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Sustain Coastal Alumni

Several student leaders have been a part of the Sustainability Initiative at Coastal Carolina University in various roles. Here are some of our Sustain Coastal Alum and where they are today! If you would like to be added to this growing list, please email sustain@coastal.edu

Michael Anthony Sargo, May 2013

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA 

Current residence: White Plains, New York 

Major: Political Science Minor: Pre-Law

Role in Sustain CoastalSustainability Student Assistant

Sustain Coastal’s impact on life, career, and future:

“It impacted my life immensely. While being involved and working for Sustain Coastal, I decided that I wanted to go to law school. It was being involved in such an organization that made me realize I wanted to study environmental law. To say it impacted my life would be an understatement, it created my life. Being involved gave me a goal that I am working towards as I write this. It gave me the ability to believe in myself, believe in what I want to do with my life, and believe in the change I want to create.”

 Importance of Sustain Coastal for CCU:

“Sustain Coastal is very important to CCU. Not only does it help the campus in general, but it brings the students, staff, and faculty all together with one clear message: that we strive for the protection of our campus and community. This is what CCU needs to gain and will gain from this great initiative.”

Bob Crimian, May 2011

Major: Marine Science Minors: Biology and Environmental Science

Hometown: Warminister, PA

Current Residence: Brunswick, GA

Current Position or Pursuit: Southeast Coast and Ocean Partnership Coordinator for The Nature Conservancy

Role in Sustain Coastal: Former Eco-Rep and former President of Students for Environmental Action (S.E.A.)

Sustain Coastal’s impact on life, career, and future:

“Sustain Coastal impacted all areas of my life in a very positive way. I now have an understanding and appreciation for the complexities that make up “environmental issues”; in reality, environmental issues are a combination of social, economic, and political issues all tied to an environmental context. This concept was introduced to me during my time at CCU working with Sustain Coastal, and due in part to that introduction I went on to earn a Master of Science in Environmental Studies, now work for the largest conservation organization in the world (The Nature Conservancy), and live my life with an awareness of what my impact really means to Earth as a whole. I intend to keep living my life in this manner and hope to continue working in the environmental field.”

Advice to future generations:

"Do not be hesitant about working outside your comfort zone or “field”. Coming in as a marine science major, I thought I would stick to only topics related to the oceans. Thankfully I learned that would have been a huge mistake, because everything is connected. All the ecosystems of the world and all the social systems humans created are woven together in what is now Earth, and to not explore those other dimensions of Earth would be a disservice to a person’s overall education. Dive into topics you know nothing about, and then figure out how that new information is connected with the knowledge you already have."


Lisa Brown, May 2012

Hometown: Damascus, MD

Current Residence: Key West, FL

Major: Marine Science

Current Position or Pursuit: Scuba Instructor, pursuing a Master of Science in Teaching

Role in Sustain Coastal: Eco-Rep Coordinator (senior year), Sustainability Assistant (junior year), Sustainability Intern (sophomore to junior years), Eco-Rep (freshman and sophomore years)

Sustain Coastal’s impact on life, career, and future:

“Working for the sustainability initiative changed my life in such a positive manner. The knowledge and values that I learned will be with me forever. Being a part of this organization sparked a fire in me for environmental, social, and economic research and outreach that I continue to this day. I still inform others about things I learned years ago as an Eco-Rep! I believe education is vital and in today's world it is our duty as citizens of this beautiful Earth to spread the word about issues that will inevitably determine the fate of our species on this planet. Being Eco-Rep Coordinator my senior year at CCU lead me to the realization that I want to be a science teacher. I cannot wait to educate younger generations! ”

Advice to future generations:

“Don't give up even when people don't take your advice about things like recycling, not buying bottled water, buying local and organic produce, etc. Remember, you cannot reach everyone, focus on those who are open minded and interested in change.”


Christina McCluskey, May 2011

Hometown: Fort Mill, SC

Major: Chemistry       Minor: Mathematics

Role in Sustain Coastal: Eco-Rep / Leader of Think Outside the Bottle

Sustain Coastal’s impact on life, career, and future:

“Through Sustain Coastal, I found my passion lies in learning about the Earth and where improvements and changes can be made. I have been fortunate enough to pursue this passion, and I am on my way to becoming an Atmospheric Scientist. Through the Initiative, I now believe I have a voice and can make a difference. I will remember my involvement as I continue my journey in making this world a better place.”

