Meet Our Staff

Current Staff:

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Ali Dutton, Sustainability Manager

Ali Dutton began her career in sustainability as a student in FIU’s Environmental Studies Program. During that time she was involved with many clubs and organizations on campus and became an intern with the FIU Climate Commitment Task Force in 2007. She helped complete the first greenhouse gas inventory of the university and graduated in 2009 with a BA in Environmental Studies with a concentration in policy and resource management.

Upon graduation she was offered a position as the first full-time sustainability-dedicated staff member in the university. After being hired, she wrote the first FIU Climate Action Plan that addressed reducing greenhouse gas emissions and laid the groundwork to create an office of Sustainability. In April 2011, Ali and the new Sustainability Assistant Director held the inauguration for the Office of University Sustainability. 

After working in the office for a few years and seeing the intersection of sustainability and business as an important and impactful relationship, she decided to pursue a Master of Business Administration. She graduated from the FIU Chapman Graduate School of Business in February 2015. She also has her LEED Green Associate and plans on pursuing LEED Accredited Professional in the future. In December 2013, Ali became Assistant Director of the Office of University Sustainability. She oversees all activities and initiatives of the office, but has a particular fondness for climate change education, greenhouse gas inventory analysis and reporting, and strategic and climate action planning.


Connie Caldwell, Program Coordinator

Connie Caldwell, a Miami native, can remember the days when strawberry fields could be found just off the Florida Turnpike and North Kendall Drive. She credits witnessing the explosive growth of South Florida’s population and sprawl to opening her eyes to the myriad of issues and challenges unfolding with climate change.

Before coming to FIU in 2009 for both her BA and Master of Public Administration (MPA), Connie volunteered for a multitude of Florida’s not-for-profits and worked for two, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Rebuild Northwest Florida. After becoming familiar with disaster relief, recovery, and mitigation she ventured into a private partnership and subcontracted with the Federal Emergency Management Agency following Hurricane Katrina. Impressed by the gardens and landscapes of Louisiana she became involved with gardening clubs then launched a landscaping business; which was unanimously selected to transform 30 blank yards in Musicians Village to attractive native landscapes. These experiences strengthened Connie’s abilities in community outreach, logistical planning/coordination, and program development/implementation.

Coming back to South Florida a new parent in 2008, she decided to further her studies with the goal to become influential in facilitating South Florida’s transition toward a more sustainable society. In the process, as an undergraduate Connie graduated Magna Cum Laude, with her MPA she received the FIU College of Art and Science Certificate of Outstanding Academic Achievement and FIU Center for Leadership and Service Excellence in Civic Engagement Medallion of Distinction. Connie also served as President of the FIU chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society for Public Administrators and is most proud of her internship with the Office of University Sustainability where she took part in GoGreen initiatives and the University’s first STARS sustainability benchmarking report. Connie became a LEED Green Associate in 2014 and plans on becoming a LEED for Homes Green Rater. As Program Coordinator, she is committed to/ and anticipates an expansion of FIU’s commitment to greener growth. Connie strongly believes that through greater understanding, empowerment, and opportunity individuals will make the changes that ultimately improve sustainability on a global scale. Connie’s areas of interest are green living, public participation, community development, and global governance.

AubreyAubrey Burgess, Sustainability Assistant

Aubrey joined the office in August 2015 after graduating cum laude from Florida International University with her bachelor’s degree in Sustainability and the Environment with a certificate in Public Policy Studies. While pursuing her education, Aubrey completed diverse internships with Broward County Land Stewardship Program, the Florida House of Representatives, and the U.S. Forest Service in North Carolina.

Aubrey has a passion for the environment with specific interests in education and outreach, impacts of sea level rise on the coastal community, and natural resource management. She also enjoys constantly learning and loves the university setting. Aubrey is currently working on becoming a Florida Master Naturalist and hopes to pursue a Master’s Degree in the near future. 

