Student Assistants

UB Sustainability wouldn't be able to get all the work it does without the help from our amazing student assistants!

Janel Abbott

Janel Abbott

1. Name, hometown, year, major and personal passion

My name is Janel Abbott. I’m from Aurora Colorado and I am majoring in Chemical & Biological Engineering. My personal passion is hiking fourteeners in the Rocky Mountains.

2. Why did you decide to work with UB Sustainability?

UB Sustainability offered me the chance to work on Governor Cuomo’s REV Grant – an energy initiative to generate 100 MW of clean renewable energy. This grant will give me insight as to what practices Buffalo is doing to change its viewpoints on renewable and sustainable energy systems.


3. What do you love most about UB?

I enjoy the variety of opportunities UB offers to its students.


4. When you visit UB in 25 years, what do you hope to find?

In 25 years, I hope to see more women and underrepresented minorities in all of the STEM fields at UB.  


5. Fun fact/secret skill

My fun fact is that I can play the viola.

Grace Celik

Grace Celik

1. Name, hometown, year, major and personal passion

Hey guys! My name is Grace Celik and I am from Buffalo, NY. I’m a junior in Studio Art, in hopes of pursuing a Masters in Architecture at the University at Buffalo. My personal passion is Sustainable Architecture that contains elements of nature within design. 

2. Why did you decide to work for UB Sustainability?

As a designer I was ecstatic to find an occupation on-campus that allowed me to combined art with sustainable ideas through UB Sustainability’s Communications and Graphic Design position.  I believe it is vital that UB not only supports campus sustainable practices, but also indulges students within the process to create the next generation of globally minded and sustainability literate leaders. Working with UB Sustainability has been an opportunity to gain hands-on experience while implementing on-campus projects that make a difference.

3. What do you love most about UB?

I really appreciate the community UB has created for its students and all the opportunities it provides. I am also involved on campus as an Ambassador for the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as a part of the Education and Leadership Fellows in Sustainability (ELFS). Both have programs have created a platform in which I can greater my professional skills and network with local and national leaders.

4. When you visit UB in 25 years, what do you hope to find?

Overall, I hope that UB’s has strived farther than it ever in its sustainable practices and community engagement with its students.

5. Fun fact/secret skill

I am pursuing to further my education at UB through its Masters in Architecture program with a concentration on Ecological Practices.  I aspire create a more sustainable, healthy, vibrant and resilient world.

Mike Gac

Mike Gac

1. Name, hometown, year, major and personal passion

My name is Michael Gac. I’m from Depew, New York. I'm entering the third year of my three and half year program in Masters of Architecture.  I've always been pushing and exploring a lifestyle that is environmentally conscious, be it riding a bike to work, composting at my house or growing food in a personal garden.  


2. Why did you decide to work with UB Sustainability?
 UB has given me the opportunity to work on UB's GRoW Home, which received 2place in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. In addition, I am currently working with UB Sustainability to relocate the house permanently to North Campus to be used as a student engagement space.

3. What do you love most about UB?

I appreciate that UB embraces a vastly diverse and competitive atmosphere, as a public institution, the opportunities are endless for research and career building.


4. When you visit UB in 25 years, what do you hope to find?


In 25 years, I hope that much of the mowed green space across South and North Campus are redesigned to encourage native species habitats, which would increase our biodiversity.


5. Fun fact/secret skill

My fun fact is that in 2013 I won an award for the construction of a parade float.

Serena LaFave

Serena Lafave

1. Name, hometown, year, major and personal passion

My name is Serena LaFave and I’m from Albany, NY. I’m a sophomore in Electrical Engineering and my personal passion is renewable energy.

2. Why did you decide to work with UB Sustainability?

Sustainability is something that is close to my heart. I saw a lot of things I’d like to change on campus regarding sustainability, so when the opportunity came up to apply, I gladly took it.

3. What do you love most about UB?

I love the large size and diversity of UB. The school is like a giant “tossed salad”.

4. When you visit UB in 25 years, what do you hope to find?

I hope to see UB using more renewable energy. I’d also like to see composting bins throughout campus.

5. Fun fact/secret skill

I am able to survive public speaking.

Mike McDonald

Mike McDonald

Brandon Munson

Brandon Munson

1. Name, hometown, year, major and personal passion

My name is Brandon and I am an environmental studies major from Buffalo, NY. I am a junior and my personal passion is music. 

2. Why did you decide to work with UB Sustainability?

I came into working with UB Sustainability through my involvement with the UBReUSE and Zero Waste waste diversion programs

3. What do you love most about UB?

My favorite thing about UB is Letchworth Woods on North Campus.

4. When you visit UB in 25 years, what do you hope to find?

I would love to return and see that it remains a healthy and interesting hub for education. 

5. Fun fact/secret skill

My secret skill is that I can play the banjo!

Sydney Schauss

Sydney Schauss

1. Name, hometown, year, major and personal passion
My name is Sydney Schaus and I come from a town called Katonah, NY. My major is Environmental Studies with a minor in Geographic Information Systems and my personal passion is spreading knowledge and helping those around me. 

2. Why did you decide to work with UB Sustainability?
UB Sustainability gave me the opportunity to work on Gov. Cuomo's REV energy plan. Sustainability is another passion of mine and being able to work in this office allows me greater chances of being able to reach out to people who are searching for answers and opportunities similar to this one. The office is also filled with warm, like-minded individuals that show just as much passion as I do. 

3. What do you love most about UB?
UB has a lot to offer it's students and as a freshmen it's overwhelming how many options everyone is faced with. Now as an upcoming senior I realize that UB has something for everyone and it's just up to you to find out what really drives you and UB will definitely have a program or a professor that is willing to help you out and attain your goals.

4. When you visit UB in 25 years, what do you hope to find?

In 25 years, I hope to not only more diversity within the STEM fields but also I wish to see more fields getting involved with sustainability. From the arts to business to architecture, every field should have a sustainability coordinator and everyone should be involved in talks about living with respect to those around you. It can't just be up to one group of people to love the earth and care for it, it's everyone's job because this is everyone's home. 

Maegan Wettlaufer

Maegan Wettlaufer

1. Name, hometown, year, major and personal passion

   My name is Maegan Wettlaufer.  I'm from East Aurora, New York and I'm a senior in the Environmental Geoscience program.  I'm very passionate about social issues, music, and traveling.

2. Why did you decide to work with UB Sustainability?

I'm working with UB Sustainability to take care of the campus garden over the summer.  This opportunity allows me to help build the garden as it becomes a campus landmark.  As well, working at the campus garden allows me to independently build hands on experience with plants and soil.  

3. What do you love most about UB?

I love how big UB is because it's gives students many ways to get involved on campus whether that be in research, clubs, or attending seminars.  

4. When you visit UB in 25 years, what do you hope to find?

When I visit UB in the future I hope to find growth in the Environmental Geoscience program and more sustainable decisions made for the UB community such as a ban on styrofoam, better public transport, and better use of renewable energy.

3. Fun fact/secret skill

I love to practice embroidery.