Peer Counselors

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GET STARTED
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Request Info
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Visit
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Apply

Meet Your Peer Counselors!

The Marine and Atmospheric Science Program

Welcome all incoming and prospective students! As the Peer Counselors, we would like to introduce you to life as a student at both the University of Miami and the Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS). Incoming students are paired with a Peer Counselor who will help make the transition into college as smooth and enjoyable as possible, both academically and socially. We are here as guides for incoming and prospective students who are interested in studying marine and atmospheric science. If you have any questions about the program, the campus, life at the university, or anything else, please email any one of us, and we will do our very best to help you find an answer to your questions.

Peer Counselors

Samantha Shedd

Samantha Shedd,

Head of the Peer Counselors
Majors: Marine Science and Biology
Minors: Microbiology
Class: 2018
Email: s.shedd3121@gmail.com
Favorite Marine Animal: Juvenile Black Spotted Drum

Hello! My name is Samantha Shedd, but I go by Sammy. I’m from New Orleans, LA and a senior at UM. I work in the marine science department as well as at RSMAS taking care of coral. I’m always very busy on the weekends being involved in Rho Rho Rho and SCUBA club. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the awesome opportunities the clubs that UMiami offers. I have gone SCUBA diving with whale sharks, played with dolphins, and gone on other amazing trips with both groups, most of them for free. This summer, I was working at New Orleans Audubon Aquarium of the Americas as an aquarist intern. If you have any questions at all, please email me!


Kiana FordKiana Ford,

Vice-Head of the Peer Counselors
Majors: Marine Science and Biology
Minors: Chemistry
Class: 2019
Email: kford8@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Orca

Hi everyone, my name is Kiana and I am a rising junior here at the U from Juneau, AK. I’m your vice peer counselors for the marine peer counselor program. Here at school I’m involved with a number of activities including Rho Rho Rho, University of Miami Alternative Breaks, and the Intramural department where I work as a supervisor. I’m also an intern at NOAA in their Early Life History Lab (located right across from the RSMAS campus). This summer I participated in a research cruise with NOAA in the Gulf of Mexico, where we researched Bluefin Tuna. I also will be heading to Saudi Arabia in late July to participate in a research internship with KAUST on the red sea


PAtricia AlbanoPatricia Albano,

Majors: Marine Science and Biology
Minors: Chemistry and Psychology
Class: 2018
Email: p.albano@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Great Hammerhead Shark

Hi new MSC Fam! Welcome to the U! My name is Patricia Albano (I go by Trish) and I am a senior from Pembroke Pines, FL. I am majoring in marine science and biology with minors in chemistry and psychology. I am currently an intern at UM’s Shark Research and Conservation Program where I participate in field work, lab work, and coordinate public outreach events for the lab. Some fun facts: I really love diving, camping, and all things outdoors! Other fun fact: I can walk on my hands. This past summer, I spent most of my time at RSMAS working in the shark lab and working on my senior thesis research project all about the effects of temperature on sharks! Can’t wait to meet you all and go Canes!


Trinity ConnTrinity Conn,

Majors: Marine Science and Biology
Minors: French, Chemistry and Climate Science and Policy
Class: 2019
Email:txc213@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Plerogyra sinusa, aka Bubble Coral!!

My name is Trinity Conn, and I am a Junior studying Marine Science and Biology with minors in French, Chemistry and Climate Science and Policy at RSMAS. I am originally from Seattle but my main interest is coral biology, so the University of Miami was easily the perfect choice for me. I am really looking forward to meeting all of the new freshman that are coming in this year, and to get into more specific and challenging courses this year! I spent this summer working in my lab doing research on coral response to bleaching, specifically the dynamics of the symbiodinium community in Acropora cervicornis before and after bleaching stressors!


Sophia CordeSophia Corde,

Majors: Marine Science and Biology
Minors: Psychology
Class: 2019
Email: scc51@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Beluga Whale

Hi, I’m Sophia Corde, I’m from Westport, Connecticut and I’m a marine science and biology major! I am involved in the scuba, rho rho rho and marine mammal rescue team clubs. I am also a member of the cross country and track and field teams here at the University. This summer I worked at the Sherwood Island Nature Center in charge of the touch tank and educating the public on the different organisms that live in the Long Island Sound.


