Mentor Biography

My name is Kate Dzirko. I am an Aerospace Engineering major and will be starting my sophomore year at UCF this fall. I graduated from Wiregrass Ranch High School (Wesley Chapel, Florida), in 2023. In my first semester at UCF, I took Calculus II with EXCEL, and it has been my favorite class so far. I love math, and greatly benefitted from using the EXCEL Center! I was taught by Professor Lori Dunlop-Pyle, who is my favorite professor at UCF. She made lectures engaging and enjoyable, and gave me a very strong foundation in math for the future. I decided to join EXCEL because I was nervous about starting a university-level math course, and wanted to have extra support in case I struggled. I loved the smaller-sized, uniquely-structured math classes, and loved using the EXCEL center. To me, COMPASS/EXCEL has proven to be an invaluable resource for thriving in STEM courses. Outside of school, I am interested in model rocketry, rock climbing, exercise, and spending time with friends.

My words of advice for all EXCEL, COMPASS, and CECS students are: Do not be afraid to say YES! UCF has so many opportunities to help you grow socially, academically, and professionally, but it is up to you to go explore them and challenge yourself!