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Institute for Health Care Policy and Aging Research
Melony Williams
Project L/EARN Intern - 2003
Melony Williams
Religion, Social Norms and Views on Organ Donation by Race
Susan Morgan
School of Communication, Information and Library Science

Melony had been an Economics Major at Rutgers College at Rutgers University. She had been planning to apply to the five-year Master degree in Public Health program at the Bloustein School of Public Health. She states, “Project L/EARN opened my mind to the various options within the field of Public Health.” Ultimately, she would like to influence federal policies that will improve the status of urban communities, and become an advocate for women and minority communities.

Melony contends that the best part of Project L/EARN was that it had offered her intense preparation for her educational and professional goals: “Although the program was intimidating and stressful, I have no regrets. It has changed my life.”

The research study that Melony and her mentor, Dr. Susan Morgan had conducted is in response to the extreme shortage of African-American and Latino organ donors. Based on this study, African-Americans and Latinos are generally more religious and are heavily influenced by social norms. These factors proved to be highly influential upon their decision to donate organs, than their White counterparts. Melony intends to continue this research as part of an independent study course with Dr. Morgan.

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