Lorena Garcia is a rising senior at Rutgers University, where she majors in Applied Kinesiology. After hearing the success story of her peer advisor in her major who also happened to be a Project L/EARN alum, Lorena became interested in the program. She decided to apply and is very glad that she took the chance and was given the opportunity to take part in Project L/EARN this summer.
Prior to the summer, Lorena did not have any research experience and felt very intimidated by the idea that she would be learning something totally new in just ten weeks. However, she says, “in a classroom with just ten students, we were encouraged to participate – I began asking more questions and became more engaged in our courses.” She believes her experience this summer will help her to become a more engaged student during the academic year. In addition to this, Lorena believes that the statistical training and learning how it can be applied to the research process are the most important skills she gained this summer.
Lorena worked on a project exploring whether those covered by Medicaid have higher odds of having their insurance turned down by physicians than those who are privately insured . She worked with the support of her faculty mentor, Dr. Susan Brownlee. She appreciates her mentor’s patience with her, great communication, and insightful feedback. Lorena intends to pursue a career in physical therapy. Her project this summer has also sparked an interest in the effective dissemination and communication of research findings to various communities and populations. Her advice to future interns is to keep up with the coursework, refrain from procrastinating, and never hesitate to ask questions. Lorena in encouragement says to “work at your own pace and do not compare yourself to your peers and if you do ever get stuck, ask your peers because they are not only just members of your cohort, but they also become your best friends.”