principles of Entrepreneurship”, “Venture Analysis”, “Venture Finance”, and “Entrepreneurial Finance”. Professor Rossi is an award winning Lecturer on campus, his classes are legendary and he regularly receives outstanding faculty awards.

Program Leaders

Regan Murray is a third year Business Administration major with a specialization in Event Planning and Tourism. This fall she will be pursuing her Masters in International Business from the University of Florida with plans to finish her degree at a foreign University in the spring. During her time at the University of Florida, Regan has interned with the City of Gainesville. Here, she has assisted in planning many events, such as the Downtown Festival and Art Show, a nationally recognized juried fine arts show. She also found a passion for learning about and caring for the natural world when she interned at SeaWorld, Orlando where she was an exhibit educator and camp counselor. Additionally, she is a teaching assistant for Principles of Marketing and has a special interest in entrepreneurship and creative business marketing. She enjoys going to the gym, riding her horse, and traveling and hopes to live abroad after graduation. Regan graduated from Steinbrenner High School in Tampa, Florida.

Alex Gentile is a recent University of Florida graduate with a Bachelors of Science degree in Materials Science & Enginnering, a specialization in Electronic Materials, and a Minor in Electrical Engineering. Prior to entering college, Alex served as a camp counselor for Camp Highlander, a sleep-away camp in the mountains of North Carolina. Here, Alex learned the value of sustainability, and saw first hand the ramifications of a lack of social awareness and stewardship on the environment. On campus, Alex was an executive board member for the Student Honors Organization, while maintaining an active involvement in Greek life. Alex grew up in Weston, Florida, where he was noted for activity within the community, as well as within his school. Participating in a local area government program, and organizing community service events, Alex was honored to become one of a handful of Weston's Rotary Club Students of the Month. Now, following his graduation, Alex has started a business of his own, as well as being a member of the founding team for a tech start-up. He looks forward to reaching out to the community, and helping others gain the confidence needed to take the oftentimes difficult step in solidifying their own vision, and forming a business.



Residence Assistants

Synclair Henry is a 4th Year combined degree student at the University of Florida, simultaneously pursuing her Bachelors in Business Management and Master's in Entrepreneurship. During her time at UF, Synclair has been blessed to be involved in organizations within the Black Student Union and the Business college, partake in individual community service, and serve in a number of leadership roles, including Chapter President of her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She hopes one day to utilize her skills to become the premier Event Services/ Catering Company in South Florida, as well as travel and spend as much time as possible with friends and family.

Ian Siljestrom is a recent University of Florida graduate and currently is teaching 5th grade science in Jacksonville, Florida. He is excited to have the summer off from teaching, and be able to come back to Gainesville to work with YELS. He was a fourth year Sustainability and the Built Environment major. He also completed minors in Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture. He held several different community positions, including an intern for the City of Newberry’s Planning Department and the University of Florida’s Physical Plant Energy Division. Ian is an avid traveller and has worked abroad in Canada, Belgium, and England. Aside from academic and professional pursuits he also participated on UF’s club swimming and water polo teams. Ian is planning to return to the classroom after another wonderful YELS experience!


Assistant RA & Activities Leader

Daniela Gomez is a third year Architecture student in the UF College of Design Construction and Planning. She is involved in NOMAS, a club for minority architecture students and is currently working on a design competition for them. She has also been involved with HAS, as part of Hispanic Heritage Month, and has worked with HSA also as part of a mentor program with high school students who are currently in ESOL (a program that helps students who do not primarily speak english). When she graduates, she wants to design and improve communities in both a sustainable and economical way. She attended Lyman High School in Longwood Florida.


Activities Leaders

Brad Justis is currently a second year Business Administration and Pre-Pharmacy Student. He graduated in 2013 from the International Baccalaureate program at Spruce Creek High, Daytona Beach, Florida. Brad has really enjoyed his experiences in Gainesville and at the University of Florida, getting involved in many different organizations on campus. From the professional business fraternity to an on campus research lab, Brad likes to diversify himself so he is ready for anything life may throw his way. In the future, Brad would love to study abroad through one of many of UF's study abroad programs. Go Gators!

Corrado Minardi graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Chinese, and a minor in Public Leadership. He is originally from Venezuela and moved to United States to attend the United World College in New Mexico at the age of 17. While attending UF as a United World College Scholar, Corrado has worked for the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Science, the Florida House of Representatives, and the Carter Center. He is also the co-founder of the Florida Political Review, a student-run magazine focused on Florida Politics. In the future, Corrado plans to attend graduate school and then work in the field of public policy.



