Keren Abina had been the first non-Rutgers student Project L/EARN intern. A native Puerto Rican, Keren had been a Psychology major at the University of Puerto Rico entering her junior year at the time. Her career goals then included attaining her doctorate in either cultural or woman’s psychology.
Keren had enjoyed her collaboration with Dr. Peter Guarnaccia, who specialized in cross-cultural mental health, specifically ataques de nervios. Their shared interest in culture led to Keren’s research project, which had analyzed explanatory models of ataques de nervios and help-seeking behaviors of Puerto Ricans who have suffered from this affliction. What she had gained was hands-on experience in calculating scales and performing factor analysis.
As an intern, Keren spoke of her unique position as the first and only non-Rutgers student in the Project L/EARN class that year: “[I] enjoyed the experience of being a new place and meeting new people, especially my fellow interns.” Keren also added that she liked to write and learn new languages, while being fluent in her native Spanish language as well as Italian, French and English.