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Finals szn is (thankfully) over and it is officially summer (and has been for about a month now). And while summer used to be a welcome reprieve meant exclusively for relaxation and lazing about, newly minted college students everywhere are flocking to their internships, research positions, shadowing opportunities, etc etc. This summer, I’m interning at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity as part of the BDP Summer Research Program. If it hasn’t already been beat into your head (but like lovingly, not aggressively) by the admissions staff here, hOpKinS iS gReAt fOr rEsEaRcH. Okay sorry, I couldn’t help myself (I can’t help but think that in 5 years, the whole disjointed capitalization meme will make absolutely 0 sense to ANYBODY). 

But really, Hopkins is also great for summer research! The HOUR is a resource all students (and especially incoming freshman) should get acquainted with as soon as possible. There were so many times this semester that I had no idea what I was doing when it came to looking for research and got help from HOUR staff on everything from writing up an itemized budget (like what ??), looking for professors that had research positions open, and getting a peace of mind when I wasn’t getting any responses from my research requests. Of course, you can still find research on your own without HOUR, but trust me when I say you’ll expedite the process significantly if you make the trip over. I actually found out about my internship (on the day the application was due!) because I just happened to be in HOUR that day to get a free sticker for my new water bottle (true story).

At my specific internship, I get to do research under Dr. Lisa Cooper, one of Hopkins’ Bloomberg Distinguished Professors. BDP’s are, unofficially, fifty of the coolest people in the world. Officially, they “form a cadre of fifty world-class faculty members whose excellence in research, teaching, and service will be centered on cross-disciplinary scholarship” (some have won Nobel Prizes, others have been awarded super prestigious fellowships you could only dream of). Dr. Cooper actually founded The Center for Health Equity and her research is focused on eliminating health disparities among disadvantaged communities from multiple angles—community activation, health policy, and pilot research. The project that I’m working on is one of the Center’s clinical trials to promote a community-based dietary approach towards hypertensive African Americans with CKD (chronic kidney disease).

The internship is full time (40 hrs/week) for 10 weeks. Since I live in Maryland, I decided to commute from home everyday, about an hour and a half both ways. I’d say my experience with public transportation has been mostly good. Like a solid 6/10. In fact, I’d have said it was at least an 8/10, if it weren’t for this morning- owing to my very unfortunate and very severe motion sickness, I spent the entire bus ride hunched over in fetal position trying, with every ounce of my being, not to projectile vomit all over the bus. So yeah, 6/10.

If you’ve noticed a conspicuous lack of pictures or my little signature that’s usually at the bottom, it’s because Hopkins Insider underwent some weird update that has messed up every single one of my last blog posts that I oh so painstakingly went to great lengths to perfect (if you look through them now, the pictures are blown to super weird proportions and the captions are in random places throughout the post- I promise it didn’t always look like that). In protest, I’ve decided not to include any.

(I kid, I kid; I just don’t know how to insert them).