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Office of Sustainability

University of Mississippi

Spring 2017 Interns


Gordon Podshivalov

Gordon Podshivalov is originally from Moscow, Russia. Podshivalov is a senior studying Economics and Mathematics. His willingness and strong desire to keep studying in the deep South is what drew him to become a rebel. Since high school, Podshivalov has been interested in long-terms conservation of natural resources and the numbers behind it, such as energy consumption, transportation issues, etc. Joining the sustainability team provided me with invaluable opportunity to get in touch with practical implications of such issues. A fun fact about Gordon is that his name is too long to fit on a Mississippi’s drivers license. He is an active member of the Ole Miss choir, Ole Miss Investment Fund, and the Financiers.

Leta Rowan

Leta Rowan is a Spanish and Communication Sciences and Disorders major with a minor in International Studies from Olive Branch, MS. She is very passionate about sustainability and has volunteered her time to both Grove Clean Up and Oxford Recycling. Along with her interest in the environment, she loves international student outreach and has been conversation partner as well a global ambassador. In her free time, she is either riding her horses, biking through trails, or attending a yoga class. Through her involvement in the Office of Sustainability, she hopes to spread awareness of the importance of composting and better the environmental footprint of this campus.

Nikhil Bansal

Nikhil Bansal is a junior Economics student at Ole Miss. Originally from New Delhi, India. Nikhil was brought to Ole Miss after a long search of searching for a great school who had a fantastic sports team in America. Since Economics requires a lot of reading, Nikhil read a lot about developmental economics and decided to start his own social venture in India on sustainability. Upon graduation, Bansal wants to pursue a career as an investment banker. Bansal is the vice president for Moneythink and is a member of the Investment and Entrepreneurship Club.

Joe Bell

Joe is an International Studies and Public Policy and Leadership major from Gloucester, Massachusetts. He was drawn to Ole Miss because of a love of new places, great food, and novel experiences. Joe has spent the last 1.5 years living in Montevideo, Uruguay studying and completing an internship. After graduation Joe wants to live and work in Chile. Joe has been involved in sustainability efforts since he was 15 years old. He believes that the intersection of environmental efforts and public policy is an exciting and developing world that is interesting on a local, national, and international level. As a Green Student Intern, Joe is looking forward to learning about how we can improve sustainability efforts at Ole Miss and how we can connect the Office of Sustainability to the greater community.

Manasa Nandiwada

Manasa is a Computer Science graduate student from Hyderabad, India. She is passionate about researching in Computer Science and Math. After graduation Manasa wants to become a teacher. She has past experience in gardening from her home country, and is working as a Green Student Intern because she would like to learn the process and techniques that Americans use in gardening.  She is also excited to learn about various programs conducted by the Office of Sustainability. Nature is what she loves the most, and living in Oxford and enjoying the beauty of Ole Miss is what makes her joyful and cheerful. She believes the hypothesis of the biologist, Jagadish Chandra Bose that plants have feelings and treating plants with love and care is the crucial step in gardening. Her favorite quote is by Albert Einstein – “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

Taylor Robertson

Taylor Robertson is junior Psychology major from Batesville, Mississippi. She has two cats named Indie and Reggie; and she loves to cook. Taylor grew up raising cattle and helping her family’s garden and hay fields, and her passion for sustainability is rooted in her agricultural background. She is interested in horticultural therapy and its effects on stress and stress related disorders, and plans to work as a Horticultural Therapist after she graduates. Taylor looks forward to helping bring about positive change on campus through composting and other sustainability practices.

Kelli Coleman

Kelli Coleman is a senior Biology major and Environmental Studies minor from Madison, Mississippi. Kelli is passionate about environmental stewardship and enjoys educating others about the importance of protecting the environment. Before moving to Mississippi her junior year of high school, she lived in Trinidad and Tobago for five years. Living there shaped her interests in marine biology and environmental conservation. After graduation, Kelli plans to work for a few years in the field of sustainability before going to grad school for a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies. Kelli is involved in her sorority Alpha Omicron Pi, the Leadership Team of the Ole Miss Wesley Foundation, and serves on the UM Green Fund Committee.

Maggie Smith

Maggie is an English major with minors in History, Biology and Environmental Studies. Originally from Madison, MS, Maggie chose to pursue her college education at Ole Miss because of its rich literary history and thriving arts and literary scene. As a founding member of the UM Garden Club with a growing interest in environmental education through gardening, Maggie thought the Office of Sustainability internship focused on education through the UM Garden would be the perfect opportunity to become more directly involved with sustainability on campus. Maggie is a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority and serves on their Leadership Nomination Committee. She is also a writer for the SMBHC publication Populi Magazine, a member of the Columns Society, a Radio Rebel DJ, and a member of the Ole Miss Choir. Maggie is most excited to strengthen the relationship between the UM Garden Club and the Ole Miss Food Bank in an effort to combat food insecurity on campus.

