The Team

"Lead with Empathy"

In loving memory of Brian Patrick Gialketsis

TGIF Program Associate 2015-2016
TGIF Coordinator 2017-2019

The Green Initiative Fund “Team” is the day-to-day staff that runs the whole TGIF program. The team is made up of a TGIF Coordinator (staff person) and TGIF Program Associates (student staff). TGIF also has a Committee and Project Leaders (grantees who implement TGIF funded projects).

The TGIF & Sustainability Initiatives Coordinator

The TGIF & Sustainability Initiatives Coordinator manages The Green Initiative Fund, UC Berkeley’s student-fee based campus sustainability fund. TGIF’s Coordinator is responsible for coordinating and promoting the fall and spring TGIF Grant application processes, advising and supporting TGIF’s Committee during grant selection, documenting TGIF as a program, tracking the progress of TGIF-funded projects, advising TGIF project leaders, and providing consultation on green fund best practices to other colleges and universities.

TGIF Coordinator

Teresa Yu

Teresa (she/her/hers) is excited to be working as the The Green Initiative Fund Coordinator. Teresa was born and raised in San Francisco, California.  She recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Environmental Economics and Policy and a minor in Public Policy. As a student at Cal, she worked as a TGIF Program Associate for two years and is eager to continue her work supporting TGIF projects. Teresa is passionate about supporting students in actualizing their environmental projects and initiatives, and cultivating student leaders in the environmental movement. In her free time, Teresa enjoys bouldering, drinking boba, and cooking. 

SERC Director; Former TGIF Coordinator

Sharon Daraphonhdeth

Sharon was born and raised in San Diego county, where she began her educational endeavors at Palomar College. She currently oversees the Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC), including a team of over 20 student staff. Her passions lies among working with students by assisting them to develop, implement and lead innovative sustainability projects and initiatives. At her leisure, she enjoys live music, cooking and spending time with her loved ones (especially her cat, Lucille). She also serves as a board member for a vegan food justice non-profit in her spare time. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from San Francisco State University.

TGIF Program Associates

The TGIF Program Associates internship program first began in February 2013. The TGIF Program Associates assist the TGIF Coordinator with the documentation of TGIF-funded projects. Duties include recording and calculating both quantitative and qualitative sustainability metrics produced by these projects and involve reading project updates, reports, and interviewing project leaders. The TGIF Program Associates also assist TGIF’s Coordinator with displaying and publicizing these metrics through new and innovative ways, including blog posts, articles, videos, and social media. Meet the TGIF Program Associates below!

Lead Program Associate

Jessie McGinley

Jessie is an eccentric and down-to-earth senior studying Society and Environment at UC Berkeley. Jessie’s passion for environmentalism stems from her time at YMCA Camp Kon-O-Kwee canoeing on the Allegheny River, backpacking along the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, and swimming in Deer Valley Lake. She grew up in the under-rated city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Go Steelers! Jessie has a wide array of work experience from being a Barista, Camp Counselor, Research Apprentice analyzing different countries' climate policy structures, Federal Policy Intern at Carbon180, and TGIF Program Associate. She is extremely passionate about her sisterhood at AXO and loves to casework at The Suitcase Clinic. When she isn't working or studying, you can probably spot Jessie at a concert, geo-caching around the city, hiking the Berkeley firetrails, or watching That 70's Show.

Program Associate

Joshua Kay

Josh (he/they) is a third year student studying environmental law and policy by way of Society & the Environment and Rhetoric. He's passionate about leveraging the power of policy and law to bring tangible change and to help people across the world.  They've previously worked with the California State Lands Commission, the Berkeley Student Food Collective, and the ASUC Elections Council, and are currently interning at the Earth Law Center.  Josh grew up in San Francisco, and their environmentalist beliefs stemmed from frequent family camping trips and from volunteer work at the San Francisco Zoo. In his spare time, they enjoys cooking and baking, listening to podcasts, birdwatching, and juggling.  Before they graduate, they would like to check out the full 100 books allowed from the Berkeley libraries. 

Program Associate

Taylor Atienza

Taylor (she/her/hers) is a third-year studying Society & Environment and Global Studies. She’s passionate about solutions-oriented approaches in environmentalism, and is enthusiastic about supporting student projects that promote diversity and innovation in campus environmental spaces. Taylor began exploring her passion for environmentalism through journalism before entering UC Berkeley. Her current interests include global sustainable development, food systems, and agroecology. She has previous experience in the ASUC Department of Unsustainable Partnerships' Pour Out Pepsi campaign and in EthiCAL Apparel on the UC Berkeley campus. In her free time, she enjoys painting, exploring art museums, knitting and crochet, and gardening.

Program Associate

Tiffany Mar

Tiffany (she/her) is a first year majoring in Society and Environment at UC Berkeley. Tiffany’s passion for environmental justice and sustainability stems from her time organizing in youth groups such as California Youth for Climate and her current work in the ASUC Eco-Office. Tiffany draws experience from a variety of areas-- from an Environmental Justice and Policy writer for the Leaflet, Student Caller for Ruffalo Noel Levitz and yogurt-swirler at Pinkberry. In the future, she would like to pursue a career in environmental law where she can advocate for both people and the environment. When she isn’t studying, you can catch Tiffany journaling, playing piano, or trying to expand her reading list of YA, sci-fi and mystery books.

Former TGIF Staff: 

Coordinator

  • 2017-2019 – Brian Gialketsis
  • 2013-2017 – Sharon Daraphonhdeth
  • 2010-2013 – Katherine Walsh
  • 2008-2010 – Nicole Leung

Program Associates

  • 2017-2019 – Teresa Yu
  • 2016-2019 – Madeline Tucker
  • 2016-2018 – Madeline Green; Jared O’Shaughnessy
  • 2015-2016 – Jimmy Dunn; Lauren Murphy; Brian Gialketsis
  • 2014-2015 – Caitriona Smyth; Jimmy Dunn; Lauren Murphy
  • 2013-2014 – Claire Kaufman; Kareem Hammoud

Mission

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley’s negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.