Student Advisors

CLA Students

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Students helping students...

Supplement professional academic advising via drop-in services
Connect students to campus tools and resources
Facilitate improved student understanding of major and degree requirements
Provide a unique leadership opportunity to current UMD students

Meet our resourceful peer advisors:


Anna Velikanova

Year in School: Senior
Studying: Criminology & Political Science
Hometown:  Born in Shakhty, Russia but Winona, MN is where I grew up.

Involvement on campus:  Nonexistent…. I work at the Dining Center and CLA Advising.

Why are you excited to be a Peer Advisor?
I am excited to help my peers in the often confusing journey of academia, and to meet new people. 

What is your favorite thing about UMD?
My favorite part about UMD is the fact that everything feels like home, that everyone is always willing to help no matter the size of the problem, and that I have met so many wonderful people along the way.


Camryn Haak

Year in School: Sophomore
Studying: Criminology major & International Studies minor
Hometown: Appleton, WI

Involvement on campus:
* CLA Peer Advisor
* Attitudes Dance Association

Fun facts about you: My favorite color is yellow, I really love dogs, I have a little brother and I studied abroad in Spain for two weeks

Why are you excited to be a Peer Advisor? I'm really excited to be a peer advisor because I enjoy helping others, and offering any advice I may have.

What is your favorite thing about UMD? That's a tough one, I think my favorite thing about UMD is how connected I feel. I think it's nearly impossible to feel like you're not a part of something great while attending UMD.

KathyKathy Peterson

Year in School:  Junior
Studying:  Political Science major, French Studies & Journalism minors
Hometown: Proctor, MN

Involvement on campus: 
* Vice President of UMD Run Club
* Secretary of the Scholar's Club
* Bulldog Welcome Week Rockstar
* Orientation Leader
* CLA Peer Advisor

Fun facts about you:  
* I have a twin sister
* I love to run 10Ks and half marathons
* I won a Harry Potter trivia contest on a cruise ship.

Why are you excited to be a Peer Advisor? I'm excited to be a peer advisor again this year because I really enjoy helping other students and I love working with the staff of CLA Advising!

What is your favorite thing about UMD? The people! I've met some of my best friends here and everyone on campus is so nice!

Lydia Lydia Shields

Year in School: Junior
Studying: Psychology major, Communication minor
Hometown: Eden Prairie, MN

Involvement on campus:
* UMD Newman Catholic Campus Ministries
* CLA Peer Advisor
* Intramural Volleyball

Fun facts about you: 
* I studied abroad in Galway, Ireland Spring 2018 and backpacked around Europe for a month afterwards.
* I can do an impression of a bagpipe. 
* I used to DJ at the college radio station 103.3 KUMD and now cannot escape the nickname "DJ Lyds."
* I own a pair of stilts and can walk on them fairly well.

Why are you excited to be a Peer Advisor? I love problem solving, learning new things, and helping people when they are in need of assistance. CLA gives me the opportunity to do this while interacting with fellow students in a fun atmosphere!

What is your favorite thing about UMD? My neighborhood of pals from Bulldog Catholic. We almost have a whole block of houses surrounding the Newman center entirely lived in by Newman peeps who all know and love each other. I could not ask for better community to share life while I'm here! I mean, who doesn't want the kind of neighbors that will yell "Hey cutie!" at you as you walk by on your way to campus?!

Sam Peer Advisor

Sam Benzinger

Year in School: Sophomore
Studying: Criminology major, Hispanic Studies & Psychology minors
Hometown:  Milwaukee, WI

Involvement on campus:

  • CLA Peer Advisor
  • Air Force ROTC Program
  • Women’s Club Volleyball

Fun facts about you: I went skydiving for my birthday with my mom.

Why are you excited to be a Peer Advisor? I enjoy helping people.

What is your favorite thing about UMD? The campus, I love being up on a hill because the view is just gorgeous, calming, and peaceful.