My name is Madison Olson and I am a Biology major. I am currently a junior at UCF. In 2014, I graduated from Sarasota High School which is in Sarasota, Florida. One of my favorite classes at UCF was Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy. I just recently took it and despite its difficulty, it was an experience that I wouldn’t trade. It truly showed me what it would be like in grad school and how much work I have left to do to achieve my dream of being a vet. One of my favorite professors at UCF is Professor Rushworth. I had her for Composition II and loved how she broke down her class. Instead of just throwing a huge research paper at us, she made us work hard on the individual parts, and then at the end of the semester we put them all together. She was one of the first professors that I felt comfortable enough with to ask for help, and helped me to further my writing abilities and actually get accepted into the Knights Write Showcase, which is something I never thought I would be able to do. I really enjoy this program because I like knowing that I can inspire people to follow a STEM major path. I wasn’t always the person who knew what I wanted to do with my life, and always dismissed the idea of STEM believing it was impossible and only geniuses could do it. Over time, I’ve learned that it just takes hard work and that it can actually be a lot of fun, and I think it would be awesome to make other people see it like that. In my free time, I like to hang out with my friends, volunteering (especially with animals), working out, and being outdoors.
Words of advice for STEM students: Put yourself out there. Make friends in all of your classes even if they don’t seem like the typical people you surround yourself with. They will help you more than you could ever imagine.