Our Staff

Ava Bower

Ava Bower

Counselor, Bay Discovery Camp

After volunteering for Bay Discovery Camp last year, we are excited to have Ava Bower return for the summer of 2024 as a Counselor for Sultana’s Bay Discovery Camp.. Currently a junior at Kent County High School, Ava is an active member of the school’s marching band, concert band, and theater. Ava comes to us with additional volunteer experience at ShoreRivers and with Galena Elementary School.

Liza Brocker

Liza Brocker

Director of Public Programs

lbrocker@sultanaeducation.org

A graduate of Santa Clara University and UC Santa Cruz, Liza has worked for multiple high-profile corporations including Ariat International, McMullen Advertising, PRx, NextLink, Silicon Planet, and LonMark International. Wanting to travel less, she moved from California to the Eastern Shore of Maryland with her husband, became a small business owner, and joined Radcliffe Creek School as the Development Director. Liza and her husband live in Chestertown with their two children.

Emma Candelaria

Emma Candelaria

Education Coordinator, Schooner SULTANA

Emma hails from the south shore of Long Island, New York, where she learned to love the water. After a year leading a stream restoration team at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico Emma is excited to return to tidal water. A graduate of Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, with a degree in biology, Emma is new to sailing but brings a wealth of educational experience to her new position onboard SULTANA.

Chris Cerino

Chris Cerino

Vice President

ccerino@sultanaeducation.org

With a master’s in teaching Secondary History from the University of Virginia, Chris joined SEF in 2002 shortly after SULTANA’’s launch. His rich background in environmental education, development, and local knowledge allow him to create and implement award-winning educational programs across the organization. An outdoorsman and singer-songwriter, Chris’ devotion to the Eastern Shore is hard to find among many. Chris lives in Chestertown with his wife, two children, and lovable Labrador.

Molly Depp

Molly Depp

Counselor, Bay Discovery Camp

For the second year in a row, SEF is incredibly excited to have Molly back again for Bay Discovery Camp. Currently a senior at Kent County High School, Molly is an active member of the school’s FFA, the Cross Country and Track and Field Teams, Student Government, and the school newspaper.

Jackie Doerr

Jackie Doerr

Director of Science Programs

jdoerr@sultanaeducation.org

Hailing from Maryland’s Western Shore, Jackie is a graduate of Cornell University with a degree in Environmental Science. Prior to joining SEF, Jackie worked for the Environmental Defense Fund, tutored students in math, and was an outdoor educator and camp director at YMCA Camp Kresge. After interning with SEF, Jacking went on to work with Camp Horizons in Virginia and then NorthBay Adventure Camp in Maryland, facilitating educational programs, outdoor adventure and arts & crafts activities with students from inner city schools.

Kate Dumhart

Kate Dumhart

Captain, Schooner SULTANA

kdumhart@sultanaeducation.org

Kate started at SEF in 2019 as the mate on the schooner SULTANA. A Salisbury University graduate with a degree in Biology, Kate has worked in environmental education on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts.  Returning to her home state, she gained sailing experience as Mate and Relief Captain aboard the skipjack DEE OF ST. MARY’S.  As Captain, Kate continues to find joy in the combination of sailing, history, ecology, and education in an outdoor setting

Kelsie Fronheiser

Kelsie Fronheiser

Paddling Programs Staff

Kelsie is a graduate of Towson University with a bachelor’s degree in Organismal Biology & Ecology, and holds a Masters in Environmental Science, Management and Conservation Planning from University of California Santa Barbara. When not assisting with SEF’s Paddling Programs, Kelsie works as the Conservation Planner for Kent County’s Soil & Water Conservation District working to identify conservation practices and develop plans for landowners living in the watershed. She is also the Chesapeake Feline Association’s Volunteer Coordinator. Kelsie has years of experience working and volunteering in environmental and wildlife conservation fields for various regional organizations including Marshy Point, the National Aquarium, and NorthBay Adventure, along with international programs in Thailand and South Africa. Kelsie’s passion for paddling, the Chesapeake outdoors and teaching make her a perfit fit for the team.

Darwin Garrett

Darwin Garrett

Mate, Schooner SULTANA

A graduate of Southern Oregon University and a California resident, Darwin joins SEF for a third season, this time as the Licensed Mate. Darwin’s tall ship experience includes working aboard the tall Ship WINDY, and for the last two years on the schooner SULTANA, both as an Educator Deckhand and as the Education Coordinator. With a background in theater and youth education, Darwin is a great fit for the organization. SEF is excited to have Darwin onboard again, where their brilliant personality and experience in outdoor education shine.

