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Institute for Health Care Policy and Aging Research
Symonne Kennedy
Project L/EARN Alumna - 2012
Symonne Kennedy
The Association between Prenatal Substance Exposure and Adolescent Emotional Competence
Stephanie Curenton
Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy

Symonne Kennedy is a rising senior at Rutgers University, where she majors in psychology and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She hopes to pursue a Psy.D., after completion of her undergraduate education, in order to become a clinical psychologist and eventually establish a private practice. Symonne applied to Project L/EARN, because she was attracted to a program that aimed at increasing the representation of underrepresented populations in health research and wanted to be involved in a program that would better prepare her for graduate school.

Symonne explained that the most important thing that she learned from the program was how to conduct and write about research, while managing a heavy coursework load parallel to the intensity expected during graduate school. She enjoyed working with her faculty mentor, Dr. Stephanie Curenton, because she was able to receive feedback about her work from a developmental psychologist, who already has experience in publication in a field Symonne is interested in.

Though Symonne felt that the hardest part of the program was having to give presentations about her research, she felt that the best thing about Project L/EARN was being able to develop close friendships with her cohort who were also in the midst of intense research projects. She would like future interns to know that “If you are into research, this is the program for you and to not be discouraged when the program gets tough.”

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