Alexis Riccardo had a spectacular semester break, but it didn't have anything to do with the holiday season. During the first week of January she took part in a week-long, mini-semester program with the Brookhaven National Laboratory. "It was such an amazing program and I was so lucky to be able to participate. It was so compelling and hit on everything I want to do with my education."
Riccardo learned about the opportunity with Brookhaven through her participation with OCC's Collegiate Science and Technology Program, which is more commonly referred to as C-STEP. Brookhaven National Laboratory is supported primarily by the United States Department of Energy. Its credits include 7 Nobel Prize-winning discoveries, 37 research & development awards, and more than 70 years of pioneering research.
The mini-semester program provided Riccardo the opportunity to participate virtually from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. every day. "It was very intensive. We attended lectures with some of the leading scientists there. They gave amazing lectures that I learned so much from. I was able to expand my professional network and connect with other students who have the same level of interest I do."
Riccardo is now focused on her next opportunity with Brookhaven. She's applying for a 10-week summer internship there. "I'm making plans and connecting with researchers I want to work with. I really want to do this!"
Between now and the summer, she'll finish up her final semester at OCC. The Engineering Science major is taking 18 credits while also serving as president of the Student Association. She also wants to make sure fellow students are aware of the great opportunities available in the C-STEP program. "Hopefully we can get more participation and activity beneficial to students. The more students who take advantage, the better."
The Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program is supported and funded by the New York State Department of Education. OCC's C-STEP program is headquartered on the second floor of Coulter Hall in room C222. You can learn more about it by clicking on this link.