University of Montana Western logo.
Apply Visit More Info

Psychology Student Assists with Government Research

October 9, 2017

Psychology Major and University of Montana Western junior Roberta Irvin interned at the University of Pennsylvania over the summer. She worked with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, aiding researchers in their studies on the transmission of HIV.

Roberta (Bobbi) Irvin.
Psychology Major and University of Montana Western junior Roberta (Bobbi) Irvin.

After hearing of her plans to research the science of substance abuse following graduate school, Psychology Professor Heather Haas sent Irvin applications for the internship with NIDA.

The University of Pennsylvania was Irvin’s first choice out of 30 sites across the country where NIDA employs student interns.

Irvin believes none of this would have been possible without Experience One.

“It’s really nice having the one-on-one time with the professors. I wouldn’t have heard about the internship without that, let alone applied for it,” she said.

During the internship, Irvin performed data entry for various studies, ran blood samples, and attended several conferences. She found the lectures based around substance abuse most interesting.

She hopes to focus her future research on treatment so that she can “make a difference in people’s lives.”

Her work with NIDA will help her stand out when she applies for further education and eventually a career: “This will be good to have on my resume, and it will really help me get into grad school,” Irvin said.

This internship was the first step in Irvin’s journey toward her goals. She plans to do a presentation on her work in Pennsylvania at Montana Western’s annual research symposium near the end of the spring semester.