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.
Web Design Intern
Bryan is from Lexington, South Carolina. He is majoring in Computing in the Arts with a concentration in music as well as a minor in Environmental and Sustainable Studies. His first real exposure to sustainability was on the trails of the Appalachian Mountains. On the trails, hikers are respectful of the environment around them and try to keep it beautiful for others. The idea of sharing nature together with other people drew him closer to sustainability. Some of his hobbies include backpacking, playing and creating music, and meeting new people to experience this crazy thing called life together.
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.
Outreach and Community Partnerships Intern
Kelly is a senior at the college pursuing a double major in psychology (AB) and sociology (BS), with a minor in leadership, change, and social responsibility. She started as a Greek chair, worked two semesters as project lead for social justice coffee hour and now has taken on the role as outreach and partnership lead intern. She hopes to travel abroad after she graduates to teach English. Coming from San Antonio, Texas, Kelly doesn’t let anyone in the office forget it. When she’s not busy with school, Kelly enjoys hanging out with friends, petting any dog she sees, people watching in Marion Square, and eating her way around Charleston.
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!
Annie is a Senior studying Business Administration with a concentration in both Leadership, Social Change, and Responsibility and Entrepreneurship. Originally from seven different states, Annie currently has served numerous roles in Student Government Association, as well as many roles in Charleston Miracle (Dance Marathon), and she is currently serving as Executive Director. Annie began her learning experience in sustainability as a Greek chair for her sorority, Phi Mu. Annie then took on the venture at the Office by teaching others about sustainability by serving as Sustainable Greek Initiative Project Lead. In addition, Annie then learned she enjoyed researching statistics about the data on College of Charleston’s campus and how the data can be changed based on sustainability efforts. Most recently, Annie is extremely excited for her new role as Office Manager in which she will help the Office serving in various roles from day to day aspects to filing forms for the Team. The Office has been a major part of Annie’s college career and enjoys learning something new everyday. In her free time, Annie loves hanging out with family and friends, going to the beach, and working out.
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 Manager
Kaitlyn Amidon is a recent graduate from the College of Charleston with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health. Originally from Aiken, South Carolina, Kaitlyn is working on Zero Waste initiatives around the College of Charleston to help the campus reach its goal of being a Zero Waste Campus by 2030. In her free time Kaitlyn enjoys reading, walking around Charleston, scuba diving, traveling, hanging out with friends, and doing high adventure activities.
Garden Apprenticeship Program Manager
Alexandra is a restorative agriculture educator, ethnographer, and regenerative designer. Upon graduating with a Political Science and Environmental Science degree in 2014, she founded and managed the Restorative Agriculture Department at the College, as well as doing private consulting work on regenerative landscape management. She has served as a community liaison in the Charleston area, and worked with a variety of businesses and organizations in the local food, agricultural, and political systems. She founded and currently manages a small business that educates folks on botanical medicine through educational seminars and herbal-based products. She is currently excited about pursuing a nursing degree, with the goal of becoming a nurse practitioner — bringing her experience of restoring the land and the use of botanical medicine to healing the body! She thoroughly enjoys sewing, singing, getting her hands dirty, and being immersed in the lowcountry and wilderness landscapes!