Meet Our AmeriCorps Volunteers

Meet Our AmeriCorps Volunteers

From left: Emma Leslie, Corinne Deslisle, Nathan Rickard, Mandy Roach, Kate Wilson

Visit the OSEEC website to learn more!

Visit the AmeriCorps website to learn more!



Emma Leslie – Educator

Hi everyone, I’m Emma! I’m a New England native—I grew up in Lunenburg, MA and graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2012 with a B.A. in Zoology and a minor in Animal Behavior. I have a passion for animals and have always loved working with children, but it wasn’t until an internship at Disney’s Animal Kingdom that I realized Environmental Education was the perfect way to merge these interests. Earlier this year, I completed a traineeship at The Center for Elephant Conservation and then spent the summer as an educator at the Stone Zoo.  I’m really excited to be joining the team at Roger Williams Park Zoo! I’m looking forward to learning about all the exhibit and education animals, but you’ll most likely find me hanging out at the anteater!


Corinne Deslisle – Play Partner Coordinator

Hi everyone! My name is Corinne Delisle. I’m originally from Westfield, MA. I have a B.S. in animal science with a pre-veterinary concentration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. After I decided that veterinary school might not actually be for me, I decided to pursue graduate school instead, and just completed my M.S. in wildlife biology this past May. I’ve previously worked in wildlife rehabilitation in Texas, and a wildlife technician for the Student Conservation Association at Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico. Last summer I worked for an upward bound program, teaching biology to under-privileged ninth graders. This experience really got me interested in teaching science to kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity.  I am really excited to be working at the Big Backyard. My experience with kids has all been with older age groups, so this will be a brand new opportunity for me! I’m also looking forward to getting to know and working with all of the Play Partners.  I have two cats and two guinea pigs. In my free time, I enjoy ice skating, cooking and being outside. I’m also a geek-I enjoy sci-fi/fantasy movies and books, and video games. In the future, my goal is definitely to have a career in a biological field, either as a wildlife biologist or in environmental education.


Nathan Rickard – Educator

Well hello there. I’m Nathan.  This is my second year with the OSEEC team serving at the Zoo.  .  I love the beach and mountains! My first year with AmeriCorps was so amazing I had to do a second!  I love teaching students about science and the natural world around us.  I am a Biology major and love to teach.  I especially love working with early elementary ages.  I am originally from Indiana, but followed my fiancé to New England and have been living in Rhode Island for over 6 years now.  I love being outside.  I really like to hike in the fall because of the beautiful views.  However, winter is my favorite time of year. SNOW SNOW SNOW!!! (and snowboarding!)  I am excited to be a contributing member of the Education Staff at the zoo again this year and see what the 2nd year of AmeriCorps will bring!


Mandy Roach – ZooCrew Coordinator

Hi there! My name’s Mandy Roach and I’ll be the Zoo Crew Coordinator this year. I grew up near Boston, and then later attended Umass Dartmouth. While I was there I majored in Art Education and ran a theatre production company. Being art ed. major was great because it allowed me to be an art kid in the studio while still completing education courses and my student teaching. Post-college, I was working at a Boy Scout Reservation when I landed an AmeriCorps position at Providence Children’s Museum. I loved the museum’s views on play, discovery, and hands-on learning. Early that year we took a field trip to the RWPZoo the see the similarities between us, and I totally fell in love! Someday I hope to work in a field that bridges the gap between art and science, so I cannot wait to learn as much as I can about natural science, animal care, and environmental education.


Kate Wilson – Educator

Hi! I’m Kate and I am a Rhode Island native. I graduated from the University of Rhode Island this past May and have a BS in Wildlife and Conservation Biology. I spent my summer interning at Mystic Aquarium doing Reptile and Amphibian Husbandry. I worked with a very broad spectrum of species from Poison Dart Frogs, to a Grand Cayman Blue Iguana, to an Argentinian Black-and-white Tegu and it was a blast! I also volunteered at Norman Bird Sanctuary and Powder Mill Ledges Wildlife Refuge where I helped with animal care and with public education. I am a newbie apiarist and care for two very active honeybee hives. I love tap dancing, peanut butter, and any animal who could be considered “creepy crawly”. I have a 7 month old kitten named Bug and I wish I could spend every second of my day with him. I am thrilled to be involved with AmeriCorps this year and I hope to encourage people of all ages to care for wildlife and the environment that way places like zoos and wildlife refuges will continue to exist in this world.