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Hello! My name is Melania Carrigan and I am a Civil Engineer major and Business Administration minor. This will be my second year at UCF. I like to go to the beach, hang out with friends, and playing pickleball. In 2023, I graduated from Creekside High School, which is in Saint Johns, Florida. One of my favorite classes I’ve taken so far at UCF is the Intro to Engineering Lab course. I enjoy this class because you get to do hands-on learning and can work with peers on projects. One of my favorite professors at UCF is Professor Emily LaPadura. She was my ENC 1102 professor for fall 2023 and made this course feel like a breeze. She created connections with each of her students and did her best to individually help each student. This is a quality that you find in most professors, which is why she is one of my favorites.

I enjoy being a part of the GEMS program because it allows me to connect with other girls with similar interests as me. Being a part of a male-dominated major, it can be hard to find females with similar studies and interests. But through GEMS, I instantly made connections with girls who also found it hard to make female friends within the major. Something that I also enjoy about GEMS is that it generally your mentor group will have similar classes, so you already know a familiar face in your lecture, which is always nice.