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Jordan Merkel

My name is Jordan Merkel, and I am currently a second-year Computer Engineering major at UCF. I am from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and I went to The Ellis School for high school. My favorite class I’ve taken is Linear Circuits I, the class is so fundamental for my major and I found it incredibly cool and interesting. Getting to learn basic circuit theory in that class helped me a lot in my personal projects when having to efficiently design circuits. My favorite professor that I have taken for a class at UCF is Sonali Das. I took her for Digital Systems and am currently taking her for Linear Circuits II. She is one of the most caring professors I have had and has always been accommodating and kind towards all her students. Her teaching style is straightforward, easy to understand, and she makes sure that we know we can use her as a resource anytime. I decided to get involved in the WiSTEM program because I remember how scared I was to get involved in the College of Engineering and Computer Science as a first-semester freshman. I also know how hard it is to be in male-dominated classes, and I have always wanted to try and find a way to group the women in our field and be a support system for each other. When I found out about this program, I thought it was such a great way to do that. Some tips I have for an incoming first-semester freshman is to put yourself out there in every way you can, whether that be clubs, sporting events, student government events, homecoming, networking events, etc. Everything on campus is meant for you to take advantage of and use for your benefit, so get involved, it will be worth it. I also want to stress that going to office hours and meeting with professors is very important, as they are meant to be there to help you out and it is always so much better to go to them than struggle and figure it out yourself. Lastly, remember to get enough sleep and take care of yourself above everything else so you do not burn out and can enjoy your college experience. When I am not on campus, I love to go try different coffee shops, play video games, and ride horses.