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Institute for Health Care Policy and Aging Research
Darren Ross
Project L/EARN Intern - 2007
Darren Ross
Smoking and perceived age
Howard Leventhal, Ph.D.
Board of Governors Professor of Health Psychology
Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychology

Darren Ross is a junior at Rutgers College, where he majors in Psychology. Darren came to Rutgers hoping to study business, but decided to change majors after taking a general psychology class during his freshman year. He participated in track and field in high school, and enjoys listening to music, reading, and watching movies in his spare time.

Darren decided to participate in Project L/EARN because he viewed it as a learning experience and “a great opportunity for [him] to do interesting and meaningful work.” Darren reports not knowing much about research before the program, he has always felt that people are intuitive psychologists in their everyday life and compile their own personal knowledge about human behavior from their experience. He says that Project L/EARN has given his a newfound respect for research.

Although Darren notes that the hardest part of the program was adapting to the work and learning a lot of information in a short period of time, he says he learned “to stay motivated and passionate,” noting that the program has increased his confidence to achieve even greater goals. After graduating from Rutgers, Darren hopes to attend law school.

Darren worked with his mentors, Drs. Ellen Idler and Howard Leventhal, on a project examining the effect of smoking history on perceived age among the elderly. Aside from admiring their “list of accomplishments and contributions to their respective fields,” Darren appreciated their encouragement, support, and patience in helping him develop his project. In addition, he appreciates the dedication of the faculty/staff, mentors, and other Institute-affiliated people in helping Project L/EARN interns succeed in the program and beyond.

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