AGE: 27

OCCUPATION: Education Specialist at New England Science & Sailing. At work, I’m better known by my “sea name”, Moana!

RESIDENCE: Downtown … overlooking the Pawcatuck River.

BORN, RAISED AND GROWN IN: West ! I left Rhode Island when I was 17 and came back when I was 25.

AT THIS TIME I AM IN THE MIDDLE OF: Perfecting a pear tree in my yoga practice.

I FACE MY LIFE IN THE AGE OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC BY: Appreciate the little things that bring me joy like cuddling my cats, reading, doing crosswords, doing yoga, playing video games, exploring the outdoors and cooking. Virtual game nights with friends are also a must!

MY MOST PROUD ACHIEVEMENT: Serving two AmeriCorps terms with the Coastal Federation of North Carolina. During my service, I educated approximately 4,000 people about coastal environments and spent approximately 650 hours restoring shorelines by building and monitoring oyster reefs. My service focused on engaging students and community members from under-represented populations, including people of color and students who lived in areas of high gang violence. Not only was it rewarding, but I worked long, hard hours to earn funds for my student loans, which are now fully paid off!

TOP ON MY BUCKET LIST: I would love to attend an arribada, which is when thousands of sea turtles gather on a beach to nest at the same time. I would be an emotional wreck!

I ALWAYS WEAR : A reusable water bottle and straw.

WHAT I WANTED TO BE BIG: For most of my life, I wanted to be a marine biologist. However, I had a brief moment when I wanted to be an astronaut. This was before I realized how involved math was. No thanks.

MY HEROES ARE: My parents. They are both an image of selflessness that I truly admire and hope to keep with me throughout my life. My mom is probably going to cry when she reads this answer. (:

FAVORITE AUTHORS: JK Rowling (I’m a proud Hufflepuff), Dan Brown, Stephen King, and Gillian Flynn.

ON MY NIGHT STAND: “Angels and Demons,” “Scar Tissue,” and New York Times Crossword. Only Monday, I hope that one day I will move on to the Sunday puzzles.

THE THREE BEST SONGS FROM MY PLAYLIST: “Sunflower” by Post Malone and Swae Lee, “Lovebug” by Jonas Brothers (still a fan girl) and “Lay Me Down” by Dirty Heads.

THREE LAST SONGS I SELECTED ON SPOTIFY: “The General” from Dispatch, “How Will I Rest In Peace If I’m Buried By a Highway” by Kenny Hoopla, and “Jack’s Lament” from “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.

THREE FAVORITE FILMS OF ALL TIME: “Big Hero 6”, “Sweeney Todd and the Barber Demon of Fleet Street” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”.

FAVORITE TV SHOWS: “Who owns the line anyway?” (To Drew Carey), “I think you should go” and “Friends”. I also shamefully love “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette,” I even listen to podcasts and stalk cast members on Instagram.

FAVORITE RADIO / SHOWS STATION: Some of my favorite podcasts are Crime Junkie, My Favorite Murder, Up and Vanished, Serial, S Town, The Dropout, Gladiator, Dirty John, Dr. Death, and Disney Story Origins. Really anything real crime or Disney related and I’m in it!

TOP COMFORT FEEDING: Macaroni and cheese. I have a soft spot for Annie’s white cheddar shells, but I accept macaroni and cheese of all shapes and sizes.

SOCIAL MEDIA SITES I MAINLY USE: Instagram and Snapchat. Mainly for posting content from my chats, Oreo and Oatmeal.

FEATURES I LOOK FOR MOST: Empathy, curiosity and the ability to laugh at yourself.

PETS : When my food touches, when people bring shower towels to the beach (I really don’t know why it bothers me so much but like, please just grab a beach towel), too much toothpaste on my brush toothed, a wide assortment of soft food textures and “coarse” sounding words including, but not limited to: moist, warm and assorted.

FAVORITE QUOTE: “… If you follow in the footsteps of a stranger, you will learn things that you never knew, you never knew. “

MY FAVORITE THING ON OUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WORLD: It’s a connection between beautiful beaches, my friends and family, and PizzaPlace salads.

CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT: My cats.

LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT ME: I have been scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef.

BEST TIP I EVER RECEIVED: Happiness at work is measured by fulfillment and joy, not just a salary. See “tips that I like to give the most”.

ADVICE I LIKE THE MOST TO GIVE: Do more of what makes you happy.

IF I RIDED THE WORLD, I WOULD DO: Make the fight against climate change a priority, fight social injustices, make healthcare more accessible and ban single-use plastics.

IF I WIN THE LOTTERY, THE FIRST THING I WILL DO: It would be giving some of it … I wouldn’t feel good spending it all on myself. But then I would buy a little house on the beach with an adjacent dog park. Adopt a flock of doggies and let all my friends bring their dogs to my house for dog parties every day. Yeah, that sounds good.

I DRIVE TO: 2004 Jeep Liberty. It’s the beige with over 100 bumper stickers you’ve probably seen in town.

I WOULD LIKE TO DRIVE A: Nimbus 2000.

ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE: Cheese and coconut water.

IF I COULD INVITE A SPECIAL PERSON TO JOIN ME FOR DINNER AND CONVERSATION, I WOULD INVITE: Walt Disney. I would thank him for being such a big part of my childhood (and honestly of adulthood too). I would ask him what inspires his creativity.

– Interview arranged and edited by Nancy Burns-Fusaro