Teaching Assistants

Heejin Ahn received a BA in Political Science with minors in African Studies and French. She is currently a secretariat of Rural Empowerment & Development Innovations (REDI), an organization dedicated to improving the livelihoods of rural families through providing real-time, innovative solutions to combat rural poverty. During her undergraduate years, she has interned for the Enough Project, a nonprofit organization based in Washington D.C. In Summer of 2014, she received Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) grant to travel to Kenya to conduct field research on alternative business financing options for women groups. She is a firm believer in creating positive changes through social entrepreneurship and innovation. She plans to pursue a MA in International Development next year and her eventual goal is to become a project manager to evaluate and monitor international human relief and development programs by international agencies and organizations. Heejin attended Spruce Creek High School in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Nicole Beissel graduated from the University of Florida with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Accounting. Before that, she attended South Sumter High School and graduated in 2010. She has been working at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation as Dr. Bill Rossi’s Teaching Assistant for 2 years. On campus, Nicole was involved with Alpha Kappa Psi, the Business Undergraduate Mentorship Program (BUMP), and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Nicole has participated in several community service events within Gainesville including the Fall and Spring Carnivals with the Salvation Army and the Adopt-a-Road program with AKPsi.



Sustainability Coordinator

Katie Seddaca is entering her fourth year at UF as a General Business major with a specialization in Sustainability Studies, and a minor in Entrepreneurship. She is from Orlando, FL where she attended Lake Highland Preparatory School. She owns her own small granola business, Conscious Crunch, that operates at a downtown Gainesville farmer's market. She also works on an organic farm and is passionate about pursuing her own farming operation after graduating. She enjoys cooking new vegetarian foods, playing with her dog, working on her backyard garden, and meeting new people.



Registration Coordinator

Amy Siberio is a fourth year Business Management major, graduating this December. Amy was a student in YELS Summer 2010, volunteered during YELS 2012, has worked on marketing YELS and has been the Confirmation/Dual Enrollment Processor for the program the past three years. She is active in her sorority, participating in many on-campus events. She loves to travel and studied in Rome during Summer 2013. During Summer 2014, Amy was a store management intern at Macy's. This Summer, she is with Macy's again as a merchant buying/planning intern in New York City. Amy graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale in 2011.



Registration Assistant

Emma Stetter is a first year Journalism major at the University of Florida. She is also in the Innovation Academy working toward her minor in innovation. She graduated from the Academy of Entrepreneurship at Buchholz High School in 2014 and spent her first semester at UF studying abroad in Ireland learning Irish history and traveling. Outside of school she works for a local business in Gainesville scooping ice cream and selling custom t-shirts. She is passionate about traveling and hopes to make a difference in the world.



Communications Coordinator & Staff Training

Abbey Taub participated in YELS in 2010 as a rising senior at H.B. Plant High School in Tampa, Florida. During her college career at the University of Florida, she worked on the YELS marketing and outreach team and served as a Program Leader in 2014. Abbey is graduating in June with a Bachelor’s degree in Telecommunication-News and an outside concentration in Entrepreneurship. On campus, she was a radio and TV reporter for North Central Florida's WUFT News. Abbey also ventured off campus to Washington, D.C. for internships with NBC's "Meet the Press", during the 2012 presidential election, and the Republican Governors Association, during the 2013 gubernatorial elections. In July, Abbey will be moving to D.C. to train for her Fellowship with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in their Florida office. She hopes to combine an entrepreneurial mindset with her communications background to make a positive and lasting difference.



Service Learning and Outdoor Education Coordinator

Rebekah Foster graduated this May with a degree in both Women's Studies and Sustainability Studies. She attended Fort Myers High School where she earned her IB Diploma in the spring of 2011. Once she became a gator, she dedicated her time to environmental and social justice work. She volunteered at the Rural Women's Health Project, worked with Social Entrepreneurship initiatives on campus, and was a Teaching Assistant for three courses. Rebekah loves to travel and has spent her summers in Europe, Africa and Central and South America. In her free time Rebekah loves to cook vegetarian food, do yoga and spend time outdoors.



Special Projects Coordinator

Meredith Willingham is going into her third year as a double English and Mathematics major. She is also studying Swahili and working towards a minor in Anthropology. In her spare time, she volunteers for Project Progress by teaching English as a second language to adults and is also involved in VARAS UF, a volunteer program that aids rural areas in Ghana, Africa. She is currently working on Projects for Peace to help create arable, sustainable farming in East Africa, and on the side, she loves to bike and do yoga. In the future, she plans on incorporating English and Sustainability studies at the graduate level, hopefully in California. Meredith graduated from Edgewood Jr/Sr High School on the Space Coast in 2012.




2014 Staff

Program Leaders

Abbey Taub is a fourth year Telecommunication-News major with an outside concentration in Social Entrepreneurship. During her college career, Abbey has pursued her interests in broadcast journalism and politics. On campus, she has been a radio and TV reporter for WUFT News. She has also interned in Washington, D.C. at NBC's "Meet the Press", during the 2012 presidential election, and at the Republican Governors Association's Communications Department, before the 2013 gubernatorial elections. Abbey hopes to use the mediums of journalism and communications to make a positive difference. Since her participation in 2010, Abbey has been involved in marketing YELS as an alumna representative. She is excited for the opportunity to be on staff and empower students at YELS this summer. Abbey graduated from H.B. Plant High School in Tampa, Florida.

