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Meet the Staff

SERC is a collaborative effort led by UC Berkeley career and student staff, student  organization affiliates, and TGIF projects.

SERC 2019-2020 Org Chart: 


Meet the 2018-2019 Staff: 


Angelica Santos, Development Associate (she/her/hers): Angelica is a rising fourth year studying Environmental Science and Southeast Asian Studies. Born and raised in San Diego, her favorite places are the beach and the mountains. She is passionate about environmental justice and has been involved in research projects that work directly with under-resourced communities to develop collaborative solutions that improve local air quality. At Cal, Angelica is involved in the Pilipinx community and studies adaptive radiation in spiders at Berkeley Evolab. Outside of school, she enjoys hiking, writing in her bullet journal, eating a photogenic brunch, and attending concerts. 

Responsibilities: Environmentorship

Ashley Cowell, Solar Spring Break Team Leader (she/her/hers) Ashley is a second year student majoring in Environmental Science. She is passionate about the environment and still exploring ways to make her impact. She loves how easy it is to get involved in sustainability at Berkeley. She has worked in waste management as well as energy and water efficiency. She looks forward to exploring air quality and water treatment. She participated in Solar Spring Break during her first year and is super excited to be leading the program this year. In her free time, she studies martial arts and loves spending time in nature, especially hiking or stand-up paddleboarding. 

ResponsibilitiesEnviromentorshipSERC Alumni Network; Fundraising & Grant Development; SERC Gala

Celine Yang, ASUC Student Union Green Team Associate (sher/her/hers)Celine is a second year student in the College of Natural Resources and is still narrowing down a major! In the past, she started a club that implemented a tri-bin waste system of compost, recycling, and landfill at her high school, which was recognized by her school district. That experience, along with her environmental education work at a local waste facility, led to her interest in both the technical and societal aspects of sustainability. Celine is excited to promote zero waste and help make change on the UC Berkeley campus. In her free time, she loves dancing on one of Cal’s dance teams, planning new activities and sports to try with friends, and eating delicious food with loved ones.

Colette Cosyn-Kang, Internal Operations Manager (she/her/hers): Colette is a fourth year studying Society & Environment and Political Economy. Previously SERC’s Events Associate, Colette is excited to continue supporting SERC’s community and wellness through her new role as Internal Operations Manager. In her free time she enjoys working out, reading, attending concerts, soaking up the sun, and having long conversations with friends :~)  


Courtney McGuire, Vermicomposting Supervisor (she/her/hers): Courtney is a fourth year student studying Integrative Biology. Born and raised in a rural area, she developed a love for the outdoors early in life and came to love environmentalism late in high school. Courtney is passionate about waste management and food systems and hopes to have a career in veterinary medicine. She loves working for SERC and being involved in the zero waste community on campus. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the Bay Area, reading, and hiking.
Vermicomposting project 

Dante Gonzales (CNI Engagement Fellow): Born and raised in Los Angeles County, Dante has found a home here in Berkeley. Entering his fourth year here in the College of Natural Resources, Dante is currently pursuing a double major in Society and Environment and Conservation and Resource Studies. First introduced to SERC through Solar Spring Break 2018, Dante has found his place as the new Carbon Neutrality Initiative Engagement Fellow. Passionate about environmental justice and promoting zero waste/carbon neutrality, Dante is excited to make change within both the UC Berkeley campus and its affiliated communities. In his free time, Dante enjoys hiking/backpacking, tennis, and listening to music. 

Responsibilities: CNI Engagement and outreach

Gabrielle Amabyec, Environmental Justice Associate (she/her/hers): Gabrielle Ambayec is a second-year Molecular Environmental Biology major and Global Poverty and Practice minor. Raised in the Inland Empire, she is driven to work in environmental justice by a desire to make sustainable infrastructure accessible to communities personally affected by environmental degradation and inequity. In addition to working at SERC, she is an active member of the Pilipinx community at Cal. In her free time, she enjoys exploring, listening to music/podcasts, and researching ways that she can improve her own habits in order to help make the world a greener place.

Jenny Chiu (Zero Waste Research Center Lead Associate): Born and raised in the Bay Area, Jenny is a fourth-year Environmental Sciences student with a minor in toxicology. She is interested in the intersections between the environment, industry, and society. Currently, she manages and supports the Zero Waste Research Center (and acts as a liaison to other zero waste groups), but welcomes any conversation around sustainability, environmental health, corporate responsibility, and circular economies. In her free time, she enjoys playing board games, baking at odd hours, and eating ice cream (coffee > lavender > matcha).
 Zero Waste Research Center; Zero Waste Membership Team

Jessie McGinley, The Green Initiative Fund Program Associate (she/her/hers) Jessie is a second year studying Applied Mathematics and Society & Environment with a concentration in Justice and Sustainability. She grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, so she is excited to explore California. Jessie is in Alpha Chi Omega and the Environmental Fraternity, Epsilon Eta. She is also very passionate about being a camp counselor in the summer at YMCA Camp Kon-O-Kwee. Jessie loves to hike, go to concerts, camp, play chess, watch That 70’s Show, listen to Richie Havens and the Flatbush Zombies, and celebrate Halloween year-round. 

