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Photographer

Rafael Suanes

RAFAEL SUANES

A professional photographer with over 25 years of experience, Rafael has covered a huge gamut of events in the DC area.  Ranging from private events of all sizes to Supreme Court nomination hearings, Rafael has covered it all. Specializing in college and professional sports, Rafael is currently the staff athletics photographer for both George Mason and Georgetown universities and has worked directly with every professional sports team in Washington, DC.

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Photographer

Kasi Bumgarner

KASI BUMGARNER

Kasi Bumgarner is a video producer and content creator based in the Washington DC area.  Prior to starting her business, she worked as a Digital Producer at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). At NED, she created a variety of digital content to highlight events and capture stories of the organization’s grantees and fellows who advocate for democracy and human rights around the world.

Kasi’s love for storytelling and digital media began at a young age, but it wasn’t until she attended the Washington Journalism and Media Conference (WJMC) that she realized she could turn her passion into a career. She has loved being a part of the WJMC family ever since, returning as a junior faculty advisor, speaker, and videographer.

Kasi received her bachelor’s degree in Film and Video Studies from George Mason University. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, exploring new spots in the DC area, and producing content for her lifestyle YouTube channel, Curlyhairlove, and her podcast, Side Hustle Generation.

Categories
Junior Faculty Advisor

Zoe Pitman

ZOE PITMAN

Zoe Pitman is a rising senior at the University of Arkansas pursuing an Earth Science degree with a minor in Sustainability.  She attended WYSE in 2018 as a delegate and is excited to be back as a JFA! Zoe is an active member and officer of a student organization at her university called Students Advocating for the Environment, and she dedicates a lot of time to helping University students learn how to live more sustainably. Her hobbies include hiking, rock climbing, baking, and reading.

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Junior Faculty Advisor

Evelyn Aponte

EVELYN APONTE

Evelyn Aponte recently graduated from the College of William and Mary with a B.A. in History and Hispanic Studies.  After an internship with the nonprofit organization Edu-Futuro, where she developed and delivered a Social Emotional Learning program, she is looking forward to working with faculty and students. Evelyn is actively searching for her first professional career, and in her free time you can find her doing Zumba and lifeguarding!

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Junior Faculty Advisor

Liz Ye

LIZ YE

Liz Ye (she/her) just finished her first year at the University of Vermont in Burlington, VT. She is majoring in Environmental Science with a minor in Law and Society.  She loves to run, hike, and explore the outdoors. Liz loves studying species of trees as well as learning about invasive species!

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Junior Faculty Advisor

Meghan Stevens

MEGHAN STEVENS

Meghan Stevens is a rising junior at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.  She is double majoring in Biology and Environmental Studies. She also plays volleyball at school and is involved in several extracurriculars including the Student Athlete Advisory Council and the Sustainability Club. Meghan hopes to spend her life advocating for the environment and helping future generations have a chance to feel the same strong connection that she feels to the outdoors.

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Advance Team Staff

Nathaniel Aponte

NATHANIEL APONTE

Advance Team Member

Nathaniel Aponte is a rising sophomore at Christopher Newport University.  He plans to study Marketing and Graphic Design. Nathaniel enjoys spending time with friends, taking photos, and visiting D.C.’s restaurants and museums. He’s excited to work on the Advance Team and to meet all of the team members.

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Faculty Advisor Staff

Julie Walker

JULIE WALKER

Faculty Advisor

Julie Walker completed her PhD in Interdisciplinary Ecology from the University of Florida in 2021.  Her research focuses on the ecological influence of climate mitigated range expansion of tropical mangrove trees into coastal wetlands traditionally dominated by temperature saltmarshes, as well as investigating the potential for advancement of coastal wetland management on all geopolitical scales. Prior to her graduate studies Julie worked at the Chesapeake Bay Program, where she was a part of the Stewardship goal team aimed at increasing science literacy, public access, and land protection across the bay watershed. Currently, Julie is working as Visiting Assistant Professor at her undergraduate alma mater St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where she teaches in the Biology and Environmental Studies Departments. In her spare time, Julie likes explore nature through kayaking, bike riding, or just walking her dog.

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Junior Faculty Advisor

Taylor Rutter

TAYLOR RUTTER

Taylor Rutter is a 2022 graduate from George Mason University’s Honors College, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminology, Law, and Society with a concentration in Homeland Security and Justice and plans to start the academy for her local police department in the fall.  While her degree and future career may not be environmentally focused, her passion for bettering the environment and teaching others how to be better environmental stewards, which started as a child, is still strong. Taylor has volunteered with the North Carolina Coastal Federation for several years, where she assisted educators in teaching youth during summer camps how to protect their local waterways and identify native species; she also helped build living shorelines and oyster reefs to restore coastline ecosystems. Taylor first attended WYSE as a North Carolina Delegate during the summer of 2017 and returned as an Intern the following summer of 2018. While Covid-19 prevented her from becoming a JFA earlier during her time in college, she is beyond excited to return to WYSE once again to help share her passion for the environment!

Categories
Faculty Advisor Staff

Abigail Loughlin

ABIGAIL LOUGHLIN

Faculty Advisor

Abigail Loughlin is ecstatic to be joining WYSE for her fourth summer!  She attended the program as a high school student, a Junior Faculty advisor, and is thrilled to be working as a Faculty Advisor for the second time. Abigail is an alum of George Mason University, and is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Climate Change and Anthropogenic Roles at Columbia University. When she is not in the classroom learning, she can be found teaching fellow graduate students, engaging with elementary students on sustainability topics, or reading in a nearby park. Abigail can not wait to rejoin the WYSE team in-person this year, as well as learn from fellow advisors and incoming students!