Resident Advisors & Peer Mentors



Mitchell Curtiss
Hometown: Portage, MI
Majors: Architecture

Hello! I’m Mitchell, your friendly neighborhood RA, Architecture major, and – of course – Dungeon Master! I’m also pursuing a minor in physics, play piano (Living Arts Open Mic Night is where it’s at!), love the Detroit Tigers, and play some really fun video games. I’d love to talk about any kind of art, answer your questions about the university, or even help you create your Dungeons & Dragons character. Living Arts has been an integral and amazing part of my college career, and I am so excited and proud to be returning, this time as your RA! See you around!



Sara Eskandari
Hometown: Toledo, OH
Majors: Art and Design

Hi all, I’m Sara and I’m from Toledo, Ohio! I was a mentor last year and will be the 3rd Van Hoosen RA this year. Currently, I am an Art Major and a CS minor, dabbling in cultural anthropology as well. In terms of fun stuff- I am an avid Dungeons and Dragoneer, VP of the video game design club WolverineSoft, and work in the Stamps digital fabrication lab. My favorite past times are laying on the floor, and playing video games (or both).



Socrates Papageorgiou
Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Majors: Computer Engineering and Sound Engineering

I am a Greek-American born and raised in Ann Arbor. As a computer engineer I enjoy tinkering with hardware and software but my real passion lies in the realm of music production. I love recording acoustic instruments and live shows as well as making electronic music in the studio. My other areas of interest include swimming, running, underwater basket weaving, traditional Greek dance, singing, and DJing. If you ever need to find the perfect pump up music or just have a relaxed day, we can work together to find the perfect auditory art to fit your needs. I’m always open to talking about new music and ideas and encourage dialogue whenever possible. There is so much to be done at U of M and in the world and I want to help you get started on whatever it is you’re passionate about! I can’t wait to meet you all for the coming school year!



Peer mentors are sophomores, juniors, and seniors who mentor incoming students and help plan student-generated programming. We are thrilled to have 25 awesome peer mentors for the 2017-2018 academic year.


Lizzy Albinson
Hometown: San Francisco, California
Majors: Art & Design

Hey, I’m Lizzy! I’m a sophomore in the Stamps School of Art and Design from San Francisco, California. I’m interested in animation, building things, problem-solving, drawing, and design. Although I’m not sure what I want to do in the foreseeable future, I’m sure it has something to do with creating. I joined Living Arts because going to such a big university seemed daunting and I wanted to join a smaller community to make friends who shared my interests, and I’m glad I did. As a peer mentor, I hope to bring the sense of community I got when I first came to Michigan to the next group of Living Arts Wolverines.



Maya Ballester
Hometown: Emporia, Kansas
Majors: Vocal Performance

Meet Maya

Hi, my name is Maya and I am a Living Arts peer mentor for the school year 2017-2018! I’m from Emporia, Kansas. I am currently majoring in Vocal Performance through the school of Music, Theatre & Dance. Even though my major primarily focuses around classical voice training, I am also very involved in musical theatre performance and choral singing (and pretty much any kind of singing you could think of). Apart from singing constantly, my other hobbies include dancing, painting, photography, finding new hangouts around town, and attempting ridiculous DIY projects. Living arts is a really great place to be in your early college experience, and I can’t wait to meet and get to know you!



Peter Bongiorni
Hometown: Holmdel, New Jersey
Majors: Environmental Engineering

Meet Peter

Hello! My name is Peter Bongiorni, and if you’re lucky, I’m gonna be your Peer Mentor this year! I’m currently a sophomore studying Environmental Engineering, but my interests range well beyond that. To keep it short, I love video games, dancing, 2000’s jams, Game of Thrones, HGTV, nature walks, real beaches, volleyball, soccer games, gummy bears, musical theater, the Fast and Furious movies, naps, and memes (only the dankest). I am also a member of O-STEM, a professional organization for LGBT students in STEM, as well as Michigan Health Engineered for All Lives (MHEAL). I’m sure that no matter who you are, we will have something in common, so we’re gonna be great friends. Like most of you, I also arrived at UMich having no idea what I wanted to study or do with my life (to be honest, I still don’t think I do), so if anyone is in need of a few words of wisdom or some career or life guidance, my door is always open. Here’s to a great year!




