Career Mentors

The Career Mentor program pairs current students with alumni who provide professional guidance in the transition from college to the life after Eckerd.

medical field/general sciences

Henry Ashworth '16| B.S. Biochemistry, Philosophy

Emergency Medicine Resident, MD MPH at Highland Hospital

Henry Ashworth graduated Eckerd in 2016 with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Philosophy. While at Eckerd, Henry was one of the first members of EC-ERT, Head of Eckerd College CrossFit, an RA for the Service-Learning Dorm, Ford Scholar, Marine Science Researcher and Mass Gen Summer Intern. Henry was also inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and awarded the President's Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service to the college.

After Eckerd, Henry helped develop a community emergency response team in Nepal on a Fulbright grant and researched equity gaps in the rural area the team responded to through a MPH at University College Dublin. He then attended Harvard Medical School where he focused on implementation science and social emergency medicine. Henry started residency in emergency medicine at Highland in 2022 and currently live in Oakland.

Outside of working, Henry likes skipping instead of walking, hugging friends and family, late night dancing, early morning adventures, playing the bass, climbing, and trying to speak Nepali or Spanish but ends up speaking Spanpali. Henry, like most Eckerd students, likes being in, around, or on any body of water (puddles included).

Tom Battey '11| B.S. Marine Science

Resident Physician at University of Virginia Health System

Tom Battey graduated from Eckerd in 2011 with a B.S. in Marine Science (Biology) and a minor in Chemistry. While at Eckerd he worked on as many research projects as possible, played rugby, and took advantage of all the watersports St. Pete had to offer. Marine science was a natural choice since his initial goal coming out of high school was to find a way to get paid to SCUBA dive and do science, although several strong mentoring relationships and formative experiences changed his path. Early in freshman year Dr. Denise Flaherty connected him with a post-doctoral researcher at USF-St. Petersburg focused on marine sensory biology. This began a 3 year position where Tom worked on projects exploring the relationships between sea lion brain structure volumes on MRI and levels of environmental neurotoxins. After this experience, he officially had the research bug and knew he loved imaging. In 2010, Tom was part of the first group of Eckerd interns at the Center for Human Genetic Research at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA - an experience organized and supported by alumna Dr. Susan Slaugenhaupt '85 via an NIH grant. During senior year, he completed a thesis assessing the neurologic and developmental effects of pesticides and personal care product components on zebrafish and nematodes before returning to Boston.

After graduating from Eckerd, Tom spent 4 transformative years working in a stroke imaging and genetics research lab at MGH developing new diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets for stroke while figuring out if he wanted to pursue a clinical or research career. He subsequently moved back to Baltimore to attend University of Maryland School of Medicine, graduating in 2019 and completing his intern year in internal medicine at Mercy Medical Center in the midst of COVID-19. He is now chief resident in the Diagnostic Radiology residency program at UVA in Charlottesville. After completing fellowship training in cardiothoracic imaging, Tom plans to pursue a career in academic medicine diagnosing patients using advanced imaging, teaching, conducting research, and mentoring residents, medical and undergraduate students as they work to identify a career path that is right for them.

Outside of the hospital, Tom is an outdoor enthusiast and new Dad who loves spending time with his family, grilling on his kamado, riding his bike on the roads and trails through the mountains around Charlottesville, playing mediocre golf and darts, and traveling around the country and world to meet up with friends from Eckerd. Although the science part is going pretty well so far, he is still working on finding a way to get paid to SCUBA dive.

Susan Beaven | MD from Indiana University

Family Medicine Doctor at Private Practice

I was raised in Jasper, IN, a wonderful small town in southern Indiana where education, arts, basketball, and using your talents and skills to your potential were valued. My undergraduate and graduate schools study was at Indiana University, graduating from medical school there in 1982.

I came to Bayfront Medical Center to serve my Family Medicine Residency and then began practice here in St Pete, Tampa and Tarpon Springs through the years. I began to formally study Integrative and Functional Medicine and became certified in 2013. In 2016, I was named one of the top 100 physicians who practice Integrative Medicine. I focused on wellness, nutrition, preventative health, women's health, and Functional Medicine-finding the root cause of the disease, and then treating them with an individual protocol.

I enjoyed the educational aspects of my practice with my patients and also in my community. Outside of my career, I have been active in my community. I have served on the board, as a chaplain, and other volunteer activities at First Unity. And I am beginning to be involved at Pass A Grille Community Church. I enjoyed serving my community with the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay board and Greater St Petersburg, where I served as Secretary, Vice Chair and Chair of that board. Preserving our environment and wildlife has also been a major concern of mine. I have supported environmental causes and want to ramp up my involvement in these areas.

Jorge Giroud | MD from Northwestern University Medical School

Retired Director of Pediatric Cardiology at All Children's Hospital

Jorge is not taking new mentors this upcoming year.

Jorge Giroud is a highly accredited and well-respected Pediatric Cardiologist that spent much of his career working locally in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. He received his BA from the University of Illinois, and his MD from Northwestern University Medical School. Jorge then went on to complete his residency in pediatrics at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital, and stay with the University of Miami to complete his fellowship in Pediatric Cardiology Pediatric Critical Care.

Jorge has served as a cardiologist or consulting cardiologist with All Children’s Hospital, Bayfront Medical Center, and Tampa General Hospital. He was also the Medical Director of Invasive Cardiology at All Children’s Hospital and The Medical Director of Pediatric Cardiology at Tampa Children's Hospital at St. Joseph's Hospital throughout his career.