Carmen Garcia graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sustainability Studies student. Outside of YELS she was an intern at the Office of Sustainability where she planned two events on campus with help from fellow colleagues. The two events are Champions for Change, which recognized students and faculty who achieved sustainability efforts in the past year, and Collection Day which helps students and faculty get rid of unwanted goods that are then donated to local organizations. Carmen was also a part of a Research Assistant Program that assisted graduate students and Professor Thiele in creating a new center at UF called CAIRE (Center for Adaptive Innovation, Resilience, and Ethics). This coming Fall she will be pursuing a Master’s Degree in Global Sustainability with a concentration in Renewable Energy at the University of South Florida.


Residence Assistants

Hashem Amireh is a first-year undergraduate international student from Jordan. He is double majoring in Economics and International Studies with a Middle Eastern concentration. He also works for the Department of Housing and Residence Education as a Resident Assistant during the academic year. Hashem lived in Amman, Jordan until he was 16 when he enrolled at 2-year international school in Montezuma, New Mexico. Hashem has been involved with various organizations on campus including UF Model United Nations, Pride Student Union and Students for Justice in Palestine. He serves as the Undersecretary General for Logistics at UF's Model UN conference for high school students, GatorMUN. Hashem is interested in social change and justice.

Rebekah Foster is a fourth year student pursuing a double major in Women's Studies and Sustainability studies as well as a minor in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance. She volunteers at the Rural Women's Health Project, works as a mentor at a local elementary school and has been a Teaching Assistant for two semesters. Rebekah loves to travel, having spent two summers in Guatemala and studying abroad in Peru in Spring of this year. In her free time Rebekah loves to cook vegetarian food, do yoga and spend time outdoors.


Activities Leaders

Taylor Jones is a third year student pursuing a dual degree in Criminology and Psychology. She graduated from the International Baccalaureate Program at Riverview High School in Sarasota back in 2011. Since attending UF she has been actively involved in many organizations. Taylor co-founded the Public Leadership Society, a club that serves to develop the leadership skills and community service of students of all disciplines. She has also been an executive board member of the pre-law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta for the past two years. She has volunteered her time at the Public Defender's Office and Teen Court of the Alachua County Sheriff's Office. Her plans are to venture on to law school and to become a criminal law attorney.

Nathan Diner is currently a graduate student at the University of Florida's Master of Arts in International Business (MAIB) program expecting to graduate in December 2014. After graduating from Sarasota High School in 2009, Nathan began his studies at the University of Florida. Since then, Nathan has been involved as a mentor in the Business Undergraduate Mentor Program (BUMP) at the Business School at UF and Alachua County community teaching financial literacy to students in Alachua County Elementary schools. Most recently Nathan studied abroad in London during the summer of the 2012 Olympics and graduated with a BS in Economics in 2013.

Beatriz Navarro is a Fourth Year Family, Youth, and Community Sciences major with a minor in Health Disparities in Society at University of Florida. She graduated from Blanche Ely High School in 2011. She volunteers with United Way ReadingsPals Program, mentors for Project Mascot and Gymnast coach for Balance 180. She will be interning for the Boys and Club of Alachua County this summer. She loves helping people and has participated in numerous service projects such as Project Makeover, Gator Plunge, and March of dimes. Besides academic and volunteer work, she enjoys going to gym, hanging out with friends and traveling. Once she graduates in Spring 2015, She would like to attend Graduate school for Physician assistant studies or take a year or two off to do international service work with Peace crops.


Teaching Assistants

Carmen Weite is a graduate of the International Baccalaureate Program Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange, Florida. She is a senior at UF majoring in Business Finance and minoring in Entrepreneurship. After graduation, Carmen wants to attend law school and eventually open her own law firm.

Karla Mundim is currently a third year Political Science and Economics double major and an International Development and Humanitarian Assistance minor. She is originally from Brazil, but moved abroad to the United Kingdom at 16 to experience something very similar to YELS. This experience changed her life and is now hoping to have an impact in other young people's lives as well! Karla is an United World Scholar, a Graham Center Civic Scholar, and a research assistant in the department of Political Science. She plans on attending Graduate School upon graduating UF, and her dream is to work with economic development policy and research.


Community Service Coordinator

Meredith Willingham is going into her second year as a double English and Mathematics major. She is also studying Swahili and working towards a minor in Anthropology. In her spare time, she volunteers for Project Progress by teaching English as a second language to adults and is also involved in VARAS UF, a volunteer program that aids rural areas in Ghana, Africa. She is currently working on Projects for Peace to help create arable, sustainable farming in East Africa, and on the side, she loves to bike and do yoga. In the future, she plans on incorporating English and Sustainability studies at the graduate level, hopefully in California. Meredith graduated from Edgewood Jr/Sr High School on the Space Coast in 2012.



2013 Staff

Program Assistants

Chase Schulte (GSSP/YELS) is a fourth year Environmental Science and Sustainability & the Built Environment dual degree student from Punta Gorda, Florida. Outside of YELS, Chase is an intern with the University of Florida Office of Sustainability working to educate students about sustainability issues. He also served as the Director of Student Outreach for Gators Going Green in 2012-2013 and put together the third annual Student Sustainability Summit with the help of some colleagues. Chase plans on attending graduate school for Landscape Architecture after he graduates with the hopes of designing sustainable towns and cities.  He graduated from Charlotte High School in 2010.

