Peer Mentors

AGNR Peer Mentors are here to help! Feel free to drop by Symons Hall, Room 0107 in-person or email a peer mentor to request a virtual appointment! (Mentor hours and contact information available below)

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! 


Shannen is smiling and posing next to a black angus cow

Shannen Auffarth is a senior 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 (


Jaanavi standing in the snow, smiling and holding a puppy

Jaanavi Selvaraj is a junior majoring in Animal Science on the Care and Management track. She is from Rockville, Maryland and interested in wildlife animal behavior. She is a member of Sigma Alpha professional agriculture sorority, and an ambassador for the College of Agriculture! She loves being in nature and her favorite animal at the moment is a goat! (


Brendan is wearing a light blue collared shirt and smiling for the camera

Brendan Canterberry is double majoring in Agriculture and Resource Economics (AREC) and Government and Politics, and also minoring in Chinese. Brendan has interned with the U.S. Department of Energy, working on sustainable resource extraction methodologies from waste materials. He is the president of Cru, an active member in Green Roots, and is a teaching assistant for the Global Fellows 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 in her senior year. Isabelle is currently involved in bioremediation research in the Environmental Engineering and is the founder and vice president of Epsilon Eta, a co-ed environmental science professional fraternity (


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

Emily Hillig is a senior 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. (


Alexa, wearing a navy blue blazer and smiling.

Alexa Giacche is majoring in Food Science and is minoring in General Business.  She is from Collegeville, Pennsylvania and upon graduation wants to work in research and development for a major food and beverage conglomerate.  On campus, Alexa is also the President of the Food Science Club, Vice President of the AGNR Student Council, and a member of Sigma Kappa (


Placeholder image. Cute, newly hatched terrapin turtle.

PSLA Peer Mentor coming soon...


Small tortoise on a tiny skateboard.

ENSP Peer Mentor coming soon...

*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