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Peer Facilitators

Peer facilitators are upper-level Cognitive Science students who support their peers through:

  • Increasing awareness about the CogSci major on campus
  • Helping undeclared students explore whether or not CogSci is a good fit
  • Creating a sense of community among declared CogSci students
  • Answering curriculum/class registration questions for their peers
  • Working with their peers on decisions about the future, and the best way to market CogSci as they pursue grad school, internships, or jobs
  • Offering strategies to support their peers in time management and studying
  • Sharing the student perspective with their peers on courses and opportunities such as research and study abroad

Peer Facilitator Advising

  1. Peer facilitators will offer in-person, virtual, or phone advising throughout the semester, with the ability to select their preferred format.

  2. In order to safely social distance, the study tables in the Weiser Suite will be allocated for peer facilitators only.

  3. In accordance with University policy, students MUST wear a mask at advising appointments, regardless of vaccination status. Students who refuse to wear a mask will have their appointment cancelled.

  4. Students may only come a maximum of 5 minutes prior to their appointment and must wait in designated areas. If a student has not checked in 10 minutes after their appointment slot, their appointment will be cancelled.


Don't see a time that works for you? Email to schedule!


Nithin Weerasinghe, Senior, Computation Track

Ask Nithin about: your general CogSci questions, research, study abroad, dual degrees, pursuing grad school, the internship search

Why CogSci: Fascinated by how the mind works and believe it’s important in just about everything we do

Experiences: Computer science dual degree, complex systems minor, Multidisciplinary Design Project, research, studied abroad in Hong Kong, data technology internship

Hopes after graduation: Go to grad school and use machine learning or human-computer interaction to help bring good to the world

More about Nithin: Detroit Lions fan, plays the campus carillon (bell tower), enjoys podcasts, graphic design, board games, anime, cooking, and just spending time with friends.

Madeline Trumbauer, Senior, Decision Track

Ask Madeline about: General Cogsci questions, course questions, dual-degree (with UMSI specifically if it's relevant!), internship search

Why Cogsci: To strengthen my critical thinking and writing skills through a wide breadth of topics

Experiences: UMSI double major, Students for Reproductive Rights and Justice Volunteer Chair, Climate Blue, Marketing internship this summer

Hopes after graduation: A marketing or informatics job in a big city

More about Madeline: I’m a runner. I love reading fiction, playing piano, and going for walks around the parks in Ann Arbor.


Olivia Tjernlund, Senior, Philosophy Track

Ask Olivia about: General CogSci questions, linguistics + CogSci, pursuing grad school, pre-speech and hearing, decision making!

Experiences: Linguistics double major and music minor, piccolo player in the Michigan Marching Band, involvement in Pre-Speech & Hearing club

Hopes after graduation: Attend grad school for Speech-Language Pathology!

More about Olivia – Things you're interested in outside of Academics: I love to swing dance (come to MSwing meetings, we'd love to have you!), I coach high school rowing at my alma mater, and my greatest flaw as a human being has been hate-watching really trashy reality TV over the last several months (but I'm always open to hearing Bachelor theories).

Julia Smoot, Senior, Decision Track

Ask Julia about: Getting involved in research, writing an honors thesis, gender and sexuality studies, being a double major (math), deciding on a major, starting a club at Umich

Why CogSci: I chose CogSci because I love that it combines so many different fields. I had a hard time picking the right major and I felt that CogSci was a great fit because it allowed me to study the mind through a lot of different viewpoints.

Experiences: Double major (math), research assistant, writing an honors thesis

Hopes after graduation: I hope to go to grad school and become a researcher!

More about Julia: founder of the Michigan Dressage team, grew up on a farm, loves to bake, avid tea lover, is one Smoot tall 

What's a smoot? 

Jake Mayr, Junior, Computation Track

Ask Jake about: your general CogSci questions, Computer Science + CogSci, the internship search

Why CogSci: Really enjoys learning about the mind and how it works

Experiences: Computer Science double major, Software Engineer Intern at Garmin, was the social chair for MRun

Hopes after graduation: Work as a Software Engineer / Project Manager

More about Jake: From Florida, loves playing sports (right now it’s soccer and volleyball), MRun, plays too many video games (basically anything on PC or Switch), and misplaces his airpods every other day


Elise Whitney, Senior, Philosophy Track

Ask Elise about: double major, minor, research/thesis, grad school

Why CogSci: studying the mind/why humans do what they do, and the best department!

Experiences: psych double major, entrepreneurship minor, honors thesis and 3+ years research experience, working as a TA for entrepreneurship course, virtual internship

Hopes after graduation: PhD in Clinical Psychology and to keep learning forever

More about Elise: Love dogs (I have two pups), traveling, family of Wolverines, big fan of all Marvel movies

Alicia Haun, Junior, Decision Track

Ask Alicia about: Cognitive Science Community, informational interviews, networking, cogsci + business, general questions

Why CogSci: Because my favorite book is When Breath Becomes Air! Love how interdisciplinary cogsci is and how supportive weinberg is

Experiences: English minor, Sweetland Peer Writing Consultant, president of Cognitive Science Community, Student Ambassador for the Opportunity Hub

Hopes after graduation: Become a positive change agent informed by positive organizational psychology; settle down in Oregon or Washington

More about Alicia: Always baking for friends or doing crafts. Passionate collector of teas and books (favorite places in Ann Arbor: Nicola's Books, Dawn Treader, TeaHaus, Spice & Tea Merchants

Eva Yeh, Senior, Language Track

Ask Eva about: Double Major, Language Track, Research, Applying to Grad School (Speech Language Pathology), general CogSci questions

Why CogSci: The human brain is so cool! And languages are so amazing. 

Experiences: Linguistics major, research on campus, worked as an RA in Housing, worked at the ELI (English Language Institute), involvement in Pre-Speech & Hearing Club, Semester in Detroit, UCCF UM-ACTS Internship.

Hopes after graduation: Grad school (Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology)

More about Eva – Things you're interested in outside of Academics: Outdoor person, likes to cook and try new recipes, enjoys making Spotify playlists for her friends :) Will talk about all things language and culture with you!

Stephanie Hong, Senior, Decision Track

Ask Stephanie About: Your general CogSci questions, dual degrees, pursuing a business PhD, the internship search

Why CogSci: I'm excited about discovering how and why people make the decisions they do!

Experiences: Business double major, 3x intern at P&G, research assistant at Ross, Harvard, & UChicago, president of MEG Consulting

Hopes after graduation: Either become a full time research associate or a business PhD candidate... but keeping an open mind about everything :)

More about Stephanie: RA at stockwell, dog lover, extreme couponing video binge watcher, jazz, trap, and r&b fan, went on an alternative spring break trip to Guatemala