Jacob Brennan
Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Majors: Computer Science, Minor: Anthropology

Meet Jacob

Oh, hello there. It looks like you caught me working on my bio for living arts. Let’s consult it, shall we? At the top it has some of the classic stuff like that I can’t get enough of indie folk/rock music, that I love reading and being in forests. Apparently I like to tell jokes, too. In the portion where I pretend to shyly reveal my nerdier side, I let you know that I am hugely into several youtube communities and that I spend a lot of time building in minecraft. That’s mostly it, I think, except this bit where I say that I love the Living Arts community so much and am really excited to be a peer mentor. Oh, wait, there’s a note at the bottom, let’s read it. It says, “make sure to make some sort of joke out of the bio so that readers can clearly tell that this isn’t something you are taking too seriously and therefore can’t be held accountable for not being able to really describe yourself.” Nice.



Fee Christoph
Hometown: Lake Orion, Michigan
Majors: Interarts Performance

Meet Fee

Hello friends! My name’s Fee (pronounced Fay), and I’m currently majoring in Interarts Performance (a mix of visual and performance art), while also taking a lot of computer science classes. I love learning about the world and sharing my knowledge and perspectives with everyone, so don’t be shy to just strike up a conversation! 🙂 If you’re in need of some topics, I love talking about cardboard armatures, real time audio – sound – projection manipulation, performance art, computer science, the Duderstadt, Tetris, TOK (IB for life), insects, the death of peelable oranges in the dining hall, and so much more! Looking forward to meeting you all soon! 😀 



Clare Coburn
Hometown: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Majors: Architecture, Minor: Art & Design

Hello! I’m a sophomore studying Architecture and Art & Design. I spent my freshman year in the art school and will be transferring to Architecture soon. My interests include painting, drawing, product/industrial design, history, and architecture. Outside of school, I enjoy science fiction and fantasy books/movies, camping, and rainy days. I’m always down for movie nights. I’m super excited to be a part of Living Arts for another year. I joined Living Arts because I thought it would be a good way for me to meet friends and adjust to college life. As a peer mentor, I want to make incoming students feel as welcomed as I did when I came to Michigan.



Annelise Comai
Hometown: Battle Creek, Michigan
Majors: Cellular and Molecular Biology and Computer Science

Meet Annelise

Hi, I’m Annelise, a sophomore in LSA, majoring in cellular and molecular biology and computer science.  I’m originally from Battle Creek, MI and in my free time I enjoy hiking, gardening, cooking, crocheting, drawing, and starting fantasy fiction stories (the fantasy is actually finishing them).  Last year I got involved in theatre for the first time as a member of the University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society (UMGASS), which was really fun and cultivated a burgeoning interest in opera. I had an amazing time in Living Arts last year, and I can’t wait to help others have as much of a blast as I did.  Looking forward to meeting everyone!



Manali Desai
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Majors: Information

Meet Manali

Meow! I’m Manali and I’m a cat from Chicago, a city I dearly love and will pressure you to visit. I’m a huge foodie so if you want to talk about Michelin stars, weird food and good places to eat and/or make food come to me. I enjoy anime, documentaries, reading, and exploring in my free time. I love all things making, lasers, tech, and digi fab and talk about it for hours. I work in the stamps fab lab so if you want to learn and make something cool you let me know. Drop by if you ever want to talk, eat and/or share ideas. Have a fab-ulous day!



Amanda Donovan
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Majors: Information

Meet Amanda

Howdy! I’m Amanda and I’m an art student from Houston, Texas. Outside of art, I love watching cartoons and trashy tv shows made for middle schoolers (anyone up for marathons of Degrassi, Glee + the Bachelor?), going on adventures in the woods, playing dungeons and dragons and hanging out with my friends and talking about memes, politics and identity. I am always open to hang out and destress, vent or just watch tv together for a while. I can’t wait to get to know all of you! 



