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Hi, everyone! My name is Abby Findley and I am a senior from Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. I am a Psychology and Public Policy double major. My Gil Internship placement site is at innovation Research & Training (iRT), located in Durham, NC. iRT is a behavioral sciences research company that seeks to bridge the gap between scientific research and practice. They conduct research that focuses on children and families and to promote overall health and well-being.

I have been working under the supervision of Dr. Tracy Scull, a developmental psychologist. I have primarily been working on the Media Aware programs, which are comprehensive sexual health programs that have a unique focus on media literacy. Media literacy education, in this context, aims to teach users how to think critically about media messages and deconstruct media around them. There are several versions of this program, including a version for high schools, parents, and community colleges. Most of my work has been on the Parent and High School version of the program. My tasks have included preparing for online focus groups, assisting with program development, data collection, and assisting with preparation of grant materials.

Through my coursework in my two majors, I became interested in the intersection of public health and psychology, especially with children and families. Thus, iRT was a great fit, where I was able to work on an issue that encompasses ideas of public health and psychology and focuses on my population of interest.  One of my greatest learning experiences thus far has been to see how the IRB and grant process differs when working with an actual product versus basic research. Additionally, I have been learning how research in a small business differs from a university setting. This in turn has exposed me to more of the logistical side of research, which will be helpful knowledge moving forward.

I am so thankful for this opportunity and cannot wait to see what the second half of the semester has in store! I want to thank Dr. Buzinksi and Molly Corrigan for all of their hard work and for giving me this opportunity. The experience and knowledge I have gained will be so helpful in my career moving forward.

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