Throughout his career, Jorge has over 30 publications, led ground-breaking clinical research & investigations, presented on over 35 different medical talks and panels, and served on numerous advisory committees and review boards for All Children’s Hospitals.

Now happily retired Jorge, is looking forward to providing mentorship to the next generation of incoming doctors.

Kara Linna 92 | B.S. Chemistry

Forensic Scientist at U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Kara started at Eckerd College in August of 1988. As a native of St. Petersburg, she started with others from the area which had pluses and minuses. Autumn term had a big impact on her, and is still in contact with Dr. George Meese, the professor. She spent most of her time studying as she found chemistry very challenging, but she also took many classes about other cultures which, along with Winter Terms in the Soviet Union and Hawaii, which kicked her travel bug into high gear.

After grad school (Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry), she started her career as a chemist with the EPA where she was involved in air pollution research. After six years, she joined Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in their Savannah Laboratory.

In her 16 years with CBP she has analyzed samples, traveled all over the country, and worked with officers, agents and import specialists. The laboratories that she works with assist officers and agents with controlled substance analysis, fingerprint processing and examining, radiation screening, and import specialists with trade analyses. CBP is responsible for not only border security but also facilitation of legitimate trade. All consumer goods not made in America, from raw material to finished goods are analyzed for their composition, country of origin, and/or compliance with US and International Trade Laws. Kara prefers trade analysis, where the work is constantly changing, while also participating in controlled substance analysis and fingerprint processing at times. Recent samples of interest include auto parts, precious metals, designer clothes, and shoes.

Ryan G Nazar '09, MD, CIME, EMHA, CLSSBB | B.A. Psychology

Medical Director at eRounds, LLC, Performance Excellence Executive Consultant at Norton Healthcare, Certified Independent Medical Examiner at Commonwealth IME, LLC, PhD Candidate & Research Assistant at University of Louisville

Ryan graduated Summa Cum Laude from Eckerd College in 2009, with bachelor's degrees of high distinction in Psychology and minors in Biology and Chemistry. While at Eckerd, Ryan was a part of the Pre-Health club and was involved in Tampa Bay Watch and interned at Moffitt Cancer Center.

After Eckerd, Ryan earned his Doctor of Medicine at the University of Kentucky with High Honors Distinction and national recognition from the American Society of Clinical Pathology in research. He went on to complete his surgical internship in neurosurgery at the University of Toronto and 5 years of neurosurgery residency at the University of Louisville. During Ryan's residency, he patented a 3-D printed cervical collar based upon individual anthropometry (The Align Collar), founded a neurosurgery didactic series (Brain and Spine School), and was awarded the 2016 AANS/CNS joint section award for his research on a spinal trauma classification system.

Ryan has transitioned from full time clinical medicine to healthcare entrepreneurship & innovation in 2016 when he founded SurgeonIDEAS, LLC aimed at innovating medical education, physician driven performance improvement for health systems, and rapid prototyping. He has worked as an adjunct professor at a health professional cadaver lab, served as the Chief Medical Officer for Surgical Labs, LLC, improved care delivery as healthcare delivery consultant, and has continued to practice medicine traveling with various medical brigades abroad and running a private medicolegal practice that focuses on expert testimony for worker’s compensation and personal injury.

Ryan has obtained his Executive Master’s in Healthcare Administration (EMHA) from University of Southern California and is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB), concentrating on healthcare performance excellence and efficient care delivery. He will be joining the University of Louisville’s Department of Entrepreneurship in the Fall 2022 to begin his research on healthcare entrepreneurship while also completing a Ph.D. in Innovation.

Dr. Nazar is board certified in Disability Medicine, having received special training in the performance of high quality Independent Medical Evaluations by American Board of Independent Medical Examiners (ABIME), received the certification as Certified Independent Medical Examiner (CIME). He has developed numerous medicolegal protocols for long COVID-19 and head injury that are being used across the country and has taught numerous courses to support continuing medical education (CME).

When the COVID-19 pandemic made it to USA in early 2020, Ryan was a leader in performance excellence and process improvement for Norton Healthcare as the Executive Physician Director of Clinical Effectiveness, helping to establish the COVID Command Center. He played a pivotal role in implementing crisis response strategies to safely deliver healthcare in an uncertain time. His subject matter expertise as both a physician and process improvement expert allowed him to integrate the ever-changing literature, research, and guidelines into action plans for frontline workers. He additionally co-founded Norton’s Way to Wellbeing Resilience Program for healthcare workers to combat the psychological stress due to the pandemic. He continues to serve as an executive consultant.

When not at work, Ryan is interested in philosophy, cooking, health and wellness, traveling, surfing, and Newfoundland dogs.

Brad Pendley '87| B.S. Chemistry

Private Physician at Internal Medicine, Affiliate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at The University of Memphis

Dr. Brad Pendley graduated from Eckerd College in 1987 with a B.S. in Chemistry after transferring to Eckerd in 1985 from St. Petersburg Junior College. He was a non-residential student as he was married and had a son. While at Eckerd, he was a squadron commander in Civil Air Patrol and was a co-campaign manager for Representative Lars Hafner.

After graduation from Eckerd, he attended Cornell University where he earned his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry in 1992. His dissertation involved several aspects of electrochemistry including inventing a technique to construct nanometer-sized electrodes that was patented by Cornell.

