We are a student led group of peers passionate about the well-being and mental/emotional health of our fellow classmates. As majors in aviation and aviation related fields, we face stressors and requirements that other endeavors do not.
Our goal is to destigmatize reaching out for assistance and to make that process easy as possible. Any issue that diminishes quality of life, social, financial, interpersonal or emotional, can interfere in progress or performance in this industry.
As peers, we in addition to being active listeners, can connect you to campus resources available to you. Every effort will be made to answer any questions you might have.
Anything that we can do to reduce ambivalence and diminish barriers regarding fear of seeking help will be done. It is important to know that peer support programs are quickly becoming standard in the aviation industry and are in fact a requirement for airlines in Europe.
We too have struggled with multiple stressors, the turmoil of life as a college student or mental/emotional health issues. All these issues are (or can be) amplified because of the extra requirements and pressures in our common journey as aviation students. We are here to support you and be a kind listener. Conversations with peer supporters are not recorded or reportable to the FAA.
Reach out to us today anonymously!
Mark Volk Porter
Chair of UpLift
Mark Volk Porter is a student majoring in Commercial Aviation with a specialization in Business Aviation and Aviation Safety . Originally from Evanston, IL, Mark enjoys cooking, traveling and hanging out with friends. He serves as a CFI peer supporter and the Chair of the UpLift program.
Vice Chair of UpLift
Carson Calhoun is from Garrison/White Shield, North Dakota. He comes from a family of five, including two older sisters, and is the only pilot in his family. He enjoys being involved on campus and is a passionate advocate for mental health. Outside of school, Carson loves to exercise at the wellness center and go to hockey games with friends!
Marketing Chair of UpLift
Quin McCarroll is a student at UND with major in Commercial Aviation. He is from Colorado and loves spending time outdoors and exploring new places. Quin loves enjoying UND hockey with his friends!
Secretary of UpLift
Julianne Lore is double majoring in Commercial Aviation and Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Julianne was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In her free time, she enjoys baking, hanging out with friends, swimming, and traveling!
Matthew Kuehlwein works as a part-time Line Service Technician for UND Aerospace and became an UpLift Peer Supporter to help address the growing mental health concerns in the industry. He is majoring in Commercial Aviation and Aviation Safety & Operations.
Aiden Potter is majoring in commercial aviation. In his free time you can find him enjoying the outdoors and playing golf! He also enjoys social events with friends and family.
Riley Madsen is from Mankato, MN. He played hockey throughout high school but is now following his career goals at UND. He enjoyes being outdoors and talking to friends about anything that is going on.
Lucas Sutcliffe is a student in Commercial Aviation. He's involved in many clubs on campus, such as ALPA ACE, NGPA, and SAMA. Originally from Wisconsin he enjoys being out on the chain of lakes and sailing. Seeing that the discussion of mental health in the aviation industry is so taboo, Lucas hopes this program garners enough success to capture the attention of other universities to implement their own peer support programs.
Zachary Ruth is Commercial Aviation Student. He is an Army Veteran and served as an Infantryman. He is changing careers where he was formally a Executive Chef in Kansas City, MO.
Sam Smith is an Aviation and Spanish student. He is from Woodbury Minnesota. Sam enjoys skiing and mountain biking in his free time.
Ryan is a UND graduate who majored in Commercial Aviation and Aviation Safety and Operations with a specialization in Business Aviation. Ryan currently works as a CFII for the University of North Dakota. Additionally, Ryan also works as a part-time Supervisor of Flight. Outside work, Ryan enjoys flying for fun with the UND aerobatic team and maintaining his status as an Uplift Peer.
Kala Richardson is a dual Commercial Aviation - Helicopter and Aviation Safety and Operations major at UND. Originally from Wilmington, DE, she is passionate about aviation, safety, and mental health. During her free time she enjoy painting and spending time with my friends.
Kal is a student currently majoring in Commercial Aviation, Aviation Safety and Operations, and Communications. Coming from the Hawaiian Island of Kaua'i, He was raised in a tight-knit community where all came together to benefit each other. He hopes to bring such attributes to his role as an UpLift supporter by creating an environment where we can be open to dealing with our struggles in mental health.
Katie Laasch-Gray is a Low Altitude Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations major. She is from Wasilla, AK where her love for all things aviation and bush-flying started. Outside of working as a barista, her hobbies include metalsmithing, glass painting, and cooking. Her goal is to end up in Seattle, WA working with the Department of Natural Resources.
Lydia Schengrund is majoring in Commercial Aviation and Unmanned Aircraft Systems with a minor in Atmospheric Sciences. She is from the Jersey Shore and is passionate about fitness, nutrition, and the arts. The stigma surrounding mental health was prominent during her childhood; now seeing it in the aviation industry, she hopes that programs like UpLift will break down the barriers around it.
Ian Solorzano is a student majoring in Commercial Aviation and Aviation Safety and Operations. Born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Ian enjoys collecting Legos, playing hockey in the winter months and hanging out with friends!
Matthew Thiem is a full time CFII here who has been employed since January of 2023. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin he enjoys cheering on the Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Bucks. On his free time you can find him skiing on a mountain, relaxing on a lake or attempting to break records at the local golf courses.
Zoe Thompson is a student double majoring in Psychology and Commercial Aviation. She is from Seattle, WA and her favorite thing to fly is any kind of seaplane.
Catherine Kalstad is a student at UND majoring in Air Traffic Management with a Safety Specialization and minoring in Fine Arts. She is involved in many clubs at UND, including being a SATCA officer. She enjoys all things outdoors, making and selling jewelry, and is very passionate about mental health in the aviation industry.