Janisha Rodriguez is a rising junior from Caguas, Puerto Rico majoring in Public Health and minoring in Psychology and Philosophy at Rutgers University. After discovering her passion for Public Health during her second year at Rutgers she became interested in finding a challenging summer opportunity within the field. Janisha chose to apply for Project L/EARN because she believed the experience would make her a competitive candidate in her future endeavors and that this opportunity would allow her to expand her professional network by exposing her to many influential people within the field of social science.
During the summer Janisha worked with her mentor, Dr. Teresa Leyro to study the mediating effect of Anxiety Sensitivity on the relationship between emotional distress and e-cigarettes. Janisha believes the best thing about working with her mentor, Dr. Leyro, was the way in which she challenged her to “think deeper, harder and from different perspectives.” Upon graduation, she wishes to pursue her J.D. with a focus on health law/ health care policy. She hopes to one-day return to Puerto Rico where she can help to improve the health care delivery system. She is grateful for Project L/EARN reinforcing her passion of pursuing a career in the legal aspects of Public Health
For Janisha the hardest part of Project L/EARN was learning new organizational and time management techniques. However, she believes the best thing about the experience was the autonomy given in conducting her research. She says, “I’ve learned how to take things head on and not second guess my own knowledge. It’s a test of knowledge as well as an exercise in confidence.” Along with increased self-confidence Janisha also believes that the most important thing that she has learned was how to effectively communicate in an academic/professional setting. She wants future interns to know that staying organized from day one is key and that regardless of the workload they should never forget to take care of themselves physically and mentally.