PAL stands for Peer Academic Leader. We are College of Natural Sciences Learning Community residents with a love and passion for the sciences and want to share that with you through fun events. We are here to strengthen the community on the floors and in the CNSLC, with a focus on the academic side.  We are here for academic support, whether that be setting up study groups for residents or offering moral support and helpful tips. Most of us have taken the base level courses for each of our majors so there is bound to be someone that can help you. We are also here if you want to just talk or hang out. So come find us!


Kylie Contreras   (They, Them, Theirs)

Lead Science Outreach Scholars PAL

Hello! I am Kylie, a 4th-year student majoring in Biological Sciences, from Texas. I use he/him/his pronouns and am genderfluid. When I was a first-year student, I took a chance and joined the K-12 Outreach and Social Justice program. This program changed my outlook on college and gave me the support, resources, and friends to continue here at CSU. Getting to continue working with this program, now called Science Outreach Scholars, and its students is my favorite part of the PAL job. I also love getting lost on drives (but not when driving for RamRide), saying “hi” to as many animals as possible, and walking around exploring CSU and Fort Collins.


Erik Makic   (He, Him, His)

Sustainability and Events PAL

Hi my name is Erik and I am a third year biology major with a minor in global environmental sustainability. I spent the Fall of 2019 in southern Patagonia through the SFS Chile program where I studied climate change, ecology, and social dimensions of conservation,and would be glad to talk to anyone about potential study abroad experiences! I love spending time outside and taking pictures of the beautiful world that surrounds us. My primary interests are climate change, sustainable livelihoods, and trees. I am more than happy to talk with anyone about plants or sustainability. I also love spending time at US National Parks.


Yaquelin Avitia   (She, Her, Hers)

Science Outreach Scholars PAL

Hello! I am currently a 3rd-year student at CSU majoring in psychology with a concentration in clinical counseling. After changing my major what seems like an infinite amount of times, I finally decided on psychology because I realized that it combines my love for science with my love towards bonding with others and helping them grow. I am really passionate about social justice, education, and health. A fun fact about me, which is actually not fun at all, is that I am one of the most uncoordinated individuals you will ever meet. If we ever play a game of foosball, you’ll beat me 5-0, and that’s only because I will have scored four of those goals on myself. That’s why I love running so much, it’s one of the only movements my body actually knows how to do.

I would love to talk about these topics (and much more) with anyone, so please feel free to email me or come visit me in Piñon 125 during my office hours! I look forward to meeting you all!


Baylee Brems   (She, Her, Hers)

PACe Math / Undergrad Women in Natural Sciences PAL

Hi! I’m Baylee and I’m a second-year Statistics and Mathematics major. I have tutored PACe math courses and lived on the undergraduate Women in Natural Sciences floor ever since I started at CSU! Being a part of the learning community has totally enriched my college experience by introducing me to new friends, helping me find people to study with, and providing a level of support that goes beyond academics. I have loved being a part of the network that this learning community creates. When I’m not doing math homework I love to journal, bake, binge-watch Disney movies, and get coffee with friends in my free time!


Johnny Munoz  (He, Him, His)

Events PAL

My name is Johnny, and I am a second year student majoring in Health and Exercise Science; in pursuit of a medical degree. I was originally a Business major, who switched to a Microbiology major, then to a Biochemistry and finally settled on Health and Exercise Science. I am a Hispanic and First Generation student from Denver Colorado. I have overcome many struggles and thus wear both of the above titles with a lot of pride. I love being from Denver, and love the city from the good to the bad. I also enjoy anything that involves being acitve, movies of all genres, and food!!!


Cameron Walsh   (He, Him, His)

Events PAL

Cameron is a second-year Biology major. He’s an animal lover and always open to any music recommendations, boxing, playing guitar, and practicing mindfulness and meditation whenever he can! Also, he’s a total sucker for TV shows and will rave about them with anyone. Feel free to poke him anytime you need!


Ian Taylor   (He, Him, His)

Diversity Through Technology PAL

Greetings, I am a second-year student majoring in Computer Science. I practically grew up on the internet and spent most of my waking moments tinkering with technology. This is a huge contrast from the farm I lived on and the town I lived in! Most of my time outside of work and class is spent sleeping. In addition to sleeping, I enjoy reading, specifically, philosophy and nonfiction work. I also enjoy videogames and entomology, so feel free to chat with me about these topics! If you see me anywhere be sure to say hello!


These are our lead Colorado Natural Science Learning Community Staff.


Alexandra Keller   (SHE, HER, HERS)

Learning Community Director

I didn’t have a linear path to this career. I started with a major in international affairs as an undergraduate at Northern Arizona University. After having a perspective-shifting experience in Kenya, I decided I wanted to have a more tangible way to make a difference- through the lens of science and medicine. When I returned to the US, I started working in a cancer genetics lab as an undergrad and quickly learned that the health inequities I witnessed in Kenya also exist in the US. While completing I master’s in molecular biology, I found a passion for teaching science as a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow in K-12 Education. Working on the Navajo and Hopi reservations teaching middle school, my awareness of inequities grew beyond access to healthcare and I became passionate about access to education, and to revamping how our educational systems are structured. I started working in higher education while living in Hidalgo, Mexico, where I was a Fulbright Scholar at the Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Hidalgo. In April 2015, I started in my role with the College of Natural Sciences where I am grateful to be able to continue learning about myself and other perspectives every day.



Lindsey Young   (SHE, HER, HERS)

Learning Community Programs Coordinator

Lindsey graduated from Colorado State University with a double major in Biology and Psychology. She has been working with the College of Natural Sciences Learning Community for five years, and has an uncanny ability to help people feel purposeful and valued, identifying and leveraging peoples’ strengths and creating experiences where they can shine. If you don’t find her whispering to the gaggle of plants in her office or chatting about science with a collection of students, she might be out in nature, most likely with people who have never been to the mountains before. She is passionate about learning and growing, and can brighten any room she enters with her authenticity and openness. 


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