Q&A with undergraduate student Ariana Chen

Ariana Chen, a senior graduating from the Human Development and Aging program, shares her experience as an undergraduate student and intern at NCEA.

Q: What are you studying at the USC Leonard Davis School?

A: I’m currently a senior, and I will be graduating with a BS in Human Development and Aging, Health Science Track this May.

Q: What inspired you to pick this program?

A: My grandparents are a huge part of my life and my inspiration to pursue a degree in gerontology. I fell in love with the gerontology program here because of its multidisciplinary nature. We have the opportunity to learn about aging from so many different perspectives: biology, psychology, policy, sociology, and more. I also liked that I could be a part of a tight-knit community within a large university. Small classroom environments meant that I could build positive relationships with my professors, and the staff are all so supportive of their students’ successes.

Q: What do you plan on doing with your degree once you graduate, and what are your career goals?

A: My goal is to become a physician and take care of older adults. After graduation, I’ll be working as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Keck School of Medicine at USC for my gap year and applying to medical school.

Q: What is the most rewarding or interesting part about studying at USC?

A: USC is a wealth of opportunities, and I feel so fortunate to have been able to take advantage of so many. Just here within the gerontology school, I’ve gotten to conduct exciting research, travel abroad to Israel, present my work to elder abuse experts during my internship, and serve as a student leader within the gerontology community. It’s been such a privilege to be a student at the best gerontology school in the world, surrounded by people who are all passionate about making a difference and serving older adults.

Q: What are some other projects or activities that you’ve been involved in?

A: I’m currently interning at NCEA for the spring semester as part of my geriatric practicum course (GERO 495). I’m primarily focused on the WEAAD (World Elder Abuse Awareness Day) campaign coming up this June 15th. With the campaign, I am helping to plan a lot of different outreach and engagement activities for organizations and people around the world to participate in, like WEAAD Bingo and the Walk for WEAAD, which I proposed, and my preceptor helped get it approved. It will be launching in 12 days on May 1st. Besides WEAAD-related activities, I also get to dip my feet into all of the other projects NCEA is currently working on, like EAGLE (Elder Abuse Guide for Law Enforcement). I have the opportunity to attend multidisciplinary meetings with elder abuse experts: physicians, social workers, lawyers, researchers, and more to learn about elder abuse and elder abuse prevention from a wide variety of perspectives.