Residence Assistants

Elise Van Wie is a fourth year Forest Resources and Conservation major, specializing in Recreational Resource Management. At UF, she has been a Resident Assistant for 4.5 semesters, holds leadership positions in Cru, and is chair of the UF chapter of the Society of American Foresters. She has directed community service operations with the UF Campus Kitchens Project, been a camp counselor in Colorado, and spent a summer in Paris. She is passionate about environmental conservation and serving others, and enjoys art, music and food! Elise graduated from Sickles High School in Tampa, Florida.

Michael Beavers is a fourth year dual major in Aerospace and Mechanical engineering. Michael has been involved in a variety of organizations on campus including Gator Drones, as the visuals director, Intramural Sports and the Travel and Recreation program (TRiP), as Gear manager. As a TRiP leader, Michael enjoys taking student on front and back country trips, not limited to backpacking, canoeing, and sailing. He is pursuing an eclectic engineering degree to assist in transforming gray engineering into green.


PA/TC for GSSP

Brittney Beck is a first year doctoral Fellow at the University of Florida studying Curriculum, Teaching, and Teacher Education in the School of Teaching and Learning. After graduating from the International Baccalaureate Program at Cocoa Beach High School, she matriculated to UF in 2004 to pursue a bachelor's degree in Political Science. During her time as an undergraduate student, she served as a member and director of a variety of service-learning and leadership programs within the Center for Leadership and Service, as well as an AmeriCorps member for the AmeriCorps Alachua County Reads Program. After graduating from UF in 2008, she became a Corps Member with Teach for America and taught first grade for three years in North Carolina prior to returning to UF in 2011 to earn a Master's in Curriculum and Instruction.

Activities Assistants

Ian Siljestrom (YELS) is a fourth year Sustainability and the Built Environment major. He is also completing minors in Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture. He has held several different community positions, including an intern for the City of Newberry’s Planning Department and the University of Florida’s Physical Plant Energy Division. He was also an attendee at the SEC Renewable Energy Symposium. Last summer, Ian worked abroad in Belgium where he practiced sustainable landscape design, creating personal green spaces in an ecological manner. Ian holds the position of Program Assistant for Aquatics at UF RecSports. Aside from academic and professional pursuits he also participates on UF’s club swimming and water polo teams. Ian is planning to attend graduate school in Urban and Regional Planning, focusing on sustainable development. He is very excited to have the opportunity to foster lasting relationships with students at YELS this summer. He graduated from Cocoa Beach High School in 2010.

Sky Beck (YELS) is planning on graduating with a Bachelors in Sport Management in the Fall of 2013.  He was part of the inaugural YELC program in 2007.  He is currently on the club baseball team at the University of Florida.  He was in intern for an online fitness blog called Fitzness where he learned invaluable feedback about what it takes to run your own business. He is planning on interning for an elite baseball facility called Gatorball in the Fall Semester.

Kaydrianne Young (GSSP) is a fourth year Sociology major with a minor in Sustainability Studies. She volunteers with the School Health Interdisciplinary Programs teaching children about healthy diets and choices. In tandem with the Southern Energy Network, she is involved with a campaign to negotiate the implementation of green energy initiatives on UF's campus. With the Dream Defenders UF she has rallied for political equality and educational reform in Tallahassee. She is a graduate from Coral Reef Senior High School where she majored in the performing arts.

Teaching Assistants

Maria Martinez (SYG 2010) is a senior majoring in political science and sustainability studies at the University of Florida. She is a research assistant and interns for the City Manager of the City of Gainesville. She would like to attend graduate school for public policy in Washington DC and work on Capitol Hill.

Claudia Bell (ENT4934) attended Martin County High School in Stuart, Florida. She is a second year Business Administration Student with an area of specialization in Sustainability Studies. Claudia is involved around campus as a mentor for the Business Undergraduate Mentorship Program and will be working on a sustainability project with Enactus in the fall. She just returned from studying abroad in Florence, Italy where she studied Italian and photography. Claudia is so enthralled to be a part of this program and can’t wait to meet all of the incredible YELSers this summer!

Social Media & Sustainability

Maria Martinez is also working as a Social Media & Sustainability coordinator.

Meredith Willingham is going into her second year as a double English and Mathematics major. She is also studying Swahili and working towards a minor in Anthropology. In her spare time, she volunteers for Project Progress by teaching English as a second language to adults and is also involved in VARAS UF, a volunteer program that aids rural areas in Ghana, Africa. She is currently working on Projects for Peace to help create arable, sustainable farming in East Africa, and on the side, she loves to bike and do yoga. In the future, she plans on incorporating English and Sustainability studies at the graduate level, hopefully in California. Meredith graduated from Edgewood Jr/Sr High School on the Space Coast in 2012.



