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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.”

Marissa Mitzner, May 2008

Hometown: Charleston, WV

Major: Business Management

Role in Sustain Coastal: Sustainability 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.”‌


Lisa Brown, May 2012

Hometown: Damascus, MD

Major: Marine Science

Role in Sustain Coastal: Eco-Rep Coordinator

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

“I became a leader and a great public speaker. I am also more organized, and my ability to work in a group setting has greatly improved. I learned so much in the initiative, not only about sustainability issues but also about the way that Coastal runs, the people in charge on campus, and that things are not as easy as they seem! It takes a lot to implement new things at a college, and it was an amazing experience to see dramatic change occur in the attitudes of people and the appearance of sustainability on campus in my four years at Coastal.”

Importance of Sustain Coastal for CCU:

“In this day and age, it is crucial for people to adopt sustainable lifestyles because Earth doesn't have enough resources to sustain its ever-growing population. Awareness of simple and sustainable lifestyles spreads positive energy and gives hope for the future. We have many problems as a society (environmentally, socially, politically, and economically), but if we start somewhere and don't give up, good things will come, even if they are small. Coastal is a relatively small college in the southeast, which is one of the slowest regions to implement sustainable action, so it is especially important for Coastal to be a role model in this region.”


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."