After graduation from Cornell, he pursued his passion to teach chemistry at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, where he taught a variety of chemistry classes including general, analytical and physical chemistry as well as a course on the Art and Science of Early Italian Renaissance Painting. In 1998 while on sabbatical leave in Biomedical Engineering at The University of Memphis, he began to apply his knowledge to design sensor technology to solve medical problems. However, his background in the physical sciences did not allow him to adequately understand, formulate and solve such problems so, being a lifelong learner, he recognized his need for additional education. After turning down being a Dean at Rhodes, he resigned his tenured, endowed position and completed medical school and then residency while still having some teaching and research responsibilities at The University of Memphis. After residency, he practiced medicine full-time and began teaching as an Affiliate Professor in Biomedical Engineering at The University of Memphis, where he has been for more than a decade. His research involves developing sensor technologies for use in medicine and he has served on the graduate committees of nearly two dozen students, several of whom went on to complete the M.D. degree in addition to their graduate degree. He has published widely and speaks on sensor technologies internationally. In addition to this professional work, he also has served on the Board of Directors of two not for profit corporations.

Ilene Robeck | MD from SUNY Buffalo Medical School

Retired MD, Previous Director of Virtual Pain Education

Ilene Robeck received her BA in English from SUNY at Buffalo and received her MD from SUNY at Buffalo Medical School. She did her internal medicine residency at Georgetown University. She was Chief Medical Resident at Fairfax Hospital, a Georgetown University affiliated tertiary care center from 1980-1981.

She taught internal medicine on the Georgetown University Medical Service at DC General Hospital from 1981 to 1982 She was medical director and following that education director of Comprehensive Addiction Treatment Services from 1982-1992. She became board certified in addiction medicine in 1990. She launched an internal medicine private practice and also did consultative work in pain management and addiction medicine from 1985-2007.

She began working at the James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa in 2007 and established and was section chief of 1.the post deployment primary care clinic and 2. a high risk chronic pain clinic embedded in primary care for patients with co morbid pain with addiction and/or psychiatric problems and/or complex medical problems. In 2010 she became Chair of the National VA Primary Care Pain Champions Initiative.

In 2010 she transferred to the Bay Pines VA Health Care System. While at the Bay Pines VA she developed an econsult program doing electronic consulting for patients with chronic pain and an educational program geared for primary care and mental health providers.

In 2013 she became director of virtual pain care for the Richmond VAMC. In this capacity, she produced 2 case based webinar programs each week, did econsults and saw patients throughout the country using clinical video teleconsulting.

Throughout her career she has lectured and written on topics such as pain management, mental health concerns in the primary care setting, the high risk chronic pain patient, and addiction diagnosis/treatment. Once joining the VA she also wrote and lectured about post deployment concerns in the returning veteran. She has been on the faculty and lectured for the American Society of Addiction Medicine annual course on pain and addiction. She is the lead editor for the ASAM Manual on Pain and Addiction.

Since retiring from the VA she continues as an educational consultant for the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center putting together twice monthly webinars on pain as well as addiction. Upon her retirement from the VA she has become more active in multiple community organizations including ASPEC, The St. Petersburg Free Clinic and the League of Women Voters.


Laetitia Boyle ’05 | B.A. International Business

Senior Vice President, Sales & Consulting at Raymond James

Laetitia Boyle graduated in 2005 from Eckerd College with a degree in International Business and a minor in Mandarin Chinese. While attending Eckerd, Laetitia traveled to Southeast Asia and Morocco on separate Winter Term trips to learn about the nuances of finance and commerce against the backdrop of other cultures. (She also met her future husband on the trip to Asia, fellow Eckerd alum Ben Boyle). These important tenets have stayed with Laetitia as she has risen from intern to department leader at Raymond James Bank.

Her first official role at Raymond James was in the Accelerated Development Program (previously known as Options Rotational Development Program), completing a year-long training before transitioning into Corporate & Commercial Real Estate Banking. In 2011, she was given an opportunity to build out the new Securities Based Lending department, implementing the overall business strategy and growing it to over $2 billion in loan balances. Currently, she is the Head of Internal Sales & Consulting, responsible for strategic sales and education initiatives for Private Client Banking, which offers cash and lending solutions to Raymond James' 8,000+ financial advisors.

Laetitia is a member of Raymond James Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council and a graduate of Securities Industry Institute at Wharton. Outside of work, Laetitia and her husband Ben have two children and are active with The First Tee of St. Petersburg, a youth developmental program that introduces young people to golf.

Candis Carmichael ‘03 | B.A. International Business, Spanish

Real Estate Advisor, ABR, PSA, C2EX, e-PRO, AHWD, CSA at Charles Rutenberg Realty

Candis Carmichael graduated from Eckerd with a double major in International Business and Spanish (and one credit shy of a minor in Classics). She was one of three students in the Class of 2003 granted early admission during the application cycle. Originally from Chicago, Candis started her academic path as a Biology major with an ultimate goal of becoming a veterinarian. After a self-guided independent study shadowing a veterinarian, her path (and major) transitioned to International Business, focusing on entrepreneurship and marketing.

While at Eckerd, Candis spent one year working at the Waterfront, two years an assistant in the International Business department, three years as editor for Arts & Entertainment/Lifestyles section for The Triton (the student newspaper at that time), and one year as the photography editor for the yearbook. She also participated in Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) and volunteered at both Creative Clay and Enterprise Village at the Stavros Institute.

After a 15-year career in business-to-business (B2B) marketing ranging from media buying for national brands like Ideal Image to experiential marketing initiatives at Cannes Lions Festival and CES for companies like eBay, Candis has shifted her focus back to the family business of residential real estate to have a more direct impact on her community and neighbors. This current adventure has kept her in Pinellas County, where she still lives.

