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Institute for Health Care Policy and Aging Research
Datrell Ward
Project L/EARN Intern - 2007
Datrell Ward
Smoking history and health risk behaviors: Effects on self-assesment of health in later life
Howard Leventhal, Ph.D.
Board of Governors Professor of Health Psychology
Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychology

Datrell Ward is a rising junior at Livingston College, where he majors in Biology as part of the Honors Program. He is also a James D. Carr scholar, a Bluestein Scholar, and a Ventures Scholar. Hailing from Passaic, NJ, Datrell is a first generation college student.

The most important lesson Datrell learned this summer is time management. Coming from a science background, Datrell quickly learned that Project L/EARN’s required reading assignments were unlike any other course he had ever taken. Therefore, he found it important to adjust to the course workload and content early on in the summer.

Datrell feels that the best part of Project L/EARN was having an opportunity to work on a specific topic for the summer. This summer, he worked with his mentors, Drs. Howard Leventhal and Ellen Idler, on a project examining the effect of smoking and other health risk behaviors on self-assessed health in later life. He feels that the best part about working with his mentors was “getting information about [his] project from people who knew my subject the best. It was a comfort knowing that any questions [he] had about my project could be cleared up just by asking. [He] didn’t have to worry about relying on several resources because I was being guided by experts.”

With a natural tendency to help others, Datrell has always wanted to make change in society by becoming a physician. As a result, Datrell plans to attend medical school after graduating from Rutgers. In his spare time, Datrell enjoys solving puzzles (jigsaw, word puzzles, and number puzzles) and card games.

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