Hi! My name is Briana Kleiner, I am 20 years old, and I am trying to travel the world. I grew up in a semi-small city in southeastern Connecticut with a passion for the ocean and the environment, a Disney nerd side, a love for dancing, music, and food, and an extremely soft spot for dogs. I lived in Connecticut for most of my life with most summers spent in Florida with my immediate family on my mother’s side. My family is my rock, not just the ones in Florida but in all states and countries.  I cannot thank those enough who have continuously showed their love and support for me everyday, those who have built me up instead of broken me down. Coming from a single parent household and being an only child growing up was often tough. But I have made it through, and I thank God for blessing me with the life opportunities he has thus far. I am strong, intelligent, independent, and a passionate young woman because of the life I have been given.

And I find myself becoming more independent as my academic studies challenge my intellect and ability to be remain in control of my emotions. Even more so, being away from home constantly, has allowed me to be less reliable on material objects and being more comfortable with the feeling of insecurity in new and foreign places. This is one of the main reasons I love traveling, because I can go out of my comfort zone. Everything is uncertain, and I feel so free when I am abroad and able to immerse myself in a world of uncertainty and diversity.

I am a Food Network Addict with my favorite show being Chopped. Therefore, I obviously love food. I do enjoy making my own food in the kitchen but being a college student without an apartment because my university requires me to live on-campus for at least 3 years, I have not been able to cook much. One of my most favorite entreé dishes that I have made is Shrimp and Chicken Pasta Alfredo (with the sauce made from scratch). Wow, it was delicious. The dish I am well-known for, at least in my group of friends and family, is my Apple Crisp. I make a bomb Apple Crisp. I may love all these dishes and trying new food items, but if I had to pick my favorite food it is still simple as can be: PASSION FRUIT, RASPBERRIES, AND PRETZELS. I absolutely adore fruit and being from the United States, you cannot find a lot of passion fruit where I am. So, I often have to settle for raspberries haha. Pretzels are my salty side of favorite snacks to eat. I have loved them ever since I was a child.

Just a few fun facts to know about me:

  1. I am 5ft tall.
  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE DOGS. I technically own the one in Florida at my grandma’s house named Koda, we adopted her from the Human Society in 2010!
  3. I have been to 3/7 continents in the world (North America, Australia, Asia), unless can you count Bermuda as Europe because it is a British territory???
  4. Pet peeve: the sound a nail filer makes.
  5. Favorite Disney movie(s): The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Mulan, Moana, and The Princess and the Frog.
  6. Favorite non-Disney movie: The Wizard of Oz.
  7. Favorite animal that is not terrestrial: Dolphins
  8. Favorite Song: “2 A.M.” by Adrian Marcel OR “Tell Me You Love Me” by Demi Lovato
  9. Favorite color: PURPLE
  10. I am Advanced Open Water Diving certified by PADI.


As I mentioned previously, yes, I am a Uni student. I go to Duke University in North Carolina. I would not be able to travel the distances I have thus far if it had not been mainly for Duke. Duke is home. I really love my university, not just for the trips and friends, but for the people I have met and the academic opportunities it has to offer its students. I would not be the person I am without Duke. I attribute my academic and character growth to the environment that Duke fosters for its students. I am so blessed to have been selected to be a part of Duke’s community, and I cannot express how excited I am to finally be at its Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC. The faculty and staff there are absolutely amazing and are there to help. They love Duke and its student body. Without them, Duke would not be Duke. I believe the Marine Lab serves as an integral part in Duke University that is often under the radar for most of its students, faculty, and staff. They deserve more recognition, because they are not only representative of the passion that Duke embodies, but help cultivate brilliant intellectuals with their supportive faculty and staff inside and outside the classrooms.