Student Mentor Squad (SMS)

The Student Mentor Squad (SMS) is a group of fourth- and fifth-year architecture students who have been peer advisors, maintained strong GPAs, and studied abroad. They are dedicated to extending the peer advisor-advisee relationship beyond the first year in order to foster relationships between upperclassmen and underclassmen.

Mentors will host forums and discussion groups, as well as generate publications. Architecture students will have the opportunity to engage with mentors about electives, study abroad opportunities, off-campus housing, and a host of other subjects. The SMS is a vital resource for younger students as they navigate their way through the architecture program.

2022-2023 Squad
Abby McCarthy
Abby ’23


Abby is a fifth-year student from Hillsboro, Oregon. She participated in both the NYC and London abroad programs and can’t recommend those two cities enough to other students deciding where to go. On campus, Abby is working in Slocum at the 3D printing lab and woodshop. She is also a facility supervisor at the Barnes Center and sits on their student leadership committee.

Over the past couple summers, Abby has interned at Selldorf Architects and The Cosine, a lighting design firm, both in NYC.  She also has experienced working at a winery and in landscaping. She is always trying to incorporate these interests into her design work. Outside of school, Abby likes to hike, run, play piano, and spend time with friends and family. This past summer, she got to spend a lot of time with fellow mentor Neha when they road-tripped from Oregon back to Syracuse! 

Amreeta Verma - headshot SMS
Amreeta ’23


Amreeta is a fifth-year student from Green Brook, New Jersey.  She has been involved in several School of Architecture organizations such as Women in Design, ASO, Architecture Ambassadors and NOMAS. She previously held the position of Community Outreach Chair for NOMAS and is the current Secretary. Amreeta participated in Visiting Critic studio and studied abroad in Florence, and she is now an SU Global Ambassador for the Florence program. Because of her interest in cross-disciplinary design, Amreeta is pursuing two minors, one in Visual Culture and another in Environment and Society. Among her many achievements, Amreeta is a Class Marshal, a Remembrance Scholar and is in the Phi Beta Delta International Honor Society. This fall she will be a TA for ARC207 design studio. In both 2020 and 2022, Amreeta received summer research grants from the SOURCE to study sustainable soil construction methods. She has worked with Professor Yutaka Sho and her firm General Architecture Collaborative and has also interned at AE Superlab and Hickok Cole. In her free time, Amreeta loves to learn new gluten free recipes, paint, and play Animal Crossing.

Brendan Carroll
Brendan ’23


Brendan is a fifth-year student from Westchester, New York. Brendan has been a Peer Advisor, Architecture Ambassador, a tutor for the School of Architecture, and a member of the architecture and design fraternity APX. Outside of architecture, Brendan takes part in as many intramural sports as possible, goes to every home basketball and football game, and is a member of the school Running Club. He participated in the Visiting Critic studio and virtually participated in London abroad. Brendan enjoys learning outside of Slocum and is working towards a minor in Real Estate.

E.J. Kaufman Headshot
E.J. ’23


E.J. is a fifth-year student from Oak Park, California. E.J. studied in London last fall after completing the VC studio the semester prior. Outside of architecture, he is pursuing a minor in real estate and worked at the Tennity Ice Pavilion as a referee. Over the past two summers, he interned with Ware Malcomb and Baumann Studios, allowing him to work on a variety of projects from industrial to interiors. In his free time, E.J. enjoys surfing, climbing, and hockey. 

 Fatima Mohammad
Fatima ’23


Fatima is a fifth-year architecture student from Kuwait City, Kuwait. She is bilingual and speaks both Arabic and English. During the spring semester of her third year, she completed a VC studio in Syracuse, and as an international student, Fatima also did a study abroad abroad in Florence, Italy. She enjoyed her time there by visiting different cities such as Milan, Como, and Lugano in Switzerland. At Syracuse University, Fatima is a member of Phi Sigma Pi, a National Honor Fraternity, where she gets to interact with people outside the School of Architecture. Moreover, in her home country, she volunteered at the Kuwait Scientific Center for multiple summers, which enabled her to become familiar with the marine life of the Persian Gulf. Fatima also enjoys making ceramics, jewelry, reading, photography, and traveling since her dad is a commercial pilot!