The common thread through Candis' career has been unrivaled customer service, strong communication, extensive organization skills, and a desire to teach in order to elevate those around her.

Grace Gair ’08 | B.A. Anthropology and International Relations

Director and Security Architect for Radian Group

Grace Gair graduated from Eckerd College in 2008 with a double major in Anthropology and International Relations. Following graduation, Grace received a Fulbright scholarship to South Korea, where she taught English. Grace then spent three years in Berlin, Germany, where she completed her Master's degree in Public Policy and worked as a consultant.

Grace is currently a Director and Security Architect for Radian Group in Philadelphia, PA, where she is responsible for the development of several cyber security services as well as IT Security Architecture evaluations for initiatives across the enterprise. Previously, Grace was the Lead of Strategic IT Risk Initiatives for Moody's in NYC, where she helped build the organization's Third Party Cyber Risk Management Program. Grace is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

Doreen Galli ’89 | B.S. Business, Computer Science, and Mathematics

TA/CTO for Global Expansion & Transformation (GTE) at Microsoft

Doreen Galli attended Eckerd College from 1985-1989 and graduated with the Highest Honors. Her majors were Business, Computer Science and Mathematics. She was a GTE-CoSIDA All American Cross Country runner and was active in 17 clubs and committees, including ACM, Rotaract, and ConReg and By.

Throughout Dr. Galli's career, she has served as a director and/or C-Level executive for IBM, DHL, Dell, AT&T and Gartner, to name a few. Dr. Galli has also been trained as a professional speaker, and she has been invited to speak at distinguished venues such as the Forbes Executive Summit, CIO Summit, CIO Academy, Network+ Interop Las Vegas & Atlanta, The Internet Security Conference, WITI Conference, Grace Hopper, Strategic Analytics Summit, CES WITI Innovation Panel, and Gartner’s Catalyst Conference.

Sarah Sieloff06 | B.A. International Relations, Spanish

Senior Planner at Maul Foster & Alongi, Inc.

Sarah Sieloff graduated from Eckerd in 2006 with a B.A. in International Studies and Spanish.

After Sarah graduated from Eckerd, she taught English in Thailand as a Fulbright scholar for a year, and came back to Seattle, where she worked with people experiencing homelessness. She went to India to work for an ambulance service, then graduate school where she earned a Master of Public affairs. Sarah was very focused on international development, and after graduating, she worked for the US agency for international development in Washington DC for a little over a year, then switch to the to the domestic side of things and went to work for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Memphis, serving as the team lead for the White House Council on Strong Cities, Strong Communities. Sarah spent almost 4 years with the federal government before joining the Center for Creative Land Recycling as its executive director, where she served for five years. She then went to Japan for about 15 months as a Council on Foreign Relations-Hitachi Fellow, where she researched how Japanese cities are responding to population decline. After many years away, Sarah is very happy to return to the Pacific NW, where she grew up, and works mostly with local governments as a planner at Maul Foster and Alongi, an interdisciplinary environmental consulting firm.

Outside of work, Sarah studies Japanese, writes a Substack newsletter that builds on the research she did in Japan, and volunteers with a local dog rescue. She would like to get back into volunteer tutoring, especially adult literacy tutoring, which she did when she lived in Memphis and found it to be incredibly valuable and inspiring. She would also like to get back into a band one day.

Allyson Porter '82 | B.A. Economics

Managing Partner, Emeritus, at Keika Ventures

Allyson Porter graduated in 1982 from Eckerd College with a degree in Economics. She also has a masters in International Management.

Allyson started her career in the mid ‘80s as an economic analyst in appropriate technologies/alternative energy and transitioned to environmental impact assessments, development management plans and evaluating sustainable development projects. By the early 90s, her career track was more focused on the environmental industry, where she headed up international sales and marketing for an environmental laboratory specializing in dioxin analysis.

In 1997, Allyson envisioned a more efficient mechanism for her environmental clients and co-founded a company that connected domestic and international clients requiring environmental products/services with the best suppliers of those products/services. This company, with the assistance of more than $19 million in venture funding, created the first business-to-business (B2B) marketplace for environmental products and services, which later transitioned into B2B environmental, health and safety software applications. Realizing that B2B might be perfect for the “General Motors” of the world, many international clients actually preferred the hand-holding and general sharing of information that comes from one-on-one interaction. This combined with wanting to get back into understanding her clients specific project needs as they relate to their country's environmental regulations, Allyson and her partners established KeikaVentures, LLC, an environmental consulting company based in North Carolina. Allyson retired from Keika Ventures in September 2021 after 20 years as the Managing Director; however during her free time she has started two different companies.

Allyson has most recently returned to the United States after living 10 years in South America. Her free time is spent attempting to make the desert Southwest green (again).

Liz Tomaselli ’13 | B.A. Political Science

Executive Communications at PepsiCo

Liz Tomaselli graduated from Eckerd college in 2013 with a B.A. in Political Science and Journalism (after 3 very dedicated years as a marine science major!). As a student, she co-founded the Eckerd College chapter of Her Campus, the national online magazine, and was the editor-in-chief of the award-winning student newspaper The Current.

Liz has spent nearly a decade in the communications field, managing media relations and providing strategic communications counsel to Cabinet officials, senior U.S. government leaders, and C-Suite executives. At PepsiCo, she works on communications for the company’s senior executives, including strategic positioning, external communications, and drafting speeches, op-eds, and talking points.

She previously served as a U.S. Government spokesperson across multiple administrations for the State Department and the White House, where she worked daily with domestic and international media, prepared senior U.S. officials for media interviews and Congressional testimony, and developed strategic communications plans for a range of complex national security and foreign policy issues.

