With the help of a grant from the Adams County Bar Foundation, Gettysburg’s Public Policy Program is distributing a new victims’ rights and criminal justice newsletter to local attorneys, to help keep them in the know of evolving law.
In the fall, Haley Shultz ’21, who double majors in political science and public policy, was chosen from among a competitive pool of interested students to serve as the Victim’s Rights and Criminal Justice Newsletter’s editor. This transformative experience is not only improving her skills and shaping her passions, but also contributing to the advancement of public policy in Adams County.
In this role, Shultz researches and compiles the latest laws and policies on criminal and victims’ rights from the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Office of the Governor, Supreme Court, and superior courts. She simplifies, summarizes and interprets these new laws and policies and then distributes the newsletter to policy practitioners across the county.
“I send it out every month to all the different stakeholders in Adams county that it would be helpful for, such as lawyers, judges, police officers, and everyone in Adams county that would be affected by these policies changing,” said Shultz, who is a 2019 Kolbe Fellow. “It is to help them get information more quickly and apply it to their daily work more effectively.”
Through the newsletter, Shultz is building upon the skills that she’s already learned in her public policy classes. Her classes have taught her that it is important to keep up to date with laws and policies and be able to interpret them in a way that everyone can easily understand, with which she’s now gaining real-world experience.
“My academic coursework and my experiences with the newsletter have given me a really solid understanding of public policy and criminal justice policy, and how to think about it, how to write about it, talk [about and] analyze it, and beyond,” Shultz said.
Being involved with public policy beyond the classroom has been a transformative experience that has helped her build valuable connections and shape her passion into a path forward. Upon graduating this spring, Shultz plans to work in the area of criminal justice policy as a policy analyst or policy researcher who can help to pen better policies in the future.
“Get experience through internships, jobs, and fellowship programs,” Shultz advises her Gettysburg College peers. “And the most helpful thing that… guided me in the right direction was talking to practitioners in the field of public policy. They can give you the best guidance and the best advice.”
Learn more about public policy at Gettysburg College, and how its multi-disciplinary curriculum prepares students to be problem solvers and change makers.
By Sokuntheary Heang ’24
Photos by Shawna Sherrell