Ria (Rebecca) Warner

Professional Summary

Innovative and tenacious educator on a mission to teach techniques and strategies for mental wellness. Experience working with diverse populations in both traditional and non-traditional settings has sparked a desire to continually learn, research and develop effective ways to build connectedness and improve access to mental health services. Special interest in working with individuals and groups who have experienced trauma utilizing nature-based methods.


Master of Arts in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling with a Certificate in Addictions and Substance Abuse Counseling University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, Graduating December 2021

Bachelor of Arts in Theatre University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, May 2011

Associate of Arts in Fine Arts St. John’s River Community College, Palatka, Florida, Cum Laude,
June 2006

Associate of Science in Theatre Performance St. John’s River Community College, Palatka, Florida
Cum Laude, June 2006

Experience in Mental Health

Mental Health Counseling Intern: Veteran’s Health Administration, Bay Pines, August 2021-Current

  • Participate in group therapy sessions including Dialectical Behavior Therapy Coping Skills, Anger Management, Mindfulness, and Relapse Prevention
  • Co-facilitate individual trauma focused therapy sessions utilizing Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure Therapy, and Written Exposure Therapy
  • Complete referral assessments to determine and explore program and treatment options
  • Provide individualized supportive therapy to veterans with diagnosed trauma related disorders

Counseling Intern: Phoenix House, January 2021-May 2021

  • Conducted intake assessments to determine appropriate program placement for substance abuse treatment
  • Collaborated with clients to develop meaningful treatment plans and provided support and guidance toward achieving goals
  • Led group therapy sessions focused on recovery, coping skills, and relapse prevention
  • Maintained client electronic health records on Welligent

Wellness Volunteer: USF COVID Wellness Team, May 2020-December 2020

  • Provided telehealth wellness support to individuals who were at increased risk for depression or anxiety as a result of being diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Completed brief assessments to gather information regarding client symptomology related to COVID-19, anxiety, and depression
  • Utilized active listening skills to assist clients in processing their thoughts, feelings, and needs
  • Collaborated with clients to develop goals for self-care while offering psychoeducation regarding coping strategies as needed
  • Linked clients to additional services and supports within the community

Jail Diversion Program Intern: Public Defender Sixth Judicial Circuit, January-May 2020

  • Interviewed inmates in order to gather information to complete a psychosocial history report
  • Reviewed information gathered from inmates to create a diagnostic impression
  • Utilized psychosocial history and diagnostic impression to determine appropriate placement recommendations for treatment
  • Provided client-centered psychotherapy to clients in an outpatient setting

Experience in Education and Training

Director of Education: Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife, March 2015-Present

  • Develop and oversee the maintenance of organizations online presence, informational materials, and public communications
  • Identify the severity of injuries and conditions of concern to decide if treatment is appropriate
  • Assist in treatment and stabilization of critical cases
  • Provide care and monitor growth and recovery of wildlife while maintaining detailed records
  • Aid in the recruitment, training, placement, and management of volunteers
  • Develop standard operating procedures and resources including manuals, scripts, and videos
  • Create and lead engaging and meaningful environmental education programs
  • Implemented a digital system to maintain records and analyze data to determine our impact

Graduate Teaching Assistant: University of South Florida, January 2021-August 2021

  • Assisted course instructor in grading student assessments to verify content understanding
  • Provided students with timely and insightful feedback to help develop their content related skills
  • Communicated with course faculty and assistants to ensure consistency in student experiences
  • Collaborated with faculty, assistants, and students to problem solve as needed

Exceptional Student Educator: Hillsborough County Public Schools, August 2015-May 2020

  • Developed differentiated and appropriately rigorous academic, behavioral, and social lessons based on student’s individual needs
  • Maintained student records related to attendance, performance, and behavior
  • Ensured all students make gains through the implementation of scaffolding techniques
  • Verified understanding using continuous assessment and flexible teaching strategies
  • Recognized and addressed behavioral concerns in a timely and appropriate manner
  • Assisted in researching and securing resources such as experts, funding, and supply donations 
  • Worked cooperatively with stakeholders, including students, to provide students with a safe and successful learning experience