In her free time, Liz is an amateur runner, Meals On Wheels volunteer, barre class enthusiast, cappuccino consumer, shoe collector, and a frustrated but determined New York Mets fan.

Caroline Weatherill ’11 | B.A. International Business

Senior Vice President, Global HR Program Manager at Bank of America

Caroline Weatherill graduated from Eckerd in 2011 with a major in International Business and minors in Spanish and Psychology. While at Eckerd, Caroline spent time as the Director of the Student Community Standards Board, interned at a local marketing consulting group, studied abroad in London, England, and Athens, Greece, as well as participated in Spring Break Service Trips to Lima, Peru and St. John, USVI. After graduation, Caroline spent three years as an Admission Counselor at Eckerd and then went on to obtain her MBA from Simmons University in Boston, MA.

Following business school, Caroline joined Bank of America’s Leadership Development Program and has held roles across consumer banking, including managing a market of 27 financial centers, strategic operational enhancement design, and digital product adoption strategy. Caroline is currently a Senior Vice President Program Manager within Global Human Resources, leading enterprise-wide program initiatives to support Bank of America’s 300,000 employees and contractors. Caroline resides in Portland, Maine and spends most of her free time spoiling her dog, Mavis.

Sofia Zrioka ’11 | B.A. Global Business, German

North America Regional Marketing Manager for Chemistry, Hematology & Urinalysis at IDEXX

Sofia Zrioka graduated from Eckerd in 2011 with a major in Global Business and minor in German. While at Eckerd, Sofia studied abroad doing several independent studies in Denmark, Sweden and Greece and found her passion in the relationship building aspect of business and commercial marketing.

Following graduation from Eckerd, Sofia moved back to Maine and started working at IDEXX Laboratories, an international company headquartered in Maine which focuses on developing veterinary diagnostics and testing. For almost 6 years on the Diagnostic Imaging commercial marketing team, Sofia supported all digital radiography hardware and software commercial activities, from the planning, production, and implementation of all educational content to managing the launch of “Lower the Dose” – the first radiation safety campaign for the veterinary market. In 2018, Sofia accepted a position as a Marketing Manager on the Field Marketing Team supporting IDEXX’s sales organization and their in-house analyzer portfolio. In 2020, Sofia became the Regional Marketing Manager for Chemistry, Hematology and Urinalysis for North America where she is responsible for the region’s marketing plans for those 3 franchises including the creation and implementation of sales tools, programs and promotions. Sofia is currently leading a core team for IDEXX’s first global utilization program for customers to trial IDEXX’s innovative SDMA test which evaluates kidney function of cats and dogs.Sofia lives in Bath, Maine with her partner Robert renovating their 1890s home and with their cat Tusse-Lou. They hope to add a pup to the mix soon but in the meantime, Sofia enjoys spending time with family, hiking, and looking forward to her PGL (Personal Growth Leave) from IDEXX as next year will be her 10th year with the company.

animals / biology / marine science

Melody Chaplin ‘16 | B.S. Marine Science

Fisheries Scientist IV at the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources

Melody Chaplin graduated in 2016 with a B.S. in Marine Science (Biology Track), a B.A. in Psychology, and a minor in Visual Art. Outside of academia, she proved to be a prominent force of the Eckerd Waterfront, working as a Recreation Supervisor, Sailing and Summer Camp Instructor, and as the Senior Marketing Coordinator for the program. In addition to her time as a work scholar, she volunteered as a boat driver and student leader for Eckerd College Search and Rescue team. She also immersed herself in student life at Eckerd, acting as a Resident Advisor and peer resource for the community.

Following graduation, Melody worked for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute as a part of the Crustaceans Research Department. There she participated in the long-term Stone Crab Monitoring project for 3 years, leading weekly scientific field sampling and conducting seasonal observer trips on commercial crabbing vessels through the Gulf Coast. Melody put the skills she learned at the Eckerd College Waterfront to use, acting as the Safety Liaison for her department, conducting boat driving and trailer training courses for new staff, and performing vessel maintenance and repairs.

Melody recently accepted a position as a Fisheries Scientist with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources: Shrimp & Crab Bureau. As such, she continues to conduct routine scientific field sampling and data management. This new position also allows her to take a more active role in the management and policy side of Mississippi’s Marine Fisheries. Just as with her time spent at FWC, maintaining good communication and positive relations with commercial and recreational stake holders is still the most important part of her job.

Kristen Jabanoski ’09 | B.S. Marine Science

Science Communications Specialist at NOAA

Kristen Jabanoski graduated from Eckerd in 2009 with a B.S. in Marine Science and a minor in Classics. At Eckerd, she participated in the work-study program, was a Ford Apprentice Scholar, and studied abroad at James Cook University in Australia, where she learned about coral reef ecology and conservation. As a NOAA Hollings Scholar, she completed an internship focused on the ecology of deep and mesophotic coral reefs in Hawaii.

Following graduation, Kristen earned her Master’s degree in Marine Biology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. During this time, she was a scientific diver and assisted with long-term monitoring of marine sponge communities in Florida and the Caribbean. Her thesis focused on ecosystem services provided by oysters. Driven to understand how science supports environmental policy, Kristen applied for and received the Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. She spent five years in Washington, D.C., making research understandable and actionable to policymakers and constituents. She also helped manage NOAA’s higher education programs and worked toward improving diversity and inclusion in the marine and atmospheric sciences.