Allison Hook

Allison Hook is a Chemistry major and Environmental Studies minor from Modesto, California. She came to Ole Miss because her parents did not allow her to apply for any California schools. She fell in love with Ole Miss out of the 8 out-of-state schools she applied for. Allison has lived in 4 states in her 21 years and has swam in both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Allison wanted to get involved in sustainability so that she could become more interactive with the environment on campus and become more educated on sustainability in hope to make a change on campus. After graduation she plans to go abroad to work as a sustainable farmer. Allison is a part of the Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS). Being a Green Student Intern, she is mostly looking forward to meeting new people, figuring out ways to make campus more “green,” and learning how to become a positive influence on campus. Also, to help spread awareness on fields of sustainability.

Talgat Brown

Talgat Brown is studying Economics and minoring in Entrepreneurship. He is from Yazoo City, MS, and came to Ole Miss for the business program and overall level of educational opportunity (along with the fact that it is the only university with a Navy ROTC branch). Talgat has had an interest in sustainable efforts since he was 15 and have wants to make a positive impact on the environment. Talgat started his own investment account (under his dad’s name) at the age of 16 and can rebuild any IPhone/Ipad from scratch. After college, Talgat wants to continue with his education and finish his mechanical engineering degree and obtain an MBA. He is involved with the Entrepreneurship club, Investment club, and Ole Miss Outdoors. In his free time Talgat loves to read, go to the gym, and take day trips to various locations and explore. Talgat wanted to work as a Green Student Intern to give back to the community and reduce the overall impact of the Ole Miss community on the environment.

Fall 2016 Interns

Christopher Neal
Marketing and Communications Intern

Christopher Neal is a senior majoring in Journalism, minoring in business administration and specializing in public relations. Christopher is a native of Clarksdale, Mississippi. Attracted by the campus’ beauty and the the university’s journalism school, Neal made the decision to further his education at Ole Miss after spending two years at community college. Upon graduation, Christopher plans to attend law school and specialize in corporate security and has hopes of becoming a bankruptcy attorney. He is an active member of The Society for Leadership and Academic Achievement, Gamma Beta Phi, Phi Theta Kappa Alumni, and Society of Professional Journalist. Christopher has a natural love for photography, writing, and capturing photos of nature. He intends to graduate in May of 2017.

Angela Jordan
Compost Team

Angie Jordan is a member of the Compost Team. She is an Integrated Marketing Communications major from Atlanta, Georgia. She has been a member of the Compost Team since the Fall of 2015. Her favorite restaurant in Oxford is South Depot. She also loves dogs, and her favorite dog breed is Boston Terrier. After her graduation in 2018, she plans on moving to New York City to work at an advertising and PR agency. She is also an active member and event planner of Pi Beta Phi.


Grace Sullivan
Game Day Recycling Coordinator

Grace Sullivan is a senior social work major from Madison, Mississippi. She came to Ole Miss so that her alumni parents could at least be one for five in sending kids to their Alma Mater and of course because it’s Mississippi’s flagship university. A deep love for nature connected Grace to sustainability at a young age, and she has brought together her passions for people, the environment, and Ole Miss football by coordinating the Green Grove Initiative for the past three seasons. Grace also serves on the Green Fund and Active Transportation Advisory Committees, is the Ladies Team Captain for the Ole Miss Cycling Club, and is an active member of Delta Gamma Fraternity. Grace once hula hooped an entire 5K and hopes that somehow that skill might help her in the future as she plans to attend law school after graduating in May 2017.

Mikayla Jekabsons
Sustainable Food and Nutrition Intern

Mikayla Jekabsons is a junior Nutrition and Dietetics major from Oxford, MS by way of Northern California.  Her first formal school years took place in Cambridge, England and inspired her love for travel and photography.  Mikayla has been participating in marching band for eight years, and is now a member of the color guard 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. She decided to get into sustainability after watching multiple documentaries in high school. Fun facts, her favorite fruit is pineapple, and she has three rescues dogs that she adores. After she graduates, she wants to become a Registered Dietitian and hopes that through nutrition she can help inspire others to maintain a healthy, happy, and sustainable lifestyle.