Media Manager and Lead Designer
Nikki is an exhibiting illustrator, graphic designer, and videographer who joined the Office of Sustainability in Spring 2017. Her work is informed by her connection with nature, her meditation and yoga practices, and her passion for social and environmental justice. She is a graduate of the College of Charleston and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and Communication. Nikki is passionate about contributing her visual communication skills to movements that educate and empower communities in the name of Mother Earth. She loves illustrating album art, logos, and posters, and she enjoys ecstatic dance, culinary experiments, and exploring diverse ecosystems.
Marketing and Graphic Design Intern
Sabrina is a Senior at the College from Charleston, SC. She is studying Computing in the Arts with a concentration in Digital Media. In this internet-driven generation it is vital to not only promote sustainability through our actions, but through various online educational platforms. She will be working on the Office of Sustainability’s online platform, Synergies, which aims to educate and inspire the greater community to embody sustainability in their everyday lives. In her free time, Sabrina loves to take hot yoga classes, read, and swim in the ocean.
Social Media Intern
Emma Berry is a Senior at the college majoring in Communication with a minor in Environmental Studies. Her passion for sustainability intensified after she participated in an Alternative Spring Break trip during her spring break sophomore year. On the trip they learned about earth literacy while living in an off-grid community in the mountains of Washburn, Tennessee. Since then, Emma has tried to use her knowledge in communication to spread environmental awareness. Some of Emma’s other interests include traveling, listening and dancing to good music, and spending time relaxing at Folly Beach.
Tanner is a Psychology major at the College of Charleston. Tanner joined the Office of Sustainability as a Partnership Intern with Lowcountry Street Grocery, a mobile farmers’ market that brings fresh local produce to communities in need. Tanner is currently the Podcast Intern on the Media & Marketing Team. The intersection between environmental and social issues is important, but often forgotten. Social issues are an important part of sustainability, and Tanner hopes to bring awareness this aspect with her podcast series.
Photo and Video Intern
Audrey is a Senior in the Honors College at the College of Charleston, pursuing a Bachelors of the Arts in Spanish, with minors in Biology and Environmental and Sustainability Studies. She is currently writing her Bachelors Essay on the sea turtle conservation efforts taking place in Central America. Born and raised in the Carolinas, her love of nature and many hours spent outside paired with courses at the college and time farming has led to eye-opening experiences and passion for environmental education. In her free time, she enjoys playing lacrosse, spending time with friends, hiking, camping, and just about anything outdoors.
Office of Sustainability Staff
Dr. Brian Fisher
Dr. Fisher came to the College of Charleston in 2009 after getting his PhD. from UC Irvine. He has a joint appointment in the Office, sharing time between serving as Director and teaching courses out of the Political Science department. In his free time he enjoys supporting his Pittsburgh Steelers and alma mater Auburn Tigers and spending time with is wife Brenda and their four children.
Dr. Ashley Lavender
Internship and Student Coordinator
Dr. Lavender joined the Office in May 2017 after teaching at the College of Charleston during the 2016-2017 academic year. In addition to this full-time staff position, she enjoys teaching various courses related to sustainability in the Department of Biology. She earned her B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (minor: Marine Biology) and B.A. in German at the University of Connecticut and then went on to Drexel, Penn State and Old Dominion Universities to earn her M.S. in Biology and Ph.D. in Ecological Sciences. Shortly before completing her doctorate, she was selected to participate in Duke University’s Marine Conservation Summer Institute. Her perspective has widened from environmental stewardship as the effects of human activities on the Planet become increasingly more pronounced and pervasive, calling for a holistic, constructive, and multi-tiered approach to sustainability. Basking in nature, studying and mitigating the impacts of human activities on aquatic life (especially acoustic impacts), connecting humans to life’s source, rehabilitating wildlife, dancing, practicing yoga, co-managing an upcycled accessories business, engaging with the community through public outreach and partnerships, and studying and conserving turtles are among her passions. She indeed has a zest for life and is thrilled to be a member of the Office of Sustainability Team!
Adrian Barry was a Political Science student at the College, originally from New Jersey. While at CofC, Adrian was active on campus, founding CofC for Urban Agriculture and Green CofC, as well as serving as President of the Political Science Club, an active member of SC Student Legislature, and an honorary “Friend of MESSA.” Adrian was appointed to the President’s Advisory Committee for Sustainability and the CofC Labor Day Celebration Planning Committee, and, as a SGA Senator, Adrian created the Student Sustainability Committee. In that capacity, Adrian was invited to join Dr. Fisher’s Sustainability Task Force as the undergraduate class representative, and went on to help found the Office of Sustainability, where he worked both as an Intern Coordinator and a Sustainability Fellow. Adrian is looking forward to rejoining the Office as a member of the staff and annoying everyone with his institutional memory of how things worked back in his day!
Assistant Internship Coordinator
Bianca LaPaz has been a resident of the Charleston area for most of her life. She is a third year Urban Studies major at the College of Charleston, concentrating in Sustainable Urbanism, and is minoring in Environmental & Sustainability Studies. Bianca spent a year as an intern working on the Social Justice Coffee Hour team before being hired as the Assistant Internship Coordinator. She is a born-again environmentalist and social justice advocate through her involvement in the Bonner Leader Program. Her hobbies include reading, writing, sewing, bird-watching, making artwork, collecting specimens for her shadow box, listening to podcasts, and mothering her elderly cat, Moby. She is infamous for her existential Snapchats and dried flower arrangements, and takes pride in her enigmatic qualities. Sustainability has been her passion for several years now, with the foundation being set through a lot of self-education and exploration late in high school. Her time at the College and especially at the Office has broadened her horizons when it comes to learning to live sustainably and make sustainable decisions. She seeks to use her degree in Urban Studies to address various issues surrounding sustainable urban planning, especially in the face of climate change, in the hopes of promoting environmental, economic, and social justice. Bianca is looking forward to working for the office in this new capacity and supporting the interns and fellow staff in all of their endeavors.
Zero Waste Program Manager
Long time friend of the office, Jennifer first got involved in campus sustainability issues as a graduate student in the Masters of Environmental Studies Program 2009-2012. After teaching in Japan for three years from 2012 to 2015, she returned full-circle to CofC as an adjunct professor of environmental studies Fall of 2016. She joined the Office of Sustainability in an official capacity as Zero Waste Program Manager in May of 2018. Ever looking for points of intervention in systems responsible for environmental degradation and social injustice, she is a big proponent of community involvement and taking action on multiple scales. She’s a co-creator of The Stone Soup Collective, a nonprofit dedicated to making healthy food for those in need. Please feel free to reach out to her about ways you can get involved! She also enjoys martial arts (aikido and karate in particular), reading, being outside, and plants (growing, eating, and otherwise enjoying them).
Sustainable Transportation Manager
Eliza Bower graduated from the College of Charleston in the spring of 2015 with a degree in Historic Preservation and Community Planning, and Art History, with a minor in Urban Studies. Now she is in grad school getting her masters in Community Planning Policy and Design. Eliza is the Sustainable Transportation Program Manager at the office. She manages the college’s Bike Share Program, promotes bike safety, and encourages the campus community to use alternative transportation. You can see her riding around town on her bumper sticker-ed bike wearing a lavender helmet.