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My name is Lacy Hayes, and I am a sophomore majoring in Computer Science. I graduated in 2020 from Gulf Breeze High School in Gulf Breeze, Florida. A fun fact about me is that I graduated high school in three years by taking additional courses through the Florida Virtual School. One of my favorite classes at UCF was Introduction to Programming with C. This class was my first programming course I have ever taken and had challenging, yet fun, assignments where I was able to learn how to code. Although it was an asynchronous course, I was able to get help during office hours and meet friends to study with through the class Discord server. My favorite professor is Sarah Angell, with who I took Computer Logic and Organization. The structure of her course was designed to help students succeed and she always gave us plenty of resources and help. Additionally, Professor Angell made sure to adjust her pacing of the class whenever students were struggling with the material. Her care for the success of students and detail in her notes makes her my favorite professor at UCF. I decided to get involved with the GEMS program to fellowship with other women in STEM and learn about resources I had available to me. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, I was worried about meeting friends and finding others to study with. Fortunately, the GEMS program allowed me to meet other women with similar majors and coursework. Through these friendships, I have formed study groups and great friends that know what being a STEM major is like! As a mentor, I hope to be a welcoming and supportive presence to help you navigate through your first year. I expect you to feel free to come to me with any questions and concerns you have during your time as a freshman. I am always happy to help and will keep you informed on important dates and opportunities. When I’m not studying or in a class, I enjoy playing piano, volunteering, and trying new places to eat. I love trying all the local brunch places with friends and am always up for coffee! I’m excited to be a mentor and look forward to meeting my mentees soon. Go Knights!


Word of advice for the GEMS freshman students: Never sell yourself short! It can be intimidating when you are surrounded by other students who seem to get 100s without even trying, but you are in this spot for a reason and you will make it through!