IDEAS Fellows are “facilitators” of IDEAS. They help to build the portfolio of initiatives and projects by using their passion to promote sustainability. They are individuals who have turned their “ideas” into action through the IDEAS chapter network and have helped to provide activities for the movement. By working with the ‘Leaders’ on each campus, they help to use our partners, resources and member base to propel their idea into a successful initiative across the Nation.
Sebastian Church, IDEAS For Education
Sebastian is the founder of IDEAS for Education. He graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2012 with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English Literature, a minor in Education, and a certificate in Service-Learning. During his undergraduate career, he served as IDEAS for Education Coordinator. He also served as Co-President of IDEAS for UCF during the 2011-2012 school year. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Education in Environmental Education at Florida Atlantic University and works full time as a graduate resident assistant at Pine Jog Environmental Education Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Samantha Ruiz, IDEAS For Policy
Samantha is currently a senior at the University of Central Florida (UCF) studying Legal Studies with a minor in Energy & Sustainability, and Urban & Regional Planning. Since her sophomore in college, Samantha has been extremely involved with the environmental movement at UCF. She’s been serving on the Student Sustainability Alliance (SSA) board for 2 years, as well as helping to launch IDEAS at UCF into what it is Today. She has worked for a number of organizations, including Repower America, and holds great experience in policy and conservation efforts. Currently, Samantha is working as a Clean Energy Policy intern for the Florida Conservation Alliance helping research existing local government initiatives designed to advance local investment in clean energy & energy efficiency.
Julian Belilty, Innovations Think Tank
Julian is a Marketing major and Information Technology minor senior at the University of Central Florida. He has taken several art and graphic design classes to build upon my artistic creativity. Lately, Julian has become more active within the booming Green-Tech industry and willingly dedicated his free time researching about innovations, world news, foreign/environmental policies, daily-business, technological advancements and modern scientific discoveries. By creating “Innovations,” a semester long Think Tank program, I was able to spend an intense semester with creative people, from diverse fields of study, who want to build Sustainable Communities. “Innovations 4 UCF” became the first subsidiary Entrepreneurial Think Tank to take place within the University of Central Florida. The SGA President and Vice-President were kind enough to participate in our Think Tank initiative which lead them to offer him the honorable position as their new SGA Sustainability Specialist.
Michael Diaz, Pick Your Nos
Michael Diaz is a UCF graduate with a degree in Marketing that joined the ideas team back in 2009. His desire for change gave birth to the social sustainability movement within I.D.E.A.S. titled “Pick Your New Opportunities”. As a creative business developer by trade, Michael’s graphic design skills supply IDEAS with custom chapter logos, website banners, and brand development strategies. For more information about Michael and his work visit Mikeideas.com
Samantha Tranfa, IDEAS For A.R.T.S.
Samantha is a senior student at The University of Central Florida, with studies focusing in Marketing and Studio Art. Her commitment to radiate a positive light on our society remains the cornerstone of her future goals and objectives, and serves as the driving force behind programs such as IDEAS for ARTS (Artistic Representations Towards Sustainability). In August 2011, Samantha coordinated the 1st ARTS event, in partnership with the Orlando Museum of Arts (OMA) and was showcased in their popular “1st Thursday” events.
Dave Oswald, Research & Development / Aquaponics
Dave is a Orlando native. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Central Florida in Environmental Studies, with a minor in Biology. Dave is currently continuing his education as a graduate student at UCF. As an undergrad Dave got on board with I.D.E.A.S. early on, eventually founding the Research and Development department. Through hands on experimentation and hard work, Dave and other I.D.E.A.S. members help develop and raise awareness about new technologies that can really make a difference. Currently Dave’s research is focused in the area of sustainability, including sustainable food production with minimal input controlled environment technologies, and a quantitative process for measuring the sustainability of a product.
Christina Bechtold, Upcycling
Christina (Tina) Bechtold is a currently a a student at the University of Central Florida earning a bachelors degree in environmental studies and a certificate in non-profit management. Her hometown of Somers Point resides in southern New Jersey. Tina’s involvement with I.D.E.A.S. began in early 2010 with a simple road clean-up. Since then, she has expanded the organization’s upcycling initiatives, as well as currently sitting as the UCF chapter’s treasurer.