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My name is Teagan Steagall and I am a Mechanical Engineering Major, and I’m in my second year at UCF. In 2023, I graduated from both Gibbs High School and St. Petersburg College in St. Petersburg, Florida. While my true favorite college class I’ve taken wasn’t here at UCF, my favorite class I’ve taken here was Structures and Properties of Materials. I took it with Professor Jiyu Fang in my second semester at UCF, and it’s required in the Mechanical Engineering track. I had a lot more fun in the class than I expected, and it was exciting to learn about things that weren’t directly tied to my major, and it was very informative. Professor Fang, while mainly being a PowerPoint lecturer, always made time for his students, and his tests were pretty good. I joined the GEMS program because I was simply curious about it. I wasn’t expecting to like it a much as I did, and now I’m glad I joined! Being able to be friends with fellow STEM majors has really opened my eyes to what college can be, and I was excited to get to know people! My expectations for myself are to communicate with my mentees, help them as much as possible, be there for them, and be a friendly face here on campus. For my mentees, I hope they come into the program with an interest in learning, not only in the classroom, but in all parts of life.

My advice for incoming EXCEL students is a quote: “There’s always something good about tomorrow.” Even if you have a bad day, there’s something to look forward to the next day, even if it’s just that you’ll be getting a smoothie. It’s a way to keep going and stay motivated, and I’ve found that motivation is a very important thing in college. Outside of class, I like to participate in school clubs like KXR and TEA, listen to music, read, and go to Universal.