2012 Staff

Program Assistants

Austin Shaw just graduated from UF in May with majors in Political Science and English. He is originally from Pensacola, Fl. He has been involved in a variety of organizations on campus including the American Meteorological Society, club tennis and other intramural sports, and the Florida Cicerones where he served as president. As a Cicerone, Austin enjoys serving as an official campus tour guide for prospective students as well as serving as a representative of UF’s Student Alumni Association. Austin was the RA-for-guys for YELS 2011. He will be attending Stetson Law School in Tampa, Fl, in the Fall. Austin graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola, FL.

Andrea Clavijo is a 4th year Journalism major from Weston, Fl. She is also completing minors in French and Leadership. She has been involved in many organizations and communities at UF, including the Hispanic Student Association, Young Leaders Conference, Gators for UNICEF and currently works as a Career Ambassador at the Career Resource Center. Additionally, Andrea holds leadership roles within the Florida Cicerones, serving as an official student ambassador to the school, where she gets to provide campus tours and host events for distinguished guests and alumni of UF. Last summer, Andrea studied abroad in Paris, France, where she studied French Hip Hop and Rap music. She plans on attending law school after graduating in May to pursue a career in Child Advocacy Law. Andrea is beyond ecstatic to be working with YELS this summer. She graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, FL in 2009.

Residence Assistants

Katie Conner is a senior dual major in soil & water science and restoration horticulture. After attending Lake Mary High School, she enrolled at UF and pursued education in the environmental sciences. In 2010 she founded UF’s chapter of Nourish International, a student run non-profit whose mission is to fight global poverty through sustainable solutions and social entrepreneurship. She is passionate about the relationship between people and the environment, and is eager to find ways both can live in tandem, benefitting from each other.

Matthew Davidson is a 4th-year Family, Youth, and Community Sciences major from West Palm Beach, Florida. In addition, Matt is pursuing a minor in Organizational Leadership for Non-Profits. He has been engaged in a variety of ways on campus including, Student Government, New Student and Family Programs, Multicultural and Diversity Affairs, and the Florida Cicerones where he serves as an executive board member. As a Cicerone, Matt is honored and humbled to serve as an official campus tour guide, a presidential host, a representative of UF’s Student Alumni Association, and works closely with the University Athletic Association. Matt graduated from Palm Beach Central High School in West Palm Beach, FL.

Activities Assistants

Emily Basford is a third year student majoring in Economics with minors in Business Administration and French. She has volunteered with Florida Alternative Breaks and at local farms near Gainesville. She has been able to explore her interests in social entrepreneurship with her participation in Change the World UF and by helping organize the UF EcoInnovation Challenge. This past year, she attended the Gator Global Initiative at UF and the Clinton Global Initiative University under a proposal to help younger generations make wiser food choices by educating them about healthy fruits and vegetables through classroom gardening. Emily also had the opportunity discover her passions in international business and viticulture while studying abroad last year in France. Emily is a graduate from King High School in Tampa, FL.

Jenisha Parchment is a 1st year graduate student in the Counselor Education Department, pursuing a dual degree in School counseling and guidance, and Mental Health. She graduated from UF in 2010 with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Minor in Education. While a student at UF she was involved in Florida Alternative Breaks, Black Student Union, Gator Teen Mentors, the Psychology Club, and Service Ambassadors. Upon graduation, Jenisha plans on working with High School students as well as creating a girls empowerment non-profit. Jenisha graduated from Miami Norland Senior High school in 2006 and has lived in Gainesville since then.

Katie Kafer graduated in May 2012 with a major in Biology and a minor in English. While at UF, she was an RA for the Honors Residential College at Hume Hall for her last two years. She also was an intern with the Office of Sustainability and worked on the spring “Food For Thought” campaign. She was responsible for publicizing and planning events that discuss more sustainable options for food production, consumption, and waste. She plans to use her passion for sustainability and science degree to work with companies focused on renewable energy. She is a graduate from Fairfax High School in Fairfax, VA.

Teaching Assistants

Tara Young is going to be a fourth year Sociology major, double minoring in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance and Business Administration. At UF, Tara was involved with Pride Awareness Month, Multicultural and Diversity Affairs, and most recently Gatorship. She hopes to pursue career in humanitarian work. Tara is a graduate of the International Baccalaureate Program at Coral Reef Senior High in Miami, FL.

Michael Kaplan is a fourth year Finance major with minors in Entrepreneurship and Real Estate. He is an incoming Career and Academic Peer Mentor for the Warrington College of Business for the 2012–2013 school year. Additionally, Michael served as a Teaching Assistant for the Principles of Entrepreneurship, a very popular business elective. Currently, he is Marketing Representative for Square, Inc. an innovative credit card processing company that operates over smartphones. Michael is a graduate of J.P. Taravella High School in Coral Springs, FL.

