Alexis will return to the University of Pennsylvania this fall as a senior double majoring in Communications and Political Science. In graduate school, she plans to pursue a cross-disciplinary approach that incorporates public health and policy, law, communication, and in-depth research to design and implement public policies to benefit those with mental illness.
Project L/EARN was not her first research experience. As a freshman, Alexis was a research assistant for a longitudinal study contrasting the efficacy of medication and psychotherapy treatments for depression. During her junior year, she coded print and broadcast data and conducted qualitative analysis for a study on the determinism of language on genetics and cancer. While these opportunities gave her an entrée to the research world, Alexis feels that Project L/EARN has provided the academic tools and experiences required to pursue her research and academic career goals.
Alexis reports that the academic component of the program was substantial and multi-faceted, including several varying avenues of instruction and education: intense classroom & hands-on exposure to research methods and various statistical analytic tests, the opportunity to attend a national health research conference, and access to several knowledgeable and supportive staff and instructors. Her favorite aspect of the program was “the gift of working with my amazing mentor, Scott Bilder. He was a constant resource of insight, instruction, and support.”
Alexis is also appreciative of the friendships formed through Project L/EARN; many L/EARN alumni continue to support each other long after their summer experience is over. It looks like this year will be no exception - “We supported each other both in and out of the program. While I doled out baked goods and a listening ear, my new friends taught me how to salsa, to craft, to relax, and about the mutual relationship of being supported while supporting others.”