Each year ESSYI hires eight to ten HWS student staff members who make everything work during the two-week program. They function as teaching assistants, residence hall assistants, mentors and help to shepherd the students throughout the program.


Jeff Rizza

I’m from New Paltz, NY, a small town in the Hudson Valley known for the athletic and outdoorsy character of its residents. I just graduated from the Masters in the Arts of Teaching Program at HWS! As far back as I can remember, I would take every opportunity to be outside. I’m an intensely curious person, and I have always been especially curious about the natural world. I grew up hiking, camping, biking, rock climbing, running, and skiing. All things I still love to do!




AnnA Hartnett

I just graduated from HWS with a double major in Political Science and Environmental Studies; as well as minoring in History, Geoscience, and Sustainable Community Development. In addition, I am enrolled in the Masters in the Arts of Teaching Program at HWS where I am working toward becoming a certified adolescent social studies teacher.




Ren Workman

Hi there! I’m a senior from a small town called Hammond in the Thousand Islands Region of NY and am studying Environmental Studies and Cultural Anthropology at HWS. I have been lucky enough to travel to gorgeous places with extremely unique ecosystems such as Bali, Indonesia and Hanoi, Vietnam during my time here at HWS. My outdoor interests include hiking, kayaking, skiing, backpacking, and much more!




Kevin Collado

Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, I was provided with some of my fondest memories and experiences. Spending the majority of my educational career in Rye, New York, I was given the opportunities to flourish as an independent thinker and explore my curiosities. Moving to and settling down in Kent, New York, I was able to create a space in which I could feel unapologetically like myself, while this ultimately became the place I call home. As a senior at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, I study Architecture with a minor in Music, taking in the beautiful sights and sounds of Geneva, New York.


Tori Malamas

Hello all! I am a sophomore from North Tonawanda, New York a suburb of Buffalo. Here at HWS, I am majoring in Environmental Studies with a minor in Sustainable Community Development and am also a member of the William Smith Crew team. I am very passionate about the outdoors, as these activities have greatly shaped my life, especially rowing, sailing, running, hiking, kayaking, biking, and skiing. 


Lauren Downes

I’m a sophomore double majoring in Architecture and Spanish with a minor in Sustainable Community Development. I live in a small town in Western Massachusetts called Shelburne Falls where I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by beautiful mountains and rivers. Before I could even walk my parents toted me around on hikes, and hiking has continued to be a passion of mine along with just about every other outdoor activity as well as a deep passion for environmental conservation.