Kristen is currently a Science Communications Specialist for the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center. She serves on her local conservation commission and lives in the New Haven area with her partner Andrew and their border collie mix. She looks forward to helping students reach their goals, whether they’re interested in academic research or exploring the innumerable other opportunities their science background can unlock.

Lindsay Jennings ’10 | B.S. Marine Science

Traceability and Counter-IUU Fishing Project Director at FishWise

Lindsay Jennings graduated from Eckerd in 2010 with a major in Marine Science and a minor in Psychology. While at Eckerd, she explored various activities including women’s club soccer, EC-SAR, and a 6-month study abroad in Australia; she also worked as a campus tour guide and as a teaching assistant. Off-campus, she interned with Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary and The Florida Aquarium.

Following graduation, Lindsay worked with Florida Fish and Wildlife’s Harmful Algae Bloom division in St. Petersburg before attending the University of Miami to obtain her Master's of Professional Science (MPS) degree in Marine Affairs and Policy. There, she not only developed field skills in tagging and collecting data for shark research, but found a passion for the nexus of scientific research, policy, and conservation. With this new direction, she took a fellowship in Washington, D.C., where she worked to garner support for and pass anti-illegal fishing legislation through Congress. She currently is a Project Director for FishWise, a sustainable seafood consultancy based in California. She provides the seafood industry with the tools, resources, and tailored guidance to identify and mitigate sustainability, traceability, and social responsibility risks within seafood supply chains.

Lindsay lives in St. Petersburg and on days when she isn’t schooling others on what sustainable seafood to purchase, she enjoys eating said seafood, paddle boarding across Florida waters, enjoying the beaches, and adding new countries to her travel bucket list.

Dominique Lazarre ’06 | B.S. Marine Science, Environmental Studies

Fisheries Researcher at Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

Dominique Lazarre graduated from Eckerd College in 2006 with a double major in Marine Science (Biology Track) and Environmental Studies. As a student, Dominique was a mainstay of the Waterfront Program and served as Team Leader for the Eckerd College Search and Rescue Team. After graduation, she continued working for the Waterfront teaching seamanship and navigational skills.

Dominique completed a PhD in Marine Biology and Fisheries at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Her doctoral research focused on understanding the dynamics of invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish in the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic Ocean, and Caribbean Sea. During this time, she accompanied commercial lobster fishermen at sea to evaluate the impact of lionfish on their catch.

Dr. Lazarre is currently an Associate Research Scientist at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. She leads a data management team that provides fisheries data to state and regional partners for species assessments that support sustainable fisheries in Florida. Dominique also has experience working in academia: she is currently an adjunct professor for the Department of Biological Sciences at University of South Florida St. Petersburg and was previously a visiting professor in Environmental Studies at Eckerd College.


William "Patrick" Clough '97| B.A. International Studies

Japanese Language Specialist at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Patrick graduated from Eckerd in 1997 with a B.A. in Psychology, however Patrick has always had a passion for Japanese language and culture ever since his family was stationed in Okinawa, Japan during 5th - 7th grade. While at Eckerd, Patrick created a concentration major in Japanese Area Studies using the East Asian Area Studies major as a base and adding more courses specific to Japan. This included several independent studies under the mentorship of the Japanese professor.

Immediately after graduation Patrick moved up the road to Orlando and worked for a local translation and interpreting company called International Planning, Incorporated. At the time they had the account for the second largest tour company in Japan, Kintetsu International. Patrick worked there in the tour operations section for around two and a half years before stumbling upon a notice that the FBI was hiring linguists. After taking the tests on a whim and the rest is history. The bulk of Patrick's work is comprised of translation, interpreting, cultural research, and brokering communications between FBI personnel and international partners.

Patrick is very active these days raising his kids and being as involved in their lives as possible. These days that means shuttling them to and from extracurricular activities and sometimes traveling with them to meets and competitions. He is also active in his church and spend a lot of time doing community service work. In the spaces between all the activity listening to music of all kinds, reading a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, learning new home improvement and other skills by watching YouTube videos, and playing games of all kinds (board, computer, console, etc.) is what you can find Patrick doing.

Laura Goodloe ’04 | B.A. Political Science

Partner Attorney at Puchalski Goodloe Marzullo

Laura Goodloe’s love for Florida and the outdoors drew her to Eckerd College in 2000. Majoring in Political Science and minoring in International Relations, Laura fostered numerous relationships with faculty, staff, and fellow students on campus. During her college career, Laura took the opportunity to participate in various independent studies and was fortunate enough to travel to Geneva, Switzerland, for a Spring Into Summer program focused on international relations and non-governmental organizations. Upon graduation in 2004, Laura went on to receive her J.D. from Stetson University College of Law. During law school, Laura interned as a clerk for Florida’s Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court and worked as a law clerk for a reputable law firm in Bradenton, Florida. Laura returned to Chicago in 2007 to intern with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Laura is a founding partner of Puchalski Goodloe Marzullo, LLP. Laura’s practice focuses on police and fire pension law as well immigration law. Her expertise not only covers proper administration and oversight of hundred-million-dollar pension funds throughout the state, but also administrative adjudications and circuit and appellate court review. Laura's immigration law practice focuses primarily on representing professional athletes in the NHL and AHL.

Laura is admitted to practice before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States District Court for Illinois. She has argued numerous cases before Illinois’ State and Appellate Courts, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Laura is married to her law partner Jeff, is an avid equestrian who has competed on a national level, and has two Bernese mountain dogs named Finn and Ferris.

