Nicole is a junior at the University of Delaware in the 4+1 Program in Public Policy and will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and Spanish Studies and a Master of Public Administration. She is a Community Engagement Scholar, pursuing an academic program that prepares students for lives as engaged citizens. From her service as a Public Policy intern with the School Offence Diversion Program at the Delaware Center for Justice to her contributions as a research assistant with the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy (CRESP), Nicole exemplifies how an undergraduate can contribute to meaningful change in communities. She has designed and administered surveys in our most under-served communities, interviewed youth, participated in stakeholder meetings, training sessions and multi-agency meetings. Her work has resulted in recommendations, reports and policy briefs. Nicole is adept at developing meaningful collaborations that have impact.
It is because of my interest in unraveling challenging problems that I was drawn to the work of the Delaware Center for Justice. As an intern with the School Offense Diversion Program, I conversed with students facing criminal charges as a result of their school discipline experience. Pairing this qualitative evidence with the program-specific data that I examined, the injustices were undeniable. For this reason, I decided to publish a policy brief that outlines a plan for reducing the impact of exclusionary discipline policies and practices. Subsequently, I transitioned into my role as a Capitol Hill intern for Senator Chris Coons, where justice remained at the forefront of my mind. In this role, I worked on a project related to a district-level proposal to investigate the efficacy of School Resource Officers within the K-12 education system. Now, as a research assistant at the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy, I am working to hone my data analysis skills. I still have questions about the system’s definition of justice in its entirety. As I move forward with my studies and career, I will work with others to peel back the layers of this complex problem and realize solutions.