Program in Environmental Design

University of Colorado Boulder

ENVD Peer Mentor Program

Do you want helpful hints on how to do well in class, manage your time, avoid gaining the freshmen 15, and not get lost on the Boulder bus system? Then the ENVD Peer Mentoring program is for you! Use this opportunity to get paired with an ENVD student who will be your guide and resource to the university, the ENVD program, and your design classes.

The ENVD Peer Mentor Program is a two-semester program for freshmen and transfer students where mentors develop a one-on-one relationship with their mentee to help guide them through the challenges and obstacles of transitioning to college, tackling the ENVD curriculum, and learning how to navigate university life.

Apply for a Peer Mentor!


Sheryl Levart-Koutsis
Coordinator, Student Engagement and Community-Building Programs
(303) 735-2867

Hannah Bennett-Haughey
Peer Mentor Program Student Coordinator


Brandon Arellano

Hello my name is Brandon. I’m a senior here in the ENVD Program, at the University of Colorado Boulder. I’m originally from Mexico although I grew up in Arvada Colorado. When I was a kid, people would often ask me: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” however I didn't know, I didn't know what was out there, what were the options, so I would answer: “soccer player” because soccer is my first passion. I remember that I used to build little houses for my toys, I would use different material from around the house to build my little pre-architecture models. People that saw me building them said that I was going to end up being an architect. Also on tv or somewhere, I heard about the architect profession. That was the only profession that I heard about, I didn't know what it was, but it sounded cool. So when people asked me again what I wanted to become, I would answer: “architect.” As I said, I didn't know anything about architecture and I never research deeply into what exactly it was. When I started school I had a hard time because I had no knowledge about it and because I didn't know what to expect from college. I struggled to manage my time and classes. Fortunately I was part of the peer mentor program and my mentor helped me and made a big difference for me. That’s the reason why I joined program, because I want to make the same difference for you.


Brea Workman

Hello, my name is Breanna “Brea” Workman and I am starting my fourth year at the University of Colorado at Boulder in the ENVD program – emphasis in architecture. Integrating myself into this program was not the easiest for me and I wished I had an awesome mentor to help me through the process. Lucky for you, I’ve already gone through most of the hard parts and understand more than anything the struggles most face when entering this program. Don’t get me wrong, the program here is amazing and definitely provides the tools and lessons necessary to be successful when actually being a paid architect. However, the program here is far from easy. You should know you’re headed to design school and will be expected to be creative. I can help you with breaking into the mindset of a designer and I can give you tips on how to be successful in this program as well as juggling life along with classes. In addition to being a mentor, I am also a Peer Leader. I enjoy running, hiking, camping, river rafting, skiing, and discovering new delicious places to eat in the lovely city of Boulder. I’m so looking forward to meeting you in the coming year; congrats and welcome!


Bryce Fish

Hello all, Bryce congratulates you on being admitted to the greatest program EVER. Bryce knows that this program is difficult and is ready to assist you. His favorite aspects of the program include model building and graphics. Bryce is going into his Sophomore year so he holds the secrets to success. He hails from the beautiful city of Santa Cruz located on the coast of California (NorCal for life). Bryce could be considered a hip-hop head the current rotation includes Raz Simone, Freddie Gibbs, Demrick & Cali Cleve, Flatbush ZOMBiES, Logic, BJ the Chicago Kid (the list goes on…). Those long playlists are crucial to studio sessions. Outside of music, his obsessions include slack-lining, coffee, audio systems, clothing, cars (1982 300TD Mercedes Benz), snowboarding, fixed gear bikes (brakeless of course), and dabbles in rock climbing. Bryce knows that fitting as many activities into the day as possible is the best way to live. He is ready to teach his mentees how to manage time like a champ. Naps are unnecessary in Bryce’s book (always compensate with coffee). The ultimate goal is make your first year manageable and positive.


Drew Landis

My name is Drew Landis.  I will be a third year student in ENVD and a fourth year student here at CU. I grew up in Littleton, Colorado, went to high school at Green Mountain Valley School in Vermont and started college at Boston University. Since BU, I have bounced between Boston, Pennsylvania and Washington DC before coming to Boulder. I found Architecture at Boston Architectural College before transferring to CU’s Department of Geology and ENVD the following year.  I love to hike, ski, climb, run, travel and cook.  I was on the CU rowing team prior to coming to ENVD. The skills I learned during my first year at Boston Architectural College were crucial to my success in studio.  Because of this I understand the importance of cultivating a strong design knowledge in the lower studios. You’ll learn a lot your first year and I hope, through the First Year Experience, we’ll be able to provide you with the tools you’ll need for your own great success here in ENVD.