Abigail Gustafson10 | B.S. Business Administration

Contracting Officer at The State Department

Abigail Gustafson graduated from Eckerd with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration and a Minor in Spanish. She also has a Masters of Science in International Policy from Kennesaw State University. While at Eckerd she was a member of Palmetto Productions, active in Campus Activities, was a lifeguard at the Eckerd pool, ESL Conversation Partner, and member of the Multi-Cultural Dance Club. She studied abroad in Puebla, Mexico for a semester and participated in a Spring Break Service Trip to Biloxi, Mississippi.

After Eckerd, Abigail moved back to Maine to work for a software company before becoming a Peace Corps volunteer in Jamaica. Following her time in Jamaica, she moved to Nairobi, Kenya for two years where she worked as a Financial Controller for a Danish agricultural processing equipment company. In 2016, she landed an internship with the State Department Bureau of Populations, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) in Washington, D.C.. Following her internship, she worked in the Comptroller’s Office for PRM, then later moved into a role at the Pentagon consulting on a project for the Navy. After taking some time off from the government to manage the D.C. office of WildLifeDirect, a Kenyan-based animal conservation NGO, she went back to work for the State Department in 2019 and has been there ever since. Currently, Abigail is a Contracting Officer managing multiple contracts in high-threat environments.

Outside of work Abigail enjoys hiking, yoga, doing activities with her dog, reading, traveling and ceramics.

Joann Lockard | B.A. International Affairs

Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Abidjan/Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. State Department

Joann Lockard is a proud parent of her daughter who attends Eckerd College. Although Joann did not attend Eckerd, she was very involved with her academic studies. She majored in International Affairs with minors in French and History in 1996, which she studied for a year abroad in France. Joann joined the Foreign Service in May of 1998 after passing entrance exams a year earlier. To join the Foreign Service, applicants must take a series of exams that can last a year or more. Joann's course work in history, economics, political science, and foreign languages, as well as writing intensive classes were the most beneficial for preparing her for her career.

The Foreign Service is a career track. Most entrants plan on remaining for a 20-year or longer career, and earn a pension upon retirement. Much of your job training is on-the-job, but international experience, such as in the Peace Corps, as a foreign missionary, working in international business, or any opportunity to live or work overseas will be excellent preparation for the required lifestyle. Foreign Service Officers, like the military, move every 2-3 years for the entirety of their career. Love of travel and engaging foreign publics and governments, as well as excellent communication and interpersonal skills are requirements for this exciting career. As a Public Affairs Officer, which she was for much of her 24-year career, Joann was the public face of our U.S. embassies overseas. She coordinated all of our external communication, including both traditional and social media, as well as engaged frequently with the public, particularly students, talking about the United States and our foreign policy priorities.

Now as Deputy Chief of Mission at our U.S. Embassy in Abidjan, Joann am responsible for over 400 employees and coordinate the activities of nine U.S. government agencies that work in Côte d'Ivoire. Most of my day-to-day responsibilities focus on internal management of the Embassy and developing our strategy to advance U.S. policy priorities in West Africa. However, when the Ambassador is out of the country, as the number two in the Embassy, she step into the role of Chargé d'Affaires and am the primary diplomat for the United States in Côte d'Ivoire.

Outside of work Joann likes to ride horses (when she cans even though she is not very good!), read, and hangout with friends. Joann loves to try new foods in the various countries that she visits. Lastly, of course she loves to travel.

environmental sciences

Graham Ellison '11| B.A. Environmental Studies, Biology

Scientist at The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)

Graham graduated Eckerd in 2011 with a double major in Environmental Studies and Biology. As a student, he spent ampule time on the water. Whether that was in Eckerd College Search and Rescue (EC-SAR), the Waterfront Boat Captain, or just fishing off the seawall.

Following graduation, Graham worked with the Department of Natural Resources Blue Crab program in Maryland conducting population research before attending Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, where he received his Master's in Environmental Science. While working toward his Masters, Graham worked as a Team Leader for the National Spill Control School teaching oil spill response and prevention. He continued to develop his skills for emergency response in the environment while working for Arcadis (Environmental Consulting Firm). He conducted emergency response for train derailments and underground water plume restoration. Graham now works in the Superfund program as a Scientist for the USEPA.

Outside of work, Graham spends time on the Chesapeake Bay on his 20' bay boat when he is not traveling the world and experiencing new cultures.

Tessa Foorman '12 | B.A. Biology, Environmental Studies

Executive Coordinator at The Nature Conservancy

Tessa Foorman (McMullen) graduated Eckerd in 2012 with dual B.A. 's in Biology and Environmental Studies and a minor in Coastal Management. As a student at Eckerd, she was a Student Ambassador giving campus tours, started the Field Hockey Club, played her flute in the Wind Ensemble all four years, and became the Director of Pet Council her senior year. Tessa had the opportunity to intern at some pretty rad places including the Marine Mammal Pathobiology Lab, the South Florida Museum with Snooty the manatee (RIP), USGS in St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay Watch, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. One of her favorite off-campus memories was her Winter Term in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.

After college, Tessa found herself on the west coast working in environmental education for NatureBridge and volunteering with the Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands in the Bay Area (San Francisco). This led to a position at WildAid, an environmental nonprofit focusing on demand-reduction for illegal wildlife products, which ultimately inspired her to return to graduate school and travel to Africa for her research. When Tessa headed back to her home state of Colorado, she attended Colorado State University where she received her M.S. in Conservation Leadership. Her research in northern Tanzania looked at local attitudes and perceptions of community-based conservation in Burunge Wildlife Management Area, just outside of Tarangire National Park.

