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Meet the
Outreach Team 

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Alexandra Gentry

PAROC Outreach Director 

My name is Alexandra Gentry and I am the Outreach Director here at the PAROC!

I graduated from ESU with my BSE in Biology and Earth Science Education. In this job, I am able to help educators of all kinds, help the environment, and help the future generations grow an appreciation for science and nature. I am proud and honored to continue my passion for education and science by being here at ESU and I look forward to growing PAROC by collaborating with the community.

In my spare time, I enjoy taking my very energetic dog for long hikes as well as reading novels cozied up under a blanket. 

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Elizabeth Murdock

PAROC Graduate Assistant


Hello! My name is Elizabeth “Lizzy” Murdock, and I am the graduate assistant at the PAROC. I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Biodiversity with a minor in art from Emporia State in December of 2023. I am so excited to be a part of the PAROC team to help mold the minds of young scientists and educate people of all ages on our natural resources.


In my free time, I enjoy playing with my son outside and reading. I am also interested in scientific illustration, spending some of my free time drawing/painting the plants and animals around me. 


Grace Higgins

Hello! I am a sophomore studying Biology Education at Emporia State.


I love working at PAROC because I get to share my love for science with the community in fun and creative ways.

I enjoy growing my teaching and planning skills through our activities at PAROC too. In my free time, I enjoy crafting, hiking with my dogs, and playing the flute.

Grace Higgins

Cadence Butler

Hello! I am a Freshman studying Biology, concentrating on Fish and Wildlife, at Emporia State University! 

Working at PAROC allows me to get hands-on experience I would not be able to get elsewhere. At the PAROC I can constantly learn something new, whether it be a new skill or a new fact. Plus, the events that the PAROC holds align with my values of compassion and kindness. I love being able to work with people of all ages and backgrounds. I look forward to learning more about what most would disregard and deem simple. 

Apart from time spent in classes and studying, I am in the Marching Band and work at DQ. In my free time I love to read, hike, and eat good food. 


Lenia Goekler

Hello! I am currently an undergraduate student studying Fisheries and Wildlife. 

I am so thankful for PAROC and all the opportunities it opens to myself and the community. PAROC has allowed me to gain experience and knowledge all while being able to educate the community about my passions. I love getting to work on community outreach events about the importance of our native Kansas biodiversity and how we get to witness its beauty every day! 

When I am not at PAROC or busy with schoolwork, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, dancing, walks, and any and all time spent outdoors!


Daphne Mayes

STEM Outreach Director 

Greetings! I am Daphne Mayes, the STEM Outreach Director.

I love this job because it brings together many of my interests, experiences, and passions- including environmental conservation, biology, ecology, education, outreach, and community engagement for all! I am excited to be part of the pioneering phase of PAROC, growing our outreach programming and meeting many incredibly inspiring people along the way. In addition to my role at PAROC, I recently became co-editor of the Kansas School Naturalist. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and teaching my boys about nature.

Daphne Mayes - PAROC Outreach Director
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