My name is Shelly Gaynor and I am a Biology major. This will be my 3rd year at UCF. In 2014 I graduated from Freedom High School which is in Tampa, Florida. At UCF, one of my favorite classes was Human Species. It's a general education course that as a biology major you do not need, but the course outline sounded so interesting I decided to take it my first semester here. Anthropology is just a very exciting topic, and this looked at the evolution of humans. One of my favorite professors was Dr. Fedorka who I had for Biology 2. He was a very captivating lecturer and I enjoyed attending his class. My math classes have also been quite enjoyable with EXCEL. I took three math classes with EXCEL, during my classes it was nice be around the same group of students for all three semesters and have an established study group to help me through Calculus I and II. Joining the EXCEL program has been overall a really amazing decision. This program has amazing graduate TA's that can help you with almost all of your classes. The program also allowed me to connect with other students in the STEM field and I have met really cool friends. With the help of EXCEL GTA's, during my freshmen year I was able to join a Population Genetics lab and I have continued to work at this lab since. This summer I participated in a NSF‐REU at the University of Colorado where I studied Community Phylogenetics. Outside of school and research I really like hanging with my friends, watching movies, netflixing, and hiking.