Allison Santos, Title V Fellow
Allison is an M.S student in the Marine Biology track. She is from Orange County, California, and has a B.S. in Biology from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. Her research interests include mathematical modeling, population dynamics of cetaceans and economic impacts of whale watching in developing countries. Her ambition is to raise awareness about our troubled seas and encouraged proactivism within local communities, led her to the OC's Title V Fellowship and Peer Mentoring Program. Allison helps develop and organizes cultural/educational outreach programs, assists in the assessment of fish and invertebrates following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and provides tours of the Center of Excellence. She also assists her advisor, Dr. Bernhard Riegl, with his Population Ecology class. During her spare time, she enjoys the usual, the outdoors, family, friends, dingy books, dry/dark comedies, sleeping, dancing, and even just relaxing with her dogs.
Kayelyn Simmons, Title V Fellow
Kayelyn is a second year student in the M.S. Marine Biology track. She is originally from Atlanta, Georgia and received her B.S. in Marine and Environmental Science from Hampton University. Kayelyn is a Title V Fellow and a research student in the Fisheries Research Lab working with Dr. David Kerstetter. Her research is on the endoparasite fauna of the invasive lionfish, Pterois Volitans, in the Western Atlantic and Caribbean. Her research allows her to get more experience in scientific diving, learn about coral reef ecosystems, and fisheries management and policy. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate tenure, she's gained so much knowledge about professionalism and research that at every opportunity she tries to share those experiences with all of her peers. Being a part of the Graduate Peer Mentorship Program has not only helped her reach out to incoming students, but it has also inspired her to continue to gain more experiences in networking with other organizations through hard work and integrity.
Beranda Harper, Lead Mentor
Beranda is a M.S. student in the Marine Biology track. Her thesis, under the advisement of Dr. Riegl, focuses on building statistical models using socioeconomic and field data to motivate and guide management amongst coastal regions in the developed and developing worlds. She sees the mentoring program as an opportunity to develop, network, and to grow on a personal level. In addition, she sees the benefits of helping students transition and the benefits of succeeding in scientific endeavors.
Theresa Robitaille, Lead Mentor
Theresa is a M.S. student in the Marine Biology track. She enjoys scuba diving and country line dancing. She sees the Peer Mentorship Program as a critical component that will give quality students the opportunity to display their leadership skills and make a difference in the marine science world. By being able to learn, help and collaborate with others, mentors can not only create a quality experience for new students, but can make a difference in their own lives and in the marine sciences.
Crystal Bass, Lead Mentor
Crystal is an M.S. student in the Marine Biology track. Her research interests are marine mammal cognition, communication and bioacoustics. She enjoys scuba diving, kayaking, and other water-related activities. She also enjoys photography, sketching and painting. The reputation of a graduate program at any university is dependent on the quality of students that it produces. Crystal believes that mentoring new students and helping them to acclimate to the graduate college experience will help the NSU OC produce the highest quality graduates. This enhances both the university's reputation and value of degree programs. As a Graduate Lead Mentor, she wants to make the NSU OC the best graduate experience possible for new students.
Ian Rodericks, Peer Mentor
Ian is an M.S. student in the Marine Biology track. He enjoys scuba diving, fishing, music, and the outdoors. He grew up in southwest Louisiana and enjoys cooking Cajun food. Ian also enjoys meeting new people and helping them adjust to the south Florida life, as he received much help when he first came to Florida.
Amanda Costaregni, Peer Mentor
Amanda is a joint M.S. student in the Marine Biology/Coastal Management track. She enjoys scuba diving, surfing, volleyball, running, gym, and traveling. She wanted to be part of the NSU OC Peer Mentoring Program because she feels that is important to have some peer guidance when arriving in an unfamiliar place and makes transition much easier and fun. Amanda wants the incoming students to feel welcome and become a part of the OC family. A cohesive student body is really important to her and having Friday happy hours, seminars or beach volleyball activities can be enjoyed together.