Alex Eason
Hometown: Tampa, Florida
Majors: Art & Design

Hi everyone, I’m Alex and I’m a sophomore in the Art & Design school. I’m also thinking about an Environment minor, but that’s still up in the air at this point. Outside of academics, I like to read a lot and do things like watch YouTube or anime, and I also really like playing around in Photoshop and making things out of cardboard from time to time. I’m great with appreciating puns/bad jokes, being around people who don’t like to shower (I have anosmia), and sympathizing with people about how cold it is in the winter since I’m from Florida and not used to it. Feel free to come talk to me if you ever want to do something like build a cardboard fort, make a snowman, or if you just want to chat about anything!



Amber Galvano
Hometown: Clinton Township, Michigan
Majors: Vocal Performance and LSA undecided

Hi! My name is Amber Galvano, and my pronouns are she/her. I’m from Clinton Township, Michigan, which is a suburban area about 40 minutes north of Detroit. I’m a dual degree student, pursuing a BMA in Vocal Performance at the School of Music, Theater, and Dance, and an undecided Literature, Science, and the Arts degree. I enjoy listening to music as well as singing it and playing it on the piano or guitar, reading books of all kinds, watching movies, and going for bike rides and trail walks. I joined Living Arts because I wanted to be surrounded by fun, creative people who both have similar interests with me, as well as a wide variety of different interests and abilities. As a peer mentor, I hope to be a friend and resource to incoming students, to help them feel supported, and to further my own creative relationships and friendships within the community.



Michael Gerace
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Majors: Computer Science and Jazz Studies-Trombone

Meet Michael

Hello!  My name is Michael and I am from Cleveland, Ohio.  I am currently planning to complete a dual-degree in computer science and in jazz studies-trombone (I’m always looking to have a jam session).  I have two younger brothers who share my love of music and the outdoors.  Rain, snow, sleet, or hail, (or on the elusive clear, sunny day) I am always looking for people to join me and play football on Friday afternoons!



Grace Giordano
Hometown: Edgewood, Kentucky
Majors: Art & Design

I’m Grace and I am a sophomore from Kentucky. I am majoring in Art and Design, and, of course, I really enjoy making art. Some of my other hobbies include playing music – specifically guitar, napping, and watching movies. Living Arts has been a great way to meet new people and I look forward to meeting everyone new this year.



Alexander Holland
Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Majors: Computer Science Engineering

I am a senior computer science engineering student with a minor in music. I am interested in Computer Security and am an undergraduate researcher as well as a teacher’s assistant for the Introduction to Computer Security class. With music, I play percussion in the campus University Band, and have previously spent 3 summers with Legends Drum and Bugle Corps and 1 summer with the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps. In the past I have been involved with Michigan Mars Rover team, Tech Day volunteering, and a manager in the Bursley Dining Hall. I love exploring the similarities between arts and technology and am a creative geek. Living Arts has truly helped me explore and expand upon my creative side. I’m excited to be a peer mentor and help others do the same!



Willa Hua
Hometown: Shanghai, China
Majors: Art & Design and Information

Hey I’m Willa from Shanghai. I’m an art and design major doing a dual-degree with the School of Information. If you’re into combining art/design with CS plz plz plz come to me! I’m a huge fan of HCI, game making, new media art, digital fabrication, computer graphics, etc. For now, I do a little bit of Python and I’m teaching myself Processing (check it out it’s the BEST for computer graphics). I’m also really good at illustration and animation, so if you need an art person for your next big idea, feel free to talk to me! In my spare time I collect mobile games, play my 3DS, study Japanese, eat raw corn and nap. Among all the stuff I love, I’m hoping to bring some of my favs into the lounge: like animated films, experimental anime, fashion design, Chinese hot pot, and free hugs.



Syeda Roshni Iqbal
Hometown: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Majors: Chemical Engineering

Hello! I am an engineering student and plan on majoring in chemical engineering. Living Arts helped me tremendously as an international student to adjust to the new country. I love books of all genres and also enjoy action, sci-fi, and rom-com movies. I binge-watch on Netflix in my spare time and can successfully cram 4 months of study material into 10 hours ( but please don’t do that ). I decided to become a peer mentor because I wasn’t ready to leave this wonderful community just yet. If you ever want to talk or just need someone to listen, feel free to come by or go down to the lounge. 



