How Nagaland's Dominica Jamir makes her presence felt in IT sphere in New York

By Aparmita Das | SHILLONG: 

With a curious mind and a constant strive for excellence, Dominica Jamir from Nagaland is breaking the glass ceiling and making her presence felt in the world of VR technology in New York City.

As a child, she discovered that computers, gaming, and related technology, fueled her curiosity. She found them to be mentally stimulating, engaging and easy to grasp.

Before moving to New York for her masters, Dominica was educated at Holy Cross and Don Bosco Hr. Sec. School in Dimapur, Nagaland. She earned a B.E. in Computer Science and Engineering from DSCE, Bangalore.

Speaking to The Northeast Today (TNT), Dominica shared how her interest in VR technology was kindled while working on NYIT’s Manhattan campus as a Graduate Assistant in 2019.

"Upon noticing my enthusiasm and extraordinary capabilities in this new technology, my professor, Kevin Park encouraged me to accept an NYIT project in collaboration with two PhD professors/advisors on campus, to create prototypes for an in-house, VR immersive education enhancement project," said Dominica. This project became the core of her master thesis. 

Dominica's proposal titled "Intellect VR: Learning in VR; the VR experience in the classroom" won her the "Best Practitioner Poster Proposal award" at the iLRN conference in 2020. LRN conference is a premier scholarly global event, that focuses on advances in technologies to support learners and learning. 

"It was humbling to realise my winning submission as a student was among PhD scholars and professionals operating in formal education settings as well as those representing diverse industry sectors," said Dominica. 

According to Dominica, one literally needs to experience a 'topic' through a VR headset at least once. "One can immerse themselves underwater surrounded by ocean life without a snorkel or, experience skiing down a mountain slope without skis or, as a medical student, experience a surgery lesson without cutting into a cadaver." 

Domina considers her journey from India to the USA as life-changing. It helped her expand her career, challenge her abilities to constantly grow and also assimilate into a new American cultural system. 

"To be honest, I was initially surprised by the warm welcome I received from people meeting me for the first time in New York City, the melting pot of global cultures and ideas," added Dominica.

She also went on to say how her professors, co-students and friends unconditionally encouraged and inspired her and helped her appreciate the nurturing culture of New Yorkers.

Dominica graduated with an M.A. in UX/UI Design and Development with the highest distinction and a 4.0 GPA. And in the recently concluded graduation ceremony of the New York Institute of Technology, she was the only Indian who was selected to be an 'outstanding student speaker' to deliver the commencement speech. 

Source: Dominica Jamir (Instagram)

She considers it to be a very humbling experience to represent almost 1.4 billion people while delivering the Commencement speech. She said, "I am gratified to learn Indians, especially those in Northeast India are inspired and take pride in being spotlighted globally".

Her 12-minute sample speech highlighted heartfelt observations of her experiences and journey from Nagaland to New York and NYIT. "Seems the selection committee judges were impressed so I was selected," Dominica said, while adding that the final speech delivered was condensed in the interest of time, but the underlying message was untouched.

When asked about the future of VR technology in India, Dominica said, "VR technology today is in its infancy, but the opportunities become endless once the internet becomes easily available. Once aware of the basic requirements, society could be more open to VR improving daily lives."

Dominica's message to the youths of Northeast India:

"Individuals are unique and have their own paths in life. For those who discover that they have an openness and are curious about emerging technologies, such as VR, it is critical to first have some important qualities to help succeed."

From her share of experience, she reckons that striving for excellence, flexibility, curiosity, passion, persistence, openness to receive guidance, attentiveness, focus, collaboration and most importantly empathy, helped in her successes.

TNT-The Northeast Today is now on WhatsApp. CLICK HERE to receive more updates on your phone