Board and Staff

Alexa Valdovinos, Summer Fellow, Furman University's Shi Institute Summer Fellowship Program

Alexandra Valdovinos is from East Flat Rock, NC, and is majoring in Sustainability Science with a minor in Latin American and LatinX Studies. East Flat Rock isn't the only place she calls home, as her parents are from Jalísco, México, where she enjoys traveling to. After graduating from Furman, she hopes to go into the environmental justice field, helping underrepresented communities who face the biggest environmental risks. This is Alexa's second fellowship with the Shi Institute, as last year she was the conservation education fellow for the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. Aside from sustainability, she is also an aspiring entrepreneur, starting a sustainable music product business that aims at combating waste production while trying to create long-lasting and sustainable products. This stemmed from her love of music, as she has played the flute for over 8 years and is involved with the Furman Bands and Sigma Alpha Iota, the international women's music fraternity. Some of Alexa's other hobbies include reading, being outdoors, writing, and hanging out with friends and family. A little fun fact about Alexa is she owns a teddy bear hamster named Mars!

Q&A WITH Alexa

Q: What is your favorite native plant?

A: Definitely milkweed. I got to learn a lot about it when I was a fellow with the Carl Sandburg Home NHS, and I came to love it so much because it serves an important purpose for the monarch butterfly! And I LOVE butterflies, so any plant that they call home, I will automatically love.

Q: What’s your favorite outdoor activity?

A: I love to hammock. If I see two trees close enough together, the first thing I want to do is put up a hammock. My favorite place to hammock at my grandparent’s home in Mexico on the mountain, but since I can’t be there all the time, my favorite place to put up a hammock on the other side of the Furman lake. Getting to just be in nature and read or relax is amazing, highly recommend getting a hammock.

Q: What is the best piece of advice for taking care of the Reedy River?

A: Rain gardens! I’ve learned more and more about the impacts they make positively, especially since we have them at Furman and I’ve learned so much being a fellow with Friends of the Reedy River, and they serve so many purposes! Not only are they habitats, but they’re essentially “nature’s filters” and they help with erosion! Woohoo!

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