Mitchell Lawrence
Hometown: Byron, Michigan
Majors: Architecture, Minor: Japanese

Meet Mitchell

Hi! My name is Mitchell, and I’m from the small town of Byron, Michigan. I’m now a sophomore in Taubman College majoring in Architecture, and I’m also pursuing a minor in Japanese Language. My interests are too many to list, but I enjoy traveling, musicals, cosplay, movies (Disney and Ghibli, anyone?), Nintendo games, art, making YouTube videos, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and memes. If I’m not out working on architecture projects, you can probably find me in the lounge putting on showings of TV shows or movies. I joined living arts because it seemed like an interesting and creative community, and it surpassed my expectations in every way. I’ve heard someone describe living arts as a collection of people who are always the most interesting person in the room simultaneously, and I couldn’t put it better myself.  I’m looking forward to being a peer mentor and getting to know all of our new members, so please feel free to approach me if we have anything in common, or if you have any questions!


Justin Ni
Hometown: Tucson, Arizona
Majors: Art & Design and LSA

Hey everyone! I’m Justin, and I’m currently a joint-degree student in STAMPS and LSA. I’m from Tucson, Arizona, although I spent two years of high school in Beijing. I’m currently interested in pursuing something in animation and computer science (but honestly, who really knows at this point for sure?). Outside of academics, I play badminton pretty regularly, watch animated films, and look for new music to listen to.  More often than not, I’ll be up late at 4am so you’ll always have someone to talk to if you need/want to!


Ruben Rincon
Hometown: Chino, California
Majors: Art & Design

Hola todos, I’m Ruben. I’m from Chino, California, and I’m an art and design major at the Stamps School of Art and Design. I really enjoy videography and other 4D mediums, such as sound design. I also enjoy Studio Ghibli and horror films. Some of my passions include napping, enjoying nature’s scenery, eating good food, and exploring new places. Lofi hip hop and concept art are really awesome, and so is dancing. If you ever need any help with any creative projects, feel free to drop by for some help. I’m also open for anything else, especially deep conversations around 2:00am.


Ben Roth
Hometown: Paramus, New Jersey
Majors: Biochemistry

Meet Ben

Hello, and welcome to Living Arts! I’m a sophomore hailing from Paramus, New Jersey, and my main academic interest is biotechnology. Outside of class, I’m on the U-M Alpine Ski Team, and when I’m not racing, my interests include drawing (poorly), running, photography, musical theatre, playing the saxophone, and watching superhero movies (I’m a huge fan of the Marvel films, but DC will always have a special place in my heart). I can’t wait to meet everyone this year, and I’m looking forward to another fantastic year of Living Arts!


Syliva Sinsabaugh
Hometown: Granville, Ohio
Majors: Mechanical Engineering, Minor: Art & Design

Hello! My name is Sylvia and I’m from the small town of Granville, Ohio. I am a sophomore pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Art and Design. I’m hoping to combine the two and end up in industrial design, making anything from ketchup packets to airplane seats. In terms of art, I love working with anything 3D, from ceramics to food to CAD, but my favorite medium is metal and specifically wire. I really enjoy robotics (FIRST alum) and working with drivetrain, fabrication, and electrical. My other interests include Avatar (the cartoon, not the one with the blue people), Marvel, YouTube (DFTBA), Reddit, fidget toys, Rubik’s cubes, baking, hugs, ADHD, people, conversations, and connections. Living Arts has connected me to an incredible group of people and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I can’t wait to meet you guys!


Amanda Taylor
Hometown: Birmingham, Michigan
Majors: Art & Design

Hello!! My name is Amanda, I am from Birmingham, Michigan, and I am currently enrolled in Penny W. Stamps majoring in Art and Design and hope to add a major in either, Economics, Evolutionary Anthropology, or Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I love art for its ability to communicate your ideas in a format that can shape change in other’s perspectives on the issues. My interests include movies, T.V. shows, music, taking photos for Empty Mug Records (the only student-ran record company on campus), food, memes, being sad about current politics, economic principles in theory, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, kickboxing, and kayaking. From my first year experience with living arts, I found the presence of the peer mentors to be extremely helpful in guiding me through, and I want to do the same for incoming freshman. I most likely will be up working on a project so if you need anything my door will be open! I am so excited to meet all of you, and Welcome to Living Arts!