Marcus Goldman

Marcus Goldman

Assistant Paddling Director

mgoldman@sultanaeducation.org

Marcus moved to Maryland’s Eastern Shore in 2015 from Hell’s Kitchen, NYC. Marcus holds a Bachelors in teaching from Indiana University and a Masters in Environmental Science from Slippery Rock University. He has worked at outdoor centers in the Catskill and Berkshire Mountains, as well as North Carolina and around Kent County, MD. In his spare time, Marcus enjoys training and competing in triathlons, hucking frisbees and exploring various rivers on the Chesapeake Bay.

Chris Greene

Chris Greene

Summer Trip Leader, Paddling Program

Chris loves being in nature and has a true outdoorsy spirit. He hails from the Western Shore of Maryland and has always loved being around or on the water. He has a passion for educating and helping others. For fun, he enjoys dancing, sitting in nature, humming in nature, and singing. He is always up for listening to others and trying new things.

Taylor Hill

Taylor Hill

Seasonal Paddling Staff

A local Rock Hall resident and prior intern in SEF’s Programs, SEF is pumped to have Taylor back for its Paddling Programs. Taylor is a sophomore at the Lawrenceville School. She is an active member in the school’s paper, leading the environmental section, and plays field hockey, ice hockey, and lacrosse. Outside of school, Taylor loves boating with her family and running with her dog. Taylors appreciation for the environment and local knowledge make her a valuable asset on the SEF team.

William Hinton

William Hinton

Deckhand Educator, Schooner SULTANA

William joins the schooner SULTANA crew after spending two years sailing on the Great Lakes aboard the schooner MANITOU. He is a graduate of Cleveland State University where he studied Political Science and International Relations. While working on MANITOU William helped deliver INLAND SEAS award-winning educational programming. William looks forward to growing as both an educator and a mariner while working for SEF.

Bradley B. Hirsh

Bradley B. Hirsh

Director of Paddling Programs

bhirsh@sultanaeducation.org

Brad is a graduate of Bard College, where he earned a degree in Literature. With 20+ years of teaching, counseling, and coaching young adults,Brad has spent his education career in both outdoor education and classroom teaching. Prior to SEF, Brad taught English Language Arts in Los Angeles Unified School District; Humanities at the Sage Ridge School in Reno, Nevada; outdoor education at Echo Hill Outdoor School in Worton, Maryland;  and Humanities at The Swain School in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he oversaw the development of the school’s outdoor education curriculum. Brad lives outside Betterton, Maryland and enjoys exploring the Eastern Shore of Maryland, reading, and playing puzzle oriented video games in his spare time.

Mariana Lesher

Mariana Lesher

Chief Financial Officer

mlesher@sultanaeducation.org

Mariana joined SEF in November 2021 after more than 20 years in healthcare data analytics. A graduate of Swarthmore College and the University of Baltimore, she honed her nonprofit financial skills as an active board member for several Eastern Shore organizations. Mariana grew up sailing on the upper Chesapeake Bay, and now lives in Easton with her family. When she’s not at her desk, Mariana can be found handling dock lines for the schooner SULTANA, racing on the log canoe JAY DEE, cruising on her sailboat, and generally enjoying the Eastern Shore.

Ellie Macielag

Ellie Macielag

Summer Camp Staff

A volunteer for Bay Discovery Camp last year, Ellie’s experience with Sultana’s programs make her an excellent addition to the team again for 2023. Ellie is a current student at the Hill School. Outside of school Ellie stays active with running and ice hockey, but also loves to wind down with baking and crocheting.

John Mann

John Mann

Lawrence Wetlands Preserve Manager

jmann@sultanaeducation.org

John has a long history with SEF beginning with 2007’s Captain John Smith Four Hundred Project, a 121-day retracing of Captain John Smith’s 1608 Chesapeake expedition. John became the first person in the US to complete both the Appalachian Trail and paddle the full extent of Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. In his previous role as director of paddling programs, John played a central role in the initial development of SEF’s paddle programs. John lives with his wife and two children just outside of Chestertown.

Sarah Margolis

Sarah Margolis

Deckhand Educator, Schooner SULTANA

Sarah joins SULTANA after spending a winter on the schooner DENIS SULLIVAN, in the US Virgin Islands. She is a graduate of Boston University and holds a Masters in Fisheries Oceanography from Louisiana State University.   Sarah has experience teaching both in and out of the classroom setting. She has spent time working with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as well as time working as a Chef at a Eco Village in Costa Rica.

