Cover photo for Dr. Sean-Mazeika P. Sullivan's Obituary
Dr. Sean-Mazeika P. Sullivan Profile Photo

Dr. Sean-Mazeika P. Sullivan

December 30, 1972 — May 31, 2024

McClellanville

Dr. Sean-Mazeika P. Sullivan

On May 31, 2024, Sean-Mazeika Patricio Sullivan, 51, died at home after a brief illness. He was a devoted husband and adoring father, a lover of all science, advocate for those in need, an adventure-seeker, idea man and visionary. His life and heart revolved around his wife, Gabriela, and their four children, Adela, Joaquin, Santiago, and Gael.
 
Born on December 30, 1972 in Burlington Vermont, Mazeika was the second son of Mary and the late John P. Sullivan, of the Sullivan Family Farm in Johnson, Vermont. Along with his brother and sister, Tim and Molly, he was raised to respect and love the land, its beauty and resources. This served as a foundation for his passion for nature.
 
After graduating from Lamoille Union High School, Mazeika attended Dartmouth University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude, with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Native American Studies. He obtained a Master of Science in Biology, and went on to obtain his Ph.D. in Natural Resources, both at the University of Vermont.  
 
Mazeika was a lifelong learner, compassionate leader, and quintessential natural scientist. His career took his family to Idaho, Puerto Rico, Colombia and Ohio. In 2022, Mazeika and his family moved to McClellanville, South Carolina, so that he could pursue his dream job, working as Director of the Baruch Institute for Coastal Ecology and Forest Science and as a Professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation at Clemson University. At Clemson, he had the privilege of working with a talented team of scientists who study all aspects of coastal ecology, including the connectivity between the land, water and wildlife. He was grateful for their hard work, collaboration, humor and commitment to the Baruch Institute and its mission. Mazeika’s legacy at the Baruch Institute and in the larger scientific community will be long-lasting and will continue to drive the study of the environment and conservation initiatives. 
 
Mazeika was actively engaged in the pursuit of equity, inclusion, and diversity in ecological studies through teaching, research, and service activities. He believed that social justice must be part of any scientific conversation, and he worked to ensure that all students have a path to pursue the study of science. At the national level, Mazeika led the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Task Force for the Society for Freshwater Science. Also, he worked with the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe of Northern Idaho on issues significant to Native American water rights and their retention of access to critical natural resources. In recent years, he provided briefings to members of the United States Congress on the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) and advised the EPA, as well as other national and international organizations, on the importance of protecting and preserving our natural resources.  
 
Mazeika had a love and natural talent for languages.  He was fluent in Lithuanian and Spanish, and proficient in French. Mazeika and Gabriela have been raising their children in this tradition, as they speak Lithuanian, Spanish and English in their home. He was a wonderful communicator, diplomat and charismatic person, with a welcoming heart and open arms for all who crossed his path. He was loyal and fearless.
 
Mazeika is survived by his devoted wife, Gabriela, and their children, Adela, Joaquin, Santiago and Gael; his mother, Mary Sullivan, of Johnson, Vermont; his sister, Molly Veysey and her husband, Justin, of Irasburg, Vermont; his sister-in-law, Valerie Sullivan, of Johnson, Vermont; his in-laws, Edith Seier and Michel Helfgott; his brothers-in-law, Harald Helfgott and Federico Helfgott (Elizabeth Lino-Cornejo); and many beloved nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
 
There will be a Celebration of Life at the Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science at Hobcaw Barony in Georgetown, S.C. on Saturday, June 22 at 10:00 a.m. There will be a private family gathering at the Sullivan Family Farm for the scattering of ashes. In honor of Mazeika, he would love for you to support pollinators and nurture our native plants. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a 529 Future Scholar Account to benefit the Sullivan children.

Sullivan Children 529 Scholarship Account
 
A memorial message may be sent to the family on our website at www.jhenrystuhr.com. Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc., Mt. Pleasant Chapel.


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