Katie DantoniKatie Dantoni,

Majors: Marine Science and Biology
Minors: Chemistry and Psychology
Class: 2019
Email: k.dantoni@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Ribbon Seal

Hi! I’m a senior studying Marine Science and Biology with minors in Chemistry and Psychology. I am the President of Marine Mammal Rescue Team and want to be a wildlife veterinarian taking care of sharks, seals, sea otters, whales, and other critters. I love crafting, bad jokes, and getting pictures of people's pets. So excited for this year!


ethan dinerEthan Diner,

Majors: Marine Science and Biology
Class: 2020
Email: ejd90@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Turritopsis dornii (or the Immortal Jellyfish)

Hello! In the fall of 2017 I will be a sophomore majoring in marine science and biology (although I am also interested in the microbiology/immunology program as well as applied analytical math). My experiences freshman year have led me to the determination that choosing to study at RSMAS is among the best decisions I remember making. Some of my specific academic interests are the impacts of global warming on marine ecosystems and conservation biology/ecology. In my free time, I enjoy being a member of Rho Rho Rho and the SCUBA club as well as Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP). Moreover, I hope to start working in cephalopod research at NOAA in the fall. I grew up in Washington, DC (the actual city, not one of its suburbs) and attended a STEM academy within a public high school. Over the summer, I work part time in a DC art gallery and as a landscape gardener.


Catherine dremlukCatherine Dremluk,

Majors: Marine Science and Biology
Minors: Chemistry and Marine Policy
Class: 2019
Email: cad73@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Octopus

I am a rising junior, born and raised in the Washington, DC area. I’m a former competitive Irish dancer, and came to Miami to pursue majors in marine science and biology with minors in chemistry and marine policy. On campus, I am involved in the Scuba Club, RhoRhoRho, and my sorority, and I spent my summer in Miami taking classes and diving on my free weekends. My past summers have been spent on the Jersey shore, which have also included working at kids' marine biology camps and at a light house. I love anything outdoors, my favorite hobby is either scuba diving or eating!


emily greenEmily Green,

Majors: Marine Science and Biology, Pre-med Track
Minors: Chemistry
Class: 2020
Email: emg154@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Manatee

Hi, I’m Emily Green from Syracuse, NY. My majors are marine science and biology on the pre-med track. Fun facts about me: I swam with dolphins in the wild in the Bahamas and made friends with some manatees in Crystal River. In my free time, I enjoy watching documentaries about the ocean or videos of surgical heart transplants. I also love photography, swimming, surfing, hiking, camping, and anything that involves being outdoors. Three things I could not live without are coffee, mangos, and anything pumpkin flavored. Oh yeah, and I was one of the first 1,000 successful babies ever created in a petri dish. This summer, I assisted with research in the neuroscience lab at Syracuse University, studying the neural mechanisms of learning and memory


greenbergGabriella Greenberg,

Majors: Marine Science, Biology, Applied Math
Minors: Chemistry
Class: 2020
Email: geg60@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Whale Shark

Hi, I’m Gabi and I’m from Orlando, FL. I’m a sophomore with majors in Marine Science, Biology, and Applied Math and a minor in Chemistry. I’m also part of the University of Miami Ultimate Frisbee Team, the LOCKED dance group, and I work at the Rathskeller. My absolute favorite marine animal is the Whale shark, although the “Ping-Pong” Tree sponge in the Mariana’s Trench is cool too.


claire griffinClaire Griffin,

Majors: Marine Science and Biology
Minors: Chemistry, Political Science
Class: 2020
Email: ceg129@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Bottlenose Dolphin or Sea Lion

Hey everyone! I’m Claire Griffin, a sophomore here at UM, and I’m so excited to meet you all! I’m from the chilly suburbs of Chicago: Lake Zurich, IL to be exact. While I love home, I have no trouble saying coming to Miami was the best decision I’ve ever made (and not just because of the weather), and I hope you soon feel the same! The opportunities offered by this school are truly unparalleled; outside of class I’m a part of choir, Rho Rho Rho, Scuba Club, Alpha Delta Pi sorority, I.M.P.A.C.T leadership, assistant to Dr. Liza Merly in her marine bio lab, and will also be Vice President of Marine Mammal Rescue Team this coming year! Over the summer I’m pumped to be visiting Seward, Alaska for a week, surrounded by amazing wildlife, including a few of my favorite marine animals: orcas, otters and humpbacks! After that I’ll be relaxing at home for a bit before I embark on a 4- week UM summer study abroad in London, studying political science for my minor. Some fun facts about me are that I’ve been vegetarian for 5 years, have an unhealthy obsession with Hamilton (seriously, I can rap every word), and just this year became open water certified with scuba club (which I HIGHLY recommend). My peer counselor was extremely helpful to me, so I hope to be as good a resource for you. Feel free to contact me with any questions and I’ll be happy to tell you all you need to know about RSMAS, Miami, freshman living, or anything else you’re wondering about!


