University of Pennsylvania, Penn Memory Center, Philadelphia, PA
Over this summer, I interned (remotely) with the team at University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Memory Center. I worked on multiple projects with them, including one looking at racial disparities in the Covid-19 outbreaks across the United States. Our aim was to write a paper on this topic, but unfortunately, we ran into countless obstacles in data collection, namely that there was no standardization in reporting Covid-19 cases and deaths (some counties did not report at all). This created many difficulties and prevented us from moving onto our next steps, so we had to pause this project and transition to the second project of the summer.
I was asked to participate in an abstract review being conducted by one of the master’s students in the center. The review was aimed at measuring gender in Alzheimer’s disease and aging. This sparked an interest and I began to work with my mentor on a paper at the intersection of social/experimental psychology and neurology. The paper, which I am currently in the process of finishing, examines the impact of gender on clinician effectiveness in diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Amidst many weekly Zoom meetings with the team, working on how to become a truly anti-racist lab, I conducted a literature search into areas of clinician effectiveness, gender and truth-telling, and gender and self-reporting.
Going into the summer, I had been accepted to an internship program at a psychology lab in Boston. As most students in my position found, our internships were cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions. Fortunately for me, it all worked out just as well, as I was able to secure a spot as an intern at the Penn Memory Center. This was a great opportunity to expand my skills in data collection and using Excel as well as in writing papers for publication, as I am hoping to conduct clinical research in the future. I definitely know that I do not want to work at home next summer or in the future, and through my relationship with my mentor, I believe I will pursue a doctorate in psychology after my years at Williams.
I want to thank the ’68 Center for Career Exploration and Mr. Carlson ’83 for providing me the opportunity to discover potential career avenues through this internship.