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2017-2018 Mentor Bios


Name:  Abe Yeck 
Hometown:  Ludington Michigan
Current Major:  Dual Degree Physics (B.S.) and Mathematics (B.S.)
RISE and Club Involvement:  Part of RISE Braintrust, and active member of the community J
Hobbies and Interests:  I currently work at NSCL/FRIB on an Active Target- Time Projection Chamber (AT-TPC) project under Dr. Mittig as a professorial assistant; it's interesting being a freshman and doing research. I also play tennis and basketball in his free time here at MSU.


Hey everyone! I’m Andrea from Brownstown, Michigan and I’m majoring in Environmental Biology/Plant Biology with a minor in Environmental and Sustainability studies. In my free time I enjoy camping, hiking, reading a good book, volunteering in the greenhouse and generally being out in nature and around plants of all kinds! Catch me pressing flowers and hammocking when it’s nice out. Feel free to come to me with any questions, concerns, or stories (and pictures) from places you've been because I’m always up to hear about other people's adventures. I’m here to make your transition to MSU as easy as possible and I’m looking forward to getting to know all of you!


Hi my name is Braedon Halle and I am from Middleville Michigan. I am an Environmental Studies and Sustainability Major, with hopes to take this into a carrier like environmental consulting. I am a part of the Bee Team here at Bailey Hall, as well as a member of the Spartan Marching Band, and Kappa Kappa Psi an honorary band fraternity. I am also a member of the National Honors Society here at MSU. In my downtime I enjoy playing videogames, playing tennis, and hanging out with friends.


Name: Brittany Mae
Hometown: Rochester Hills, Michigan
Current Major: I want to major in Finance and minor in Spanish and Environmental Studies and Sustainability. I want to be able to incorporate both business and the environment in my future career.
Past Majors: I used to be an Environmental Engineering major at the beginning of the year so it’s okay to change majors! 
RISE and Club Involvement: I am involved with Aura Restorative Products and I help out with the business side of the Tea Team. 
Hobbies and Interests: I love running and being outdoors, traveling, going to MSU football games, and watching netflix! My favorite shows are Bob’s Burgers, Parks and Rec, Jane the Virgin, and Black Mirror!


Hey everyone!  I’m Claire Dion from Northville, Michigan and I’m majoring in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. Here at MSU I am apart of the RISE Recruitment Team, GreenTeam, and the MSU Dressage Team. I love animals (especially horses!), groovy tunes, hammocking, Disney movies, yoga, and making a good craft. Can’t wait to meet all of you!


What’s up guys? My name is Don Nguyen, and I’m a Microbiology major from Omaha, Nebraska! I was born and raised in Chicago, so I’m a diehard Bulls/Cubs/Blackhawks fan. On campus, I’m involved with Honors Times Two, Kids Without Cancer, and MSU Greek Life. Some of my hobbies include riding the CATA bus, waiting for my chicken fingers from Sparty’s, and playing soccer. I plan on going to med school or getting a PhD after undergrad, so talk to me if you have similar plans! Some people say I’m like an exponential graph because they can never see me peaking, and they’re absolutely right. Can’t wait to meet you guys!


Name:  Ethan Jodoin
Hometown:  Midland, Michigan
Current Major:  Human resource Management, aspiring to be the hiring manager of a renewable energy firm
RISE and Club Involvement:  Member of Sustainable Spartans, Bailey Hall Government, Brody Neighborhood Initiative, Joyrun Marketer
Hobbies and Interests:  My free-time is generally spent either playing video games or sitting in a hammock. I listen to lots of different music, from Flume to Kendrick Lamar to Tame Impala. I love to read and am always open to new experiences.

Hannah R.