Duncan Miller

Hey! My name is Duncan Miller, and I am a Junior in ENVD with an emphasis in planning. I love long walks on the beach, which is unfortunate since I have lived in the Denver area my entire life. However, I love hiking and long walks about the city even more! Apart from hiking and city walks, I love reading and watching Netflix in my free time, and also playing quidditch (yes it is a real sport even without flying brooms). I have played clarinet, bass guitar, and the French horn, and also enjoy listening to and collecting vinyl records. Though I am a textbook introvert and can be a bit quiet at first, I still love meeting and getting to know new people. I am an ideas person, great at seeing the big picture. Because of this I am great at giving advice and helping people through tough times. ENVD, though challenging, is a great program, and I hope I can help you out to a fantastic first year!


Elyse Skinner

Hey Guys! Congrats on being accepted to the best major out there! My name is Elyse Skinner and I am a sophomore in Environmental Design starting a minor in Technology, Arts, and Media this fall. I love graphic design and would kill to be a designer for Disney’s Theme Parks someday! I am extremely familiar with all things freshmen from ENVD projects, to getting involved, to surviving the dorms and roommates. ENVD is my second home (literally) and I am Sergeant at Arms in the Environmental Design Student Government. When I’m not running around studio, I can be found at CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ) events and CU’s Swing Dance Club. I am a Colorado native and love hiking and running! My obsessions to the point of insanity include sarcasm, Harry Potter, singing, the smell of rain, music, art, reading, musical theater, and the sound of cold breaking chocolate. Oh and I like nature too, so that’s pretty neat! If you like design and can handle all my energy and sense of humor then I can assure you we’ll get along like cats and dogs! Wait…


Hannah Bennett-Haughey

Hey there! My name is Hannah. I’m the Peer Mentor Student Coordinator and I would love to help you get going in this awesome program. On top of running the Peer Mentor Program, I’m President of the Environmental Design Student Government and a Student Ambassador for the program too. Basically, I think ENVD is kick ass and I really like to be involved and think it would be cool if I could help you do the same. In my free time I love watching Netflix, catching up on Game of Thrones, hiking, going to the comic book store, getting any form of coffee, shopping on Pearl Street, going to Denver, walking around beautiful Boulder, listening to music, and doing anything I can to keep busy. I also have a baby chameleon. His name is Franklin and he’s pretty badass. I know that the first year can be scary, especially in this major, and I’m here to help you get through it and do the most awesome job possible. I hope to meet you soon!


John Coats

My name is John Coats and I am currently in my fourth year with the ENVD program. Architecture is something I have grown a passion for throughout my time here at CU and so I decided to obtain an emphasis in the field. Now that I have almost graduated I have found that being part of the peer mentor program and ENVD student government has helped me achieve goals and meet new people while also being given the opportunity to teach and learn from others. Outside of school I am currently working for OZ Architecture as an intern and getting real life experience in the field of architecture. I also keep busy living with my twin brother here at school and staying active at the rec center. I live to travel and I love to be with friends on the weekend. I look forward to meeting all of you and teaching you all a thing or two in class!


Kailey Geary

Hey I’m Kailey! I’m a third year student in the ENVD program and plan on pursuing architecture/graphic design as well as minoring in the TAM program. I grew up here in Denver, Colorado and I love everything this state has to offer (especially Boulder). I graduated high school a semester early and went backpacking in Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia for about 4 and a half months. I definitely have a strong case of wanderlust and I feel like traveling is the best way to understand cultures and the world we live in. I also love to ski/snowboard (I flip back and forth between the two), the mountains are for sure my happy place! A few of my favorite music artists include Disclosure, Led Zeppelin, Flume, The Grateful Dead, Lana Del Rey, XXYYXX, Odesza, and Crystal Castles (having a good playlist of music is key when tackling ENVD projects). As your peer mentor my goal is to help you have a good time, while giving you advice and insight along the way. I was once in your shoes and experienced all the same joys and struggles you are about to face. I am here for you to lean on, even on those long nights when you’ll be in studio till dawn. This program will take up a lot of your time, but you’ll come to find it is well worth it. Get excited for this upcoming year, I can’t wait to see you this fall!


Kenzie Naylor

Hey! My name is Kenzie Naylor and I am currently a senior in the ENVD program, emphasizing in Architecture. I grew up a little south of Denver in Greenwood Village. I love keeping myself busy and am involved in many activities. I am currently the Vice President of the Environmental Design Student Government, in a sorority, and on many intramural teams here on campus. I love playing sports, especially soccer and tennis, but have tried just about every other one. I also love running, drawing, almost every kind of music, hanging out with friends, and being outdoors. I am a very energetic and personable person. I enjoy going out on the weekends and meeting all kinds of people. I have been in your shoes with the worries and nerves about ENVD and college in general, so I am here to help with anything you need. Choosing to come to CU and enrolling in the ENVD Program was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I hope I can help you in realizing that as well. I love what I have done so far in ENVD, and even though it is a lot of work, I know it will be very useful in my career to come. My time so far at CU has been unforgettable and the best three years of my life, and I hope it will be the same for you! Welcome to Boulder and to the Environmental Design Program! I can’t wait to meet you!