 Ina Jang
Ina ’23


Ina is a fifth-year architecture student from Secaucus, New Jersey. Throughout her years at Syracuse University, she has established the 57th chapter of alpha Kappa Delta Phi on campus and has been involved in ASiA (Asian Students in America) and Architecture Ambassadors. Ina took part in the online London abroad program in the Spring of 2021 and studied at the New York City campus for the Fall 2021 semester. She has spent her summers working part-time jobs and has recently finished her internship with MGA Architects in Honolulu, Hawaii. Outside of architecture, Ina enjoys spending time with friends and searching for new hobbies. 

Jenna Merry Headshot
Jenna ’23


Jenna is a fifth-year architecture student from Overland Park, Kansas. In her time at Syracuse, she has been involved in several SOA organizations over the years including being a Peer Advisor, the founding treasurer of Alpha Rho Chi Skopas Chapter, the social committee co-chair for Alpha Rho Chi, the manager for the Publication Committee, the communications manager for AIAS, and the social media had for the Syracuse Architecture Instagram. Outside of architecture, Jenna is part of the Renee Crown Honors Program, a Remembrance Scholar, a First Year Program Teachers Assistant, an Abroad Ambassador, and a model for the Fashion Design program in VPA.


For global campus, Jenna participated in the Florence and the London programs, as well as a short-term program in Switzerland. Jenna has had the opportunity to work alongside multiple professors over multiple summers and semesters doing research, has interned abroad at ArchFlorence, and this past summer she had the opportunity to intern with Saccoccio & Associates Architects in Rhode Island. Outside of school, she loves hanging out with her dog Cooper, playing board games with friends, trying new restaurants, and traveling. 

 Justin DiFabritis Headshot
Justin ’23


Justin is a fifth-year student from Bloomfield, New Jersey. During his time at Syracuse University, Justin has been a part of the Peer Advisors, Architecture Student Organization, Renee Crown Honors Program, as well as an employee at the King + King Architecture Library. Taking advantage of the abroad opportunities Syracuse offers, he studied in New York City in Spring 2021 and Florence in Fall 2021. During his summers, Justin has interned at Arcari + Iovino Architects in NJ, BAS.NYC (remotely), and Claude Home in NYC where he managed the online luxury gallery under the CEO. Outside of architecture, Justin enjoys film photography, collecting coffee-table books, researching designer chairs, going to estate sales, watching movies with friends, and posting on his Tik Tok!

Katie Sincebaugh Headshot
Katie ’23


Katie is a fifth-year architecture student from Auburn, New York. In her years at Syracuse, she has been involved in ASO, Architecture Ambassadors, and a Peer Advisor for the class of 2024. Katie has many interests, so in her time outside of Slocum she is pursuing minors in Real Estate and Political Science and is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honors Society. Also, Katie is employed at Syracuse University Ambulance as a Medical Transport driver. She had the privilege of studying with the Visiting Critic studio (Spring 2021) and in Florence (Fall 2021). She has interned with firms in Skaneateles and Syracuse including Beardsley Architects and Engineers. Katie enjoys hiking, finding new music, and traveling in her free time.

Khushee Chauhan Headshot
Khushee ’23


Khushee is a fifth-year student from Ahmedabad, India. Over the years, she has been part of many SOA organizations, including IMS, AIAS, ASO, NOMAS, the Peer Advising Program and Architecture Ambassadors- which is great because she enjoys getting to know new people. Over the summer, Khushee interned with Array Architects at the Boston office and explored her growing interest in healthcare design. This fall, she will be a Peer Leader for FYS101 class. In her free time, Khushee likes to indulge in trash reality TV and periodically keeps up with Indian politics. 

Kimmy Esquilin Headshot
Kimmy ’23


Kimmy is a fifth-year architecture student from Mineola, New York. She is returning from her second summer working as an architectural intern at BHC Architects. She has previously studied off-campus in NYC and participated in the Visiting Critic studio. She also works as an undergraduate assistant for Intro to BIM. Outside of architecture, Kimmy is currently a student leader for Cru Campus Ministry. In her free time, she enjoys painting and watching rom-coms.

