Vivian entered her senior year at Auburn University as a Human Development and Family Studies major. Her mentor, Dr. Andrew Peterson, is a faculty member at the Rutgers University School of Social Work. Vivian analyzed data collected by Dr. Petersonís research center to study the effects of empowerment, disclosure and citizen participation on the health status of HIV-positive individuals. She found the research team at the center to be welcoming and supportive.
Vivian had been a returning student who was herself a role model for the other interns. She brought perspective to the discussions and set the standard for intensity through her consistent desire to gain as much as possible from each lecture and workshop. At the time, she hoped to attain her Ph.D. and pursue research regarding how hormonal differences affect sexual behavior among adolescents.
Vivian was born and raised in New Brunswick, NJ, but currently resides in Alabama. She viewed Project L/EARN as the perfect opportunity to not only pursue her research goals, but also to spend quality time with her grandchildren. She also created a bond with many of her fellow interns, and plans to keep in touch with them after she returns to Alabama.