Importance of Sustain Coastal for CCU:

“Sustain Coastal is an excellent program for implementing sustainable actions and education. The unique aspect of the Initiative is the involvement of students.  Most students involved will graduate with plans of either pursuing a related career, or taking their new sustainable habits to new places. Many of those students would have never been exposed to this vital part of the world's future if it weren't for the Sustainability Initiative.”‌




Kelly Harer, December 2011

Hometown: Williamsport, PA

Major: Business Management

Role in Sustain Coastal: Eco-Rep and member of Students for Environmental Action

Best memory while involved with Sustain Coastal:

“A group of us participated in Power Shift 2011 in Washington, DC. Thousands of passionate, empowered youth marched from the Capitol to the White House promoting the use of clean energy. Business men and women cheered us on from their office buildings, many even joining our march! It was absolutely amazing to be part of something that joined “green” college students with powerful business-people. It is surely an experience I’ll never forget!”

Importance of Sustain Coastal for CCU:

“Sustainability affects everybody at CCU. Recycling bins throughout campus make something new and useful out of items that would have ended up in a landfill. Hydration Stations provide access to clean water to decrease the amount of plastic bottles used on campus. You can even rent a bicycle on campus! The Sustainability Initiative also gives students the resources to learn more about the environment and actually make a difference in their communities, which is best of all!”


Toni Granato, May 2012

Hometown: TomsRiver, NJ

Major: English

Role in Sustain Coastal: Eco-Rep

Sustain Coastal’s impact on life, career, and future:

“Sustain Coastal changed my life forever. I remember when I started at Coastal, I was undeclared and had little to no leadership experience. After applying as an Eco-Rep, I developed a passion for global and local environmental issues with an education that surpassed the classroom. With my peers, I quickly led presentations at First-Year Experience classes, Conway City Hall, and engaged with multiple stakeholders on campus and in the community. Our efforts proved valuable once small, but incremental changes occurred on campus. The biggest achievement for our group was contributing to Dr. DeCenzo's decision to sign the University and College's President's Climate Commitment in 2009. It’s amazing to think that these early experiences helped transform my life and career. Currently, I am a Master's student in the Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida and just finished my thesis on "Lessons from Indigenous Principles in Latin America and New Jersey: Shifting Towards Strong Sustainability after Environmental Change.”

Importance of Sustain Coastal for CCU:

“It is crucial that the CCU administration continues to embrace Sustainability. Support can be demonstrated through new sustainability coursework, classroom partnerships, and educational events. Without the program, the campus and community would have few outlets to discuss key social, economic  and environmental issues in a multidisciplinary setting. CCU must continue to produce activists, leaders, and educators that work towards sustainability issues. Sustain Coastal is one of the most important organizations in this regard.”


Rebecca Thompson, May 2012

Hometown: Rockport, WV

Major: Marine Science           Minors: Math and Coastal Geology

Role in Sustain Coastal: Eco-Rep / Member of Students for Eco-Action (S.E.A.) – President of club from August 2011 to May 2012

Sustain Coastal’s impact on life, career, and future:

“Sustain Coastal has completely changed the way I view the world. Before becoming involved, I didn't even know what "sustainability" meant. Now, I make decisions every day based on what would be more sustainable and have the least environmental impact. The Initiative has also enhanced my life skills, such as organization, communication, and leadership. I am sure this will have a positive impact on my career and future.”

Importance of Sustain Coastal for CCU:

“Sustainability makes CCU a better place. Without it, there would be absolutely no recycling or environmental education; most people would still be using disposable plastic water bottles, among so many other things. I think Sustain Coastal is finally bringing CCU into the 21st century.”

Henry LaRosa, May 2011

Hometown: Long Island, NY

Major: Business Administration, History

Role in Sustain Coastal: Eco-Rep

Sustain Coastal's impact on life, career, and future:

"Sustain Coastal has opened up numerous doors for me after graduation. I am currently working for a solar company on Long Island and enjoy coming to work every day. It gives me great satisfaction in knowing that I have impacted our Earth's future for the better."

Importance of Sustain Coastal for CCU: 

"I believe Sustain Coastal shows students at CCU that one person CAN make a difference in making the world a greener and more sustainable place to live, work, and play. If we all do our part, we will all have a brighter future."

Marissa Mitzner, May 2008

Hometown: Charleston, WV

Major: Business Management

Role in Sustain CoastalSustainability Coordinator

Sustain Coastal’s impact on life, career, and future:

“I was a person who cared deeply for a cause and wanted to do something to bring about needed change; if not for Sustain Coastal, I never would have found my place. The Sustainability Initiative gave me the tools I needed to be an environmental leader on campus, and now in my professional career. I left Coastal in January of 2011 to pursue new life opportunities and explore the world. Now, I’m working in Washington, D.C., doing what I love. I could not be more passionate about anything else in my life, and I have the Initiative to thank for encouraging growth and helping pave a path in life for me.”

Importance of Sustain Coastal for CCU:

“Sustain Coastal is a great way to meet like-minded people who not only care about the environment, but like to take action. Whether you are curious about what the term ‘sustainability’ means, interested in environmental issues, or if it is the career path that you plan on following, this is the place for you.”‌