It’s All About the Process
“College of Marin has been my home,” said Odaiclet Piccinini, another exceptional COM STEM student. “The people who work there have been my family for the past two and a half years. The services provided at COM have given me the right tools and guidance I need to achieve my academic goals.”
A first-generation immigrant from Venezuela, Piccinini decided to attend COM because she knew she would need to enter the workforce and provide for herself and her family back home. “With a degree, the opportunities to grow as a professional are endless and College of Marin gave me the opportunity to achieve that,” she said.
Presently, she is taking Physics, Programming, and Excel for Engineers in pursuit of becoming a Cognitive Scientist with an emphasis on computation. “It’s very similar to computer science but more targeted toward the understanding of the mind,” she explains, “which then will be applied to the field of technology in the development of Artificially Intelligent Systems.”
Piccinini has endless positive reviews for her professors at COM. She said that she is inspired by Professors Daubenmire and Cucchiara, who have been the pioneers in developing a platform to make internships and scholarship opportunities available to minority STEM students. Professor Jayme Goodale encouraged her to continue taking math classes, despite the language barrier of understanding English at the time.
“She made me see that it was possible for a person like me to do well in math,” Piccinini said. “She is an example of a capable, compassionate, high standards, yet strict teacher who has given me one of the most valuable lessons while going to school: Try your best, take one day at a time, and never give up.”
Piccinini has been accepted to all four universities she applied to for the fall, and has chosen to attend UC Berkeley. This summer, she will be part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates, a two-month paid astronomy internship to research objects in space at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. She discovered this opportunity through physics Professor Cucchiara who suggested that she would be a great candidate and it would provide her an opportunity to enhance her future career.
“Through this internship, I am excited to learn about space and expand my knowledge in astronomy, but most importantly, I am looking forward to the research process itself,” Piccinini said. “I am most interested in the data science aspect of it, the collection, the analysis, and the decisions made after the findings.”
Her ultimate career goal is to create an organization to teach Artificial Intelligence concepts and projects to female and underrepresented communities to help diversify the STEM field.
From one minority STEM student to all future generations, Piccinini hopes to do research or apply artificial intelligence “for the betterment of our society.”