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Institute for Health Care Policy and Aging Research
Walter Fortson
Project L/EARN Alumnus - 2012
Walter Fortson
Exploring the Association between Positive Affect and Exercise in Women with Anorexia Nervosa
Edward Selby, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Psychology

Walter Fortson is a rising senior at Rutgers University, where he majors in Exercise Science. He applied to Project L/EARN because he had previously completed the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement program and was referred by the program director. He felt that Project L/EARN would offer him the structure and statistics instruction necessary to conduct research. After graduating from Rutgers with his B.A., Walter will complete a one year fellowship with the Truman Scholarship Foundation. He would like to one day work in Washington D.C. with governmental agencies tackling the disparities in health and the criminal justice system. After earning a tenured position at a university he plans to start a program that helps ex-offenders get into Universities such as Rutgers.

Walter found the fast pace course work in statistical methods to be challenging. However, working with the Project L/EARN staff and his mentor helped him get through some of the most difficult parts of the summer. Throughout the past couple weeks he realized he could accomplish difficult tasks quickly due to his efficiency and perseverance. Project L/EARN has helped him become knowledgeable about the research process and its possible public policy implications. He is now even more motivated to complete his doctorate due to this program.

This summer Walter worked with Dr. Edward Selby on a study exploring whether people with anorexia, who exercise excessively, experience positive affect. He is looking to find out if moderate levels of exercise could help in patient’s recovery. Walter considered Dr. Selby an amazing individual who has a way of motivating students without overwhelming them. He wants future Interns to know “This program is exceedingly beneficial if you want to pursue a PhD or a career in research, but you can also learn basic life principles of working hard and being persistent for your desired outcome”.

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