ben hallBenjamin Hall,

Majors: Marine Science, Biology and Biochemistry
Class: 2018
Email: bennyyboxx@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Nudibranchs

Hello Incoming Miami Students!!s,
My name is Ben Hall, and I am a senior majoring in Marine Science, Biology, and Biochemistry. I'm from the Los Angeles area in California, and I love all things involving water. I am the president of Rho Rho Rho, the Marine and Atmospheric Science Honors Society, and I am an active member of SCUBA Club and KAOS, UM's hip hop dance team. Throughout my time at UM, I have gotten to study abroad both in Australia and in the Galapagos Islands, and I currently work in the Marine Genomics lab at RSMAS. Feel free to find me on Facebook (search Benjamin Hall) and I'll be able to answer any questions you may have before the semester starts. I look forward to meeting you!


sydney harnSydney Harned,

Majors: Marine Science and Biology
Minors: Chemistry
Class: 2018
Email: s.harned@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Great Hammerhead

I’m a rising senior from Dallas, TX, majoring in marine science and bio, with a minor in chemistry! This summer I’ll be participating in a research cruise with NOAA to determine spawning locations of large pelagic fish such as tuna. I am especially interested in marine genomics and hope to attend graduate school next fall.I am also the co-vice president of UM Scuba, and an avid diver. My favorite marine animal changes every week, but right now my top 3 are Mahi-Mahi, Cuttlefish, and the Great Hammerhead!


megMegan Howson,

Majors: Marine Science and Biology
Minors: Chemistry, Psychology
Class: 2018
Email: mxh316@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Seahorse

My name is Megan Howson. I am from Sparta, NJ (the middle of nowhere), a rising senior majoring in Marine Science/Bio minoring in Psychology/Chemistry and a die hard Cheesehead. I am on the club swim team (I have been swimming since before I could walk and on a team since I was 5 years old) , outgoing Secretary of Marine Mammal Rescue Club, a member of Rho Rho Rho, a sister and former philanthropy chair of Delta Delta Delta, and a swim coach at the pool. I want to do field research in marine mammal behavior (probably marine mammal behavior).


Anna ImhoffAnna Imhoff,

Majors: Marine Science and Biology
Minors: Chemistry
Class: 2019
Email: ami18@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Ctenophore

I am from Ames, Iowa and my major is Marine science and Biology with a minor in Chemistry. When I decided on my major I figured it would be a good idea to get scuba certified. There isn’t a lot of coast line to be found in Ames so my certification dive was in a lake. A few locals spotted us while we were at depth and thought we were something scary that had gotten into their lake. When we surfaced, we were greeted by some very confused animal control officers. That is one dive I will never forget.


Gammon KovalGammon Koval,

Majors: Marine Science and Biology
Minors: Chemistry, Art (Photography)
Class: 2019
Email: gnk2@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Great White Shark

My name is Gammon Koval, and I’m originally from Peoria, IL. I am going into my junior year majoring in marine science and biology. I am currently the secretary of Rho Rho Rho, our Marine and Atmospheric Science Honor Society. I recommend all freshman look at joining this club, it is a great opportunity to meet other students and go on awesome trips. I currently work in the Shark Research and Conservation Program with Dr. Neil Hammerschlag studying these apex predators in their habitat. Two of my passions include diving and photography. I’m an active member of the scuba club, and last year I took a scientific research diving class here at the U. Next year I am taking an independent study focused on underwater photographer. This summer I’m staying in Miami to work with the sharks and lifeguard at the UM pool. I am looking forward to meeting all of you!


