Internship Spotlight - Kelsey Davis
Kelsey Davis is completing her last year in the MA Conflict Resolution program at DU but already has a plethora of experiences in the field, such as her internship with the University of Denver's Student Rights and Responsibilities Office as the Restorative Justice (RJ) Intern last year. In her role, she helped coordinate and facilitate RJ circles as an alternative way of handling student conduct issues.
She pre-conferenced students and co-facilitated circles with staff, wrote rationales and outcomes letters, and conducted follow-up on cases to ensure the students completed their outcomes determined in the circles. Kelsey stated that the most interesting thing she learned in her position "is that truth-telling is an important part to conflict resolution. It's also unique to be in a community-based conflict resolution process because everyone has unique perspectives. I like hearing all the voices in the room and seeing students visibly ready to move on from their mistake".
In addition, the process offered a means through which students who have committed offenses can reconcile with those they have harmed, and thus reintegrate into the community by addressing those harms. Kelsey learned a lot, and while she was waiting for conferences, she had time to research other programs. When she was able to lead RJ circles, Kelsey was surprised by how much people were willing to share in a circle format. While it is sometimes hard to witness, she states that anything can happen and this makes RJ unique.
For students interested in the internship for next year, Kelsey stated, "Make sure that you talk about your passion about inclusive excellence and making sure processes work for students in different areas! It's okay if you don't have formal experience, but mention that you're excited about learning more."
The internship accompanies coursework and Kelsey stated that she applies active listening, mediation practices, and some evaluative efforts that she learned about in class. The internship had a role to play in preparing for Kelsey's future. Her ultimate goal is to implement restorative justice practices into her alma mater- Brigham Young University. Before then, Kelsey plans on pursuing her PhD at their program in Clinical Psychology.
~Leanna Jasek-Rysdahl, MA 2018