Aarin-Conrad Allen, Distance Peer Mentor
Aarin is currently a distance student pursuing his M.S. degree in Marine Biology, with a focus on the behavior and ecology of the Florida manatee. He has worked for the South Florida Museum taking care of the world's oldest manatee (Snooty, who is 64-years old). Aarin's hobbies include ice hockey, scuba diving, and big-game fishing. He chose to participate in the Peer Mentoring Program because mentoring has been a big part of his career success, both academically and professionally.
Charlotte Berry, Peer Mentor
Charlotte is a M.S. student in the Marine Biology track. Her thesis focus is on the conch population aggregations and habitat association in Port Everglades, FL. She enjoys fishing, hunting, scuba diving, shooting, kayaking, and line dancing. Charlotte is taking part in the Peer Mentorship Program to help new students transition and become active in the OC community
Keely Wells, Peer Mentor
Keely is a M.S. student in the Marine Biology track. She is pursuing her capstone project which focuses on the effects of persistent organic pollutants and oil pollution on pinnepeds. Her hobbies include running, traveling, and reading. Keely sees that the mentoring program is a great way to not only get to know fellow mentors and current OC students, but it's a chance to meet new incoming students. It's an opportunity to serve as a leader at the OC by giving students advice and answer their questions
Sara Jarossy, Peer Mentor
Sara is a joint M.S. student in the Marine Biology/Coastal Zone Management track. She currently works for the USGS Seagrass Lab at the OC. Her hobbies include scuba diving, snorkeling, biking, comics, animation, video games, and traveling. Sara wants to help incoming students, just as she received help from the older students when she first started her graduate degree. She wants to help students with their questions about the graduate program and living in South Florida.
Shira Jaye Anteby, Peer Mentor
Shira is a M.S. student in the Biological Sciences track focusing her thesis in microbial genetics. She is currently working in Dr. Lopez's lab on a mutagenesis experiment to study gene expression in marine microbes. She is also a lab assistant for the undergraduate microbiology class at NSU's main campus. Shira is a member of NSU's Scuba Crew, Chabad of Nova, and the American Society for Microbiology. Her hobbies included diving, snorkeling, beach days, and pipetting. She wants to be part of the peer mentoring program to reach out to new students and better acquaint them to graduate life at the OC and to help them with their questions or concerns.
Danielle Sattelberger, Peer Mentor
Danielle is a M.S. student in the Marine Biology track. Her hobbies include swimming and scuba diving. She was motivated to take part in the mentoring program because she enjoys meeting new people. Danielle is excited to share her knowledge and expertise while helping new students develop.
Eric Burdett, Peer Mentor
Eric is a M.S. student in the Marine Biology track. He enjoys hanging out with friends, playing and watching sports, going to the beach, and making jokes and puns. Eric joined the mentoring program because he wanted to be involved at the OC as much as possible. He wants to build lasting relationships with staff and students and further his education in the field of marine biology. Most of all, he wants to have fun!
Jen Savaro, Peer Mentor
Jen is a M.S. student in the Marine Biology track and is a second year student. Originally from Philadelphia, PA, she completed her B.S. degree in Marine Science at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina. She currently works under the direction of Dr. Hirons and is using stable isotope analysis to investigate the connectivity between the mangrove and offshore reef fish populations. She enjoys diving, swimming, and spending time with friends. Her first year at the OC was filled with a combination of invaluable learning and adventurous opportunities. She now feels that she has a responsibility to share those experiences with the next class and to assure them that it is worth going through the complications of the first year struggles.
Shawn Martin, Peer Mentor
Shawn is a M.S. student in the Coastal Zone Management/Marine Biology track. His hobbies include fishing, scuba diving, surfing, sailing, spearfishing, free diving, and playing guitar. Shawn wanted to be a mentor because of the importance of helping students transition into a new program, place of residence, and a new school. If a student is not pre-occupied with or under stress from the transition process then he/she is likely to be able to focus more on school and have an overall better initial experience. By having someone to help them where it is needed he feels that this will foster that transition and lead to an overall more driven student.