Yi Tong is a rising senior from Brooklyn New York pursuing a B.A. in Psychology from Queens College New York. Yi’s interest in research began after taking a Research Methods class. She began looking for research opportunities over the summer to gain hands-on research experience. After reading the bio of her mentor Dr. Julie Phillips, Yi chose to apply for Project L/EARN as her research interests intersected with Yi’s volunteer experiences.
Over the course of the summer Yi worked with her mentor Dr. Phillips to study the association between religion and suicide acceptability. As a psychology major Yi appreciated the sociological perspective to her research. She says the best part about working with her mentor was being able to go to her for guidance and having the opportunity to “be in the presence of a wealth of knowledge.”
Yi believes that the best part of Project L/EARN was the connections she made simply by being a part of the program and by being a part of such a diverse cohort. Upon graduation she hopes to pursue a career as a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist after attending graduate school where she hopes to pursue either an MD/PhD in psychiatry or a PhD in clinical psychology. Although Project L/EARN has not changed her future goals she believes it has helped her to narrow her interests.
For Yi, the hardest part of Project L/EARN was balancing the course curriculum with conducting her own research but the most important thing she learned was “Garbage in, Garbage out.” She wants future interns to know that the program works you hard and it expects you to deliver so stay on top of all your assignments. She says, “You will learn so much by the end of the summer, you’d be amazed.”