Mentor Biography

My name is James McNeil and I am an Industrial Engineering Major. I am currently in my senior year at UCF. I graduated from Ocoee High School here in Florida back in 2019. Of the classes I have taken, I’ve enjoyed Systems Simulation (ESI 4523). We got to use new software to simulate systems representing real life situations. My final project for the class was to find a better method of administering COVID tests to incoming freshman, meaning I had to model the location, workers, arrival rates, service rates, and many more aspects of the process, leaving me with a 3D and animated model I could run experiments on. My favorite professor has been Qipeng Zheng. I have taken two of his classes and while the material was tough, he was understanding. He does his best to make sure there are no struggles outside of the material being taught. He took student feedback and made compromises or even large changes, when he truly felt it was necessary. If the class did poorly on a test, he would find out why and do his best to make a change the next time. I decided to get involved with COMPASS because I think happiness plays an important role in education and day to day life. Being able to take time and explore what is interesting is not a chance many people have and in doing so can lead into a fulfilling career that is enjoyable. My overall hope for the program is that every student is able to find something they can be happy with and prosper in, and I hope that I can be of help in the process. Outside of school I enjoy golfing, lacrosse, and playing games. It is not completely about the activity, but I get to spend time with my friends. Although when I golf with friends I do prefer to win.

My words of wisdom: Grades can be important, internships are important, and making sure you are happy doing what you are doing is the most important.