Project Assistants

Kaitlyn Royal (she/her/hers) 4th Year

Kaitlyn Royal is an Environmental Science and Biology double major and Education minor. She loves being outdoors and enjoying nature. Kayaking, boating, and hiking are some of her favorite pastimes. Her favorite streamside critter is the cedar waxwing, which she commonly sees while kayaking down French Creek. After being in the Creek Connections program in middle school, she knew that when she came to Allegheny, she wanted to become a Creeker!
Hometown: Linesville, Pennsylvania
High School: Conneaut Area Senior High

Bianca Sanchez (she/her/hers) 4th Year

Bianca is an Environmental Science major and Political Science minor. On campus, she leads the Vote Everywhere project with the Andrew Goodman Foundation and is the president of the Green Students Of Color Society (Green SOCS). She loves to go hiking, swimming, fishing, and photographing nature. She loves being outdoors, especially painting outdoor sceneries of nature. After graduating from Allegheny, she hopes to travel around the world and conduct water research as a hydrologist and publish a book. She loves working with Creek Connections and is excited to work with French Creek critters and children. :)
Hometown: Rahway, New Jersey
Highschool: Rahway High School

Alex Clifford (he/him/his) 3rd Year
Alex is an Environmental Science Major and a Political Science Minor. Before coming to Allegheny, he participated in Creek Connections at his high school. On campus, he is involved with the Birdwatching Club, Allegheny Socialists, and Student for Environmental Action (SEA).
Hometown: Leetsdale, PA
High School: Quaker Valley

Blake Vowler (it/she/fae/they) 3rd Year
Blake is majoring in Environmental Science and is double minoring in French and History. They are involved in Sustainable Design Team as a board member, the Outing Club, and Islamic Cultural Association (ICA) In middle school, Blake participated in Creek Connections at Gateway Middle School. Blake loves plants and Classic Literature, and hopes to become an Ethnobotanist, a scientist who studies how cultures use plants. They are also involved in the Wildlife Leadership Academy (WLA) as one of the Academy Support Staff.
Hometown: Monroeville, Pennsylvania
High School: Gateway Senior High School

Grant Dowden (he/him/his) 2nd Year
Grant plans to major in Environmental Science and minor in History. He is on the baseball team here at Allegheny and enjoys hiking, longboarding, and watching sports in his free time. He is excited to be apart of Creek Connections for the next 4 years!
Hometown: Ligonier, Pennsylvania
High School: Ligonier Valley High School

Jenna Gentert-Corso (she/her/hers) 2nd Year
I’m a sophomore at Allegheny college majoring in Environmental Science and Sustainability with a minor in Spanish. I’m from Pittsburgh, PA and spend a lot of my time with friends and being outdoors. We have been learning about freshwater organisms during Creek Connections training sessions. This is my first time learning about them so it’s very interesting to me. Teaching younger students about freshwater organisms is a perfect way for me to test my knowledge. I can’t wait to continue learning and working for Creek Connections, the adventures are endless!
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
High School: Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12

Sydney Thompson (she/her/hers) 2nd Year
Sydney is a Biology major (with a focus on molecular/cellular biology) and Music minor. She loves spending time outdoors, specifically biking, hiking, paddling, and camping. She is excited that Creek Connections is a “teach outside” program and believes in spreading information about watershed conservation (especially to kids!). On campus, she participates in the Wind Symphony, Tri-Beta Biology Honor Society, and conducts biochemical research regarding steroid effect on human eye cells. After Allegheny, Sydney hopes to attend graduate school to pursue a career that combines medicine and research.
Hometown: Cranberry Twp, Pennsylvania
High School: Seneca Valley Senior High School

Mary Karstens (she/her/hers) 1st Year
Mary is planning on majoring in environmental science and possibly minor in geology. She loves to spend her time outdoors as much as possible. At Allegheny, Mary is in Students for Environmental Action, an Outing Club leader, and in Allegheny Recreation Club. She enjoys hiking, cross country skiing, and spending time in creeks and lakes. She is very excited to work with students in the Western PA area and teach/learn more about local streams!
Hometown: Duluth, Minnesota
High School:  Duluth East High School

Sam Scott (they/them/theirs) 1st Year
Sam plans to major in Environmental Science and minor in English and Communications. They are involved in the ultimate frisbee team here at Allegheny, and enjoy getting outdoors through hiking and kayaking. They love working with Creek Connections to help kids learn about their local watershed.
Hometown: Warren, Pennsylvania
High School: Warren Area High School