Selene Yang
Hometown: Montville, NJ
Majors: Neuroscience, Minor: Creative Writing

Hey everyone! I’m a sophomore from Montville, New Jersey (it’s really not as bad as everyone says it is). I’m majoring in Neuroscience in LSA, with a minor in Creative Writing. I love movies and comics and I have strong opinions on both (if you get me started, I might not shut up). I also really enjoy reading, writing, and watercolor painting. I can knit and crochet, so if you’re in need of a scarf or hat to survive Michigan winter, I can help you out. Other interests include, but are not limited to: Star Wars, cats, politics, animated TV shows, fluffy sweaters, and memes. Please feel free to come visit my room if you want to talk about Living Arts, movies, or life in general. I’m super excited to meet everyone!



Clayton Zimmerman
Hometown: Laingsburg, MI
Majors: Computer Science, Sexology

Hey. How’s it goin’? I’m Clayton. I like to lay down. I really care about my friends a lot, and you can totally be one if you want. When alone, I regularly watch YouTube videos about game design, and hope to someday apply accumulated programming skills to make games as art. I attend concerts and theatre pretty much every weekend, which is easy when Basement Arts puts on so many free shows ~100 meters from Bursley. Also, I’m on Sexperteam and make short films sometimes. If you want to talk about games, human behavior, film, or pretty much anything (auf Englisch oder Deutsch), I’m down. Feel free to swing by my room.

2015-2016 RAS

Sarah Bedoyan, Grosse Pointe, MI; Cell and Molecular Biology and History Double Major (Chinese Language and Culture Minor)

Adam Licavoli, Kalamazoo, MI; Aerospace Engineering

2015-2016 PEER MENTORS

Kate Arnson, Lake Forest, IL; Civil Engineering

Shadae Boakye, NYC, NY; Mechanical Engineering, possible German Minor
Mitchell Curtiss, Portage, MI; Architecture and Civil Engineering
Elvhin Encarnacion, Toledo, OH; Mechanical Engineering, International Minor for Engineers
Rachel Epperly, Grand Rapids, MI; Music Composition
Angelina Fahs, Dearborn, MI; Computer Science Engineering
Jonathan Grygiel, Pittsburgh, PA; Chemical Engineering
Spencer Haney, Orlando, FL; Electrical Engineering
Alexander Holland, Grand Rapids, MI; Computer Science Engineering
Sarah Jomaa, Northville, MI; Art and Design
Christina Liu, Northville, MI; Computer Science Engineering
Kylier Love, Detroit, MI; Undecided LSA
Hannah Mabie, Ann Arbor, MI; Art and Design
Giovanni Martinez, Highland Park/Highland, CA; Architecture
Lauren Murphy, Kalamazoo, MI; LSA, hopefully Information Science
Socrates Papageorgiou, Ann Arbor, MI; Computer Engineering and Sound Engineering
Niraj Patel, Ann Arbor, MI; Physics and LSA Music with an Electrical Engineering minor
Connor Reinman, Ann Arbor, MI; Music Composition
Nick Shahin, Midland, MI; Computer Science Engineering
Jacque Thomas, Sebewaing, MI; Industrial and Operations Engineering

2014-2015 RAS

Sarah Bedoyan, Grosse Pointe, MI; Cell and Molecular Biology and History Double Major (Chinese Language and Culture Minor)
Paul Giessner, Saint Joseph, MI; Electrical Engineering and Organ Performance

