Kristen Brown is a rising senior at Rutgers College where she is pursuing a double major in Biology and Psychology. Kristen decided to participate in Project L/EARN because she wanted to have the opportunity to apply the concepts she learned through her psychology major to a research project. During the academic year Kristen is a leader and active member of the Rutgers University chapter of Impact Movement, a campus Christian fellowship which takes the truth of Jesus Christ to the campus, community and world by producing leaders of African descent who are spiritually focused, financially responsible and morally fit. Growing up in a very religious family was “instrumental in forming [Kristen’s] morals and values” as well as her research interests. Never thinking of religion as being an area of research, Kristen was excited to learn that religious themes could be a part of the academic arena.
As a Project L/EARN 2008 summer intern, Kristen learned to the importance of discipline, diligence and recognized her personal strengths and limitations. Being able to learn about statistics and analyzing data proved to be greatly beneficial especially when applying the knowledge to actual data. When speaking about what she has learned, Kristen states that “Project L/EARN is an invaluable experience. Contrary to normal classes, you are not learning just to remember information for an upcoming exam. You are learning to apply the skills and to your research project. Each day of learning something new was exciting because you would be better equipped to analyze your data.” Working with Dr. Farmer has been very encouraging for Kristen. The energy and time, both on the clock and off, that Dr. Farmer has put into working with Kristen truly shows in the outcome of her project. She appreciates having been paired with a mentor who shared mutual interests in the effects of religion on behavior as well as building a great rapport with her.
Kristen enjoyed getting to know all the other interns over the summer and was thankful for having focused people around her. While still undecided about her career goals, interning with Project L/EARN has sparked her interests in a variety of possible fields to explore before settling on one defined area. Kristen believes that her experience with Project L/EARN was challenging but invaluable.