Kyle Kapaun

Hey! I’m Kyle I am a Junior in the Program emphasizing in Architecture. I am a Colorado Native and have wanted to be an architect for as long as I can remember, even in-between those times I wanted to be a doctor or a zoo keeper, until I learned that was just a glorified poop picker upper. ENVD is absolutely the best program in the entire world and I’m so excited to help you grow and succeed in your first year. The ENVD program is like my second family, you know just about everyone. Through the ENVD Program I have met some of my best friends and am even going on a week long road trip with them to Canada. Outside of school I love to adventure around Boulder, work on my photography skills and hangout with my friends. I can’t wait to welcome you into the program and help you succeed in your first year at CU Boulder.


Kyra Traxler

Hi! My name is Kyra, and I’m going into my third year here in ENVD. My current emphasis is Design Studies, and I would like to pursue something related to lighting design. One of my favorite things about the ENVD program is getting the opportunity to study many types of design. I love this program, and truly believe that the more energy you put into it, the more you will get out of it. Additionally, what you get out of it isn’t just a new set of skills and a portfolio, but work to be proud of, lasting experiences, and the best of friendships. I am happy and excited to help you navigate your way through the program and answer any questions you might have! I have two main tricks to ENVD survival. First is to make friends in the program. I know this might sound cheesy, but your ENVD friends will become your second family, there to support you and encourage you and understand you more than anyone else in your life will. Then, stay busy (which isn’t too hard). I find that if you’re busy, you actually do a better job of staying on top of your life. I’m a Student Ambassador for ENVD and work at a clothing store in Boulder. I love clothes, and while my mother says I have too many, I am of the opinion that that isn’t possible. I also do try to have a social life. I love hiking (I think that might come from being a native Boulderite...), and plan on spending my free time this summer exploring Rocky Mountain National Park and going on a road trip to Canada with my ENVD friends. I look forward to meeting you on the flip side!


Lauren Tatusko

Hey there, I’m Lauren! I will be a senior (Wooh!) this fall, emphasizing in Architecture with a minor in Business. I grew up outside of Boulder, wanting to be a Buff my entire life. It’s crazy to think my four years here are almost up! Through the Environmental Design Program I’ve been lucky enough to spend a summer abroad in Rome, Italy, become a student ambassador, and find a great internship here in Boulder! Beside my love for architecture and design, I’m passionate about sports, photography, hiking, skiing and traveling. The Environmental Design Program and CU Boulder have so much to offer! College is exciting, overwhelming, rewarding, frustrating, and life changing. But all around, it really is the best four years of your life. I have definitely experienced all these emotions. I’m here to help you find your place and help show you how great your choice to come to the University of Colorado at Boulder really is! I look forward to meeting you in the fall!


Madden Kuljis

Hello, Hello!  My name is Madden, yes Madden just like Madden the football video game and I am going to be a sophomore in Environmental Design program majoring in Architecture. I have grown up in Colorado, in the suburbs of Denver and I attended Cherry Creek High School.  Since I am a native Coloradan, I love spending time outside. I shred the gnar as much as possible. I go on hikes in the Flatirons and hammock around. I like to dabble in photography when I'm not hiking or skiing. I am also apart of the club frisbee team at CU. All of these hobbies have helped me keep a clear head especially when I am stressed out with projects in studio. I was in your shoes just last year and I had a great peer mentor that showed me the ropes to this program. I would love to have the opportunity to give you some tips and tricks that will ease the stress and make it easier to succeed!


Molly Kostoff

Hi! I’m Molly and I’m entering my final year as an ENVD student, with an emphasis in Architecture. Growing up around Boulder has influenced my love for the outdoors and hiking in the mountains. I also love to travel. Last semester, I had the opportunity to study in Rome and learn about architecture in a whole new way. Some other places I visited in the past include Argentina, Australia and Spain. During the past three years at CU, I learned a lot about computer graphics and building models. This program is great and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. At the same time, it is a lot of work. Balancing school with friends and extracurricular activities can be tricky, but I am here to help with anything you need! While not in studio, I enjoy photography, watching movies/TV (Sherlock, Marvel Movies, Psych, New Girl, etc.), playing tennis, camping, listening to music, and spending time with friends. Overall, I am a great listener and love getting to know new people. I can’t wait to meet you and help with your transition into the program and life at CU!