Jessica Heiges, SUDS Pilot Intern (she/her/hers): Jessica is a PhD candidate in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management studying the transition to zero waste systems. She was the student lead of the Chou Hall Zero Waste Initiative, which oversaw the process of making Chou Hall a certified TRUE Zero Waste academic building, as well as conducted two pilots in Spring 2019 to incorporate more reusable foodware in campus cafes. 

Outside of fostering multi-stakeholder collaboration to achieving zero waste goals, Jessica enjoys hiking, biking, swimming, reading, and doing anything that doesn’t involve technology.

Lauren Irie (3D Printing Researcher): Lauren is a third year student at UC Berkeley studying Chemistry. She is interested in renewable energy and sustainable materials and processing, specifically regarding polymeric materials. She is also passionate about advocating for women in STEM, and educating the public about zero waste culture. Born and raised in Torrance, CA, in her free time you can find her reading, playing basketball, thrifting, or making cool stuff at Jacobs hall. Responsibilities: 3D-Printing Reclamation Project

Melissa Jaffe (Academic and Professional Development Associate): Melissa is a third-year majoring in Environmental Science and Ecosystem Management and Forestry and minoring in GIST. She spent her past summer at UC Berkeley’s Forestry Camp and is passionate about natural resource management. In her spare time Melissa loves to go mountain biking, hiking, and  read.  Responsibilities: Career Series; Green Jobs & Opportunities resources; DeCal Fellowships

Michelle Hernandez, E-Waste Operations Associate (she/her/hers): Michelle is a third year majoring in Sustainable Environmental Design and double-minoring in Conservation & Resource Studies and Theater with a Technical Focus. She is passionate about the intersections between design, sustainability, and society. Growing up in Berkeley and Oakland has shown her the importance of social change and environmentalism and hopes to continue exploring these topics and their relation to urban design in college and beyond! In her free time, she enjoys working on the behind-the-scenes aspects of theater, baking, and hiking.

Responsibilities: Ethical E-waste project

Rebecca Harcourt (Plastics Recycling Associate):Rebecca is a third year student studying environmental economics and policy and data science. She is passionate about renewable energy technologies and natural resource management. At Cal, she writes articles for the Division of Data Science, where she gets to learn about the various ways data science is being used to solve social issues. In her free time, Rebecca enjoys reading, hiking, gardening, and traveling to new places with her friends.
Responsibilities: Plastics recycling and research
Sabina Mahavni ASUC Student Union Green Team Associate (she/her/hers): Sabina is going into her second year, planning on majoring in Environmental Economics and Policy. She participated in Solar Spring Break 2019 and is excited to continue working with SERC on the Green Team. Sabina has always been passionate about environmental sustainability and enjoys promoting waste reduction habits like saying no to needless plastic straws and bringing her own containers and utensils everywhere. In her spare time, Sabina loves hiking, traveling the world, baking tasty vegan desserts, and having picnics on Memorial Glade with her friends.
Sara Amiri (Nature Village Director): Sara is a first generation junior transfer pursuing a degree in Economics. She is a Bay Area native with a passion for the environment and hopes to contribute to environmental sustainability, resource conservation, and zero waste culture at the University. When she’s not trying to minimize her carbon foot print, she loves hunting for cute stationary and spending time with her bunnies.
Responsibilities: Nature Village
Sarah Xu (Community Engagement Associate): Sarah Xu (she/her/hers) is from the small one square mile town of Albany, California. She is a junior pursuing Environmental Economics and Policy with minors in Global Poverty and Practice. In her free time, Sarah loves to explore the Bay Area by public transportation and drink copious amounts of coffee.
 Responsibilities: Student Organization Advising; SERC Membership
Shirley Sun, Graphic Designer (she/her/hers):

Shirley is a Senior studying Molecular Cell Biology – Biochemistry. She is interested in nature preservation and environmental sustainability, and she is especially passionate about promoting sustainable living. She was born and raised in San Jose, and she loves the diverse culture that it has. In her free time, she enjoys art, rock climbing, reading, attending concerts, and exploring new restaurants.


