A HackHER with an Expansive Future
“I was really shy in high school, but have grown a lot as a person here at CCM.” Andrea Doucette is on a mission to earn her associate and bachelor’s degrees in computer science so she can help close some gaps. While females still remain underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), she is studying computer science – not just to close that gap – but to also assist with addressing the digital divide.
Her hope is that she can help society tackle the inequalities between people who have access to and understand information technology and those who don’t, along with the other threats associated with today’s digital age.
“Technology is just growing and growing. It’s already outsmarting the human brain,” says Doucette. “That makes it especially important that people are aware of how to use technology and how it operates. We have to close the gap. The upcoming generation also needs to have the right mindset about doing things right.”
As a computer science major at County College of Morris (CCM), Doucette has been able to develop some significant skills and experience – both in and out of the classroom. She took part in a HackHERS competition at Rutgers, where she and a team of students from Rutgers, Seton Hall and Penn State captured an award for the best use of Capitol One's application program interface to build an investment platform. She founded the Computer Science Club at CCM to provide those with an interest in coding with an opportunity to meet and work together. She has competed with the college’s Cyber Centurions team in cyber defense competitions. And as a member of the college’s Cyber Security Club, she helped put together a video on how people, businesses and governments can help to protect themselves against cyber-attacks. That video can be found at www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG0gUPTbNkg.
“I was really shy in high school, but have grown a lot as a person here at CCM,” says Doucette. “Coming here allowed me to find myself. The leadership opportunities I have been offered here have been really amazing.” With the college’s designation as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education, Doucette notes that earning a CCM associate degree also comes with some significant prestige.
Her goal, after graduating from CCM, is to attend a university in either Hawaii or California so she can earn her bachelor’s degree and discover more about life in the U.S. She’s not quite sure yet what career path she wants to follow, but is grateful for the range of pathways that exists. “There are so many different areas you can get into with a computer science degree,” she says. “The opportunities are endless right now.”