Ayana K. April is a rising senior at Douglas College, where she majors in Public Health. As a first generation American (born to parents from Guyana, South America), Ayana is also very interested in Japanese culture. She minors in Asian Studies and has studied Japan for two years at Rutgers. One of her goals in life is to travel to Japan and experience its culture firsthand.
Ayana is very involved in the extra-curricular activities at Rutgers. Among other activities, Ayana is on the executive boards for the Annual Women’s Weekend,a Douglass College 2008 Class Officer, and a committee member for the 2007 Leadership Development Day. Also active in Residence Life, Ayana has served as a Peer Academic Leader, Resident Assistant, and will be an Apartment Assistant for the 2007-2008 academic year. Ayana decided to do Project L/EARN because she “could not afford to give up…the opportunity to work with some of the best researchers in the field of health, gain valuable research and statistical skills, and become prepared for graduate school.” She reports having a vague understanding of what research was before Project L/EARN, and is now very interested in applied research that can affect the health and well-being of large populations.
This summer, Ayana worked with Dr. Shawna Hudson on a project examining obesity and prostate cancer screening in primary care practices. She describes Dr. Hudson as “very engaging, supportive, and helpful in explaining the different career options available to [her],” especially in research. Ayana hopes to attain an MPH and a Ph.D. in public health at a graduate school that focuses on international and global health that will allow her to work abroad. This academic year, Ayana plans to complete a Mabel Smith Douglass Senior Honors Thesis on the public health implications of human trafficking.