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ESPC Committee

Spring 2017

Morgan Larimer, Chair

Morgan is a William Aiken Fellow and International Scholar in the Honors College. She is a senior pursuing a double major in Biology and International Studies, as well as a minor in Environmental Studies. Her interest in sustainability was sparked during her childhood in Portland, Oregon, and has only continued to grow as she sees more of the world around her. She recently returned from a semester abroad in South America where she improved her Spanish skills, attempted to learn how to salsa dance (to no avail), and developed a love of drinking mate. ¡Che boludo!

Lindsay Benton

Lindsay Benton is a junior transfer student from Conway, South Carolina with plans to finish her degree in business administration within the next year. Her interest in sustainability and the environment was sparked at a very early age when growing up on the Waccamaw river located in the heart of the grand strand. Growing up surrounded by varieties of water sources has helped her to drastically grow her connection with nature. She has plans to study abroad in Bali, Indonesia observing water conservation and to work with wildlife preservation while still in school. After college, her plans are to travel and then start her dream business with friends where she will be a yoga instructor and full time organic gardener in Costa Rica. Lindsay appreciates time spent hiking, camping with friends, writing, and going to festivals, where she believes her passions for life all come together. She hopes that serving on the ESPC Committee will allow her to sustain positive friendships with fellow Earth lovers here in Charleston.

Ryan Brown

Ryan is a sophomore at the College of Charleston from Long Island, New York. She is majoring in Public Health while minoring in Environmental Studies and Spanish. Ryan is studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina this fall and would love to travel after graduation. Her upbringing in a beach town sparked great interest in the environment and a connection with nature. She is an advocate for sustainability and hopes to pursue a career in the environmental field to protect our planet for future generations. Ryan appreciates time spent with family and friends, running, and the Grateful Dead. She hopes that serving on the ESPC committee can encourage sustainable development at the College.

Bryan Ko

Bryan is a freshman majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Environmental Studies. He enjoys being outside and has a passion for kayaking and backpacking. He found his love for the environment through being outdoors. He is excited to be a member on the ESPC committee this year, and will use his experience on it as his way of giving back to the community in a positive way. 

Johnie Littles

Johnie is currently a Senior at the College pursuing a B.S. in Public Health. Joining the Peace Corp has been a goal of hers since high school. After graduation, Johnie plans to join, and eventually attend, graduate school to obtain a Master's degree in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. Her interest in environmental health was sparked at a young age, and since then she has been finding ways to get involved. Johnie currently partakes in a Feed the Homeless potluck and SHOWRS, a shower truck initiative. In her spare time, she enjoys watching Netflix and recreational reading. 

Ale Rios

Ale "Allie" Rios is completing a Marine Biology B.S. and Environmental Studies minor. In the past, Ale has interned with the Office of Sustainability as the Outreach Coordinator, a position which works to market sustainable initiatives to undergraduate students and to orchestrate education programs for elementary and middle school students. Ale is also the treasurer of the Alliance for Planet Earth, a student organization focused on enacting social, political, and environmental changes on local, state, and national levels.

Past ESPC Members

Victoria Alexander (2016)

Victoria Alexander is a junior here at The College of Charleston, she is pursuing a major in Urban Studies with a minor in Environmental Studies. She is currently the market coordinator for the student Farm and Garden Club while also participating in the Garden Apprenticeship program with the ground department on campus. She hopes to work within the Peace Corps after graduating and pursue a career within the realms of sustainable development and new urbanism. 

Allie Astor (2016)

Allie is a junior in the Honors College at the College of Charleston majoring in International Studies, with a concentration in Latin America and the Caribbean, and double minoring in Environmental Studies and Spanish. Her interest in sustainability and the environment was sparked by her upbringing in Vermont and her love for being outdoors. She interns with the Green Heart Project, an elementary school program focused on urban gardens and environmental education. She has also been involved with the Outdoors Club and is Vice President of Women’s Club Soccer on campus. This past summer she traveled to India to study environmental justice and the effects of globalization on the environment of the northern Himalayas. Her goal is to work to advocate for sustainability, environmental protection, and environmental justice for people around the world who do not have equal access to the earth’s benefits, while fostering sustainable practices and environmental consciousness.

Thomas Bowen (2015)

Thomas is returning to CofC for his first semester in five years. After leaving Charleston during sophomore year on academic probation, Thomas spent time WWOOFing on organic farms in California and West Virginia. Determined to return to Charleston and finish his degree at The College, he worked his way back to the Holy City and found employment at some of the city’s finest eateries. In his free time he volunteered with groups like Green Heart, The BoGarden, and Keep Charleston Beautiful. Thomas was accepted back to CofC in Fall 2014, and he is excited to explore his passions for urban agriculture and sustainable food systems with the guidance and community of his professors and peers.

Jenny Brennan, Chair (2015)

Jenny Brennan is Lowcountry local and a Senior in the Honors College at the College of Charleston. She is majoring in Geology with a concentration in Environmental Geology and also has a minor in Communications. She sees sustainability as a way to ensure the future of humanity as well as the environment, and hopes to help save the world however she can. Being from a coastal city, Jenny has a particular interest in water and waste issues. Jenny is a member of Student Alumni Associates and Green CofC, and also enjoys volunteer work. She holds an internship within the Environmental department of Nucor Steel, Berkeley and is currently conducting research on water pollution in the hydrogeochemistry lab on campus. After graduation she is looking to pursue a graduate degree in Environmental Engineering or Hydrology.