Name:  Hannah Rusgo
Hometown:  Troy, Michigan
Current Major: I'm majoring in Global Nutritional Science and minoring in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. I am very interested in food distribution issues and sustainable agricultural and I plan on traveling to different countries to have a better understanding of culture and lifestyle.
RISE and Club Involvement: I am a part of Bailey's own Land Grant Goods as the Tea Team Lead, leader of a sustainable grant project for Sustainable Spartans, and a loving councilor for Camp Kesem.
Hobbies and Interests: I love to read sappy John Green books as well as Shakespeare and historical fiction. My favorite place to read, sleep, or socialize is when Michigan gives us a nice day and I can go hammocking outside. I love to workout and poorly attempt yoga as well as being lazy and watch Netflix all day. I listen to a wide variety of music but my favorite is alternative or indie rock. I could listen to the Foo Fighters, the Chili Pepers, Panic!,  Awolnation, Moose Blood, and the Front Bottoms on repeat for the rest of my life! I love going to concerts and I'm looking for a new buddy to jam with! Also dogs are my life and I will pet any dog I see on campus.

Hannah L.

My name is Hannah Landwerlen, and I am studying Zoology/Pre-veterinary with a minor in Environmental Sustainability here at Michigan State University. I am from Holly, Michigan a small town near Grand Blanc, Fenton, and Waterford. Through the RISE program I have been involved in Lamb Team, Bee Team, and Pig Team. Other clubs and organizations I am a part of here at MSU are Zoological Student Association, Zeta Theta Omega (zoological fraternity), and Social Equity Through Environmental Responsibility (SETER). I also have a research position working with West Nile Virus in avian, and work at the Burke Lake Banding Station. In my spare time I enjoy running, hiking, hammocking, and bird watching

Hannah G.

Name:  Hannah Grindling
Hometown: Clarkston, MI
Current Major: Molecular Genetics, considering veterinary school or possibly going into the research field.
RISE and Club Involvement:  Mealworm Team, Pig Team, Clay Club
Hobbies and Interests: I enjoy musicals, yoga, and eating cafeteria cookies. When I'm not in class I like to paint and care for my pet snails (who I am always happy to talk about). 


Hey everyone, I'm Jaclyn Barta and I am from Stevensville, MI. I am majoring in Dietetics with the hope of eventually opening a pie shop or working in nutritional therapy. I originally came in as a Food Science major, so if anyone needs someone to talk to about switching majors, I am more than happy to help! I volunteer in the Bailey GREENhouse and Urban Farm, as well as with the RISE recruitment team, and RISE cooking workshops. Outside of RISE, I am a member of the Food and Nutrition Association, and I will be leading an on campus Bible study. When I'm not studying or volunteering, you can find me jamming out to Hamilton or going for long runs. I also love singing, baking, roller skating, plating volleyball or basketball, and generally being outside.


Name:  Jamie Raupp
Hometown:  Saline, Michigan (near Ann Arbor!)
Current Major:  Zoology (Pre-veterinary track) with the "RISE minor", aka, environmental studies and sustainability
Past Majors:  Environmental biology/zoology
RISE and Club Involvement:  Founder/president of SETER (Social Equity Through Environmental Responsibility), Public Outreach for the Bat Association of MSU, RISE Liaison for Bailey Hall Government, Pig team member, volunteer occasionally at the greenhouse, and more!
Hobbies and Interests:  I have a huge passion for animals, the environment, and social justice. I also love art (graphic design, photography, film, painting, etc), the outdoors, volunteering, and of course the occasional meme. 


Name:  Joe Wakar
Hometown:  Canton, Michigan
Current Major:  My major is plant biology. I'm not certain of my direction yet, I've highly considered teaching high school biology or going through grad school to be a professor.
RISE and Club Involvement:  Within RISE, I have volunteered in the Brain Trust tutoring office, as well as participated in the Worm Team, Compost Team, and the Tea Team. Outside of RISE, I am the greenhouse manager in the Plant Biology club, and a member of the Honors College Activity Board. 
Hobbies and Interests:  Well, when classes are done, I fill evenings with my latest craze. Some days, I do yoga and play guitar and piano with my friends. Other days, I play euchre and board games until my fingers hurt. In between, and during everything I do, I listen to music. From David Bowie to Pham, I love to give my life its own soundtrack. 


