My history is unique. I was born very prematurely at 26 weeks and weighed less than two pounds.
I attended Beechwood Independent School in Fort Mitchell Kentucky from kindergarten through grade 12. I love music and played baritone and trombone in my high school’s symphonic and marching bands. I played in trombone solos in the Beechwood 2010, 2011 and 2012 Kentucky State Champions and in the Beechwood “Bands of America” 2011 Grand National Champion Marching Band and got to march on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. I continue playing baritone for the University of Louisville Pep Band. Additionally, I play guitar and have performed on stage with band members from Lynyrd Skynyrd and Blue Oyster Cult.
I have interned in New York City with Tommy and Andy Hilfiger, working in their offices in Trump Tower on several projects including the Andrew Charles line of clothing from its inception to international market and with the line’s brand spokespersons, Steven and Chelsea Tyler.
I have been honored with a commission as a Kentucky Colonel by the Governor of Kentucky and am a compatriot in The National Society, Sons of the American Revolution having traced my ancestry back to 1750.
I have always been a keen environmentalist and volunteered as an educator and lived on Pete Seeger’s boat, The Clearwater Hudson River Sloop giving environmental lectures and demonstrations to visiting schools and groups. I have also served multiple times with the U.S Forest Service in the Rocky Mountain Ranger District in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and the Lewis & Clark Forest in Choteau, Montana.
I perform habitat monitoring and clean up while living on extended spikes in the mountains. I have been a volunteer naturalist and dive intern at the Newport Aquarium and at the Cincinnati Zoo where I provided direct animal care in Manatee Springs and Wings of Wonder. I really enjoyed working with the manatees and penguins. I have also acted as a Guardian with the Bluegrass Honor Flight program, traveling with veterans to visit their monuments in Washington DC.
I was placed on my life’s path at a very young age. I learned to swim at the suggestion of my pediatrician to help with my lung development. Later I was introduced to scuba and it changed my life. Growing up my mother had a unique philosophy on child rearing. Each year on my birthday she would bypass gifts of toys and fads of the day. Instead she gave me a far greater gift- we would travel somewhere. At the age of 7 years old, I traveled on my first sailing vessel across the Caribbean. Some of my earliest recollections are of skipping across the Caribbean on a wooden sailing ship, feeling the rocking of the sea and the warmth of the wooden decks on my bare feet, sleeping on deck under a canopy of falling stars, playing pirate on uninhabited cays, making wonderful friends from all over the world. It was on those excursions that I first noticed the amazing marine life. Despite the fact I come from the completely landlocked state of Kentucky, I have been a scuba diver for over half my life. I am a certified scuba Divemaster and Rescue Diver with over 500 logged dives.
I am pursuing a future as a marine conservation biologist, a discipline that is critical in today’s world due to an ever expanding human population. As a conservation biologist I will address the immediate issue of the accelerating number of endangered marine species resulting from reckless human activity and habitat loss. I have a special interest in marine mammals and underwater karst environments.
Through my Individualized Major and Environmental Analysis degrees at the University of Louisville, I am studying multiple aspects of the environment including hydrology, geoscience and climatology. In Spring semester 2016 I attended New College of Florida through National Student Exchange Program where I obtained my concentration in Marine Biology. In 2015 I received the Etscorn International Summer Research scholarship which funded a summer of marine research in the Yucatan Peninsula. I worked with scientists from Spotted Drum Expeditions and professors from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico as a research diver evaluating anthropogenic effects on cenotes. I learned recently that I have been selected for a yearlong fellowship in Germany through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals. The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) is a fellowship of the German Bundestag and U.S. Congress that annually provides 75 Young American Professionals the opportunity to spend one year in Germany studying, interning, and living with hosts on a public diplomacy fellowship. The CBYX program is sponsored in the U.S. by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, under the authority of Fulbright-Hays Act.
This means, starting July 2016, I will have the opportunity to study and work with German environmentalists and marine biologist while living in Germany for an entire year on a fully funded fellowship. I will intern with a German company in the area of marine biology/environmental science and use this research as a basis for my senior honor thesis at U of L. This experience will give me a much greater international perspective of environmental problems and solutions. I hope also to have some time to go skiing and hiking in The Bavarian Alps!
Congress-Bundestag Fellow ( Germany );
Jones Research Scholar; Etscorn International Research Scholar;
Clinton Global Initiative Scholar;
Golden Key International Honour Society;
Alpha Tau Omega VP Community Service;
National Society Collegiate Scholars VP Community Service;
Mortar Board Honour Society Social Service Co-Chair;
Environmental Science/Marine Biology Major;
Divemaster & Rescue Diver.
Photos (above and below) include: diving, Etscorn summer research in Yucatan and volunteering w/US Forest Service in Montana, Cincinnati Zoo Manatee springs, NYC w/Tommy & Andy Hilfiger and Pete Seeger’s The Clearwater