Skip to main content


Hello! My name is Avril Elmer and I am an Aerospace Engineering major. This will be my second year at UCF. In 2023, I graduated from Crooms Academy of Information Technology, a high school located in Sanford, Florida. My favorite class so far has been the Intro to Engineering class, EGS 1006C. During this class, students get into groups of 4 or 5 and are taught basic coding in Arduino to control the path of provided robots. The goal is to create in 3D and build a launcher device that will throw a small rubber duck when the robot reaches the end of its path. I found it a very fun, collaborative, and hands-on experience. My my favorite professor so far has been Dr. Zhongzhou Chen whom I had for Physics 1 with Calc, PHY 2048C. He has a very kind and almost comedic air about him when he’s teaching. Chen is very understanding and attentive to his students. If there was ever a question on a test that I was confused on why I had gotten wrong, he would be able to tell me so I could know for the final how to properly do that problem.

I decided to get involved with GEMS for multiple reasons. I was an ambassador at my high school for three school years, so I have experience in leading a group. A general expectation I have for this program is I hope that my mentees are communicative as I will try my best to get back to mentees as soon as possible if they need me for anything. A couple of hobbies I have outside of school are art and ice skating.

Word of advice for the GEMS freshman students: Learn the layout of campus and learn the abbreviations for certain buildings! UCF has a large campus and not all buildings are shown on Google Maps. If you’re walking around campus, this can make getting to classes on your first of classes frustrating. Knowing where certain buildings are makes it easier gage how much time you need to get there so you can make it to your classes on time!