Angel was raised in Appalachia with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in her backyard. As a child, she loved playing in the woods, especially during fall, fascinated by all the colors and different shapes of leaves. She first established personal connections with the Smokies when her family would go to the creek at Greenbrier, an ongoing tradition with her mother. Parks as Classrooms field trips at Pi Beta Phi elementary school positively influenced her career choice. At Gatlinburg-Pittman high school, Angel led service club projects for 4-H and Rotary Interact Club including teaching after-school entomology classes at the Gatlinburg Boys & Girls Club.
In college at the University of Tennessee, Angel studied forestry restoration and conservation with a minor in entomology and plant pathology. Throughout college, she worked as a research assistant for UTK’s Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries Dept. and Entomology and Plant Pathology Dept. assisting forest health projects and presented research locally and nationally including at the Society of American Foresters National Convention in Portland, OR. She loved competing in timbersports saw competitions with UTK’s SAF chapter. In 2017, Angel studied abroad at University of Canterbury in Christchurch, NZ in and backpacked New Zealand’s south island coast to coast. Angel is deeply grateful for this dream opportunity to serve the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as Citizen Science Assistant with AmeriCorps Project Conserve.