Shelby Stoner

Mentor for Leadership and Recruitment

This is Shelby's fourth and final year in the Miner Challenge program! She is currently serving as the Mentor for Leadership and Recruitment, which means she will get to train the Trip Leaders in preparation for the trip, run recruitment efforts, and help hosting some program-wide events! Last year, Shelby served as a Trip Leader and took a team to the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona where they worked to build wheelchair ramps. She is a Senior in Chemical Engineering and worked at Emerson this summer. She has a chocolate lab named Rigby and is really excited to move back home to Kansas City after graduation. She is also a DJ at Missouri S&T's radio station, KMNR 89.7FM, and loves alternative rock. Shelby is very interested in social justice and wants to live a life of service and activism.

Ashleigh Abbott

Mentor for Marketing and Fundraising

Ashleigh Abbott is currently a sophomore majoring in ceramic engineering with a minor in biomedical engineering. She hopes to get more education and go into research. When she isn’t busy in school she spends time reading, hiking and exploring new places. Last year was her first year in the program where she traveled to Tuba City, Arizona. There, the group worked on building three wheel chair ramps for the elderly on the Navajo reservation. During the trip, the group learned a lot about the culture of the indigenous people through conversations, experiencing it and while working on the houses. One of the days, she went with everyone to a nursing home where they talked about their culture, issues they’ve faced, and life stories. This was her favorite part of the trip because she got to hear about the unique culture and learn more about the people that they were working for. After her first trip, she can’t wait to go on more Miner Challenge trips and meet more people passionate about service!

Aneliese Hebenstreit

Trip Leader

Aneliese Hebenstreit is a sophomore studying aerospace engineering. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, learning new things, and spending time with friends (her dog included). On campus, she is in Zeta Tau Alpha, Phi Eta Sigma, and Panhellenic Council. Last year, she volunteered in New Orleans, LA with Miner Challenge and focused on wildlife conservation. Through this experience, she learned about the tragedy and lasting effects of natural disasters, and was inspired to lead a trip focused around disaster relief.   


Blake McPherson

Trip Leader

Blake is currently a junior in Aerospace Engineering. He grew up in Mount Vernon, IL, and attended Rend Lake College for two years before transferring to S&T in the fall of 2018. 

In addition to being a member of Miner Challenge at S&T, Blake is also the Shop Liaison for the Miner Aviation design team and a member of the Sigma Gamma Tau honor society.  In his spare time, Blake enjoys running, hiking, tweeting, photography, rock climbing, going to concerts, and skating. In the future, he hopes to obtain his bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering and work for a major aircraft manufacturer. As a trip leader, Blake hopes to foster an educational environment for his social issue and inspire others to step up and take on leadership roles in the future.

Joseph Nickell

Trip Leader

Joseph Nickell is a junior in Civil Engineering at Missouri S&T. He is fluent in Spanish in which he is minoring along with Sustainability. Joseph is a member of the varsity Track & Field Team as a pole vaulter, president of Spanish club, member of Engineers Without Borders, and an avid Miner Challenge Participant. His freshman year he traveled with Miner Challenge to Managua, Nicaragua to work with rural education through teaching classes at a village school. This year he will be using his past experiences to lead a domestic Miner Challenge Trip in which he plans to work with Hispanic culture and immigration.

Amber Prevallet

Trip Leader

Amber is a sophomore in the Geology and Geophysics department. She is also one semester away from completing her Spanish Language and Culture minor and plans to study abroad in Spain next fall. Amber is the Parent’s Club Chairman of Zeta Tau Alpha and is excited for her upcoming event this fall. Her passions consist of animal rights, environmental conservation, and culture awareness. She loves spending a majority of her time outside, enjoying what Mother Nature has to offer, as well as spending the other half of her time with her friends and family. Amber also enjoys spontaneous adventures, learning about different cultures and ways of life, and creating new experiences and memories with the people around her. Amber is a very energetic and positive person and loves to spread her positivity onto others. 

Gabriela Ramirez

Trip Leader

Gabriela is a senior from Bourbon, Missouri studying Geology & Geophysics and minoring in Geological Engineering. She enjoys hiking, hanging out with friends, volunteering and traveling! Gabriela has gone on two Miner Challenge trips: one to Beaumont, Texas focusing on disaster relief for veterans and another to Tuba City, Arizona helping build wheelchair ramps for elderly in the Navajo nation. She is also involved in her sorority, Association of Women Geoscientist, and doing research. Gabriela is excited to lead an awesome team and show them how Miner Challenge is helping change the world.

Jessica Haywood

Program Administrator

Student Involvement

Jessica is originally from the mountains of North Carolina and graduated with a B.S. in Spanish Education from Appalachian State University. She taught Spanish in NC public schools for three years and worked with students from Kindergarten through 12th grade.  Jessica then moved to Oregon where she completed her Master's degree in College Student Services Administration at Oregon State University.  She has been working with the Miner Challenge program since 2015. She has always had a passion for alternative break programs and went on her first trip as a freshman in college.  She enjoys creative pursuits such as crafting and photography, and loves international travel.