Alyssa Meurer

2019 recipient of the Audrey J. Harris Summer Internship Award


Interned with the National Council on Crime and Delinquency and with the WI State Assembly

I am a junior at UW, double majoring with comprehensive honors in Sociology and Spanish, a Concentration in Analysis and Research, and Certificates in Criminal Justice and Public Policy. I am hoping to go to law school and earn a Masters in Public Policy, and to ultimately find a job serving vulnerable populations touched by the criminal justice system.

This summer, through the help of the Audrey J. Harris family, I have been able to intern at two locations: the National Council on Crime and Delinquency and the Wisconsin State Assembly. The former, NCCD, is a nonprofit focused on creating research-based training and tools for the criminal and juvenile justice systems as well as child welfare and adult protective services. There, I have been conducting statistical tests of various tools and assessments that NCCD provides to agencies around the world. I have also engaged in literature reviews and compiled data from previous reports by NCCD. I am excited to be continuing this internship through the fall semester!

I have been interning for Representative Robyn Vining in the Wisconsin State Assembly since she was inaugurated in January. In her office, I answer letters and phone calls from constituents, conduct legislative research, and write about current or past legislation to inform constituents and the Representative herself. I have also had the chance to sit in on legislative hearings and sessions, press conferences, and strategy meetings.

Through both of my internship placements, I have been able to gain experience in the real world, becoming a better student and hopefully a better person. I have furthered my communication skills, gotten more comfortable in a professional setting, and learned about research and statistical techniques used outside of the classroom. More exciting to me, though, has been the exposure I have had to best practices in criminal and juvenile justice through NCCD and to the legislative process from start to finish. I have learned so much about social systems, vulnerable populations, and myself, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to engage with the people I have met and the content I have encountered.

Without the generous gift from the Audrey J. Harris family, I would not have been able to dedicate as much time and energy as I did to my learning experiences this summer. The skills and knowledge I have gained in the past few months are immeasurable, and I cannot thank them enough for opening up these opportunities for me and the other students they have gifted.