The fourth webinar in the Greening the Parish series of the Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations features young adults’ hopes for the present and future as they work to protect God’s Creation.
Speaker Bios for Webinar #4 - Hopeful Aspirations
Ephemia Nicolakis is a first-year student at Quinnipiac University in their accelerated Communications and honors programs. She is an active part of the community -- she is the Academic At-Large Senator for Student Government and on the First-Year Advisory Board. She is a member of Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church in Orange, CT where she was an active GOYA member, served as secretary for two years, and Vice President for one. She also placed at the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival metropolis level, where she learned about the importance of speaking up about important issues she is passionate about. She transferred this energy into Girl Scouts where she created her project, EcoOrthodox, with the goal of Greening the parishes in mind.
Nike Pappas grew up along the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. For her college degree, however, she wanted to be closer to the mountains. She attended Clemson University and studied Environmental and Natural Resources with a focus in Conservation Biology. During her summers she got the chance to intern for a salamander sampling project, volunteer with sea turtle conservation projects, and volunteer for St. Stephen’s Greek Orthodox Summer Camp! After graduating from college she served on the Ionian Village summer camp staff before starting her seasonal environmental educator position at the Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island. This is where she found that she could in fact combine her passions of conservation, education, and camp! A few years later Nike was offered and accepted a full time position at the Burton 4-H Center as the program specialist where she oversees animal husbandry and teaches outdoor education classes. Nike is pursuing her Master’s of Agriculture and Environmental Education from the University of Georgia and hopes to graduate from her program in August of 2021.
John Touloupis is passionate about economics and new innovations that will build a better, greener future. Along with his brother Alexios, they started Green New World following a trip to the United Arab Emirates for Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January at the beginning of the year. In the desert, he interviewed various people and companies at the forefront of sustainable solutions such as cutting edge solar technology, vertical farming systems, atmospheric water generators, and Dubai Sustainable city. They returned from their trip, built a studio in their parent’s garage, and launched their official YouTube page Green New World TV.
Alexios Touloupis is a passionate filmmaker and storyteller. At the age of 16, Alexios was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The diagnosis forced Alexios to prioritize the present instead of the future and dropped out of film school to get into the field and start making videos right away. Following a successful season 1 of Green New World in the studio, he went with John to explore sustainable developments in their homeland of Greece, exploring new innovations in smart energy grid systems, eco-tourism, sustainable fashion, micro-algae carbon capture systems. They are currently working on releasing season 2 of Green New World TV.
Steven Christoforou is a graduate of Yale University, Fordham University School of Law, and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Steve is passionate about sharing the Gospel in a clear and accessible way and helping people see Christ at work in their lives.