DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION
Jennifer Diaz was an educator for more than 15 years and has extensive professional background in science curriculum development. In addition to the classroom, Diaz served as a science leader, science club organizer, and team leader of the Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering. Prior to the Everglades Foundation, Diaz was a Science Curriculum Specialist for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Diaz provided school site support for low performing schools, to model effective science teaching, share resources, motivate, encourage and support professionalism in STEM teachers. She also served as Miami-Dade County Public Schools director of two grants, University of Florida’s STEM TIPS teacher induction program-funded by the Department of Education and University of Miami’s Promoting Science Among English Language Learners (P-SELL)-funded by The National Science Foundation. She has a bachelor’s in health education/community health and a master’s in educational leadership. In addition, Diaz holds a science-teaching certificate in STEM Education from Columbia University’s Teachers College, awarded by the NASA Endeavor Fellowship Program.
Bianca Cassouto’s higher education and career experiences focus on sustainability, environmental education, and the relationship humans have with natural resources. She graduated from the University of Florida with a B.A. in Geography Geosciences and a minor in Environmental Studies and received her M.A. in Global Sustainability with a concentration in Sustainable Tourism from the University of South Florida. Her decision to work in environmental education came from interning at local non-profits, interning at the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization, and traveling to different parts of the world. She is driven to educate students, teachers, and others on the importance of the Everglades and protecting South Florida’s drinking water supply. Bianca‘s career interests include the availability and protection of water resources, impact of climate change, and sustainable development. Bianca is a Miami native and enjoys traveling and reading.
K-12 CHAMPION SCHOOLS
Alicia Torres is a Florida Native. She grew up in North Central Florida and earned her B.A. in Education from the University of Florida with a specialization in middle grades science. She then earned her M.A. in Education from Florida Atlantic University in 2001. Since then, she has been involved in science instruction in Palm Beach County in both the public and private sectors across various formal and informal educational platforms. Her love for the outdoors and passion for the environment eventually brought her to work more closely in the field of environmental education. She spent the last three years working at Florida Atlantic University Pine Jog Environmental Education Center as an Educational & Training Programs Coordinator working closely with educators and students across the South Florida region in providing Everglades education, solar energy programs, green school initiatives, and Project WILD and Project Learning Tree professional development. Alicia Torres also serves as the Vice President of the Delta Kappa Gamma International Society of Key Women Educators for the Beta Xi Chapter in Palm Beach County. In her free time, you may find her paddleboarding any one of Florida’s beautiful waterways.
A Florida native born and raised in Clearwater, Kimberly holds a bachelor’s degree in English/Editing Writing Media and a minor in Secondary Education. She worked at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as a Conservation Education Presenter where she taught hundreds of guests daily about animals and Disney’s conservation efforts, before moving on to be an Education Manager for the presenter team. Kimberly then worked SeaWorld as an Instructor in the Education department where she staffed animal exhibits, guided behind the scenes tours, and assisted with overnight programs in the park. She worked on projects including writing and developing curriculum for teachers participating in a field trip programs that meet Florida State standards, hosting the Education Show, Ocean Discovery, and leading summer camps for grades K-12 teaching students about animal habitats, adaptations, conservation, and various research projects. After working in the theme park business, Kimberly aspired to more actively work toward environmental education and teaching about local ecosystems. She is a welcomed addition the Everglades Foundation.
LITERACY PROGRAM AID
Susan Toth has exhibited a lengthy, deep, and unwavering commitment to EE since the early 1980s. As Director of Education at Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, Susan worked to improve and expand elementary school programs, and oversaw projects that included construction of Florida’s first Gold LEED-Certified elementary school and the development of a Master’s program in EE in partnership with Florida Atlantic University. Among her many contributions to the field, she also served on the Florida Advisory Council on EE, the Florida Greenways Commission, the NAAEE Board of Directors, and as a founding member of the Green School National Network Board. In addition, Susan was a regular instructor for University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point’s online “Fundamentals of EE” course, taught one of the first EE courses in Thailand for the Smithsonian Institution, and wrote a series of children’s books on water and energy.
K-12 EDUCATION & OUTREACH ASSISTANT
Analise Fussell was born in Homestead, Florida but raised in North Port, Florida up until college, when she moved to Miami to attend Florida International University. Stemming from growing up in rural environments, Analise has always had a passion for our natural world. Currently as an undergraduate student, Analise is majoring in Sustainability and the Environment, minoring in Environmental Science, and working towards a certificate in Biodiversity Conservation and Management. Analise stays actively involved on campus by being a representative of the G.L.A.D.E.S. official ecology club of FIU, as well as being a member of the Tropical Rivers Lab- which focuses on exploring the natural history of tropical freshwaters and understanding how these ecosystems are being transformed. Analise’s main environmental interests include preserving tropical regions and promoting wildlife conservation. She is currently working on a research project with the Tropical River’s Lab PI, Dr. Elizabeth Anderson, focusing on estimating population sizes and social perceptions of introduced Indian Peafowl in the Coconut Grove and neighboring communities of Miami. Prior to working with The Everglades Foundation, Analise worked as a swamp-walk tour guide in the Big Cypress National Preserve of the Everglades and as a sea turtle nesting activity surveyor for the Miami-Dade County Sea Turtle Conservation Program. In her free time, she enjoys almost anything to do with the outdoors such as hiking, gardening, kayaking, sports, and fishing.