Special Assistant

Kelley Godfrey graduated from UF in May 2012 with a BS in Economics and minors in English and Spanish. She will start UF Law School in the fall. Kelley participated in YELS as a student in 2007 and has returned as a volunteer or staff member every year since. Kelley graduated from the Florida Leadership Academy and during her first year at UF was named the Warrington Freshman of the Year. Currently, she serves as a Warrington Diplomat and works at UF’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She was involved as a Teaching Assistant for Principles of Entrepreneurship, one of the most popular business electives for undergraduate students at UF. Kelley is a graduate of the International Baccalaureate Program at Bartow High School in Bartow, FL.

2011 Staff

Program Assistants:

Anna Belen Petersen graduated with Honors from UF in December of 2009, majoring in Sociology and minoring in Written & Oral Communications. During her time as an undergraduate Gator, Anna served as a Resident Assistant in Jennings and Broward Halls, as an Undergraduate T.I. for SYG 2010-Social Problems, and as a Conference Director on the Women's Leadership Council. She also took part in the AKD Sociology Honors Society and UF's Pride Student Union. She proudly participated in the Florida LeaderShape Institute in 2008 and that same year, traveled to Nepal as a grant recipient in the University Scholars Program to conduct qualitative research. She has also volunteered her time with Project Nepal (Kathmandu City, Nepal) and with the Harvest of Hope Foundation. Anna has studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain and has enjoyed spending her summers on the Senior Barn staff at YMCA's Camp Echo in Fremont, Michigan. Born in Argentina, Anna is fluent in Spanish and is proficient in Portuguese and French. As of this May, Anna will take the steps to become a certified Doula and this fall, Anna aspires to learn and grow as an aspiring student midwife at the Florida School of Traditional Midwifery right here in Gainesville. Fascinated by the pregnancy and birth processes, she hopes to work in the name of empowering women and helping them reconnect with themselves through the power of their choice for a happy, healthy, natural birth. Anna is a graduate of Cypress Bay High School in Weston, Florida.

Ashley Gunn is a 2008 graduate of the University of Florida where she majored in English in Organizational Leadership in NonProfits. While a student at UF she was involved in Florida Alternative Breaks, ServeFest, Gatorship 2008, Gator Humanics, Change the World at UF and Museum University Student Educators. She also taught English through the English Language Institute, interned at the Children Miracle's Network and served as a volunteer at Camp Boggy Creek. In 2008, she attended Clinton Global Initiative University under a proposal to help build the first public library in Rwanda. After graduating Ashley served as an AmeriCorps member with LIFT-Philadelphia. In her position she managed a community resource center while recruiting, training and managing a staff of over 40 college students. Ashley recently moved back to Florida to be near her family and friends but will be setting off on another adventure soon. She was recently accepted to the University of Vermont's Higher Education and Student Affairs program starting in Fall 2011. Ashley is from Sunrise, Florida and attended Piper High School and The College Academy @ BCC.

Residence Assistants

Amanda Monaco is a UF senior majoring in Political Science with minors in Sustainability Studies, Latin American Studies, and Anthropology. While at UF, she was very active in humanitarian clubs such as UF Campus Kitchen and Recurso, and she created an umbrella organization to coordinate all of these organizations’ wonderful efforts. She is passionate about creating innovative solutions to global poverty, political marginalization, social inequality, and environmental degradation. To become more of an active agent of change, she will be going to Georgetown Law School in the Fall to specialize in international human rights law and environmental justice. Amanda was born in Gainesville and went to Eastside High School.

Austin Shaw is a 4th year Political Science and English major from Pensacola, Fl. In addition to his double major, Austin is pursuing a minor in Geography and certificates in Meteorology and International Relations. He has been involved in a variety of organizations on campus including the American Meteorological Society, club tennis and other intramural sports, and the Florida Cicerones where he serves as an executive board member. As a Cicerone, Austin enjoys serving as an official campus tour guide for prospective students as well as serving as a representative of UF’s Student Alumni Association. Austin graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola, Florida.

Activities Assistants

Virgil Mathis will be graduating for the University of Florida in the Fall of 2011 with a double major in Religion and Sustainability. He is involved in many different community events and organizations and has had various internships with: The Alachua County Office of Sustainability, the UF Office of Sustainability, and Florida Organic Growers. Virgil is currently the Chief Greening Officer at Grooveshark and is the Marketing Director for Cinema Verde: Gainesville's Environmental Film & Arts Festival. Virgil is on the UF Sustainable Transportation Work Group Board and the Alachua County Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Board. He plans to pursue a career in politics to make our world a better and more sustainable place to live. Virgil graduated from Palatka High School in Palatka, Florida.

Lara Miller will graduate from UF in May as a Masters graduate student majoring in Environmental Education. She also completed her undergraduate degree at UF in Natural Resource Conservation with minors in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. Lara is an intern with the Office of Sustainability at UF where she is working on the development of a green office certification program. She is also serving as the assistant lacrosse coach for the varsity girls’ team at Gainesville High School. Lara has studied abroad in Costa Rica and Mexico and has traveled to Ecuador, Honduras, and throughout Europe. She plans to pursue a career in the non-formal education sector with a focus on the environment and sustainability. Lara is excited to be involved with YELS this summer and is looking forward to the experience. She is a graduate of Jupiter High School in Jupiter, FL.