selenaSelena Sifontes, Program Specialist

Selena was born and raised in Miami. She started her journey at FIU as a student in the summer of 2014. She is finishing her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies with a focus on health and human concerns and is expected to graduate Spring 2017. She will continue her education with a master’s in Public Health. Since the start of her journey, Selena has been a member of the Student Dietetic Association, an organization on campus that aims to educate the FIU community on how to eat and live healthier. As a member, she has worked with her classmates in serving the community. She was elected as the SDA’s new Treasurer for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Selena joined FIU as a staff member two years ago. Her first position was as an Office Assistant in the department of Parking and Transportation. There she assisted the HR liaison with new hires and provided support to the office team leaders. Selena later joined FIU’s Office of University Sustainability as a Program Specialist in January 2016. Although Selena is new to sustainability, she is passionate about caring for the environment and serving the community. She now has the opportunity to combine both passions as a member of the office. Selena is learning what it is to live sustainably and aims to educate and support others in the community in doing the same. 

comingsoonJohnny Iglesias, Naturalist

Johnny Iglesias was born and raised in Miami, Florida. He grew up fishing in the Florida Keys where he first began to appreciate nature. After graduating from high school in 2011, he went to USF in St. Petersburg and Tampa for 2 years, it was then that he decided to take a break from school and join AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). During his 10 months with AmeriCorps, he worked on a trail crew in Big Bend National Park, became a wildland firefighter in Colorado and worked with the Department of Conservation in Missouri. This experience lead Johnny to come back to Miami to continue his education. The summer following his AmeriCorps experience, he went back to Colorado to work on a trail crew in the Rawah Wilderness. Currently he is finishing his Bachelors in Sustainability and The Environment with a certificate in Agroecology.

When Johnny is not working in the FIU Nature Preserve, he spends much of his free time volunteering with local environmental organizations, such as, Tropical Audubon Society, Big Cypress National Preserve and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Earlier this year, he was awarded as Volunteer of the Year for Tropical Audubon Society. His long term goal is to become a natural resource manager for a National or State Park. Some of his hobbies include brewing beer, gardening and fishing.


Sustainability Student Assistants

Sustainability Interns

Tony Cosio

Urban Green Space Interns

Megan Tait

Nature Preserve Interns

Ashley Jimenez 

Brianna Aedo

Annie Alcolea

Luis Garcia Falcon

Cody Fairfield

Past Team Members

Sustainability Student Assistants
Academic Interns
Volunteer Interns

Sky Siu-Chang- Fall 2016

Simone Garvey-Ewan (4 years)

Ashley Perez (1 year)

Kerri Lamepdusa (1year)

Eddy Ibarra - Naturalist (4 months)

Edy Cicilio - Naturalist (1 year)

Anabella Rodriguez - SFCS EcoRep

Eric Laguardia - Naturalist (1 year)

Christine Pardo - Naturalist (6 months)

Glorimar Maldonado Fall 2012 - Spring 2014

Zhane' James - Fall 2013 - Spring 2014

Maggie Nahmens - SFCS EcoRep - Fall 2013 - Spring 2014

Chedeline Compere - Fall 2011 - Spring 2012

Nathalie Philippe - Spring 2012

Jerry Alvarez - Fall 2011 - Fall 2012

Mercedes Vargas - Fall 2011 - Spring 2012

Krystal Queen - Fall 2011

Brandt Absolu - Summer 2011

Tony Jonusas - Spring 2011

Viktor El-Saieh - Spring 2011

Andrew Fuentes- Sustainability

Roshni Bhagwandeen - Sustainability

Connie Caldwell - MPA

Adam Schachner - MPA

Denis Cacho-Juan - MPH

Monika Castenada - Hospitality

Gabriela Ojeda - Environmental Studies

Vanessa Santos - MPH

Charissa Dowdye - MPH

Ingrid Moncada

Raquel Selanikio

Ethan Rivero

Brianna Aedo

Michael Wills

Madeline Reyes

Ali Khan

Sara Kopetman

Racquel Barker

Vaishali Sharma

Lina Sekkat

Michelle Chia

Ana Rojas

Carlee Webb

Natalya Maharaj

Stephanie Delabat

Stephanie Soto

Giovanni Garcia

Paola Lopez

Michael Perez-Cea

Woby Lang

Jeremy Squires 

Rebecca Bricker 

Ariana Font

Melissa Santiago

Ellen Garcia

Enrique Negron

Jennifer Villatoro

Camila Uzcategui

Stephanie Sims

Beatriz Guimaraes

Diana Sanchez

Ana Perez

Vanessa Lorenzo

Erik Maguina

Kevin Gurley

Sara Rasekhi

Elena Neibaur

Sean Koester

Juan Garcia