PALs (Peer Academic Leaders)

The Peer Academic Leaders (PALs) are a diverse group of high-achieving upperclassmen who can help you navigate your academic career.  They're peers helping peers make the right connections.  They can assist you in learning about all the programs of study offered at Western, help you make a course schedule, offer academic support and connect you to all the resources and opportunites on Western's campus.  Meet our 2018-2019 PALs!

Exploratory Center

Located in Library 121

Hours: Sunday - Thursday 3 - 9 p.m.

Call us at 970.943.2153 or email us.

McKenna Griffin, PAL Coordinator


I was raised in Montrose, Colorado.  I am currently a junior and studying Biology with an emphasis in Pre-med/Cellular and Molecular, and a minor in Chemistry.  I love the outdoors, skiing and would like to travel Europe one day.  I chose Western for the small campus community, personalized classroom experience with professors and the endless opportunities on campus.  After graduation, I plan on attending a Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) Medical School where I aspire to become a pediatic neurologist.  I believe in being a lifelong learner and I want to be remembered as a pillar in my community.

Aneta Konieczek


I'm an international student athlete from Poland. I am currently majoring in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance.  My interests include running, dancing, learning and travelling. I love helping others andsharing my experiences with them.  In the future I want to be a professional runner and have my own business. As a Peer Academic Leader, I would love to help other students with their struggles and assist them in deciding what they want to do with their lives.

Hunter Koperweis


I grew up in a small beach town in New Jersey called Ocean Township.  I am a senior at Western with a double major in Environment and Sustainability and Business Administration and a minor in Spanish.  I chose Western because of the close proximity to nature and the ski resort.  I love rock climbing, hiking, camping, skiing, and anything that has to do with being outdoors.  I have traveled to four continents and hope to see them all in the future.  After I graduate, I hope to work with a non-profit in Colorado working on regenerative environmental practices.  After a year or two of working within my degree, I hope to live in Chile teaching English. 

Angelo Minisini


I am from Centennial, Colorado.  I am a junior and am majoring in Accounting and Business Administration with and emphasis in Finance.  I am a member of the NCAA track team for Western.  I came to Western for athletics.  I enjoy playing sports and listening to music.  After graduation, I plan to pursue a career in finance.  I look forward to my remaining time at Western and my future following graduation.

Emily Eads


I am a sophomore here at Western, with declared majors in English and Politics and Government with an emphasis in Pre-Law.  I am from Aurora, Colorado.  I chose Western after falling in love with the surroundings, friendly community and challenging academia.  In my free time, I enjoy skiing, fishing, listening to music and adventuring around the valley.  I love my dogs.  After I graduate, I plan to attend law school and work towards my Juris Doctorate.

Tjade Schmidt


I was born and raised in Windsor, Colorado.  Currently, I am a junior pursuing a degree in Chemistry with an emphasis in Bio-chemistry.  I love the outdoors and exploring the surrounding areas with my husband.  I found Western trying to get away from the busyness of the front range and have found a smaller community that I can engage in.  The past few years attending school at Western has allowed me to become more connected with the community members in the Gunnison Valley.  In the past I have been a Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader and teachers assistant with the school.  Through the small community atmosphere at Western, I have found passion for helping people around me!

Ingrid Alvarez


I was born in Texas but grew up in Aurora, Colorado.  I'm a senior pursuing a double major in Accounting and Business Administration with a minor in Sociology.  I cam to Western after being recruited to play NCAA soccer, shortly after I fell in love with the small town feel and the beauty of our community.  My favorite thing to do is lay in bed on a rainy day and watch Netflix.  After graduation, I plan on getting a Masters in Business Administration and becoming a certified public accountant.

Kirsten Companik


I'm a junior from Tempe, AZ.  I came to Western to play for the NCAA women's volleyball team, but I soon found my favorite part of Western is the amazing opportunities it provides through small class sizes and personable faculty.  I am studying Politics and Government with an emphasis in Pre-Law and Sociology.  I hope to work for the federal government after completing law school.

2018-2019 PALs

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