Teaching Assistants

Stefanie ‘Stevie’ Uribe will be graduating from UF in April with a degree in Business Administration and minors in Spanish and Sustainability. She ran varsity track at UF, studied abroad twice, and volunteered with Children Beyond our Borders in Colombia in 2008. During her UF years, she interned with Royal Caribbean Cruises in the Environmental Department and at ECS Solar, a local solar energy company. She graduated from Oak Hall School in Gainesville, Florida.

Kelley Godfrey is a third year honors student majoring in Economics with minors in English and Spanish. She went through the YELS Program during its first year and has been involved with the program almost every year since. Kelley has graduated from the Florida Leadership Academy and during her first year at UF was named the Warrington Freshman of the Year. Currently, she serves as a Warrington Diplomat and works at UF's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She is also involved as a Teaching Assistant for Exploring Entrepreneurship, one of the most popular business electives for undergraduate students at UF. Kelley is a graduate of the International Baccalaureate Program at Bartow High School in Bartow, Florida.

Volunteers

Erin Rauch is a third year student in the Journalism department, pursuing a dual major in Agricultural Communication and Leadership with a minor in Sustainability Studies. Erin serves as a historian for the University of Florida chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, a student group dedicated to promoting and upholding ethical behavior and the free practice of journalism. She is a volunteer with Community Weatherization Coalition, a community coalition dedicated to improving energy efficiency and weatherization of homes in need throughout Alachua County. As a volunteer she performs comprehensive energy audits on homes to increase efficiency and lower utility consumption. She works with publisher, Trish Riley, on GoGreenNation.org, a business dedicated to the growth of sustainable business and communities. She helps promote environmental awareness by updating the website with news and activities. Erin plans to pursue a graduate degree in Agricultural Education in hopes of working as an educator, teaching the importance of organic agriculture through seed germination, gardening, harvesting and analyzing data. Erin graduated from Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Randi Hall is heading into her second year as an Honors student double majoring in Economics and Sociology. She holds a position on the executive board for After School Gators and acts as a site coordinator for all ASG mentors at Joseph Williams Elementary School. Randi is also a member of Honors Ambassadors, the official representatives of the UF Honors Program. Randi graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Nakechia Gay is a Business Administration major with a minor in Anthropology. She has served as a Treasurer for Project MASCOT at University of Florida and ultimately wants a career in the nonprofit sector. Nakechia graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

2010 Staff

Program Assistants:

Melissa Miller will graduate from UF in May as an Honors student majoring in Sociology and double minoring in Business and Sustainability Studies. She is involved in various leadership and service organizations on campus, including Florida Alternative Breaks, Gator Non-Profit Professionals, and UF Study Abroad Peer Advisors. She is also an intern with the UF Office of Sustainability. Melissa has studied abroad in Paris, France, at the University of Florida's Paris Research Center and has attended the Oikos Winter School in Germany for Sustainability in Economics and Management and attended the Clinton Global Initiative University in Miami this April. She plans to pursue a career path working to influence new sustainable policies in the social and business sectors to help build a healthier, environmentally aware society. In 2008 she worked as a Program Assistant for the 3rd Annual YELS Summer Program and is excited to be a part of this summer's experience. Melissa is a graduate of Brandon High School in Brandon, FL.

Anna Belen Petersen graduated with Honors from UF in December of 2009, majoring in Sociology and minoring in Written & Oral Communications. During her time as an undergraduate Gator, Anna served as a Resident Assistant in Jennings and Broward Halls, as an Undergraduate T.I. for SYG 2010-Social Problems, and as a Conference Director on the Women's Leadership Council. She also took part in the AKD Sociology Honors Society and UF's Pride Student Union. She proudly participated in the Florida LeaderShape Institute in 2008 and that same year, traveled to Nepal as a grant recipient in the University Scholars Program to conduct qualitative research. She has also volunteered her time with Project Nepal (Kathmandu City, Nepal) and with the Harvest of Hope Foundation. Anna has studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain and has enjoyed spending her summers on the Senior Barn staff at YMCA's Camp Echo in Fremont, Michigan. Born in Argentina, Anna is fluent in Spanish and is proficient in Portuguese and French. Anna aspires to learn and grow as a Peace Corps Volunteer in 2011 and to continue to work in the name of empowering women, youth, and marginalized peoples and revolutionizing the educational infrastructure in America. Anna is a graduate of Cypress Bay High School in Weston, FL.

RAs for Girls:

Katie Heroux is a fourth year Honors student, majoring in Finance and pursuing a minor in Sustainability. She has been involved with various leadership and service organizations on campus, including Gators for Sustainable campus, Navigators, The Student Honors Organization, and Friends for Life. She is passionate about her academic interests and has pursued extracurricular activities that have allowed her to continue her education experientially such as being a site-leader for Florida Alternative Breaks, the Donor Relations Chair and Kitchen Manager for The Campus Kitchens Project, an intern in the Finance Department at the Harn Museum and an intern with the UF Office of Sustainability. She has also studied abroad at the Paris Research center in France with the University of Florida's Honors in Paris program and attended an international economic and sustainability conference in Witten Germany. Upon graduation in December, Katie hopes to work for a socially responsible enterprise such as Tom's Shoes or to promote sustainability in the corporate finance world. Katie graduated a varsity athlete from Oviedo High School, and has used these skills to empower young students for two summers through sports camps. In 2009 she worked as an RA with our 3rd Annual YELC Summer Program and she is excited to have the opportunity to inspire and encourage students to become active citizens in their community again this summer.

