Lauren Gama just finished her last semester in the Family and Child Studies Master’s program here at Montclair State University. She joined the lab in September of 2014. She enjoys reading, watching movies, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. Something many people don’t know about Lauren is that she has dual citizenship in both the US and Brazil.
Lauren heard about the lab from Dr. Jennifer Brown Urban, co-director of the REDSS lab, when she was in her Child Development II: Adolescence class as an undergraduate senior. Lauren was thinking about going to grad school at the time, and the opportunity to work and gain research experience while in school really interested her.
When asked about her experience in the lab, Lauren said, “I didn’t really know what to expect when I first started. I just wanted to see what it’s like to do evaluation research to find out if I enjoy it. After just a year and a half in the lab, I feel like I’ve gained so much. I’ve been able to learn and hone new skills, travel to new cities, and decide on a career path. Instead of looking to graduation with doubt, I can’t wait to graduate and continue to build on what I’ve learned.”
She has two favorite parts about working in the lab: the diversity of tasks we’re assigned and my coworkers. “Working in the lab is interesting because from week to week, I can expect to work on different tasks instead of always doing the same thing. And having wonderful coworkers definitely helps make work a little more fun.”
Lauren would tell anyone who is thinking about it, to go for it–even if they don’t think they want to do research. “Obviously, working in the lab helps build research skills, but it also helps build more general skills that can be applied to any job, like time management and professional writing. It also provides opportunities to travel and connect with professionals at other institutions and universities”
Thanks for sharing, Lauren – more interviews to come!