Staff

Mrs. Angela Belli

  • Director
  • (724) 537-5284
  • Email
  • WPNR Opening 07 PhotoAs Director of the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve at Saint Vincent College, Angela is responsible for strategic partnerships, program development and outreach, and Reserve landscape and infrastructure. She has been engaged in environmental education for more than 15 years where she has developed and implemented an array of outreach programs in environmental science for Saint Vincent College and led the development of the 50-acre nature reserve.  She integrates her love of nature, science education, and conservation into the mission and outreach of Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve and Saint Vincent College.

    She has extensive experience in conservation biology and education, conducting research at Powdermill Nature Reserve’s Biological Field Station, assisting in watershed restoration projects, and environment and ecology curriculum development and integration. Previously, Angela served as a Community Outreach Assistant with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Pittsburgh Regional Office for the Pollution Prevention Program, and a Regulatory Compliance Specialist for Fisher Scientific International, Inc.

    Angela serves as Board Secretary for the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators, and was recognized as Outstanding Environmental Educator of the Year by the organization in 2004 and is the recipient of the 2015 Saint Vincent College Projectenmacher Award.  She holds a Master of Science in environmental science and management from Duquesne University and a Bachelor of Science in biology from Seton Hill University.


     

Miss Allison Petris

  • Environmental Education Coordinator
  • 724-537-5284
  • Email
  • 11219130_10153488680858223_4817502523595390086_nGrowing up in Lawrence, PA, Allie always loved visiting nature centers with her family. While studying childhood education her sophomore year, she took one of Angela’s classes in the barn and fell in love with the uniqueness of the building and the vibe of the reserve. She was soon offered and accepted a position as a work-study. Moving forward, she spent two additional years working here as an AmeriCorps member while obtaining her master’s degree. She acquired a B.S. in elementary instruction and an M.S. in curriculum and instruction from Saint Vincent College and was able to combine her love of nature and passion for teaching children into what she describes as “the perfect career”.

    As Environmental Education Coordinator, she develops a wide range of educational programs, workshops, and events for both the reserve and off-site outreach projects. She’s responsible for creating our marketing materials and handles many, many other behind-the-scenes responsibilities that allow the reserve to function.  She shapes all things learning and fun for children through adults. You can see Allie’s creative work all over the reserve as graphics, fliers, social media posts and art projects. She’s also really good at handling nearly any animal both in the barn and the wild!

    On a volunteer basis, Allie serves as the Southwestern Regional Director for the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators (PAEE) and in her free time, she enjoys drawing, crafting, baking, reading, photography, traveling and is a 3rd-degree black belt in karate.

     

     

     

     

     


     

Mrs. Jennifer Eppolito

  • Education Horticulturist
  • (724) 537-5284
  • Email
  • After volunteering at WPNR as a Penn State Master Gardener and beekeeper, Jennifer joined our staff in 2017. She cares for the grounds including the wild spaces, cultivated gardens, and our treatment-free apiary. Additionally, Jenn designs and facilitates horticulture and beekeeping workshops, creates various art projects, writes newsletters, and contributes to website maintenance. Before moving to Pennsylvania, she attended The Savannah College of Art and Design majoring in illustration. She currently teaches yoga, enjoys cooking, gardening, and taking care of her bees at Wild Nectar Apiaries with her husband Sam. She also homeschools her three children, Estelle, Scarlett, and Wyatt who all volunteer regularly at the reserve.

     

     

     

     


     

Adam Ferguson

  • Senior - Sociology
  • 11707303_1000448280005636_590781181730538237_nAdam’s hometown is right here in the Latrobe. A senior, majoring in sociology at Saint Vincent College, he assists with many of our educational and social events and is one of our best handlers of Stella, the rabbit.  He also plays ice hockey for the St. Vincent Bearcats, loves dogs and golf, and once shot a hole in one when he was only 12!

     

     

     

     

     

     


     

Jennifer Urban

  • Senior - Environmental Science
  • Jenni hails from the Pittsburgh area and joined WPNR as a volunteer in her freshman year. Her boundless enthusiasm was quickly recognized and she was asked to join our staff as a work-study. Here at the reserve, she can usually be found taking care of our education animals or participating in environmental education programs. She is a member of the St. Vincent Bird Nerds, and is excellent at leading bird identification walks. Jenni was also crowned homecoming queen in 2017 – a well-deserved honor!

     

     

     


     

Sam Geer

  • Senior - Environmental Science
  • Sam is a senior at Saint Vincent College and has been serving as a work-study with us since his freshman year. As an Environmental Science major from Murrysville, Pennsylvania, he has a special interest in the ecological impact of industry and policy on the environment. Sam has conducted research at Saint Vincent College, and Central Asia and his travels have taken him to Southeastern Asia as well. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, fishing, and petting dogs.

     

     

     


     

Allison Cross

  • Senior - Early Childhood Education Major
  • Allison is an early childhood education senior at Saint Vincent College. A Pittsburgh native, she spends most of her time providing much needed assistance during Nature Story Time on Friday mornings. In addition to working at the reserve, Allison is also a student teacher at several area elementary schools.