Zoological Educator: SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, Busch Gardens, March 2008-May 2011, May-November 2014, May-November 2015, May-November 2016, May-November 2017, May-November 2018, May-November 2019, November 2020-Current

  • Design and execute educational curriculum and materials for a variety of programs and
    on-the-job training experiences
  • Supervise and support seasonal staff as well as residential students
  • Host educator-only events to facilitate networking and provide resources and idea-sharing 
  • Provide families and children with safe, easy, quality, and memorable educational experiences
  • Lead public presentation while delivering key educational and conservation points
  • Assist Lead Animal Care Staff with husbandry and training using positive reinforcement techniques based on operant conditioning

Senior Trainer and Naturalist: City of Largo, February 2016-April 2019

  • Worked with recreational therapists to provide nature-based, eco-therapy services
  • Guided the development and delivery of facility-wide experiences and presentations for both education and therapy programs
  • Supported and developed new volunteers who have an interest in working with wildlife
  • Transformed volunteer training process by creating materials and standard operating procedures
  • Led the training team to develop, execute and oversee training plans using traditional falconry techniques and operant conditioning
  • Fostered a growth-mindset culture by providing constructive feedback and individualized coaching to several of our 60 plus volunteers while further seeking professional development
  • Assisted in managing and training multiple species of raptors in our bird of prey program
  • Provided care to the avian collection including prepping and distributing diets, tracking food intake, monitoring weights and behavior, and adjusting diets as needed

Additional Experience in Leadership

Special Events Stage Manager: SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Busch Gardens,
September- November 2009, September- November 2010, September- November 2011

  • Assisted in training and supervision of seasonal staff, ensuring a consistent, quality, and safe immersive theater experience
  • Effectively communicated needs and concerns to the appropriate teams so that they may be addressed quickly
  • Monitored staff and guest behaviors, respectfully addressing concerns to maintain safety
  • Inspected and maintained costume, props, set pieces, and personal protective equipment.
  • Tracked attendance and request additional coverage to fill vacant positions when needed


Media Officer, USF iLINC, 2020-2021

  • Assist with managing the social media platforms in order to communicate with stakeholders
  • Collaborate with club administrators through the creation of infographics for events

Peer Mentor, USF Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling Program, 2020-2021

  • Provide guidance as needed to first year students within the graduate program
  • Foster a sense of community through communication and shared experiences


Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern Eligible

Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Pending Graduation

Certified Educator with Endorsements in

       Elementary Education, Exceptional Student Education, and Prekindergarten Education 
       Florida Department of Education, Expired June 2021

Basic Life Support, American Heart Association, Valid through October 31, 2023

Adult and Pediatric CPR and AED, American Red Cross, Valid through July 1, 2023

Adult, Child, and Infant CPR and First Aid, American Health and Safety Institute, Valid through
        February 2023

Professional Affiliations

Suncoast Mental Health Counselors Association


Computer Skills
▪ Microsoft Word- Advanced ▪ Microsoft Publisher- Advanced ▪ Microsoft Excel- Intermediate
▪ Microsoft PowerPoint- Intermediate WordPress- Intermediate ▪ Adobe Photoshop- Intermediate
▪ Adobe Lightroom- Intermediate ▪ POS Systems- Intermediate ▪ Microsoft OneNote- Beginner
▪ Microsoft Outlook- Beginner ▪ OBS Studio- Beginner

Leadership and Interpersonal Skills

Written and Verbal Communication Nonverbal Communication Time ManagementActive ListeningAdvocacy Empowerment Cultural Awareness Growth Mindset Empathy Emotional Awareness
Behavior ManagementCoaching Instructional Design Procedural DevelopmentPublic Speaking
Media Management Public Relations Branding Strategic Thinking

Honors and Awards

Calvin M. Pinkard Scholarship, University of South Florida, College of Behavior and Community Sciences, Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling Program, June 2020

Susan D. Kelly RMHC Textbook Scholarship, University of South Florida, College of Behavior and Community Sciences, Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling Program, June 2020

Superhero of Science Nominee, Hillsborough Association of Elementary Science Teachers, 2016-2017

Project PATH Grant Recipient, Hillsborough County Public School District, May 2015

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