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The University of Pennsylvania's Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
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Ethan Liebross

Liberal Arts Major(s): Psychology 
Hometown: Frenchtown, New Jersey
Experience Time: Summer 2020

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

I worked this summer within UPenn's Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. The main project we worked on, HarvestRx, is an initiative aimed at meeting the food insecurity needs of prenatal women in the Philadelphia area. While working alongside physicians and MPHs, I participated in the preliminary planning process to get the project off the ground. I've truly enjoyed working alongside the team and doing what feels like grassroots level work. I'm excited to continue the experience in the fall as we enter the project's recruitment and data collection phases.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I’m someone with a firm belief in the power of experiential learning. Sometimes the best learning happens outside of the classroom. Ever since childhood, I’ve had the itch to explore new terrain. Working this summer allowed me to further explore the applied side of psychology, public health, and public policy. If anything, the experience has pushed me further in new directions. It’s instilled in me a newfound perspective on independent learning. Instead of waiting to be spoon-fed information, I’ve started to go to the library. And instead of being assigned homework to do, I’ve learned what it takes to create my own.

...experiences like this have helped me better understand how I can combine my background, unique interests, and character objectives to affect real change.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

I've tried to think thoughtfully about each class I take and each experience I have. Experiences, both big and small, have a real impact on our future directions. But no matter what path I pursue, I hope to become someone who acts with kindness and knows how to communicate effectively. It's no easy undertaking, I know; however, experiences like this have helped me better understand how I can combine my background, unique interests, and character objectives to affect real change.

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 take great pride in being a student of the College of the Liberal Arts. It's the entrepreneurial culture, the institution's ethos, and the students who have given me hope for the future. The enrichment funds have not just supported me financially, they've helped me in ways one cannot measure with money. The College has allowed me to realize that my goals—however quirky and farfetched—are possible.

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