THE PACE CHRONICLE

Meet Angelo Spillo

Angelo Spillo (farthest to the right) has been dedicated to Pace for over 41 years. Photo courtesy of Pace.edu

Angelo Spillo (farthest to the right) has been dedicated to Pace for over 41 years. Photo courtesy of Pace.edu

Gerald Olvera, Feature Writer

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Dedicated, motivated, and organized are three words that best describe Angelo Spillo. He has educated, advised, and mentored students at Pace University for over 41 years.

He earned a bachelor’s in Education at Pace University in 1976 and volunteered at the Environmental Center. Spillo was hired full time as a Naturalist while earning his master’s in Public Administration at Pace.

Spillo was hooked from that point and went on to do research, attended other workshops in Environmental Science, and became the Coordinator of Environmental Studies.

Now the Director of Dyson College Nature Center, Spillo has witnessed the transformation of the entire Pleasantville campus.

“Pace went through drastic changes over the years, Spillo said. “The Environmental Center, before it became the Nature Center in 1971, was located where Elm Hall sits today.”

The Nature Center was at its peak between 1980 and 1990. It was equipped with an Equine and Environmental division. Eventually the Equestrian team was disestablished.

Spillo advocated many programs for students during his tenure with Pace University. Especially fought to keep the Nature Center alive even when budget cuts threatened the program.

Spillo spent years planning for the future students and would eventually start teaching credit courses at the Nature Center. That evolved into the development of the Environmental Studies Department.

He has instructed teachers on how to bring environmental education into traditional classroom and taught environmental outreach programs to Cub Scouts and summer camps.

Spillo explains that students keep him focused and engaged. He enjoys when they come to him with ideas about the Nature Center.

He feels that his job allows for endless amount of creativity and is able to explore new avenues with students.

“As the environment begins to change, so does the science. The programs change and so do the students,” Spillo said. “Students come to me with new ideas and interacting with them is the fun part of my job.”

Students interaction and volunteering have reshaped the Nature Center into what it is today. All of the buildings, animals, nature trails and the garden have been conceived through student ideas.

Spillo believes the Nature Center as a whole provides many opportunities for students to learn about the environment and is also place of solitude, oasis on campus, or just a place to relax.

He has fought for years to incorporate more of the Nature Center by promoting environmental awareness and plans to administer surveys across campus.

“I enjoy helping students become aware of environmental changes,” Spillo said. “I have an opportunity to make an impact from a global perspective, I like that.”

 

 

 

 

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