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People » Melissa Scharko


My name is Melissa Scharko and I am an Industrial Engineering major. I have spent three and a half years at UCF and will be graduating in May 2016. I graduated from high school at Hammond School, a college prep school in Columbia, South Carolina where I am from. My favorite classes were Operations Research and Production and Distribution Systems because they covered large scale systems over an extended period of time. They focused on problem solving for subjects such as transportation, manufacturing processes, forecasting demand of products and scheduling processes. I also enjoyed the teaching style of Dr Lasrado who teaches both of these classes. I wanted to be a STEM ambassador to excite the next generation about STEM and its applications. This is because I had people when I was younger that got me excited about STEM. I hope to get at least one student excited about STEM and I hope to spread the knowledge about STEM majors that I wish I had when I was younger. If I was to give some advice to anyone who is interested in STEM, I would say it wasn’t easy and that I did doubt my choice in studies a number of times while I was here. But if I could go back I would not change my decision to study Industrial Engineering. If I could change anything I would try to keep more of my creativity. It’s easy to get so focused on your classes in a STEM major, where they teach you that there is only one right answer. This often severely stumps creativity because students focus on getting that one right answer. But in the world there is not always one right answer and creativity will be necessary. I love working on building my creativity, because it is easy to relearn. I usually work on small art or craft projects where I always deviate from the directions, and they are usually themed after a fandom because I am also a huge geek. I also find that cooking helps, especially when you don’t have a couple of ingredients that’s when you need to get really creative.