Kathy McAllister

Kathy McAllister

Executive Financial Officer

kmcallister@sultanaeducation.org

Kathy has been SEF’s Chief Financial Officer since shortly after its founding. She holds a degree in outdoor recreation and business from Frostburg State University, and a Juris Doctorate from the George Mason University School of Law. Following law school, McAllister decided to move to the Eastern Shore to raise her family, and prior to SEF worked for the Chesapeake Bank and Trust Company in Chestertown.

Calla McCluskey

Calla McCluskey

Summer Trip Leader, Paddling Program

A Centreville, Maryland native and current student in the Anthropology department at Colorado State University, Calla has spent much of her life on the water, camping, or planning her next trip. Calla participated in SEF programs as a student at the Gunston School in Centreville, Maryland, and we are excited to have her join the SEF team as part of our summer paddling staff.

Drew McMullen

Drew McMullen

President, Founder

dmcmullen@sultanaeducation.org

A co-founder of the organization, Drew McMullen has been President of the Sultana Education Foundation since 2001. A graduate of St. Paul’s School, Amherst College, and Johns Hopkins University, McMullen is a recognized leader in the field of maritime nonprofit management. Prior to working for SEF, McMullen was a member of Deutsche Bank’s International Investment Advisory division, and worked for H.G. Wellington Capital Management, both in New York City. Drew lives in Chestertown with his wife, two children, and very energetic dog.

Forrest Richards

Forrest Richards

Senior Captain, Schooner SULTANA

frichards@sultanaeducation.org

Forrest’s career on the water spans over 20 years. He has worked for SEF multiple times, beginning as a deckhand in 2005, returning as crew on SEF’s reenactment of John Smith’s voyage in 2008, and again as Mate in 2012. He has extensive experience sailing on both modern and historic vessels. His work has taken him all over the world including a year in South-East Asia.  Forrest has previously served as Captain of the schooners WILLIAM H ALBURY, the SPIRIT OF SOUTH CAROLINA, and most recently the schooners WOODWIND, and WOODWIND II, based in Annapolis, where he served for three years. Captain Richards graduated from The Florida State University and lives in Chestertown with his wife Annie, the Chester River Riverkeeper, and their sons Archie and Nat.

Carol Ruffini

Carol Ruffini

Second Mate, Schooner SULTANA

In 2024, Carol returns to SEF for a second season, this time as Second Mate aboard the schooner SULTANA.  Carol  is a graduate of the University of Albany, and holds a degree in History and Sustainability.  Prior to her joining SEF, Carol worked as a Maintenance Deckhand and a Climbing Intern aboard the KALMAR NYCKEL, in Wilmington, Delaware and completed a SEA Semester aboard the S.S.V. CORWITH CRAMER.  SEF is excited to have Carol back on board.

Holly Sinclair

Holly Sinclair

Cook/ Educator, Schooner Sultana

Holly returns to SULTANA for a second season, this time as a cook educator. Holly hails from southern California and graduated from University of California, San Diego. She has worked on many Tall Ships including Star of India, Californian, HMS Surprise, and Kalmar Nyckel.

Jasmine Sun

Jasmine Sun

Assistant Director of Science Programs

jsun@sultanaeducation.org

Maryland native, Jasmine Sun, joins SEF from Gaithersburg, and holds a degree in Environmental Science from University of Maryland Baltimore County. Jasmine previously honed her knowledge and expertise in outdoor education and animal husbandry while working for Cape Henlopen State Park as their Nature Center’s Intern Assistant, and with the DuPont Nature Center as an Environmental Education and Outreach Assistant. Outside of SEF, Jasmine’s passion for education extends to teaching Martial Arts, and has 20+ years of karate experience.

Sophia Thomas

Sophia Thomas

Spring Paddling Assistant, Paddling Program

Sophia is a graduate of Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability and a minor in English. Most recently, she worked with the Housatonic River Association, Mill River Park Collaborative, and New England Water Science Center in Connecticut. Sophia is passionate about watershed sciences and education, and excited to be a part of the team.

Mel Tuerk

Mel Tuerk

Summer Trip Leader, Paddling Program

Mel is an Environmental Studies and Anthropology major at Washington College, and a 2023 Chesapeake Semester graduate.  The summer of 2024 will be Mel’s second as part of SEF’s paddling team, where they will again help foster connections between students and the environment.  In their free time, Mel enjoys reading, experimenting with different artistic mediums, and practicing yoga (ideally all outdoors.)