Mara Fields

Mara Fields is a sophomore here at the College of Charleston, currently studying Communications and Health. Mara is a Lowcountry local, being that she was raised in Hilton Head Island, and she has a deep appreciation for the coastal environment all around her. Mara’s passion for sustainability developed her freshman year in her First Year Experience course, Religion, Food and Food Ethics, with Visiting Assistant Professor Todd LeVasseur. Mara is honored and excited about working with her peers who are are also passionate about bringing sustainable change to the College of Charleston campus. Fun Fact:  If asked to describe herself as a song, she would be “Back To The Earth” by Jason Mraz.

Hannah Harris (2014)

Hannah Harris is a Senior Political Science major and Geography minor from New Albany, Ohio. She decided to attend College of Charleston mostly for the warm weather, but also because it feels like a second home. One of Hannah's passions is working to end the fight against hunger. She has been involved in both volunteer work and internships at various food banks, including the Lowcountry Food Bank here in Charleston. When she isn't busy with school, work or volunteering, she enjoys a nice run around battery park or over the Ravenel bridge.

Holden Hartsoe (2015)

Holden is a senior majoring in Political Science and Urban Studies.  His interests pertain to the sustainability of food sources and the connection between sustainable food and human health.  After graduation, he plans to backpack across Europe and Southeast Asia to study how different cultures incorporate animal proteins into their diets.  Holden interns with GrowFood Carolina and SILO, companies that help to stimulate local and organic farming across the southeast and bring wholesome produce to low country markets.  After leaving Charleston, Holden hopes to keep in close contact with his peers and mentors in the Charleston area.

Erika Hoffman, Chair (2014)

Erika Hoffman graduated from College of Charleston in Spring 2014 with a B.S. in anthropology and history and a minor in environmental studies. Over the last few years, Erika has become increasingly interested in sustainable practices and the interaction between human development and the natural world. She has spent time volunteering at The Student Garden at Dixie Plantation here in Charleston and worked with PennEnvironment during the summer of 2013 in her home town of Philadelphia as the coordinator of the campaign against hydraulic fracturing in the state of PA. She is interested in sustainable and international development, urban planning, implementing sustainable practices within the built environment, traveling and studying history. In August 2014 traveled to Sweden to begin a two year master’s program in sustainable development at Uppsala University.

Lydia Nickolas, Chair (2013)

Originally from Austin, TX, Lydia graduated from the College of Charleston with a B.S. in Geology in May of 2013. Sustainability has long been a passion of hers, particularly as it pertains to food and water policy in both developed and developing nations. Her experience traveling through India and witnessing the number of issues surrounding water quality and resource management is a driving force in her desire to amend many of the issues we face here and abroad. Lydia held a number of positions at the College of Charleston including President and Vice President of the Geology Club, executive board member of Green CofC, Chair of the ECOllective Student Project Committee, and hydrogeochemistry lab technician.

Jessica Owens (2015)

Jessica Owens is a Senior Public Health major and Spanish minor at the College of Charleston. Having already studied abroad, Jessica plans to travel after graduation and hopefully teach English in Latin America. She is an active member of the Student Alumni Associates and also volunteers at the Chicora Place Community Garden in North Charleston. Jessica is interested in how sustainability can improve overall health worldwide.

Garneisha Pinder (2016)

Garneisha is a Junior Marine Biology Major at the College of Charleston. Having already studied abroad, after graduating she plans to travel to the Caribbean and work with a conservation organizations in an effort to accelerate the sustainability movement within the region. She is a member of the Biology Club and currently interning with the Office of Sustainability Zero Waste Project. Garneisha's particularly interested in how sustainability improves the long term cultural preservation and economics of an area.

Sarah Shainkar (2016)

Sarah is a senior majoring in Marine Biology with a minor in Environmental Studies. She is from Atlanta, GA and became interested in the environment as a little kid going on walks and bike rides with her family by the Chattahoochee River. She is researching an invasive seaweed species for her bachelor's essay and is involved in the campus ministry RUF. She enjoys hearing about students' great ideas through ESPC, and working to help implement them.

Maggie Sheerin (2015)

Maggie Sheerin is a Mathematics major, Hospitality and Tourism minor at the College of Charleston working closely with computers and problem solving. Originally from Rhode Island, the Ocean State, she recognizes and respects the water cycle more than anything. She has traveled throughout Australia while studying Sustainable Tourism and volunteering with the Newcastle University Environmental Club (NUSEC). She has also been involved in gardening for local nursing homes as well as Habitat for Humanity projects. After graduation, she plans to pursue her passion for Sustainable Tourism and resource management within the industry. She believes the first step is spreading awareness on the many practices toward a sustainable Earth.

Ellie Thomson, Chair (2016)

Ellie Thomson is a sophomore in the Honors College from Birmingham, Alabama planning to major in political science with a concentration in politics, philosophy, and law. Spending almost every high school summer Saturday at her local farmers market sparked her interest in farming and sustainable gardening practices. As a Garden Apprentice with the Office of Sustainability her freshman year, she learned innovative ways to grow small gardens both on campus and at Dixie Plantation. She is familiar with the grant team process and looks forward to working with applicants who believe in pursuing sustainability on campus.