     

     

     


     

Katharine Stallings

  • Senior - Environmental Science

  • Katie is from right here in Latrobe. A senior majoring in Environmental Science, she loves hiking running, and anything involving the outdoors. She regularly takes care of the animals at the barn and assists with many of our children’s educational programs and other events. Katie is a Captain on the Saint Vincent Lacrosse team and Vice-President of the Outdoors Club. After graduation, she hopes to work for the National Park Service as a Ranger.

     

     

     


     

Maria Franey

  • Junior - Biochemistry
  • Coming soon!

     

     

     

     

     


     

Amy McNeill

  • Senior - Environmental Science
  • Amy, an East McKeesport native, loves animals and the outdoors, and her passion for both have led her to her chosen career path. She is majoring in Environmental Science with a minor in Biology. At the reserve, Amy tends to the daily responsibilities in the barn but also takes care of the Discovery Pond area. In her free time, she loves walking her dog, Willow, watching the Food Network, and photography. For the past three summers, she was employed by the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, working in their camps and caring for the polar bears, sea otters, elephant seals, and sea lions in the Water’s Edge exhibit.

     

     


     

Ashley Zolocsik

  • Junior - Environmental Science
  • ashleyComing soon!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


     

     

     

     

Dana Ricker

  • Junior - Early Childhood Education
  • Dana has been with us for several years as a work-study. From nearby North Huntingdon, she was hired after volunteering as a freshman and became immediately hooked on teaching young learners about nature. She helps with all of the daily activities at the barn, but her specialty is enthusiastically assisting with our children’s programs such as Nature Story Time, Tiny Wonder Time, and many of our camps. Dana is an Early Childhood Education major with a double-minor in Special Education and Children’s Literature. Her hobbies include reading, baking, arts & crafts, traveling, and hanging out with her mom. She is super-passionate about flamingoes! She has seen 3 out of 6 existing flamingo species in the world and even got to feed a Chilean Flamingo, which she says was a “thrilling experience”.

     

     

     

     


     

Jessica Hartner

  • Sophomore - Early Childhood Education
  • Jess is from North Huntingdon, majoring in Early Childhood Education and minoring in Special Education. After volunteering with us in the spring of 2017, she was offered a work-study position. She enjoys learning about nature, helping with many of our children’s programs and getting involved with the children and their families. Jessica also enjoys playing tennis for the Bearcats, swimming, reading and relaxing with her friends and family. She earned her Girl Scout Gold Award, and has been on 5 mission trips with her church, even visiting Grenada!

     

     

     


     

Grace Harris

  • Sophomore - Education
  • Grace is from Canonsburg, PA. A sophomore majoring in Early Childhood Education with a Math Minor, she helps with our children’s programs such as Nature Story Time, taking care of the animals, and other tasks in and around the barn. Grace enjoys spending time outdoors, playing tennis, reading, and being with family and friends. Her love of traveling has already taken her to two continents, and she looks forward to checking the third one off her list soon!

     

     

     

     


     

Cynthia DeMaio

  • Freshman - Early Childhood Education
  • Cynthia joined our work-study staff in 2017 after helping as a volunteer with some our holiday children’s events. She is a freshman from Pittsburgh majoring in Early Childhood Education. Cynthia enjoys the education animals, working with children and our being a part of hosting our family programs. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with friends and family and eating ice cream! She’s looking forward to her upcoming trip to Italy and has already been to Maui and Hawaii.


     

Ron Patun

  • Penn State Master Gardener
  • Ron is a Penn State Master Gardener who graciously volunteers his time to lovingly plan and care for the gardens on WPNR property. A passionate advocate for pollinators, he also spends time counting bees for Penn State pollinator projects. Ron enjoys tennis, bowling, and tending to his many beautiful home gardens.

     

     

     

     


     

The Eppolito Family

  • Volunteers
  • eppolitos

    The Eppolito Family, (pictured from left; Estelle, Wyatt, Jennifer, and Scarlett) have been familiar faces at WPNR since 2011. They started when the children were young, attending programs such as Nature Story Time with Scarlett. Wanting to contribute more to the reserve, they began their volunteer work here by working with Mr. Ron Patun on our already established gardens while also creating a Fairy Garden next to the shed by the Pollinator Gardens. They enjoyed it so much that Jennifer became a Penn State Master Gardener and has played a primary role in helping us to establish beekeeping programs here at WPNR.

     

     


     

Polly Greene

  • Volunteer
  • Polly joined our volunteer staff in 2016 and has been assisting with Nature Storytime, organizing our library, and helping with many other day-to-day needs. A retired school teacher of 42 years, Polly now enjoys reading, art, and cooking. We are so grateful for the time she volunteers, her kindness, and for the amazing homemade treats she bakes for us!


     

Janet Kuehl

  • Volunteer
  • Coming soon!