Having worked for several years on community development programs with nonprofits
across the country, it’s safe to say community engagement efforts run deep for Justin.
A unique career path of nonprofits, politics, and even a stint as a Co-Op at NASA
eventually led him back to college campuses. Once in higher education, Justin began
in residential education but was soon drawn back to his love of community engagement
and service-learning. He most recently served six years as the Assistant Director
of the Center for Leadership & Civic Engagement at the University of South Florida
- Tampa. Although he was raised and attended undergrad in Cleveland, Justin also lived
in DC and Indiana before moving to Tampa. When not at work, Justin can be found enjoying
time outdoors, at a community meeting, attempting some creative project, or jamming
to a “Best of the 80s and 90s” playlist with his wife and two-year-old son!
Jessi grew up moving around a lot as a military child but relocated from North Carolina
to Fort Myers in order to attend Florida Gulf Coast University. She graduated in 2014
earning a B.A. in Environmental Studies. While at FGCU she was very involved in the
many environmental clubs on campus as well as the Honors program. Her passion and
love surround social justice, sustainability, and the environment. She found a second
home at the Food Forest and helped them develop the first Food Forest Coordinator
position. After graduation, Jessi worked at CREW Land & Water Trust as their Education
Coordinator. After four years in the non-profit sector, she made her way back home
to FGCU. She is currently working on her Master’s degree in Environmental Science
and working full time in the Office of Service-Learning & Civic Engagement as the
Lisa is a former New Yorker whose love for warmth and sun drew her to Florida's sandy
shores. She is a graduate of FGCU, earning her B.A. in English with a Creative Writing
minor. She has a passion for music, gardening, bees, writing, Netflix, and being
of service to others. If she could, Lisa would have way more than two dogs, because
'Rescue' is her favorite breed. She also adores puns, corny jokes, a good pencil,
and the Oxford comma. She is secretly fascinated by dreams of world domination.
If you ask what plans she has for the next 10 years Lisa would tell you, "The same
plans I had for the last 10, to try and take over the world."
Shallyn is originally from Canton, Ohio. Prior to coming to the Fort Myers area, she
worked for Walsh University and Teach For America. Shallyn jumped at the offer to
join the Office of Service-Learning & Civic Engagement at FGCU. She is happy to be
part of a new team. Her upbringing and personal experiences have taught her that
“it’s not what you have, it’s what you give and that’s where greatness lies.” She
is excited to be in this particular position because she feels as a newbie it is a
great way to connect with the local community. Shallyn deeply believes in education
and the power it has to impact individuals as well as the opportunities outside the
classroom it creates. What better place to be than in Service-Learning & Civic Engagement!
Lexi, who loves Pad Thai, is originally from Boca Raton, Florida. She is a Senior
majoring in Psychology with a minor in Education. Her plan after spring graduation
2020 is to become a teacher for the School District of Lee County. Lexi believes
that service brings opportunities to students and provides them with a connection
to our FGCU community as well as to the local and broader communities around us.
"Service has given me the drive to keep learning while deepening my love of serving
my community." Lexi credits former Director of the Office of Service-Learning & Civic
Engagement, Jessica Rhea, with influencing and inspiring her to become a service ambassador.
"Mrs. Rhea's passions for serving our community and teaching FGCU students the importance
of service is what helped me decide to apply for the position." Lexi's very happy
that she did!
Meghan is a Sophomore majoring in Communication with a minor in Management. She was
born in Michigan, but now calls Tampa, Florida home. Meghan believes that "service
is an amazing opportunity in which you can positively impact others' lives while also
serving yourself". On campus, Meghan also works as a mentor for both athletics and
Jenna is a Senior majoring in Resort and Hospitality with a concentration in Event
Management. She was born in Portland, Maine but now lives in Jupiter, Florida. Jenna
is also a part of Kappa Delta Sorority and the Best Buddies RSO president. To Jenna,
service is about being able to change the lives of others, while impacting your own.
Jenna wanted to be a service ambassador because of the life changing experiences it
would bring her and the amazing people she would meet. After spring 2020 graduation,
Jenna's dream is to work for the national non-profit, Best Buddies.
Prisca is from the small town of Naples, Fl. She originally went away for college,
but claims that, “the divine plan was greater than my own and I ended up right back
here; home.” She is a Senior majoring in Integrated Studies. Prisca feels that
attending FGCU has been a blessing as she’s met some of the most amazing and inspiring
people. She says that serving as an ambassador for the Office of Service Learning
and Civic Engagement is an honor because “serving others, especially the youth, is
a great passion of mine. It provides me the opportunity to learn and grow as an individual
while giving back to my community. To be an ambassador means that I can share my love
of service with my peers on this campus, and maybe inspire love for it as well.” Prisca
also enjoys singing, writing, and spending quality time with the ones dearest to her.
If you see Prisca around campus go ahead and wave hello! She guarantees that she
will wave back! Lastly, “I am also a hugger. Just throwing that out there!”
Graduating May 2020, Evelyn is a Senior majoring in Criminal Justice with a minor
in Spanish. Born and raised in Fort Myers, Florida. Evelyn feels that though FGCU
is close to home, it still offered her a chance to make a difference. She works as
one of the Youth Empowerment Ambassadors because of the joy it brings her to help
fellow FGCU students understand the importance of engaging with the local youths;
whether it is mentoring them, playing games during one of the ambassador facilitated
events, or simply giving them advice or direction about possible future options after