Graduate Student Ambassadors

Graduate student ambassadors are available to answer questions about graduate student life, academic programs and student activities. They are happy to share their own personal experiences as graduate students at SUNY-ESF. The ambassadors also lead the campus tours. Feel free to connect with them through the email addresses below.


Dorlan Curtis

Dorlan Curtis Jr.


Hometown: Nassau, Bahamas

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering (Youngstown State University, 2012)

Graduate Education: Master's in Bioprocess Engineering - Graduation: May 2015

Leadership/Professional Experience:

  • ​Engineers & Consultants Ltd. - Petroleum Engineering Intern (June-August 2011)
  • Resident Assistant at Youngstown State University (2011-2012 Academic year)
  • Assistant Residence Director at Syracuse University (2012-2013 Academic year)
  • Graduate Assistant, Entrepreneur in Residence at SUNY-ESF (2013-2014)

Interests/Hobbies: Growing up in the Bahamas I enjoy going to the beach and scuba diving. I am a member of the Syracuse University Men's Club Volleyball team and enjoy both indoor and beach volleyball, weight lifting and cycling. In my spare time, I take care of my indoor herb/vegetable garden, making natural homemade cosmetics and am an avid player of the RISK boardgame.

Quote: SUNY-ESF is a phenomenal institution to conduct research, network with leaders in industry and to develop holistically. The university has a unique culture that focuses on conserving and protecting our environment, and the sustainable development of humanity.



Zheng Liu

Zheng Liu (Charles)


Hometown: Zhengzhou city, Henan province, China

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science in Bioprocess Engineering from Beijing University of Chemical Technology, 2012

Graduate Education: Master of Science in Bioprocess Engineering in SUNY-ESF, May 2015 graduation (expected)

Leadership/Professional Experience:

  • Member of the Orange Orators Toastmasters Club.  Improving skills of listening, public speaking, and giving constructive and encouraging evaluations, Jan. 2014-Present, Syracuse, NY
  • Process Engineer Intern at Henan Rock and Mineral Testing Center.  Collaborated with colleagues to use the continuous leaching fermentation process to get rid of the silica in the rutile, Sep 2013-Dec 2013, Zhengzhou, Henan, China
  • Vice President of Membership of the Middle Kingdom Toastmasters Club. Introduced the Middle Kingdom club and toastmasters to the guests and encouraged them to join toastmasters. Inspired members to fully use their talents and potentials to enhance their communication and leadership skills, July 2013-Dec 2013, Zhengzhou, Henan, China
  • Vice President of Public Relations (Charter member) of the Campus Toastmasters Club. Initiated a program to speak at other toastmasters clubs to introduce our club, Designed the club’s first newsletter, Planned an outing to enhance the friendship among members, Mar 2011-July 2011, Beijing, China

Hobbies/Interests: Playing basketball, ping pong, swimming, traveling, reading

Quote: “SUNY-ESF is a great college for learning new knowledge, doing your interested research, communicating with people who have different culture backgrounds, having fun in the outdoor activities, etc. Every person can broaden his/her horizon and improve his/her world at SUNY-ESF.”


Sara Velardi

Sara Velardi


Hometown: Monroe, Connecticut

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science (Skidmore College, 2012)

Graduate Education: Masters of Science in Environmental Interpretation, SUNY-ESF May 2014

Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Science and Natural Resources Policy, Graduation May 2017

Leadership/Professional Experience:

  • Graduate Assistant, General Biology Lab, Personal/Nonpersonal Environmental Interpretation, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (August 2012-May 2014)

  • Graduate Student SCIENCE Corp Member (June-August 2013, June-August 2014)

  • Naturalist at Beaver Lake Nature Center in Baldwinsville, NY (2013-2014)

  • Student Ambassador for Skidmore College (2009-2012)

Interests/Hobbies: Hiking, biking, running, reading

Quote: SUNY-ESF has opened so many doors for me; academically and professionally. I have had the opportunity to present at conferences, write for publications, and develop strong professional relationships with people in my field. Also through ESF-Outreach I have been able to make connections with members of the Syracuse community and bring what I learned at SUNY-ESF out into the public.





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