News | MISD 2023-24 Cohort

SBE Welcomes Our First Graduate Students

(Listed alphabetically by surname)

Marcela Cardenal

Hometown | Miami, FL
Education | Bachelor of Science in Construction Management (University of Florida)

Marcela is a recent graduate from the University of Florida Rinker School of Construction Management, earning Cum Laude. During her time at Rinker, she acted as the President of the Associated Builders and Contractors Student Chapter Club, a member of the Associated Builders and Contractors competition team, and partook in the National Association of Women in Construction. Outside of school, Marcela volunteered her time to Habitat for Humanity by helping build and repair family homes. She is interested in sustainable construction and obtaining LEED GA and WELL AP Certifications.

Sustainable construction, LEED, WELL

General Contracting Internships with companies such as Whiting-Turner and Balfour Beatty 

    Emily Ellingsen

    Hometown | Tallahassee, FL
    Education | Bachelor of Science in Sustainability & the Built Environment (University of Florida)

    Emily holds a bachelor of science degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment from the University of Florida. Currently, she is pursuing a Master of Integrated Sustainable Development at the University of Florida. Emily’s academic journey has equipped her with a solid foundation in sustainable solutions for the design, construction, and planning of the built environment, and she is constantly seeking opportunities to further enhance her expertise. 

    Emily is passionate about sustainability and the potential it has to drive positive change in the construction industry. She is most interested in sustainable solutions for the operations of construction work and improving the quality of work and life for workers.

    Throughout her academic career, Emily has actively engaged in research, projects, and internships that have allowed her to explore all the facets of the built environment. She has experience in food services, such as sustainable sourcing and educational programming. While working for the Alachua Habitat for Humanity, Emily gained exposure to construction documents, environmental reviews, and material sourcing. Most recently, Emily has entered the realm of renewable energy, navigating the inner workings of utility-scale solar construction. Throughout her undergraduate program, Emily conducted research on community resilience, specifically in high-populated coastal communities, as well as adaptive design for people with disabilities. These experiences have sharpened her analytical, problem-solving, and critical thinking abilities.

    Adriel Jimenez

    Hometown | Miami, FL
    Education | Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (University of Florida)

    Adriel’s path began with Miami Dade College, during which he won awards from competitions and volunteer service, and took part in the development of FOX Gulch by Mercado in Dumont. His style of design further developed in Florida International University, then with the critical details needed for each design through teachings learned at University of Florida.

    Design for the environment and revitalizing ecosystems, low-income housing, community gardens and educational centers, and improving the water quality on a grand scale through the use of 3D modeling programs, data from GIS, CAD, and research acquired on the sites.

    ETM Accelerator – Landscape Design Intern (Gainesville, FL), Amazon Seasonal – Warehouse Associate (Gainesville, FL), Ultra Aviation Services Inc. – Ramp Agent (Miami, FL), Lowes Home Improvement – Delivery Puller, Lumber, Unload Associate (Gainesville, FL), FOX GULCH – Student Intern Project Management (Miami, FL), Security Depot Intl Inc – DVR And Security Camera Technician (Miami, FL)

    Samantha Mazzo

    Hometown | Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Education | Bachelor of Science in Sustainability & the Built Environment with a Minor in Landscape Architecture (University of Florida)

    Samantha is a Double Gator who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Sustainability and the Built Environment and a Minor in Landscape Architecture, earning Summa Cum Laude honors from the University of Florida in December of 2022. Samantha desires a career in the field of Sustainability Consulting.

    While Samantha is passionate about bridging the natural environment with the built, she also loves anything to do with music, cooking, reading, and pilates!

    Samantha’s experiences and interests lie within Building Performance, having previously interned with Siemens as a Smart Infrastructure Intern and Green Protocols/Rating Systems. Most recently, Samantha was a Climate Fellow with the East Florida Greenhouse Gas Cohort, an initiative sponsored by Audubon of Florida and ICLEI, USA. Here, she assisted Nassau County, Florida with government operational greenhouse gas inventory processes. Samantha is also a LEED GA and Fitwel Ambassador.

