Office of Sustainability

University of Mississippi

2015-16 Green Student Interns

Natalie Balkon
Cross-Thematic Intern

Natalie Balkon is a sophomore from Nolensville, TN.  She is currently a sophomore majoring in International Studies and minoring in Japanese.  Recently, she studied abroad in Osaka, Japan at Osaka Gakuin Daigaku and is excited to spend her upcoming junior year abroad in Tokyo, Japan. On campus, she is a part of the Ole Miss A Capella Group and Real Food Rebels. In her spare time Natalie is usually practicing voice, reading her way through Haruki Murakami’s books, or practicing Japanese.

Zac Bransby
Composting Team

Zac Bransby is a senior chemistry major and environmental studies minor at Ole Miss. He was born in England, but moved to Olive Branch, Mississippi when he was eight years old. Zac chose to join the UM Compost Team because he wanted to help keep the earth’s ecosystems free of harmful pollution, litter, and carbon emissions. He finds it fascinating that the compost team’s daily duties affect the environment in a positive way. Zac enjoys learning about different renewable resources and how each resource contributes to a sustainable lifestyle. He is an Ole Miss basketball fan, Hotty Toddy!

Victoria Burgos
Composting Program Advisor

Victoria Burgos is a senior Recreation Administration major from Olive Branch, Mississippi. She serves as the President of the Recreation Administration Majors and Minors Association, Environmental Education Intern at Camp Lake Stephens, Social Organizing Trainer with the Sierra Student Coalition, and is an affiliate member of Students for a Green Campus. With SGC, she has traveled to the Southeast Students for Renewable Energy Conference (SSREC), SPROG youth convergence, and participated in multiple rallies for renewable energy sources and social justice causes. Victoria developed and received funding from the Green Fund to implement the composting program on campus in the fall of 2013, 2014, and now 2015! She currently serves as the Composting Program Advisor.

Kelli Coleman
Spring 2016 – Green Week Coordinator
Fall 2015 – Game Day Recycling Coordinator

Kelli Coleman is a junior majoring in Biology with an Environmental Studies minor. She now lives in Madison, Mississippi but was born in Houston, Texas and lived abroad in Trinidad and Tobago where her interest in the ocean developed. Kelli enjoys leadership positions with the Ole Miss Wesley Foundation and Greek Life.  She is also involved with Students for a Green Campus, Ole Miss Birders, and Global Ambassadors. After graduating she hopes to get her masters degree in marine biology and work with marine mammals. She is excited to work with the Office of Sustainability and help educate people about the importance of recycling and protecting the environment. She enjoys traveling, scuba diving, and any place with an ocean view.

 Mikayla Jekabsons
Sustainable Food & Nutrition Intern

Mikayla Jekabsons is a sophomore Nutrition and Dietetics major from Oxford, MS. She has previously lived in California and England before her family settled down in Oxford ten years ago. Mikayla has been participating in marching band for seven years, and is now a member of the colorguard for The Pride of the South marching band during the fall semesters.  She has also previously been involved with helping Ole Miss Sports Nutrition serve the athletes of the university. Mikayla hopes that through nutrition she can help inspire others to maintain a healthy, happy, and sustainable lifestyle.

Angie Jordan
Composting Team

Angie Jordan is a sophomore at Ole Miss majoring in Integrated Marketing Communications. Angie hails from Atlanta, Georgia, and is an active member of the sorority Pi Beta Phi on campus. She loves sports, movies, dogs, and of course, the environment!  She is looking forward to being a compost team member and making a difference this semester.

Ashley Maiolatesi
Game Day Recycling Coordinator

Ashley Maiolatesi was born in Binghamton, New York, and raised in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. She is currently a Senior, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Spanish and Environmental Studies. She serves on the executive board of RebelTHON, and is a member of the Honors College, Panhellenic Judicial Board, and Phi Mu Fraternity. Ashley also recently completed a summer internship with the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies. After graduating, she hopes to join the Peace Corps and later attend law school to pursue a career in environmental law. In her free time, Ashley enjoys reading, traveling, and practicing yoga. This will be her second year serving as Game Day Coordinator and she cannot wait to see more positive change happening at Ole Miss.

Gordon Podshivalov
Data & Transportation Intern

Gordon is a junior majoring in Math and minoring in Economics. He grew up in Western Russia and went to schools in Alabama and Georgia before transferring to Ole Miss. Gordon is a huge fan of financial markets, classical music and alternative transportation. He also enjoys hiking, swimming and exploring new places.

Joe Scott
Spring 2016 – Marketing & Communications Intern
Fall 2015 – Game Day Recycling Coordinator

Joe Scott is a senior Integrated Marketing Communications major from Brookhaven, MS. He is the Marketing & Communications Intern for the Office of Sustainability. He has written for Climate Progress, the Daily Mississippian, and Bluffs and Bayous. He attended the Disney College Program Spring 2014. He has worked as a volunteer, runs a Sustainable blog and has written extensive articles promoting Sustainability. He has a career focus in Recycling, Renewable Energy, and Sustainable Farming. In his spare time he is a musician, records music, and works as a freelance graphic designer.

Grace Sullivan
Game Day Recycling Coordinator

Grace Sullivan is passionate about words, hula hooping and everything Ole Miss. She is a junior journalism major from Madison, MS. She believes that the need to learn sustainable practices becomes more urgent every day, and that there’s no better place to start educating and doing than right at home in the Grove. Outside of working with the Office of Sustainability, Grace is a senator in the Associated Student Body and an active member of several on campus organizations including Students for a Green Campus, Rebels for Life, and Delta Gamma Fraternity. She enjoys doing Zumba, watching squirrels, and reading way too much news, particularly about education reform.

Rebecca Vorisek
Sustainability and Transportation Intern

Rebecca Vorisek is a junior triple major in International Studies, Chinese, and Spanish. Rebecca was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. In addition to interning at the Office of Sustainability, Rebecca is involved in Rebel Global Connection, Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity, and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. She enjoys hiking, trying new foods, watching animated movies, and traveling. She is especially looking forward to spending the upcoming spring semester abroad in Argentina. This semester, Rebecca is excited to be working to promote a more bike and pedestrian friendly campus to develop a more sustainable campus culture.

Steven Wild
Composting Team

Steven Wild is a senior from Hattiesburg, Mississippi double majoring in International Studies and German with minors in Philosophy, French, and Linguistics. He is an active member of the Croft Institute for International Studies where, as a sophomore, he was elected to serve as a member of the Croft Senate. Additionally, Steven is a committed member of Students for a Green Campus, the Delta Phi Alpha National German Honor Society, and the newly-formed Progressive Student Union. In the Spring of 2015, Steven spent a semester abroad in Potsdam,Germany studying German language and culture as well as preparing to conduct research for his senior thesis which deals with the politics and perceptions of environmentalism in Germany and the European Union. After graduating from the University of Mississippi, Steven plans to continue advocating for large-scale environmental policy reform and broader ecological sustainability at the global level by pursuing a graduate degree in International Affairs or International Law with a focus on environmental issues.

Grace Gillespie
Waste Reduction Intern

Grace Gillespie is a sophomore Recreation Administration major with a minor in Political Science. She grew up in Oxford, Mississippi. She has been an Ole Miss Diamond Girl for two years and is an active member of UKirk, a Presbyterian college ministry group in Oxford. She has traveled to Haiti twice with UKirk, where they worked with a community on a water purification system and water education. She has been a counselor at Strong River Camp & Farm and hopes to continue working with kids after graduation. She enjoys traveling, volunteering, and hanging out with her animals.