Kjo Zhuang Headshot
Kjo ’23


Kjo is a fifth-year architecture student from Shenzhen, China. Growing up in the Pearl River Delta area (which is now known as the Greater Bay Area, consisting of Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Macau, and seven other cities) has inspired him by various urban cultures and systems. During his time in Syracuse, he has been part of the SOA official WeChat account team, a teaching assistant for programs hosted in China, and on the Lunar New Year planning committee. In addition, he participated in visiting critic studios in Shanghai and NYC in 2021 and worked in areas focused on fabric formwork, textile architecture, and urban renewal. 


Outside of architecture, Kjo is a fan of skiing and snowboarding. He is researching and working in the metaverse area, including AR/VR/XR technologies. He is interested in the concept of the contrast between creating a virtual world in a real-world setting and a real-world augmented by a virtual context. Over the past few summers, he has interned at architectural firms such as Natural Build, X-Urban, and CAPOL.

 Lauren Reichelt
Lauren ’23


Lauren is a fifth-year student from Westchester, New York. In the School, Lauren has been a Peer Advisor, Architecture Ambassador, co-chair of the Social Media Committee, and an employee of the Slocum fabrication labs and wood shop. On campus, outside of architecture, Lauren was previously president of the SU Habitat for Humanity Club and will be a senior intern with the Office of Admissions this fall. Lauren studied abroad in-person in Florence, Italy, and had the opportunity to study abroad (online) in the London program last spring. Throughout college, Lauren has interned at Ginsburg Development Companies (GDC), and most recently at KG+D Architects. Outside of school, Lauren enjoys running, reading, baking, and watching horror movies.

Lexi Diaz Headshot
Lexi ’23


Lexi is a fifth-year student from just outside of Chicago, Illinois. In her time at Syracuse, she has been involved in a number of SOA clubs at one point and time including NOMAS, Peer Advising, Architecture Ambassadors, and was the former philanthropy chair and founding president of Alpha Rho Chi Skopas Chapter. She currently holds the position of Social Committee Co-Chair for Alpha Rho Chi. Outside of SOA clubs and organizations, Lexi is a former Resident Advisor for Watson Hall and a member of the RA Advisory Board. For global campus, Lexi participated in Visiting Critique studio and the Florence abroad program. In addition to architecture, Lexi is working towards a minor in Environment and Society. Lexi currently works with Dana McQuillan as the Enrollment and Engagement Assistant for the School of Architecture. She has previously interned at Schwarz Lewis Design Group, Aspen Group, and Valerio Dewalt Train in the Chicagoland area. In her free time she loves to paint, walk with her two dogs, Chelsea and Remy, and learn new art forms – most recently pottery.

Maddy Alves Headshot
Maddy ’23


Madeline (Maddy) is a fifth-year student from Alexandria, Virginia. During her time at Syracuse University, she has enjoyed taking part in two abroad programs and starting a master class dance club called The Ballet Club her Junior year. Maddy is minoring in Real Estate and Sociology and is the Peer Advisor Co-Coordinator with Lauren Reichelt. She spent a semester abroad in Florence during the pandemic and explored Ischia and Berlin. She also participated in the NYC studio and internship program with ICRAVE. Over the past summer, she interned at HOK in NYC with the Science + Technology team. In her free time, she loves to dance, run, cook, read, and spend time with family and friends.

Marco Pagliara Headshot
Marco ’23


Marco is a fifth-year student from Oyster Bay, New York. Within the School of Architecture, he is president of the Architecture Student Organization, an Architecture Ambassador, a tutor, and a former Peer Advisor. He is a founding member of Alpha Rho Chi Skopas Chapter, an architecture and allied arts fraternity, where he is a part of the recruitment and design committees. Outside of the school, he is a member and former Commodore of the SU Sailing Team. He actively tries to spend as much time as possible outdoors running, sailing, and rowing. For global campus, he studied a semester abroad in Florence, Italy in Spring 2021, the NYC program in Fall 2021, and a summer in Madrid, Spain after his first-year. In addition to Architecture, Marco is pursuing a minor in Public Communications Studies from the Newhouse School. He has previously interned at Future Expansion Architects in Brooklyn, NY. In his free time, he loves to draw in the field, curate a sketchbook, play piano, and spend time with family and friends.

