Hello! I’m Kayla, and I am a sophomore majoring in Industrial Engineering and minoring in Mathematics and Computer Science. I was born in Kansas, spent many years in Illinois, and graduated from P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School in Gainesville, Florida. My favorite classes this year have been Intro to Programming in C (Dr. Szumlanski) and Calculus 2 (Dr. Capursi). Although these classes were a lot of work, the professors made learning the material interesting and were always willing to help. I wanted to become a GEMS mentor because I have had many great mentors in life, and I wanted to pay forward all the help that I got, particularly from my own GEMS mentor. As a mentor, I hope to create a welcoming environment for anyone in the GEMS program, even if they’re not my mentee. The first year of college can be confusing, especially in the midst of a pandemic, so having a familiar face to explain the ins and outs is extremely helpful. One of my biggest tips for incoming freshmen is to go to office hours as early and as often as you can. When I started college, I saw office hours as a place to go as a last-ditch effort. That’s not the case. Going early and often to office hours not only helps you keep ahead, but it also helps to build relationships with professors, which can be useful when asking for letters of recommendation in the future. Outside of school work, I love reading, listening to classic rock, going to Disney, and watching bad movies with friends.