A lot of “firsts” for Darleen Franklin in the PINC program

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Darleen Franklin with on the left: Kimberly Tsui (PINC student) and Patti Robb (Intel), and on the right: Belle Wei (Professor at San Jose State University) and Jordan Abraa (PINC mentor) at the WiE conference at San Jose State, March 25th, 2017.

I woke at 4am this morning thinking about the PINC program and what a difference it has made in my life.  

When I first heard about SFSU’s PINC program I never thought for a millisecond that I could be one of those students, least of all one of the first student to venture into the world of coding and applying it to my field of science of microbiology in the Department of Biology at SFSU.  The world of coding was foreign to me and I couldn’t see the connection between microbiology science and this technology.  As the first in my family to attain a college education and being the only female in my family, I have had to work very hard to achieve this education. Reading the words on the PINC flyer “designed to lower the barriers that biology students experience in learning computer science skills… ” and “NO prior computer science background needed! ” I decided to give it a try.

My first course was “CSc306 Intro to Java Programming” with a taste of App Inventor which I took in the Fall of 2016.  Before PINC I avoided even using a QR scan code but after learning  and using App Inventor I was immediately impressed with the PINC program!  I scanned my first QR code because of PINC in Fall 2016! The coursework and instruction challenged me to think outside the box.  

What stood out for me was the good this technology brings to humankind, as demonstrated in the App Inventor tutorial where we learned about the birth of the “No Texting  While Driving App” created by students learning coding just like me.  I thought what good could I do to help humankind using this technology.  At Christmas of 2016, while sharing what I had learned in CSc306 with my young adult step son came the idea of making an app to monitor drunkenness at the bar. Today that idea is now my team’s project for the final presentation in my journey through this program. 

Making a difference in my community as a female scientist

As a young female minority scientist, PINC gave me an unforgettable opportunity to meet some amazing women in science and engineering when I attended the Silicon Valley Women in Engineering Conference at San Jose State University in March 2017.  This was the first time I had been in room with hundreds of  women of all colors.  It was empowering!!  

This semester I learned about web page development and this was the first time I didn’t shy away from clicking on the View Page Source icon.  Seeing the html and Javascript code for that webpage was simply amazing to me.  It didn’t look foreign anymore!

Now when I read the microbiology scientific articles and I see the supplemental pages with coding for the additional data I do not shy away from it.  I feel more confident about my skills as a microbiologist to be able to access that data and learn more about the field of microbiology.

Today I am humbled by what PINC has taught me and can envision the bountiful opportunities that await the future PINC students at SFSU.  

I am making a difference in my community as a female scientist!  

Darleen Franklin

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