Program in Environmental Design

University of Colorado Boulder

First Year Seminar

ENVD 1001

Section 1: Monday, 12 – 12:50 pm
Section 2: Monday, 1 – 1:50 pm
Section 3: Monday, 2:00 – 2:50 pm

Get a jump-start on college with this opportunity to network with faculty, advisors, and upper-division students in a small-group setting. The ENVD First-Year Seminar (FYS) is a one-credit hour course designed for first-year students entering the Program in Environmental Design. The FYS provides support in transitioning students, both socially and academically, to university life as well as guides them through the process of discovering their path to educational success.

This learning community will help you discover what the study and practice of the design field is really about as well as introduce you to the ENVD curriculum, faculty expectations, unique studio culture, study and time management strategies, and peer perspectives on how to succeed in an academically-rigorous program.

The ENVD First-Year Seminar is a teaching partnership of faculty, advisors and peer leaders to provide a cohesive and collaborative learning experience that fundamentally integrates academic content from the ENVD core classes as well as facilitates learning opportunities through peer support groups.

First-year students actively engaged in this course will:

  • Gain an understanding of the design disciplines
  • Become thoroughly familiar with and know how to utilize campus resources
  • Gain an understanding of their learning styles and how to apply that knowledge in their courses
  • Develop techniques to aid in time management and study skills
  • Build a strong social and academic foundation for their university life
  • Build a strong foundational support for their academic skills and demonstrate competency
  • Develop a solid social network of peers

Peer Leaders

Peer Leaders (PLs): Peer Leaders are students who were selected after an intensive hiring process to serve the role of mentor, advisor, acquaintance, facilitator, and resource for incoming students. The PLs co-facilitate the FYE seminar with faculty and advisors in order to discuss issues and topics related to the first-year experience in the ENVD Program. PLs are also trained Peer Mentors.

Maggie Fryke

Hello, my name is Maggie Fryke and I will be going into my fourth year in the Environmental Design Program with an emphasis in Landscape Architecture. I am from Elizabeth, a small town in central Colorado and have loved Boulder and CU for as long as I can remember. I have always had an interest in architecture and design – always cutting and pasting magazine clippings together to create my dream house from the inside out. In elementary school I even won my class competition to make the tallest tower out of spaghetti and marshmallows, so it’s no surprise that I found a perfect fit in the ENVD program. I am a very hard working and passionate student in this program and love experiencing everything Boulder has to offer from the flatirons and outdoor activities to the eclectic shopping on Pearl. In my little free time I enjoy cooking and baking, spending time with friends and family, skiing, hiking, playing soccer, and traveling. I recently had the opportunity to study abroad and spend a summer in Rome through our program, an experience I hope you all have the chance to try. I am honored this year to return to our First Year Seminar as a Peer Leader, working alongside my peers and staff to bring a fun and positive attitude to your first year experience. In addition to working on our FYE I am also involved in our ENVD student ambassador program, and hold an assistant position in the Digital Media Center, so finding me in the building any day is not a hard task! I am anxiously anticipating meeting you all in the Fall! I hope to spark the same passion and love for Boulder and design that I have while getting to know you all and having a great time. Congrats, welcome, and GO Buffs!

Sam Landon

Hi, my name is Sam Landon. I am 23 years old, and a senior in Environmental Design with an emphasis in Architecture. Originally from Denver, I have been living in Boulder for five years now. Like many others, growing up I wanted to be an architect. Naturally, I then went on to change my mind (and major) several times before coming back to that idea. I’m so glad I did. The Environmental Design program has truly become my home and my passion. This will be my second year teaching as a Peer Leader and I am really excited to continue my role as a mentor and friend to the new students. My years in college have given me wisdom and experience to share. This past spring I was fortunate enough to spend the semester studying and living in Rome. It is my dream to see as much of the world as I can and I definitely hope to live overseas again. When not in the studio, you can find me playing music with friends, going to concerts, traveling, reading comics, watching weird documentaries, and seeking out the best place to eat in the city. I also currently serve as Vice President in the Environmental Design Student Government (EDSG). I can’t wait to see you here!