    Uyen Nguyen

    Hometown | Vietnam
    Education | Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design (University of Architecture Ho Chi Minh City)

    With 9 years of experience as an interior designer in Vietnam, Uyen is deeply committed to advancing the science of sustainable living environments. Through her research, Uyen explores how machine learning can optimize human well-being and resilience in the spaces we inhabit. Her passion for this work drives Uyen to push the boundaries of design, creating living environments that are not only beautiful but also smart, efficient, and sustainable.

    As an Interior Designer, Uyen has a keen interest in exploring new dimensions of living spaces. She firmly believes that everyone deserves a living space that ensures both physical well-being and aligns with their lifestyle. Having worked on a diverse range of projects encompassing commercial and residential spaces, Uyen places significant consideration on the fundamental elements that enhance the quality of living environments, all while keeping affordability in mind. Currently pursuing a Master of Integrated Sustainable Development at the University of Florida, Uyen focuses on advanced techniques and tools that enables her to develop solutions that address five crucial aspects in living environment: aesthetics, efficiency, well-being, cost, and natural environmental considerations.

    With over five years of experience as an Interior Designer in design firms, followed by three years in design management with developers, Uyen has contributed to notable projects in Vietnam. These include Blush- The Beach Club, Mia Quy Nhon Resort, Sedona- Saigon Center, IXORA Ho Tram, Hiive Hotel Binh Duong, Urban Hill Apartment Phu My Hung, The Palm City Apartment, and the AIA Head Office. She has also had the opportunity to serve as a teaching assistant at the University of Florida.

    Daniela Quintero

    Hometown | West Palm Beach, FL
    Education | Bachelor of Science in Sustainability & the Built Environment

    Daniela is a distinguished recent graduate of the esteemed Sustainability and the Built Environment program, earning Summa Cum Laude. She holds a dual degree in Economics and a minor in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance, showcasing her academic prowess and interdisciplinary dedication. Aside from her academic achievements, Daniela actively volunteers with the Community Weatherization Coalition (CWC), improving living conditions in Alachua County by guiding residents on utility bills and implementing energy-efficient household changes. Within the Green Building Club, Daniela has showcased exemplary leadership on the executive board and now serves as the GBC Ambassador, advocating for environmentally conscious practices. She has also obtained coveted credentials, including WELL AP and LEED GA certifications, reflecting her commitment to sustainable building practices. Currently, Daniela contributes her skills as a Project intern at a Green Building Consulting firm and holds a position as a MEP drafting intern at a Building Design firm, highlighting her diverse skill set and adaptability.

    Green building rating systems, Energy modeling, Building life cycle assessment

    Project Intern for RunBrook, AutoCAD Drafter for Kelvin Consulting, Energy Coach for the Community Weatherization Coalition (CWC), Green Infrastructure Intern for the World Wildlife Fund, Built Environment Working Group Member for the UF Climate Action Plan

    Isabelle Darwin Thomas

    Hometown | Gainesville, FL
    Education | Bachelor of Science in Sustainability & the Built Environment

    Isabelle graduated from the University of Florida Sustainability and the Built Environment program in Spring 2021, with a specialization in Geodesign. She got her start in GIS through middle school science fair projects projecting the impact of sea level rise on Florida. She is interested in climate change resiliency research and planning, particularly in regard to sea level rise. Her Spring 2021 capstone project, “Can Sponge City Infrastructure be Applied in Florida as a Climate Adaptation?” explored the potential of designing cities to be more permeable to adapt to sea level rise in Florida. She works at the GeoPlan Center, assisting with resiliency work, updating the Florida Geographic Data Library, and website maintenance.

    Video game design, Baking

    GIS Analyst at the UF GeoPlan Center (over 6 years) assisting with researching resiliency in Florida, maintaining the Florida Geographic Data Library, and developing websites

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