Kathleen MagerKathleen Mager,

Majors: Marine Science and Biology and International Studies
Class: 2020
Email: kem133@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Manta Ray

Hi there! My name is Kathleen, but I go by Kat. I'm a sophomore studying Marine Science/Biology and International Studies here at UM. I was born and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida. I love being on the water and take every chance I get to take my boat out. This summer, I went diving in the Georgia Aquarium's whale shark tank, and I was a community assistant with the UM Summer Scholars Program.


Kelly McloughlinKelly Mcloughlin,

Majors: Marine Science and Biology
Minors: Environmental Science and Policy
Class: 2020
Email: kxm670@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Leatherback Sea Turtle

I'm a sophomore Marine Science and Biology student at RSMAS and my minor is Environmental Science and Policy. I love being outdoors, swimming, and scuba diving. I'm from New Jersey and this summer I infrequently volunteered at the NOAA facility at Sandy Hook and two years ago I constructed and released a surface oceanographic drifter with their help.


Samantha MedinaSamantha Medina,

Majors: Marine Science and Physics
Class: 2020
Email: sxm1287@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Jellyfish

Hey y'all! My name is Sam Medina and I'm from Melrose Park, Illinois. My major is Marine Science and Physics. I love to dance and am currently on Ujhoom, the bollywood hiphop fusion team on campus. This summer I'll be helping plan multiple quinces for friends and family.


Stephanie NealStephanie Neal,

Majors: Marine Science and Physics
Minors: Spanish
Class: 2018
Email: s.neal@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Giant Keyhole Limpet

I am a senior this year. Outside of class I am heavily involved in Rho, participate in salsa club, and love a good book. I just returned from study abroad and this summer I am participating in an REU through UF at the Whitney Lab in St. Augustine Florida. After graduation I plan on completing more schooling and finding a career in research science.


Kabir ParkerKabir Parker,

Majors: Marine Science and Microbiology and Immunology
Class: 2020
Email: kap143@miami.edu

Hi everyone, my name is Kabir Parker and I am a sophomore Marine Science/Microbiology & Immunology major. I was born in Greenwich, Connecticut but have spent most my life in New Delhi, India. I am an American but an international student and studied at an International school in New Delhi before coming to Miami. I have grown up diving in the Indian Ocean including Lakshadweep, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, the Andaman Islands, Bali, and Phuket. I am fortunate to have learned to dive in the Maldives, which I consider to be my home, underwater. I am also a passionate freediver and spearfisherman. My first year at UM I was freshman officer in UM Scuba and a member of Aquarium Club. I am also a research assistant at The Coral Reef Futures Lab at RSMAS. I encourage you all to make RSMAS your home as much as the main campus; it is a unique research facility with many undergraduate opportunities. I am excited to for you all to begin your freshman year as it was the most exciting year of my life thus far!


Christina RadfordChristina Radford,

Majors: Marine Affairs and Geoscience
Minors: Biology and Communication Studies
Class: 2017
Email: r.tammone@umiami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Minke Whale

My name is Christina Radford and I am a junior from Dallas, TX! I am studying Marine Science and Geoscience with minors in Biology and Communication Studies. I'm involved with SCUBA club, Sigma Gamma Epsilon (the Geology honors fraternity), and I am a sister of Zeta Tau Alpha! I spent the summer on a Field Camp expedition through Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.


Madison SantiMadison Santi,

Majors: Marine Science and Biology, Pre-vet track
Class: 2020
Email: mes331@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Dolphin

Hi! My name is Madison and I am from Charleston, South Carolina! I am majoring in Marine Science and Biology and I am also a Pre-Vet student! I love the ocean and animals, so I hope to one day be able to apply veterinary skills to marine life. I chose the University of Miami because the campus is beautiful, we get to live near the ocean, and the RSMAS program is amazing. I love taking advantage of the scuba diving opportunities and spending time at the beach thanks to Miami’s great weather all year round. I also love to travel, and I hope to study abroad during my time as an undergraduate student! This summer, I hope to volunteer or work at a local veterinary hospital at home to start gaining some experience in the animal health field. In the fall, I hope to return to being a part of some of the great clubs and organizations I have joined on campus, such as the Marine Mammal Rescue Team, the Rho Rho Rho Marine Science Honor Society, and the Pre-Vet Society.


