Our Team

Our Team

From naturalists to film makers, educators to designers, our staff connects experts in various professions to the local Rockaway Community.

 
Jeanne DuPont portrait

Jeanne DuPont

Founder and Executive Director

As Founder & Executive Director of RISE, Jeanne has worked closely with the Rockaway community and city agencies over the past 15 years, developing strategies to redevelop large stretches of underutilized public land for the good of the community. Much of her work has involved organizing community members and youth in utilizing outdoor space for programming focused on social equity, health and environmental justice. Jeanne has a Masters Degree in Design from Yale University.

Judah Asimov portrait

Judah Asimov

Senior Manager, Planning and Outreach

Prior to joining RISE, Judah had been involved in working on political campaigns and government relations. He has been put his skills to work doing public outreach and coordination with local individuals and organizations in the Rockaways to promote RISE Programs in addition to collaborating with local youth on planning work associated with Project Underway and public placemaking initiatives. Judah has a Bachelors Degree in Comparative Government from Wesleyan University.

Keza Lawrence portrait

Keza Lawrence

Manager, Office Administration

Keza comes from the Healthcare industry where she worked in the health system assisting the elderly for several years. She has a passion for working to help improve her community and gives back as much as she can through our community and youth programs. Keza has a Bachelor's Degree in Healthcare Administration / Human Resources Management from Ashford University.

Giselle Herrera portrait

Giselle Herrera

Program Coordinator

Before joining the RISE team, Giselle carried out urban ecology research while also participating in environmental education. She has always been interested in the intersection of human interaction and wildlife, as seen in the projects she's worked on involving coyotes, black bears, and rats. For Giselle, working on coordinating a variety of youth programs at RISE strikes the perfect balance between science and education to produce long term change toward environmental stewardship and community engagement. Giselle has a Master of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Fordham University

Liam Lachner portrait

Liam Lachner

Community Outreach Coordinator, NYC Civic Corps Member

As a lifelong resident of Rockaway Beach, Liam will tell you that this is the best community to be a part of. Growing up by the beach has given Liam an appreciation for our local environment. His first job after graduating from college was as an educator for RISE's Aqua 101 program. Since then he has worked with the National Parks Service and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection. Now he is able to be a part of our team once again, and this time as a member of the NYC Civic Corps program. Liam has a Bachelors Degree in Sustainable Energy Management from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. 

Ephraim Foster portrait

Ephraim Foster

Educator, Living Classroom

Ephraim has lived in Far Rockaway all of his life, and loves the effect RISE has had on his community with events like tree plantings and beach clean ups.  Ephraim enjoys educating youth about environmental issues affecting the Far Rockaway community.  He started coming to RISE as a member of Shore Corps. Soon after graduating from high school, he started working as an educator for the Living Classroom and Aqua 101 programs. He has an Associates Degree in Fire Science from Nassau Community College and is interested in someday pursuing a degree in education.