Mentor Biography

My name is Drew Laino. I am a 5th year (Super Senior) double major in Biomedical Sciences and Psychology with a focus on Neuroscience. I graduated from Stanton College Preparatory School in Jacksonville, Florida. My favorite classes so far have been Cross Cultural Psychology and Biochemistry, my favorite lab was Organic Chemistry. Dr. Samsam was a good professor who helped me get into research early on, but my favorite professor is Dr. De Bekker. She had a great Mycology class and lab. She does research with cordyceps zombie ants and does basic research, so she really encouraged interesting conversation about all topics. My involvement in COMPASS stems from my interest in helping new students integrate into UCF; I have learned a great deal since I began university, and if I could aid others in finding their path then that would be ideal for the new students and for myself in learning how to be a mentorship figure. I will say for you newbies, college is a daunting prospect, and it is alright to not know exactly how things will go, but you can prepare, and you can explore new experiences. When I am not in school, I like to: flip tires, garden, rock climb, research, play League of Legends, and enjoy music festivals/concerts. Much of what I do is dedicated to learning so in my free time I really enjoy performing thought experiments and doing research, especially when I can collaborate in clubs or with friends.