Antonette Davids '20 interned at the Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CCTR) during the 2019 spring term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.
During Spring 2019, I interned at the Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CCTR). CCTR is an institution affiliated with other medical related organizations to promote clinical and translational research that has an impact on underserved populations. I worked specifically with the Stress/Sleep Studies Program. Working in the lab, I was able to attend lab meetings that went over the progress of the various studies being conducted and the ways in which the data can be applied to clinical practice. I shadowed program coordinators providing informed consent, the Structured Clinical Interview for the DSM V (SCID-V) and Clinical Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) to participants. With a team, I conducted neighborhood assessments that provided information on safety, the accessibility to public transportation and neighborhood upkeep that the government provides. Using actigraphy, I rated the sleep quality of participants and compiled information gathered through the various measures of the study to create a participant report. Lastly, I also had the opportunity to work on an independent project that analyzed the relationship between sex and nocturnal vigilance.
The information that I gathered from my time at the CCTR provided me with a foundation of the importance of sleep and the effects that mental disorders like PTSD and depression have on sleep quality. The opportunity to work on an independent research project refined the skills that I learned in my statistics in psychology course. I learned the process of gathering information from previous literature, compiling observations to make a hypothesis, selecting the appropriate statistical test to analyze the data and presenting my findings to colleagues.
Furthermore, I appreciated the opportunity to shadow the research coordinators while they were giving the SCID-V and CAPS. I was able to apply the information that I learned in my abnormal psychology course to the experiences of the participants and gained a deeper understanding of how their lived experiences impact their quality of life. This was a significant part of my experience because it enhanced my interest in psychology and gave me a foundation on how the SCID-V and CAPS are conducted, which may come in handy in my professional future. Ultimately, I felt like a helpful contributor to the research project and a valued member of the team.
The internship at the CCTR reinforced my approach to my academic work at Dartmouth and made me look further into how public policy can be a part of my future career. I was intrigued by the knowledge I gained about social determinants of health and mental disorders. Moving forward, I will pursue opportunities that will enable me to enhance my understanding of these public health issues. In fact, I plan to further my understanding of social determinants of health through higher education and more hands on opportunities. I am grateful for the grant that I received from the Rockefeller Center to partake in this opportunity.
The Rockefeller Internships Program has funding for Dartmouth undergraduate students to help defray the cost of living expenses associated with a full-time, unpaid, leave-term internships in the fields of public policy, public affairs, and social entrepreneurship.