Syrena is an illustrator with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from the Ringling College of Art. She has had her work published in gaming books, children's books, and comic books, as well as on t-shirts and on other merchandise. She is a Veteran of the US Army, who worked in South Korea. As a CBRN Specialist, her job was to train soldiers to survive in Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear environments.
She was born in California but loves East Texas and made it her home. Syrena also likes to write and has one published novel and another in the works. She lives with her wonderful husband of 15 years Stephen, their son Caedryn, and their mini-zoo of two cats, a German Shepherd mix, and a cockatiel.
Annie is an avid outdoor enthusiastic, finding peace in quiet moments in the woods, marshes, and natural landscapes across Connecticut. Annie’s voracious appetite for consuming literature and public radio closely align with her professional world as well - that being the telling of human stories. Annie received bachelor degrees from the University of Connecticut in human development and family studies, and history with a focus on family structures and governmental policies. Annie earned her masters degree in marriage and family therapy from CCSU.
Throughout the years, Annie has worked on a variety of research studies, including the impact of stigmatization in black, gay communities and published research on cross-cultural differences in baby’s stress responses. Currently, Annie works as an MST family therapist following an evidence-based model for improving family functioning and reducing recidivism in teens.
At home, Annie enjoys spending time with her two rescue pups, lazy cats, and endearing husband. Annie recently joined the newly created board for Friends of Mono Pond State Park, aimed at increasing community involvement and engagement with local state parks.
Rigel currently works as the Outdoor Programs and Cycleshare Coordinator at the University of Connecticut. He has worked with summer camps, outdoor education programs, commercial guiding, and university outdoor programs for over 10 years. In all these roles Rigel has a strong background in risk management and providing quality outdoor educational programs to individuals of all ages. Rigel studied has a Bachelors in ecology and often infuses educational lessons into trips that he is guiding whether it is rock climbing, mountain biking, or just a day hike. Over the last 5 years he has been exclusively working for university outdoor programs. First spent two years assisting with the management of an outdoor program and challenge course as a graduate assistant at Bucknell University earning a MSed in Higher Education. After graduate school he has worked for three years at the University of Connecticut where he continues manage the operation of outdoor programs for the university community.
In addition to education and experience he currently holds certifications and has attended trainings in Wilderness First Responder, Single Pitch Climbing Instructor, Climbing Wall Instructor, League Cycling Instructor, swift water rescue, and a CPR/AED/First Aid instructor.
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