This is the last week for three Empower Lab members. They move on to new and exciting opportunities. While we’ll miss them at our lab meetings, we’re super proud of all the work they’ve done and the amazing futures ahead of them. Here’s just a snapshot of the incredible 2018 graduates!

Emily Rabinowitz
Emily joined the lab in fall 2015 of her freshman year at NYU. She was one of the Empower Lab’s first members and is the longest serving researcher. As an Associate Director of Research (ADR), she will be especially missed for what she brought to the lab as a leader. Emily is definitely most proud of her work with the Chronic Pelvic Pain team. A year ago the project was just a collection of questions, and now it is on its way to becoming a finished product. She is also extremely proud of her work as ADR. Helping the lab grow and develop into the amazing group of young scientists it is today has been extremely rewarding.

This summer she’s working at John’s Hopkins Hospital and is preparing to apply to clinical psychology PhD programs in the fall. She graduates in January and is excited to continue her research and academic endeavors wherever graduate school takes her.

Ydelsie Vasquez
Ydelsie joined the lab in September 2017. She graduates this week. She is most proud of her role in the Sugar Dating study. She thinks the project is so innovative and relevant to everything she has learned in the lab about sexual practices, prostitution and trafficking. She was really impacted by a presentation that a visiting researcher gave on prostitution. It really reoriented her thinking about "sex work." Seeing sugar dating so casually talked out at NYU sparked a new interest in the lab. Seeing Sugar dating go from a funny topic during lab meetings, to a blog post, a team, a literature review and eventually a study is amazing. The lab’s little brain child came to life, and she is so excited about this topic and wishes she could see it through. 

She is going to be working as a medical assistant all summer and possibly for the rest of the year. Ydelsie has applied to Postbaccalaureate bridge programs and will be hearing back soon with, hopefully, good news. If she is accepted into one of those programs, then she will be attending it in the fall and then applying to medical school. 

Adam Kirschner
Adam joined the lab at the same time as Ydelsie in September 2017 and is also graduating this week. He is proud of all the teams he worked on in the Empower Lab, but he is most proud of being able to represent the lab as the Team Leader of the Advocacy Team. He is also extremely proud to be able to showcase the ways in which the Empower Lab supports survivors of gender-based violence through the lab’s ideology, practice and skills development. He did this in his experiential learning course as a part of his Global Public Health degree.

This summer, he is going to Basic Camp as a part of the Army ROTC he plans to do as a part of his graduate studies. In the fall, Adam will be going to the University of Pennsylvania to start a Masters of Social Work program. He is excited to continue his studies and support survivors of gender-based violence both within and outside the military.

Our departing members left a few words of advice to those remaining and joining the Empower team:

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and follow your instincts. Research can be daunting and complicated but at its core it’s about being curious. You’ll do your best work when you follow your passion to the questions that really matter.  Also, lean on your fellow lab members for support and advice. -Emily

I would say to go into the lab and act like a sponge. Every meeting, assignment, goodreads, policy point offers a wealth of information. Expect to grow, expect to change and never be afraid to fail. I would rather say yes to a new experience and fall short, ask for help and learn then never have tried at all. I would approach the lab with that attitude. -Ydelsie

Don’t go into the lab thinking you know exactly what you want to research and learn about. You will find new topics in the lab that you didn’t even know interested you. It is completely fine to work on something that you don't know anything about. -Adam