Nicole Hagen

Hi my name is Nichole Hagen. I will be a junior majoring in ENVD with an emphasis in Architecture with a minor in Women’s Studies and Business. I am also the president of the Boulder Gymnastics team here at CU. I am a very active person. I love to do gymnastics and anything out doors. I love to golf, go hiking, and camping. I go camping every weekend in the summer with my family and friends. My family owns a wake boat that we take camping. I love to wake surf and to be out on the water. I love being in the Environmental Design Program so I would love to help other thrive in this program!


Olivia Flynn

Hi! My name is Olivia Flynn and I am a junior in the Environmental Design Program. I am originally from Indianapolis, IN. My parents now live in Michigan, Indiana, and Arizona.  At CU, I am studying environmental design with a landscape architecture track and am pursuing an education minor. My hope is to create outdoor spaces to connect children with their natural environments. Beyond school, I am the vice president for the Student Association of Landscape Architects, I am the media officer for Best Buddies, I am involved in a sorority, and I am a digital design intern for a nonprofit in Denver! Outside of school and organizational responsibilities, I like to have fun! I am a lover all things beautiful and fun. I like to spend my time with nature; hiking and hammocking in colorful Colorado. I like to spend time with music as well; buying records and seeing as many live shows as I can. I love to create and spend time on my projects for ENVD as well as painting and drawing at home. Basically, adventuring and trying new things is how I like to spend my time. Welcome to CU and to Environmental Design, I hope we get to adventure together!


Sarah Bartosh

Greetings my future mentee! My name is Sarah and I am going to be a Senior (!!?) this fall. I am emphasizing in Architecture, but in the future will hopefully be working in more of an urban design/planning field. I grew up in a beach town off the coast of New Jersey (aka the Jersey Shore), but left as soon as I could so that I could go play in the mountains. This past spring, I was so fortunate to spend an absolutely amazing semester studying in Copenhagen, Denmark. It’s incredible how much traveling can teach you about design, and I can’t wait to share what I learned with you! Outside of ENVD, I play on the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team, hike, and play guitar. I also spend my summers working as a counselor at a camp in Estes Park called Cheley Colorado Camps. Your college experience is going to be the most amazing four years of your life! ENVD can be an emotional roller coaster, but I promise you, no major is as cool or rewarding as this one. I can’t wait to meet you this fall and show you how amazing CU is!


Sarah Wachter

Hello there! My name is Sarah! I am super stoked to embark on my 3rd year in the Environmental Design Program. This school has uncovered my passion for learning about kid-friendly environments, and landscapes that can be ecologically rehabilitated, which is how I have come to find myself pursuing the Landscape Architecture track. I look forward to beginning my responsibilities as a Junior Representative in ENVD's student government, the President of the Student Association of Landscape Architects, and a social media intern for the Congress for New Urbanism. I am a proud Colorado native, originating from Arapahoe County. I will forever love Colorado for the fact that the best vacations/adventures are hidden within my own majestically humbling backyard. When I am not reading, studying, or working on projects, I like to escape into the mountains for unscripted adventure, keep up with friends through intramural sports, and feed the beast that is my obsession with T.V. shows with the help of  Netflix. When I really have time to kill I love to explore new areas of  Boulder, hike  Chautauqua, or further familiarizing myself with Boulder's wide variety of cuisine. My most recent obsessions this summer reside in the new Mumford and Sons album(honesty hour: the only reason I have Spotify premium is so that I can listen to this one album on repeat without shuffle...), and the shows House of Cards and Orphan Black. A motto that I have stumbled upon during my time here at CU is that school can and should be fun! I can't wait to hang out and answer whatever questions you have! Let's have an awesome year!!


Shakari McGill

Hey there! I like long walks on the beach, California Summers, and PBJ’s with the crusts cut off. I’m kidding, my name is Shakari McGill and I was born in Laurel, Mississippi, but was raised largely in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Long walks to Taco bell, mild Boulder overcasts, and pizza with the cheesy crust are more accurate descriptions of what I’m into.  I am a junior in the ENVD Program, but a senior credit wise. My emphasis within the ENVD program is the greatest of them all – Architecture (no shade, they’re all great). I’ve always been fascinated with creating things and figuring out what make these things “tick,” so this emphasis seemed like the right move for me. In my free time, I enjoy eating copious amounts of take out (Chinese or otherwise), making sculptures from recycled cardboard, and embracing the wanderlust with my friends. If food and random adventure are your credo then I’m the guy to choose. Even if these things aren’t life for you, chose me anyway, I’m fun. Words can’t express how excited I am to be your potential mentor. I look forward to learning just as much from you as I hope you will learn from me!