Kelly McGovern graduated from the University of Florida in May 2010 majoring in Finance and minoring in Art History. During her time at UF she worked for RecSports as an Operations Associate, was a finance intern at the Harn Museum of Art, and swam with the Club Alligator Swim Team. She also volunteered with organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House of Gainesville and Friends for Life as a Hospital Correspondent. Last summer she worked at a camp in New Hampshire as a camp counselor and lifeguard. She recently returned from travels in Paris & London. After taking a year off to travel and volunteer abroad, Kelly plans to attend graduate school to pursue a masterʼs degree in International Relations. Kelly is a graduate of Oviedo High School in Oviedo, Florida.

RA for Guys:

Christian Moreno is a 2nd year student majoring in Marketing from Jacksonville, FL, pursuing a minor in Entrepreneurship. He is involved in numerous leadership and service organizations in the University of Florida community, including: The Florida Cicerones/SAA: the official student ambassadors of the University of Florida, Gators of Tomorrow: 25 freshmen at the University of Florida who seek to make great accomplishments both on campus and in the community during their college career, Florida Alternative Breaks: he participated on the migrant workers trip to Immokalee and learned more about the everyday struggle of migrant workers. Apart from academics, Christian graduated with Varsity letters in Soccer and Cross Country and has continued his passion for sports through intramurals in college. Christian has worked as a Museum of Science and History summer camp counselor for the past two years and is excited to work with the YELS program. He graduated from Paxton School of Advanced Studies in Jacksonville, FL.

Activities Assistants

Nick Greenhood is a fifth year student in the Horticulture department, pursuing a specialization in Organic Crop Production, and more recently a minor in Sustainability Studies. Nick is heavily involved in all things food at UF and in Gainesville. He was on the founding executive committee of the Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Club, and has been its president since 2009. He has also served as an intern and employee of QCS, a local organic certification agency which is a subsidiary of Florida Organic Growers, a non-profit that represents the interests of alternative agriculture in Florida. In the summer of 2009 he traveled to Madrid, Spain, with a group of scholars from UF's IFAS program to study the state of organic certification, ecological certification, and other alternative agricultural methods in the European Union. He has also served as a summer season intern at Farm Girl Farm, an experimental community-supported ecofeminist farm and market garden in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Most recently, Nick and his partner have begun the process of founding a chapter of Slow Food on Campus at UF to serve both UF's student body and the greater Alachua County community. Nick graduated from the IB Program at Eastside High School in Gainesville.

Matt Tringali graduated this past semester with a degree in finance. During his time at UF he was a member of the Florida Leadership Academy, where he served as a Peer Mentor as well as on the Advisory Board. Additionally, he served as Director of Campus Relations and President of the Warrington Diplomats, the official ambassadors to the Warrington College of Business Administration. This past spring break Matt participated in a FAB disaster recovery trip to Houma, Louisiana. Matt graduated from Lecanto High School as a varsity tennis and soccer player, and will use the skills he's accumulated throughout his four years here to start his own social venture.

Teaching Assistants

Katie Anderson is going into her third year at UF, majoring in Event Management. She is involved in several organizations on campus, including leadership positions in the Leisure Education and Parks Students organization. She is currently interning at the University of Florida's College of Medicine at the Alumni Affairs department. Katie participated in the YELC program during its first year in 2007, before graduating from Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She served as an Alumni Ambassador for YELC in 2008.

Kelly Mejia is a third year student majoring in Sociology and English with a minor in Urban Regional Planning. She is a member of Phi Mu sorority where she is House Manager and Philanthropy Chair, on campus she is involved with Extreme Dance Company, TriGators, and Dance Marathon. Kelly participated in the YELS Program during its first year, in 2007, before graduating from the William H. Turner Technical Arts High School and served as an Alumni Ambassador for YELS in 2008.

2009 Staff

Melissa Miller - Program Assistant
Samantha Baer - Program Assistant
Katie Anderson - RA for Girls
Antony Fowler - RA for Guys
Kelley Godfrey - TA for Exploring Entrepreneurship and Activities Assistant
Camila Pazos - TA for Social Problems & Solutions

2008 Staff

Vanessa Douyon - Program Assistant
Samantha Baer - RA for Girls
Jared Hoffman - RA for Guys
Savanna Trent - TA for Social Problems & Solutions

2007 Staff

Vanessa Frisby - Program Assistant
Samantha Baer - RA for Girls
Abi Lokesh - RA for Guys
Hiranya Derasari - TA for Social Problems & Solutions and Activities Assistant