EAC Staff

The Engineering Advising Center is staffed by the following academic advising professionals.

Rob Freidhoff, Director of Engineering Advising Center

Rob is a passionate advisor who enjoys working with students to optimize their educational experience. He holds a Master’s degree in Adult & Higher Education from Grand Valley State University and is interested in how emerging media/technology may aid in the delivery of timely communication, while also enhancing the advising relationship. Student success is mission critical to Rob’s work and he looks forward to helping you achieve your academic and career goals.


Kurt C. Hill, Senior Academic Advisor

Kurt has been in the field of student advising for over fifteen years. His background in admissions, recruiting, academic advising and co-op placement, in addition to his participation in the University’s LeaderShape®Institute and Mentorship Program, are some of his many strengths and interests.




Mark Collyer, Assistant Director

Mark has his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and experience working in the aerospace industry. He completed a Master’s degree in Student Affairs and Higher Education at Miami University of Ohio, where he advised first-year students in science, engineering and mathematics disciplines. Mark enjoys helping students utilize their passions to set a path for the future.



Michelle Sonderman, Academic Advisor, Peer Mentor Coordinator

Michelle received her Master’s degree in Counseling from Oakland University and worked in the Interdisciplinary and Professional Programs office as a graduate coordinator at U-M before joining the EAC team. Her background consists of academic advising, counseling, and instruction of a first-year college success course. She enjoys assisting students with their transition from high school to college and helping them make a plan of success for their academic and professional future.


Shawn Salata,  EAC Academic Advisor 

Shawn brings over 20 years of experience in the College to her advising role in the EAC. A proud Michigan alum, she also earned a Masters in counseling from Eastern Michigan University. She is dedicated to supporting students’ transition into the College, and is a big proponent of experiential learning. She encourages students to make connections on campus in order to make the most of their Michigan career. Email Shawn at ssalata@umich.edu


Jennifer Taylor,  EAC Academic Advisor 

Jennifer is a half-time advisor in the EAC, and she enjoys working with students to create an optimal curriculum balance for their personal and academic success. She has advised students for over 10 years, and previously worked in the UM College of LSA – Psychology Department. Jennifer’s two degrees are from the University of Michigan: a bachelors degree in Elementary Education, and a masters degree in Higher Education. Email Jennifer at jliddico@umich.edu

*photos by Joseph Xu


Susan Kaiser, Student Success Assistant 

Susan is a dedicated professional with diverse experience in career counseling, education, and program management and enjoys assisting students with reaching their goals.   She has worked within the University for several years and previously worked in the non-profit arena.  Susan received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Grand Valley State University, and a masters degree in Professional Studies in Education from Capella University. Email Susan at:




2016 – 2017 Peer Advisors:
The college experience is very different from the high school experience. The way you approach your academics and social life will need to change. EAC Peer Advisors have successfully made this transition, and are your best resource for your first year.

Peer advisors are upperclass students in a variety of engineering departments who have been trained to help first-year students choose courses, register for classes, and understand the policies and procedures of the College. More importantly, as students, peer advisors have a personal insight into life at the University of Michigan. They can answer questions about professors, majors, student organizations, and campus life in general. Peer advisors are a terrific resource for first year students. Along with academic advisors, they can assist you in making your transition to college as smooth as possible.

Matthew Szczerba

Matthew Szczerba

Hello, my name is Matthew Szczerba. I’m from Flint Michigan and am a sophomore in the College of Engineering. On campus I am a member of the Michigan Photography Club. I think the prequel trilogy of Star Wars films are as good as the originals. I am studying Aerospace Engineering and hope to one day work on the space program or in the private space industry.

Abigail Ranks

Abby Ranks

Hi! My name is Abby Ranks and I am from Novi, Michigan. During my first two years on campus, I was a part of Women in Science and Engineering Residence Program (WISE RP) and Kgrams, a pen pal program for students living in the dorms and local elementary kids. Currently, I am involved with the Tech Day planning committee and Alternative Spring Break at St. Mary’s Student Parish. The most fun experience I have had in college was studying abroad in Madrid, Spain for six weeks the summer after my first year! In the future, I hope to find a career where I can put my knowledge of chemical engineering to good use by helping people.

Sam Shin

Sam Shin

My name is Sam Shin and I am a rising Junior studying Mechanical Engineering. I am from Washington DC and am a huge Washington sports fan. I am currently involved in BLUElab (a design team which utilizes sustainability), Greek Life, and Intramural Sports. A fun fact about me is that I have never broken a bone in my body. A future plan of mine is to apply to graduate school and eventually get my Masters.


Fritz Hyde

My name is Fritz Hyde and I study Chemical Engineering. I enjoy a side career as an intramural sport athlete. I am involved in numerous student organizations including AIChE, Phi Sigma Pi, and Campus Crusaders. I am additionally involved in the Chemical Engineering Encyclopedia project with Dr. Montgomery.

Chris Cardoso

Chris Cardoso

I’m Chris Cardoso and I am a rising junior studying Industrial and Operations Engineering. I am from North Brunswick, NJ which is a small suburb in Central New Jersey. On campus, I am a brother of Alpha Phi Omega, a co-educational service fraternity, and I have a high level of involvement in the organization. My plans for the future are to hopefully enter the fields of finance or supply chain management. An interesting fact about myself is that I am a first generation college student and my parents are immigrants from Italy and Portugal.

Mackenzie Horton

Mackenzie Horton

Mackenzie Horton is a rising junior studying Chemical Engineering. She is originally from Howell, MI and loves to dance and sing. On campus she is involved in Concrete Canoe, Society of Women Engineers, and New Movement dance team. She loves to travel and is trying to go to one new place per year. 

Neil Karr

Neil Karr

My name is Neil Karr I HAIL from Ann Arbor, MI. I’m in Bluelab and play some IM sports such as wallyball and soccer. I’m studying civil engineering and have no specific plans for after that. My dream job as a child was to be a construction worker.

Caroline Owens_cropped

Caroline Owens

My name is Caroline Owens, and I am rising sophomore from Chicago, Illinois. So far on campus, I have become involved in the learning community Michigan Community Scholars Program, MRun, SWE and Phi Sigma Rho. I love going to concerts and hammocking in the Arb. Currently, I am a Computer Science major and I plan to study abroad during my time at Michigan.

Emily Mallon

Emma Mallon

My name is Emma Mallon and I am a sophomore from Hartland, MI. On campus, I volunteer with student recruitment through the Student Ambassador Program, and I volunteer with blood services through the American Red Cross Club. I am a Peer Mentor for incoming freshmen through the College of Engineering’s Mentorship Program. I am the fundraising chair and a member of the Michigan Pompon Team. In my free time I attend sporting events including Michigan Hockey, Michigan Football, Detroit Tigers, and Detroit Red Wings. Once I graduate I plan on doing product development with biomedical devices and orthopedic implants. I hope to receive a Ph. D. and become a professor at University of Michigan.