2014-2015 PEER MENTORS

Jessie Balaka, Dearborn, MI; Electrical Engineering
Abigail Clemens, San Mateo, CA; Art and Design
Harsha Devaraj, Bangalore, India; Art and Design, possibly psychology 
Marisa Diamond, Waltham, MA; Interarts Performance
Tasha Gillum, Lake Villa, IL; Industrial Operations Engineering
Samuel Irish, Bay City, MI; Computer Science Engineering
Graham Kelly, Suttons Bay, MI; LS&A Undeclared
Max Morrison, West Bloomfield, MI; Computer Engineering and Sound Engineering 
Kaitlin Myers, Lexington, Kentucky; Earth System Science and Engineering 
Niraj Patel, Ann Arbor, MI; Physics and LSA Music with an Electrical Engineering minor 
Tanner Petch, Battle Creek, MI;Fine Arts
James Spain, Orland Park, IL;Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering (NAME) 
Alana Rhodin, Mount Hermon, MA;Art & Design BFA, Computer Science Engineering
John Ryan, Midland, MI; Computer Engineering 
Carlos Valls, Sanger, TX; Aerospace Engineering

2013-2014 RAS

Carolina Fuentes, Ypsilanti, MI; Psychology and German
Dan Rodak, Utica, MI; Mechanical Engineering

2013-2014 PEER MENTORS

John Behrendt, Ann Arbor, MI; Aerospace Engineering
Zachary Boulanger, Eaton Rapids, MI; Computer Science
Alexis Breese, Dayton, OH; Theater Arts with a Performing Arts Management Concentration 
Camille Charara, Dearborn, MI; Art and Design BFA
Derek Ehlmann, Jackson, MI; Computer Science
Paul Giessner, Saint Joseph, MI; Electrical Engineering and Organ Performance
Caroline Jones, Yokosuka, Japan/Fredericksburg, VA/Springfield, VA; Aerospace Engineering
Kayleigh Laymon, San Hose, CA; BFA Theater Design and Production
Colin Leach, Ann Arbor, MI; Art and Design
Nate Marrufo, Maumee, OH; Electrical/Mechanical Engineering
Tomas Medina, La Paz, Bolivia; Computer Science
AnneMarie Mueller, Royal Oak, MI; Environmental Engineering
Margot Robert, Rochester Hills, MI; Art and Design
John Ryan, Midland, MI; Computer Engineering
Zoe Widmer, Cincinnati, OH; Art and Design

2012-2013 RAS

Charlotte Campbell, Winnetka, IL, Theatre Arts and Computer Engineering
Dan Rodak, Utica, MI, Mechanical Engineering

2012-2013 PEER MENTORS

Kyle Bettinger, Dearborn, MI; Biomedical Engineering
Megan Boczar, Northville, MI; Archaeological Anthropology, Minor: Classical Archaeology and Museum Studies
Molly Lester, Farmington Hills, MI; Art & Design
Zach Mineroff, Doylestown, PA; Engineering
Colin O’Neil, Mount Pleasant, MI; Biology
Josie-lynn Patalon, Warren, MI; Materials Science Engineering
James Power, Vienna, VA; Aerospace Engineering, Minor: French
Chelsea Pugh, Alto, MI; Computer Science Engineering
Margot Robert, Rochester Hills, MI; Art and Design
Felipe Rogerio, Sao Paolo, Brazil; Engineering
Mihir Sheth, Mumbai, India; Engineering
Adam Spahn, Wheaton, IL; Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
Alec Stenzel, West Des Moines, IA; Engineering and Jazz Studies Minor: German
Alex Verros, Lake Orion, MI; Mathematical Biology and Life Sciences Informatics
Steven West, Livonia, MI; Aerospace Engineering

2011-2012 RAS

Charlotte Campbell, Winnetka, IL; Theater Arts and Computer Engineering
Ken Sieloff, Northville, MI; Choral Music Education

2011-2012 PEER MENTORS

Riley Anderson, Otsego, MI; Pre-Architecture
Jill Bender, Bridgman, MI; Computer Science Engineering
Chancellor Evans, Detroit, MI; Informatics
Betty Jalal, Toledo, OH; International Studies, Pre-Health
Rita Lee, Livonia, MI; Art and Design, Minor: LS&A Music
Claire Liburdi, Macomb Twp, MI; Art and Design, Minor: Biology
Hayley Pline, Suttons Bay, MI; Civil Engineering
Dan Rodak, Utica, MI; Mechanical Engineering
Ed Utter, Hazel Park, MI; Individualized Concentration Program: Symbolic Systems (artificial intelligence and human-computer interactions)
Justin Younan, Rochester Hills, MI; Art and Design, Minor: German