 Matt Gilligan
Matt ’23


Matt is a fifth-year student from Bedford, New Hampshire. At Syracuse he is a part of the Renee Crown Honors Program and has worked with Professors Sharifi and Kamell on various research teams. Through the School of Architecture’s abroad programs, Matt visited both Florence and London. In previous summers, he has interned for PROCON, a design-build firm, and LBPA, both located in New Hampshire. Matt enjoys drawing, painting, woodworking, kayaking, board games and watching sports with friends. 

 Neha Tummalapalli
Neha ’23


Neha is a fifth-year undergraduate student from Bridgewater, New Jersey. She is involved with a variety of organizations on campus including the fashion and design society, architecture ambassadors, and the Renee Crown Honors Program. She also pursued her diverse academic interests through her minors in policy studies and data analytics. Neha integrated research into her undergraduate experience by receiving two source grants to study the construction of low-income rural housing in Masoro, Rwanda with Prof. Yutaka Sho and explore the quality of care for unaccompanied minor migrants in Texas detention facilities with Prof. Lori Brown. She now works as a student research mentor for the SOURCE office. Additionally, Neha took visiting critic studio and studied abroad in Florence. Over the summers, she interned at MKCA and KSS, which allowed her to gain experience on a wide range of projects. Outside of school, Neha loves to travel, hike, read, and try new recipes.  

 Nick Ladino Headshot
Nick ’23


Nick is a fifth-year student from Warren, New Jersey. Nick has gone “abroad” to both the New York City program, where he interned that summer thanks to the Syracuse Internship Program, and London where he was able to travel and see architecture through all of Europe. On main campus he’s a set designer and clothing designer for the biannual FADS show, he’s a member of the SU Ski Club, and he’s a member of the Syracuse Real Estate Club. Over the summer, he interned at Interior Architects. Outside of school, Nick enjoys working out daily, sweating at his friend’s spin class, and making pasta and pasta sauces from scratch.

Sammi Lee Headshot
Sammi ’23


Sammi is a fifth-year architecture student from Hong Kong. She is involved in NOMAS and FDS within the School of Architecture, as well as organizations on campus including U100, ASIA, and Kappa Phi Lambda. Sammi previously interned in a full-service architecture firm back home, as well as a high end luxury interior design firm. Outside of architecture, Sammi likes making art, reading, and laying outside on a nice day.

 Valeria Otero Lopez Headshot
Valeria ’23


Valeria is a fifth-year student originally from Caracas, Venezuela and now lives in Miami, Florida. She participated in the London and Florence study abroad programs, and took courses from the NYC architecture program as well. Valeria has been a Peer Advisor, Architecture Ambassador, and a tutor for the School of Architecture. She is also a Peer Leader for FYS 101 and works at Slocum Hall’s plotting room. Outside of architecture and academics, she’s been part of Greek Life. On her free time, Valeria enjoys designing furniture, boxing, cooking, and producing House music with friends.

Zhi Zheng Headshot
Zhi ’23


Zhi is a fifth-year student from Guangzhou, China. Zhi has been a Peer Advisor in the 2019 Fall, Architecture Ambassador, tutor for the School of Architecture, and part of the founding members of the architecture and design fraternity on campus, APX. Outside of architecture, Zhi is a fan of 3D art, rendering works, and photography. He is a good badminton player, as well as a professional in piano with Grade 8 Certificate by The Associated Board of the China Royal Schools of Music. He is participated in Visiting Critic studios in Beijing and Florence abroad. He treats architecture not only as a design profession, but also a project management field with association from other specialties. Therefore, he is also learning outside of Slocum as he is working towards a minor in Construction Management. He recently finished internships in Studio Ponsi in Italy, as well as Gensler at the Seattle office and can provide useful information about applying and developing personal skills in a professional environment.