Our Story: STEM scholar has big plans for summer and beyond

May 1, 2017

 SamlalTALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 1, 2017) — Nicholas Samlal is one of many “homegrown” students who are finding success at Tallahassee Community College.

Samlal is an alum of Wakulla High School and the recipient of a TCC STEM Star scholarship. STEM Star Scholars pursue a research and development project with the support of the TCC STEM Center, which focuses on giving students opportunities to excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Samlal will spend his summer in an internship with the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory’s Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy Facility in Gainesville. After that, he hopes to study computer engineering at the University of Florida.

While at TCC, Samlal has been very involved with robotics and other activities in the TCC STEM Center. He even served as a facilitator at the STEM Center, helping other students research scholarships and internships and helping them tackle some of their challenging science and mathematics coursework.

Samlal said he has been interested in technology since he was a young child, when he wanted to build a robot to do the housework so his mom would not have to.

“It’s always been interesting to me—how to bring technology into the world that could help people.”

Samlal got the idea for his research project one night when he fell asleep with his wireless earphones on. That led him to the concept for an accessory that wraps around the ear to secure the earphones and includes tracking software to help the user find the earphones if they fall out.

Samlal’s experience with that project and his connection with the STEM Center bolstered his resume and helped him get his summer internship. He said the STEM Center is an important addition to TCC’s offerings.

“There’s a lot of STEM involvement in a lot of industries nowadays. It’s good for people to know that, ‘Hey, this is how you can program, this is how you can get into these other technological developments.’ The STEM Center not only helps you realize those potentials, but can also help lead your way into careers.”

Nicolas Samlal’s sister Kavita will also graduate from TCC on May 6. She is a dual-enrolled student at Wakulla High School and will receive both her high school diploma and her Associate in Arts degree this spring. She plans to attend Florida State University to major in English literature. Both Nic and Kavita are graduating as members of the Dean's List.