Anna SchaubeckAnna Schaubeck,

Majors: Marine Science and Biology and Classics
Minors: Chemistry
Class: 2018
Email: aes216@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Bottlenose Dolphin

Hi I’m Anna! I am from Long Island, NY and my majors are Marine Science/Biology and Classics with a Chemistry Minor. I love swimming and diving (both SCUBA and competitive), the beach and basically everything to do with water. Some fun facts are that I can speak gibberish and that I am adopted. This summer I plan to lifeguard at the pool back at home, shadow my dog’s vet, and possibly volunteer at the New York Aquarium.


Olivia SchuitemaOlivia Schuitema,

Majors: Marine Science and Biology
Minors: Chemistry and Marine Policy
Class: 2020
Email: oxs200@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Great White Shark

Hi guys! I'm Olivia and I'm a sophomore studying Marine Science and Biology with minors in Chemistry and Marine Policy. I was born in North Carolina but grew up here in Miami. I love tennis, hiking, kayaking and SCUBA diving. At UM I am a member of Rho Rho Rho, the Marine Mammal Rescue Team, the SCUBA club and the Club Tennis team. Next spring I hope to study abroad in Australia and dive the Great Barrier Reef. Miami is an incredible place with lots of opportunities so definitely get involved! Please feel free to come to me with any questions! See you in August :)


Sam ShaverSam Shaver,

Majors: Marine Science and Meteorlogy
Minors: Math
Class: 2019
Email: s.shawver@umiami.edu

Hi! My name is Samantha Shawver, but I go by Sam, and I am a rising senior at UM. I am from Bethany Beach Delaware and I am majoring in Marine Science and Meteorology and minoring in Math. I am going to be the president of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Student Chapter here at UM next year and the Meteorological Honor Society Chi Epsilon Pi. I am also a member of the Marine Mammal Rescue Team, Rho Rho Rho, and Scuba club. I have gotten to become certified to respond to marine mammal strandings and swim with manatees and beluga whales being a part of these clubs, so I encourage everyone to get involved and take advantage of these awesome opportunities. Unlike most people I did not fall in love with the ocean at first, I was actually terrified of it! My mom signed me up for junior lifeguarding when I was eleven years old and I got to learn more about the ocean. I have spent the past five summers working as an ocean lifeguard and junior lifeguarding instructor. I love to spend my free time surfing, diving, and painting! After spending so much time in the water, I knew I wanted to major in something that would allow me to learn more about the ocean. I did, however, fall in love with weather at a very early age when my mom became obsessed with the Weather Channel. I became fascinated with all things related to weather from just everyday forecasts to tornado outbreaks. My personal favorite is when hurricane season comes around and hope to one day be able to go on a hurricane flight! This summer I am working with the ASIS tank at RSMAS with Dr. Drennan, so I can tie together my love for the ocean and the atmosphere. RSMAS is an awesome school and I can’t imagine being anywhere else! I am super excited to meet you guys in August and feel free to email me if you have any questions about the program or just college in general!


Darci SwensonDarci Swenson,

Majors: Marine Science and Chemistry
Class: 2018
Email: d.swenson1@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Grey Nurse Shark

Hi, there! My name is Darci Swenson and I’m a senior Marine Science and Chemistry double major. I’m originally from Long Island, New York. Studying Marine Science here at the University of Miami has provided me with incredible opportunities to explore my interests. Last year I was able to study abroad in Australia, which allowed me to learn in a different environment and explore a place I never dreamed I could visit. This summer I will be interning at RSMAS in Dr. Popendorf’s lab. The focus of the summer will be trying to determine how quickly microorganisms synthesize ATP. I didn’t have a favorite marine animal until last year when I studied in Australia. I had the opportunity to dive at a Grey Nurse Shark aggregation site, and it was the most amazing dive I have ever been on. The sharks were so beautiful and peaceful; they’ve been my favorite marine animal ever since.


Jelly VanderwoudeJelly Vanderwoude,

Majors: Marine Science and Geology
Minors: Public Health
Class: Fall 2017
Email: jxv165@miami.edu
Favorite Marine Animal: Sea Turtle

I'm a senior with a double major in marine science and geology. I've been doing research at RSMAS since my sophomore year, and I spend most of my time in the geology department in the basement of Cox. This summer, I'm going to Newfoundland for a study abroad course in geology. My plan after graduation is to get my PhD in marine science and move to California.