NIDA Summer Research Internship Program
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Daniel Joseph

Liberal Arts Major(s): Psychology
Hometown: Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Experience Time: Summer 2021

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to intern at McLean through the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Summer Research Internship Program. I worked on multiple projects, but mainly ones that investigated the intersections of substance use, mental health, and the recovery process. I was also given access to world-class seminars that advanced my knowledge on substance use, both medically and psychologically. My most challenging task, however, was working on data extraction for a literature review on buprenorphine maintenance. Lastly, I learned some more technical skills such as creating REDCAP projects, the system that McLean uses to survey research.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, this experience has helped me to think more critically. I deeply appreciated how Dr. McHugh would always probe our answers. The expectation of being able to backup our answers challenged me to think more deeply before providing an answer. This translates into me providing more well thought out responses, whether it is on a test or in a lab report.

"Although my intentions are still to go to medical school or physician assistant school, I have discovered a love and interest for research." 

How will this experience impact your career goals?

Although my intentions are still to go to medical school or physician assistant school, I have discovered a love and interest for research. After completing my undergrad, I plan to work as a research assistant while going through the graduate school application process.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

I would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Emma Rose, she is my current PI and she took her time to mentor me through the application process. Without her input and guidance over the years, whether it was challenging me through our research project at PSU or helping me with my CV, this internship would not have been possible. I would like to give another thanks to Dr. Jason Whitney who has also given me ample opportunities for professional development that has made me a good candidate. The funds gifted to me through the Career Enrichment Network also allowed me to focus on what was important rather than worrying about finances and work over the summer. I greatly appreciate all those who donated to make my experience possible and smooth.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website. 
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