Serena Patel (Green Team Associate): Serena is entering her third year, pursuing a degree in Energy Engineering and a minor in Energy and Resources. She was introduced to SERC through Solar Spring Break 2017 and was co-lead for the following year in Salinas. Her interests include renewable energy technology, energy access, environmental justice, and zero waste culture. In her free time, she can be found running to catch a sunset, climbing a tree, or cooking vegetarian/vegan meals!
Responsibilities: ASUC Student Union zero waste and sustainability initiatives 

Sharon - Color - 01Sharon Daraphonhdeth (SERC Director): Sharon was born and raised in San Diego county, where she began her educational endeavors at her local community college. She is a proud first generation college graduate and daughter of Lao refugees. Her passions lies among working with students, by assisting them to develop, implement and lead innovative sustainability projects and initiatives. Sharon served as the TGIF & Sustainability Initiatives Coordinator from 2014-2017, and has been serving as the SERC Director since March 2017. Prior to UC Berkeley, Sharon worked as the Sustainability Strategist for the Associated Students Inc. at San Francisco State University. At her leisure, she enjoys live music, cooking, and spending time with her loved ones (especially her cat, Lucille). She also serves as a board member for Food Empowerment Project, a vegan food justice organization. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from San Francisco State University, is a certified Zero Waste Community Associate, and holds a certificate in Fundraising and Volunteer Management from UC Berkeley Extension. Contact: sdara@berkeley.edu;

Tamlyn Schafer, Vermicomposting Associate (she/her/hers): Tamlyn is a second year student pursuing a dual degree in Environmental Sciences and Music. She has always been very passionate about sustainability and is very excited to be a part of the vermicomposting team and to work with worms! She hopes that through her work on the Zero Waste Team she can increase awareness of environmental issues in her peers. In her spare time she loves to read, travel, attend concerts, and perform with The California Golden Overtones, an a cappella group on campus.

Valerie Yong (Vermicomposting Associate): Valerie is a second-year majoring in Conservation and Resource Studies with a minor in City Planning. She is interested in environmental policy in developing countries and living a zero waste lifestyle. Valerie is pumped to start her second semester working on the Vermicomposting project! From Santa Monica, her favorite pastimes include relaxing on the beach, scouting out food spots, and listening to music.
 Vermicomposting project


SERC Alumni & Founders:

2018 Fall SERC Team: Madeline Tucker; Alejandra Marquez

2017-2018 SERC Team:  Amanina Shofry, Andrea Luna, Anna Michel, Anna Whitney, Anna Yip, Annakaren Ramirez, April You, Aubrey Hills, Claire Parkinson, Colette Cosyn, Courtney McGuire, Echo Sun, Jed Lee, Jenny Chiu, Jivna Punjavi, Kathleen McCully, Kristy Drutman, Isaias Hernandez, Nicole Panditi, Nonnie Coelho, Madeline Greene, Madeline Tucker, Maggie Li, Scott Silva, Sebastian Jintra-Cotilla, Serena Patel, Steven Chan, Tony Hall, Valerie Yong, Yu-Shien Ni

2016-2017 SERC Team: Eva Malis, Tara Singh, Pallavi Sherikar, Allie Lalor, Sharon Chen, Mary Thomasmeyer, Anna Michel, Amanina Shofry, Madeline Green, Madeline Tucker, Jared O’Shaughnessy, Anna Yip, Scott Silva, Nicole Panditi, Remya Shankar, Anna Whitney

2015-2016 SERC Team: Jeff Noven, Tara Singh, Gary Richmond, Lauren Murphy, Jimmy Dunn, Catriona Smyth, Claire Kaufman, Brooke Maushund, Eva Malis, Pallavi Sherikar, Andrew Huang, Brian Gialketsis, Scott Silva, Anna Yip

2014-2015 SERC Team: Roberta Giordano, Jeff Noven, Angie Shen, Hanna Morris, Morgan Stelly, Ryan Avery, Anna Yip, Gary Richmond, Jimmy Dunn, Lauren Murphy, Manon von Kaenel, Sam Klein, Claire Kaufman, Shannon Davis, Caitriona Smyth, Nick Burkett

2013-2014 SERC Team: Roberta Giordano, Louis Spanias, Magnolia Barrett, Hanna Morris, Phoebe Song, Angela Meese Shen, Angie Shen, Sam Klein, Qusai Bhaijeewala, Kristen Chen, Regina Clincy, Stella Kim, and Manon von Kaenel

2012-2013 SERC Team: Nolan Pack, Mauricio Castillo, Noah Puni, Katie Hoffman, Roberta Giordano, Omead Kohanteb, Justine Rembac, Zen Trenholm

SERC Director (2013-2017): Katherine H. Walsh

SERC Founders (2012): Nolan Pack, Mauricio Castillo, Noah Puni