For the last three years Tessa has been based in Denver, CO working at The Nature Conservancy (TNC). She currently sits on the Global Protect Oceans, Lands and Water team providing project management for both the Ocean Protection and Conservation in Partnership with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities sub-teams. She previously worked in the Chief Conservation Office (CCO) / Office of the President managing operations and special projects. Tessa was also a Coda Fellow (internal TNC fellowship program) from Oct. 2019 – June 2020 for the Africa team working to support the Strategy Leads to finalize the business plans for three of the region's strategies. For the past 1.5 years she has been active on the Steering Committee of the Young and Emerging Professionals (YEP) Employee Resource Group at TNC, working to leverage the full potential of young and emerging professionals at The Nature Conservancy to ensure conservation success.

Joe Whalen ’14 | B.A. Environmental Studies

Communication & Outreach Coordinator at The Tampa Bay Estuary Program

Influenced by the pace and culture of Long Island, New York, Joe Whalen has spent his years since relocating to St. Pete cultivating skills and experience in a multitude of fields including environmental communications, graphic design, large-scale event management, and music performance and production. Throughout his four years at Eckerd, Joe supported shore bird conservation efforts through internships while simultaneously pursuing opportunities in the local and international music scene.

After graduating in 2014 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and a minor in Visual Arts, Joe chased various Tampa Bay-based opportunities with the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County, Pathfinder Outdoor Education, and the Zoo Studios and Event Space. Today, Joe finds himself immersed in the emerging field of Environmental Communications, a career track supported by his recently completed Executive Certificate in Environmental Communications for Behavior Change at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

As the Tampa Bay Estuary Program’s Communication & Outreach Coordinator, Joe works with regional partners to protect and restore the bay through social marketing tactics and educational programming. He proudly sits on numerous boards and advisory committees, including the Manatee Awareness Coalition, Stormwater Public Education Task Force, Florida-Friendly Landscaping Committee, Bay Soundings Editorial Advisory Committee and Pathfinder Outdoor Education’s Board of Directors.

social services

Meg Fitzpatrick '11 | B.A. Human Development

Psychologist, PsyD, NCSP at Private Practice

Meg Fitzpatrick graduated Eckerd in 2011 with a B.A. in Human Development. While at Eckerd Meg was heavily involved in the visual arts scene, but really floated, and tried a little bit of everything! She was not a kid who understood the value of college, and really only succeeded at EC due to the support and love of the Human Development professors.

After Eckerd, Meg moved to Hawaii for a year to work at a horticultural therapy program, then to Boston to work at a residential treatment center while she figured out what I wanted to do within the world of mental health. She then switched to a position as an in-home therapist for high risk adolescents for two years, and decided grad school was the move. Meg pursued my doctorate in School Psychology at University of Colorado Denver, and graduated in 2020. Since then, she has also pursued her license in clinical psychology, and is now a dual licensed psychologist with both clinical and school licenses.

Outside of work Meg is an artist, a plant mom, and a professional aerialist in a circus group!

Briana O'Neill ’09 | B.A. Human Development

Co Founder & Speech Language Pathologist at Supercalifragilistic Speech Language Therapy

Briana O'Neill graduated from Eckerd College in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development. While at Eckerd College, Briana participated in a variety of servant leadership projects from campus to Chicago to Puerto Rico! She studied abroad at the London House, during which time she traveled to 15 different countries. Briana's Eckerd college roommates are still her best friends, and they are fortunate enough to get together across the country at least a few times per year.

As your mentor, Briana will strive to be an educator, coach, and advocate for you, and she will use her many skill sets in leadership and organization to grow your professional strengths while "Thinking Outside," as is the Eckerd way.

Briana holds a Master of Science in Communication Disorders and is the Co-Founder & Lead Speech-Language Pathologist of Supercalifragilistic Therapy, Inc. She is a board member of the Junior League of Boston, a member of the League of Women Voters of Boston, and holds a graduate certificate in Educational Leadership from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

in memory

Susan Kilham 65 | B.S. Biology

Professor Emerita at Drexel University

Susan S. Kilham went to Duke University after graduation from FPC where she received her Ph.D. in Zoology/Oceanography. Her dissertation was on deep sea bivalve mollusks living on the abyssal plain of the North Atlantic Ocean. She and her husband Peter Kilham went to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for their postdoctoral research following which they went to the University of Michigan in 1972. She started working on phytoplankton in the Great Lakes and other lakes around the world. After Peter died on a research trip to Africa in 1989, she decided to move to Drexel University in Philadelphia in January 1991. She retired in 2020 and is now Professor Emerita.

Susan was exposed to phytoplankton research during her postdoctoral time and pursued studies on competition among planktonic diatoms in collaboration with Peter and several graduate and undergraduate students. One major finding was that resource ratios were fundamental to understanding phytoplankton community structure. After moving to Drexel she began collaborations with scientists at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia (which eventually became part of Drexel University). She worked on phytoplankton/zooplankton interactions and intensive field studies, especially in the large lakes of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. A major discovery was that species diversity increased with the increase in the number of limiting resources. Her research resulted in more than 75 publications and many professional recognitions, including Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Fellow of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography. She also received the Delaware Estuary Sharp Lifetime Achievement Award and the Phycological Society of America Award of Excellence, among others.

She also participated in activities devoted a lot of her energies to mentorship. She was advisor or co-advisor for 21 doctoral students and served on committees of an additional 67 Ph.D. students. She had 17 MS students and served on committees of an additional 30 MS students. Many undergraduates also worked in her laboratories. She also participated in activities promoting women in science and engineering at all levels.