Hi everybody! My name is Kelsey Blatchford and I am from Big Rapids, MI. I am a Supply Chain Management major with a minor in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. I was previously a Biosystems Engineering major (it was not for me) so if you are struggling with majors I have felt your pain and can help you out. I am involved with the Bailey GREENhouse Tea Business Management Team, as well as Spartan Global, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding microloans for entrepreneurs in developing countries. I enjoy spending lots of time with my friends, going to the beach at every opportunity, and exercising at absurdly late hours. I absolutely love to travel, and I have a passion for humanitarianism and the environment. I’m so excited to meet you all, so be sure to stop by and say hi!


Hey there! My name is Kiera, and I am from Clarkston, MI. I am a Fisheries & Wildlife major with a concentration in Conservation Biology and minors in Environmental Studies & Sustainability as well as Conservation, Recreation & Environmental Enforcement. I've previously been a Zoology major as well as an Environmental & Sustainability Studies major, so I'm more than happy to help anyone that is stuck between majors! In RISE, I work with the Bailey Compost Initiative, the Recruitment Team, and the Restorative Products Team (Aura). Around campus, I am a member of the TEDxMSU organizing committee, and the Director of Education for SETER (Social Equity Through Environmental Responsibility)! I love all animals, coffee (I drink it by the gallon), and chocolate! Ask me about keeping a vegetarian/vegan diet on campus :) 


Name:  Lauren Lahie
Hometown:  Ypsilanti, MI
Current Major:  Public Policy with a minor in Peace and Justice Studies
RISE and Club Involvement:  Bailey GREENhouse and Urban Farm Social Media Manager and Volunteer, Michigan State University Paranormal Society
Hobbies and Interests:  I am passionate about social justice, saving the environment, and helping people. Hammocking is one of my favorite pastimes, but I also enjoy tie-dying, going to concerts, watching movies, and making memories with my friends.  


Name: Max Raphelson
Hometown: I am from Comstock, a small town outside of Kalamazoo! 
Current Major: Currently I am an Environmental Economics major! I really like the idea of helping businesses run in a sustainable and environmentally conscious way. 
RISE and Club Involvement: I am an active member in the Spartan Sierra Club on campus! We do all sorts of events for environmental justice from petitions to fun camping excursions. 
Hobbies and Interests: My favorite activity hands down is fly fishing, from putting on the waders to simply spending the day on a river I can’t get enough of it. I am always down to go and would love to show you all my favorite spots on the Red Cedar. I also love watching baseball and hockey and if I am really lazy I am not opposed to the Netflix binge watch, Archer being my show of choice, phrasing! 


Name:  Mia White
Hometown:  Detroit/Ferndale, MI
Current Major:  Forestry (For sustainable biomass use) and Food Science (for creating the yummiest of vegan foods)
RISE and Club Involvement:  Work in the Bailey GREENhouse and Urban Farm, squad leader for the Compost team, I also partake in the MSU Forestry Club and MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Relayed Sciences)
Hobbies and Interests:  I love video games (I play PS4 but I'm accepting of PC and XBOX players). I’m taking time to learn new things such as swimming, ice skating, and how not to choose the same options in video games. I adore plants (and can tell many species on campus), I hammock, and love making vegan food.


Name:  Parker Johnson
Hometown:  Marion, MI
Current Major:  Fisheries and Wildlife
Past Majors:  Environmental Studies and Sustainability
RISE and Club Involvement:  I have helped the Tea team bag and seal tea for sales, and I am a part of the fisheries and wildlife club here on campus.
Hobbies and Interests: I love to run. I was on my high school’s cross country team. I’m on avid reader. I play the trumpet, and love to sit in my room and listen to my classic rock records. If you can’t find me in my room then you can find me relaxing in my hammock outside or studying somewhere on campus. I’m an easygoing guy and always willing to help anyone out in any way possible!


Hi! I’m Shatha Alabbad from the Middle East. I study chemical engineering with a minor in economics. I have a passion and motivation for almost everything. That is why the two things I am pretty good at are making mess all the time and wasting a lot of time. I find happiness in volunteering and helping people. Therefore, feel free to reach me out at any time and for anything. I am so thrilled to meet you all <3