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Hello! My name is Paola Munkel, I am a second-year Biomedical Sciences major minoring in Medical Sociology. In 2022, I graduated from Jose Marti Mast 6-12 Academy in Hialeah, Florida. One of my favorite classes at UCF is Biology with Professor Thomas. She is a truly knowledgeable professor and gave me a solid foundation for me to build on with my other STEM courses. My favorite professor at UCF is Professor Dunlop-Pyle, I had her for Math for Calculus and although it is a 5-credit hour class and very demanding, her mode of instruction and curriculum is extremely rewarding throughout the semester. I enjoyed Professor Pyles class so much. I wish she would teach the rest of my math sequence! I decided to get involved with GEMS because I believe that surrounding yourself with good influences brings out the best in you, so my expectations for myself and my mentees are to be as supportive as possible and let them know they are not alone. When I do have some free time, I love crocheting, watching tv, and spending quality time with the people I love.

Some words of advice for the incoming GEMS students: Don’t push yourself too hard, it’s important to maintain a healthy balance in college! So, study with friends, explore Orlando, and dedicate time for self-care.