Peer Mentors

AGNR Peer Mentors are available virtually and in-person! 

Beginning August 31st, our mentors will be available online-only but starting on September 14th you can find them online and in-person! Check out our Fall 2020 schedule to see when (and how) each Peer Mentor will be available to meet you! 

Meet your AGNR Peer Mentors!

Each Peer Mentor is trained to assist students from any AGNR major. Therefore, if you do not see a Peer Mentor with your major or cannot meet with them at their scheduled office hours, feel free to meet with any of the Peer Mentors! 


Sagar is smiling, wearing a blue collared shirt and standing in front of a brick building

Sagar Desai is double majoring in Agricultural & Resource Economics and Finance. He is from NY and is interested in pursuing a career that combines sustainability and finance. He has studied abroad in Prague for sustainability and completed CP Scholars: Environment, Technology, and Economy. Throughout college, Sagar has been involved with MANRRS, Images: Campus Tour Guides, Calisthenics Club, co-ed professional business fraternity Phi Chi Theta, and interned for Land O'Lakes and Under Armour. (



Ellie is leaning down to pose and smile with a yellow labrador dog.

Ellie Hidalgo is majoring in Animal Science on the Pre-Vet track and minoring in Spanish. She currently works as an RA in LaPlata Hall and is the Guided Study Sessions Leader for ANSC204. She is very involved with the Pre-Vet Society on campus, works at a small animal clinic on her breaks, and is a graduate of the FIRE program here at UMD.
Right now, Ellie is also applying to vet school so if you have questions about that, please reach out to her! (


Shannen is smiling and posing next to a black angus cow

Shannen Auffarth is also majoring in Animal Science on the Pre-Vet track. She is from Baltimore and is interested in veterinary public health and exotic animals. She is a Global Public Health Scholars graduate, a member of Sigma Alpha, and volunteers with Terps Raising Pups. She interned at UMD's dairy farm in Clarksville this summer and works at a veterinary hospital during breaks (


Nina is sitting on a basketball course smiling and wearing a UMD scarf

Nina Jeffries is double majoring in Environmental Science and Policy and Arabic Studies. She is currently interning for Our Children's Trust, and before that was an intern at the Department of Justice. She is from MD, and plans on pursuing law school after graduating. On campus she is a puppy raiser for the Guide Dog Foundation, a member of Epsilon Eta, and part of the Environment Technology and Economy College Park Scholars program. (


Isabelle is hiking in the woods and stopped for a photo next to a waterfall

Isabelle Van Benschoten is majoring in Environmental Science and Technology with a concentration in Ecosystem Health. She is from Wappingers Falls, New York, and is currently a peer mentor for the Host-Pathogen Interaction stream within the FIRE program. She is also the founder and president of Epsilon Eta, a co-ed environmental and sustainability fraternity. (


Jayna is smiling and standing in a garden of pink and white lilies

Jayna John is majoring in Nutritional Science with a minor in Humanities, Health, and Medicine. She is also on the pre-med track. She is from MD and a member of the Design Cultures and Creativity Honors Program Theta Class. She was also a member of the UM Scholars 2020 Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In her spare time, she enjoys drawing and painting. (


Emily is smiling, sitting at a table, wrapped in a black and white shawl

Emily Hillig is majoring in Dietetics. She is from Northern Virginia and wants to become a registered dietician in a clinical or community health setting. Right now she is working to create a RD2BE Mentorship Program to help dietetic students connect w/ RD's early in their career and she's helping with the Community THRIVES Lab within UMD-SPH. Emily is currently the V.P. of our Student Dietetic Association, Secretary for Sigma Alpha Lambda, and the Communications Chair for AGNR's Dean Student Advisory Council. (


Emma is pretending to drive a tractor made out of logs.

Emma Weiss is double majoring in Plant Sciences & Agricultural Science and Technology (Horticulture). She is from MD and is interested in sustainable agriculture and international rural development. She would like to go to graduate school to specialize in agroforestry and other agroecosystem structures. She is involved in Club Climbing, Terrapin Trail Club, Longboarding Club, Horticulture Club, Barbell Club, Green Roots, and Gemstone. (

*All AGNR Majors

Don't see your AGNR Major? Don't FRET! 

Each Peer Mentor is trained to assist students from any AGNR major. Therefore, if you do not see a Peer Mentor with your major or cannot meet with them at their scheduled office hours, feel free to meet with any of the Peer Mentors! 

What is an AGNR Peer Mentor?

Peer Mentors are an important resource in the College of AGNR. This service offers students a chance to talk with a fellow classmate about everyday campus issues, advising, registration, and more.

Peer Mentors are selected AGNR upperclassmen who have achieved good academic success while maintaining an active schedule of extracurricular activities, work, service, and more. Peer Mentors know how to manage time and get the most out of the university, and best of all, they speak your language - Peer Mentors are one of you!

What can a Peer Mentor do for me?

The Peer Mentors are available to answer questions such as the following:

  • What in the world is a 4-year plan and how am I supposed to make one?
  • VENUS has me bogged down; what am I doing wrong when trying to create my class schedule?
  • CHEM231 is not going very well; where can I get some real help?
  • My advisor's great when I need to talk about classes in my major, but isn't there someone who knows the ropes who can help me with a residence hall issue?
  • Are there things I should be doing to prepare for my advising appointments?

Peer Mentors are in a position to help with the technical aspects of course selection, schedule building, online registration, GENED requirements, general academic policy guidance, and 4-year plan and Benchmark creation. Peer Mentors can also put you in touch with other UM staff for additional help. They interact closely with the college's Office of Academic Programs (Student Services, 0107 Symons).

What is the AGNR Peer Mentor Policy?

It is the policy of the college that all new freshmen visit a Peer Mentor before scheduling an appointment with their faculty advisor. The time with the Peer Mentors will be used to check 4-year plans, Benchmark progress, as well as select a preliminary class schedule for the next term for review with their advisor. All AGNR students will continue this pre-advising appointment with a Peer Mentor for four semesters.

Peer Mentor Schedule