Congratulations to our 2019-2020 MESSA Officers!

  • President - Haley Schanne
  • Vice President - Miranda
  • Treasurer - Sarah Liss
  • Secretary - Jamileh Soueidan
  • Social Chair - Maggie McCabe
  • Volunteer Coordinator - Nicole Pehl
  • Public Liason - Kelli Coleman

MESSA Officers are here to make our graduate career a more enjoyable and rewarding experience. They are elected at the beginning of each year, and are responsible for all the exciting inner workings of MESSA along with organizing social events, coordinating volunteer activities, seeking out community involvement, working with the student government association, and anything else they can come up with. If you want to make something happen in MESSA, this is the place to start.

MESSA has a constitution to follow, which includes a brief description of each officer's duties. You can read the MESSA Constitution here. For a more detailed description of the roles of each officer, see the biographies of everyone below.

You can e-mail your questions, ideas/suggestions or comments to MESSA, or you can e-mail officers individually (see emails below). We'd love to hear from you!


President: Haley Schanne

As MESSA President, Haley is in charge of scheduling official meetings, calling and ordering special meetings, appointing ad hoc committees, communicating concerns of the student body to the MES Program staff, and organizing professional development opportunities. Haley is a MES/MPA concurrent student coming from Milford, Delaware. She studied Marine Biology at the University of Rhode Island, which included a semester abroad at the Bermuda Institute of Oceanographic Science. Haley also spent a year as a member of the Chesapeake Conservation Corps, working at a nature center outside of Baltimore, Maryland designing and implementing environmental education programming. Haley works on campus as a Graduate Assistant for the Graduate School Office in Randolph Hall. Her thesis research involves measuring nonprofit impact on harbor management practices and outcomes.

Her favorite thing about Charleston? Cheering on the Charleston Battery at all home games!

Fun Fact: Haley used to be a competitive figure skater, and still tries to skate regularly at the Charleston Ice Palace.


Vice President: Miranda Dziobak


As Vice President, Miranda performs all duties of the president in his/her absence, chairs ad-hoc committees and aids officers when needed. Miranda is from Hartland, Michigan and is in our MES program. She earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Biochemistry form the University of Toledo in Ohio. Miranda is currently working on her thesis project, which is examining phthalate exposure in bottlenose dolphins from Sarasota, Florida. Her favorite thing about Charleston? The windchill doesn't drop below zero

Fun Fact: Miranda is an ordained minister


Treasurer: Sarah Liss



As Treasurer, Sarah oversees and maintains MESSA’s budget, coordinates grant awards, and attends GSA meetings. Sarah is originally from Little Falls, New Jersey and is currently in the MES/MPA concurrent program. She received a Bachelor’s in Marine Science with a minor in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina. Sarah’s research interests include water quality and its effects on coastal communities. Her favorite thing about Charleston? Getting to try so many different restaurants all over the Peninsula and in the surrounding Charleston area!

Fun Fact: She won the NFL Punt, Pass, and Kick Competition for her middle school, without any prior knowledge of football!


Secretary: Jamileh Soueidan


As secretary, Jamileh is responsible for keeping accurate, permanent records of the minutes and proceedings of the organization, to ensure that all members are notified of meetings, and to help promote MESSA organized activities. Jamileh is originally from Williamsburg, Virginia, and is currently in the MES/MPA Concurrent Program. She received her Bachelor's degree in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina. Jamileh is currently a GA in the Office of Research and Grants Administration. She is researching watershed degradation and how estuarine soundscapes can be utilized as ecosystem health indicators. Her favorite thing about Charleston? The diverse nature trails and hikes that she can explore!

Fun Fact: Jamileh is a certified sailing instructor!


Social Chair: Maggie McCabe


As Social Chair, Maggie is responsible for organizing and executing all MESSA social functions. She grew up in Franklin, Tennessee, and is completing the MES degree program. Maggie received her Bachelor's degree in Marine Biology from Auburn University (war eagle!). She works as a Graduate Assistant in the Office of Research and Grants Administration and is completing her internship at Charleston Waterkeeper. Her research there is focused on the development and evaluation of an environmental education program within a non-profit organization. Her favorite thing about Charleston? Finding shark teeth on Folly Beach. 

Fun Fact: Maggie has a birthmark in her hair (think Anna from Frozen or Rogue from X-Men)!


Volunteer Coordinator: Nicole Pehl



As volunteer coordinator, Nicole is in charge of planning and facilitating volunteer events, promoting awareness of MESSA on the College of Charleston campus and in the local community through participation in community service projects, advocating for environmental education in the community, as well as any other related activities. Nicole is from Charlotte, North Carolina and is currently completing the MES program. She received her bachelor's degree in Marine Science from North Carolina State University and is currently working for the Environmental and Sustainability Studies office and the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences office. For her research, Nicole is examining South Carolina's illegal wildlife trade by considering the ecological and social implications of removing aquatic turtles from their native habitats. Her favorite thing about Charleston? The combination of historical architecture and quick beach access.
Fun Fact: She has an identical twin sister who is also in the MES program at CofC!


Public Liaison: Kelli Coleman


As Public Liaison, Kelli helps promote awareness of MESSA, on CofC’s campus and in the local community, through social media and other marketing tools. Kelli hopes to encourage others to participate in MESSA events such as community service projects, fundraisers, networking opportunities, and professional development. Kelli is in her second year of the MES/MPA Concurrent program and is interested in researching effectiveness of informal environmental education. Kelli works part time at the Department of Natural Resources as an environmental educator in their Coastal Reserves and Outreach office. She received her Bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Mississippi.