Grayson O'Roark

My name is Grayson O'Roark and I will be going into my fourth year at CU and third within the Environmental Design Program. I helped start up ENVD’s Peer Mentor Program last year and will now be helping out as a Peer Leader this year. This is an experience I am truly looking forward to being apart of and hope all you are too. I love the School of Environmental Design and congratulate you all on picking an awesome school to be involved in for the next four years. As for a few facts about myself: I am originally from Colorado and could not be happier to be at CU. My activities outside of the classroom include rocking climbing, intermural basketball/tennis, trail running, skiing, and simply hanging out with friends. I love to travel and most recently visited Barcelona, Spain, which only increased my passion for travel. You are getting involved in an awesome program and it will only make CU an even better place to be. I cannot wait to meet you all and help out wherever/however I can!

Community Associates

Community Associates (CAs): Community Associates are faculty or staff members who co-facilitate the FYE seminar and brings professional experience, wisdom, and guidance to their group. The CA will serve as an advisor and resource to first-year students as well as an advocate for establishing a sense of community amongst their group.

Sheryl Levart-Koutsis

Sheryl is an alumna of the University of Colorado Boulder, having received her undergraduate degree in News-Editorial Journalism with a minor in Political Science. She then went on to pursue her Master of Arts degree in Media and Cultural Studies from The New School in New York, NY. Prior to her work at the University of Colorado Boulder, she ran an indie book press in New York that published multicultural writers and advocated that underrepresented communities foster and maintain their own media structures. She is currently at work on several books projects including a graphic comic titled, Architecture is Dead, and an analysis of print media coverage surrounding the Taiwanese nuclear physicist accused of espionage, The 'Othering' of Wen Ho Lee. At all other times, she enjoys running in zombie and princess half-marathons, playing video games, and sewing frivolous items.

Shawn Arnold

Shawn Arnold comes to us from Lynchburg College in Central Virginia, having served as an Academic Advisor, worked with the first year experience and learning communities programs for freshman, and provided support for students with disabilities. Concurrently, she served as Site Adjunct Instructor for Old Dominion University, teaching and supervising distance education Human Services students in their undergraduate, senior year internships. Shawn also has community college experience in both Virginia and Missouri. A graduate of Virginia’s James Madison University, Shawn, her husband Steve, and two sons, Chris and Ryan, found themselves vacationing and visiting friends in Colorado every year for over twenty-five years. Upon graduating from college, Chris and Ryan choose to move to the Denver area. Thus, the goal of relocating to Colorado to bring their close-knit family together again was born. For the Arnold’s, it was a no-brainer, since Colorado had become their second home anyway. Shawn is thrilled to have become a member of the CU community and feels privileged to work with the students, faculty, and staff in the Environmental Design Program.

Jade Polizzi

Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, I moved to Boulder to attend the University of Colorado's Environmental Design Program. Upon completing my bachelor’s degree I worked as an Americorps VISTA for Habitat for Humanity where I served as a construction project manager for a sixteen home neighborhood. During that time I learned to become a novice in most construction trades. While I was completing my Master’s of Architecture degree from University of Colorado, Denver, my husband and I began our own architectural practice, which specializes in residential design. I’ve taught at CU in the ENVD program for 11 years and still get nervous on the first day of classes. I have two young daughters who both love design and can bring you to your knees with their stinging critiques. In my spare time I relish being outdoors, reading and traveling.

Lindsay Schumacher

Named after the bionic woman, Lindsay is just that!  As a 2001 alumna of the ENVD Program, Lindsay’s professional background as a land use planner and landscape designer gives her insight into the ENVD’s student mind.  Lindsay joined the University of Colorado, as staff, in 2009.  She is the Coordinator of Advising and Undergraduate Program Services.  With the role as lead academic advisor and coordinator, her main projects include advising students, coordinating the ENVD scholarship process, transfer student evaluations, internships, and graduation.  In addition to assisting students develop their creative and academic passions, some of Lindsay’s favorite adventures outside of ENVD have included:

  • Jumping out of a plane in Wanaka, New Zealand. 
  • Teaching alpine ski lessons at Eldora Mountain Resort. 
  • Scuba diving the beautiful Fijian islands in the Pacific Ocean.
  • Watercolor painting en plein air.
  • Designing and planning with the Southshore Parade of Homes team.

For more information, contact:

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