Carolyn Busse

2018 recipient of the Audrey J. Harris Summer Internship Award


Interned with WI Department of Corrections – Division of Community Corrections

I am a senior at UW-Madison graduating in May 2019 with degrees in Legal Studies and Political Science and a certificate in Criminal Justice. Following graduation, I hope to move to Washington D.C. to pursue a career in public service before applying to law school.

This summer, I interned with the Wisconsin Department of Justice Bureau of Information and Analysis. In this position, I was exposed to criminal justice datasets and began to understand how information is collected and analyzed at the state level. The experience I had at my internship was unique and allowed me to see the criminal justice system in a much different light than other positions in the Madison area. Throughout my internship, I was able to interact with various departments within the WI Department of Justice, as well as many other criminal justice agencies throughout WI. I was exposed to many different projects this summer but spent most of my time focusing on creating an infographic that would explain sexual assault reporting requirements in Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Pretrial Pilot Project.

When I began my internship this summer I was worried that as a Legal Studies and Political Science student it would be difficult for me to adapt to learning about database structure and coding. However, as the summer went on I was exposed to many new computer programs that I now feel confident using in the future. I know that the experience I gained this summer will be valuable in my future because working with data is not an opportunity that many students are able to gain as an undergraduate. Learning about statistics-focused computer programs and coding helped me discover new talents and skills that I would not have realized without this position. In addition, my internship experience helped me conceptualize how critical online data sources and information is to our criminal justice system and how intelligence and security systems are continually adapting to meet the challenges this presents every day. Without this internship, I never would have realized how data and research can be used to help recommend better policy decisions and this is an area of research I greatly enjoyed pursuing this summer.

I am grateful to have been one of the recipients of the Audrey J. Harris Award and I am so honored to have had the opportunities this award afforded me this summer. This scholarship allowed me to focus more of my time toward my internship experience, from which I gained valuable knowledge and skills that I can use to better improve the world around me in the future. Thank you to the family of Audrey J. Harris for your investment in the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Criminal Justice Certificate program, and students like myself. I am honored to have been a part of this tradition.