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HEY! My name is AnnaMarie Knowles! I am a senior at UCF pursuing a degree in Chemistry with a focus on Biochemistry, along with a minor in Health Sciences. Biochemistry has been my favorite class so far. The material itself was exciting to me, even though it was quite challenging. This course solidified my decision to pursue a career in the field of Biochemistry. Another class that I thoroughly enjoyed was Immunology. As my first upper-level biology class at UCF, it really emphasized the importance of paying attention to details. Taking it as a freshman taught me valuable lessons about studying ahead and managing my time effectively. So, not only did I find the subject interesting, but it also provided me with important life lessons. Dr. Gerasimova is my favorite professor. I have been lucky enough to have her for both semesters of my biochemistry requirement, and I am also an undergraduate in her lab. Dr. G is not only passionate about her field, but she’s also always willing to help out whenever you have questions. Additionally, she’s extremely kind and truly cares about each and every student she comes across.

Transitioning from a small town to a big university like UCF was something I knew would be difficult. I decided to join the EXCEL program in hopes it would make the adjustment a bit smoother by providing a smaller section within this vast campus. My goal was to connect with students who shared similar academic interests, and to build relationships with supportive staff members who could offer one-on-one help. The program surpassed my expectations in both regards. Most of my friends were made during my math sequence, and the advising services proved to be incredibly beneficial.

Outside of school, I am a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, which is a sorority here on campus. I am currently serving as Vice President of Leadership & Academic Development on the Panhellenic Council. In my free time I love to read books and relax with my cat. I also love to spend time with my friends doing literally anything and everything.

Taking things one day at a time is the best advice I can offer anyone. College can be tough, especially in STEM fields. Do not panic about the little things, but also don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it. There are people who want to support you.