UP Institute Interns
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UP Institute Interns

Meet Our Interns


Cassandra Nelson, Winter 2020 & Summer 2021

Cassandra is a pre-law senior at Tulane University, double majoring in Political Science and Sociology with a minor in Gender & Sexuality Studies. In September 2020, Cassandra tirelessly updated 126 slides for the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC), which are now used to educate professionals in child abuse prevention. This summer, she has dedicated a considerable amount of time collaborating in the development of the VAC curriculum on child maltreatment and adverse childhood experiences, which will be taught at Tulane University. Furthermore, she independently developed a summary presentation of 11 research studies on resilience in maltreated children which will be presented at the “Grammys.” On July 13, 2021, Cassandra trained and served as a moderator for the APSAC’s 28th Colloquium, a 3-day national conference on child welfare. She has also helped push the Protecting Our Students in Schools Act through the state legislature by enlisting support from organizations across Louisiana to ban corporal punishment in public schools and join our committee aimed at encouraging legislators to approve the bill. On June 30, 2021, Cassandra represented the UP Institute and attended the Congressional briefing in support of this bill. All her work in legislative advocacy has intensified her passion for law, and she intends to dedicate her time to protecting children and adolescents as a future attorney.

Peyton Schaefer, Summer 2021

Peyton Schaefer is a senior at Tulane University, where she is earning her B.S. in Public Health with a minor in Business Management. She is deeply committed to increasing health equity and is excited to take what she is learning at her time with the UP Institute and applying it to her future career in public health. During this summer, Peyton has collaborated with other interns on a variety of projects, as well as taking some on independently. She has assisted in the development of the VAC curriculum on child maltreatment and adverse childhood experiences, which will be taught at Tulane University, and worked as a room monitor for the virtual National APSAC Colloquium. Furthermore, Peyton independently edited and revised the website for The UP Institute and No Hit Zones to update the existing resources and format new additions. Moving forward, she hopes to continue child safety advocacy and focus on the effectiveness of upstream solutions in public health.

Vincie Wang, Summer 2021

Vincie is a senior at Tulane University, earning her B.S. in Economics and Psychology. After graduation, she plans to go to law school where she would continue to advocate for children, women, and other survivors of abuse. In the summer of 2021, Vincie devoted her time to develop and edit the VAC curriculum on child maltreatment and adverse childhood experiences, which will be taught at Tulane University. In order to push the Protecting Our Students in Schools Act through the state legislature, Vincie has tirelessly enlisted support from organizations across Louisiana and Georgia to ban corporal punishment in public schools. In June 2021, Vincie attended the Congressional hearing on this bill as a proud representative of the UP Institute. Through this internship, she has not only gained hard skills in legislative advocacy and curriculum development, but has also reconfirmed her dedication toward law and justice. She intends to continue helping vulnerable individuals and communities gain equitable access to justice.

Emma Urdangen, Spring & Summer 2021

Emma is a graduate of Tulane University class of 2021, where she received a B.S. in Psychology with minors in Political Science and Sociology. Emma is excited to take what he has learned in her time working with the UP Institute and apply it to her future career aspirations working with children in related fields such as social work and law. During the Spring 2021 semester, Emma worked with other interns on a variety of projects. She assisted in research in translating peer-reviewed articles from the Child Maltreatment Journal into summary slides for the child-abuse prevention “Grammys,” and co-authoring an article about NHZs for Virtus. She compiled a Black History Month document highlighting child abuse prevention leaders throughout history. Additionally, she created a “whereas” document proposing the implementation of a national “C.H.A.M.P.S.” week to recognize the various disciplines actively working to prevent child abuse. Emma is looking forward to continuing her internship with UP this summer, and taking all she learned from this experience into her future endeavors!

Evelyn Lee, Spring & Summer 2021

Evelyn is a senior at Tulane studying Psychology with minors in Philosophy and Spanish. During the Spring 2021 semester, Evelyn worked with other interns on the AAC courthouse book for adults with disabilities.  In addition, she translated peer-reviewed articles from the Child Maltreatment Journal into summary slides for the “Grammys”, assisted a parent in building a NHZ pediatrician packet, and co-authored a NHZ article for Virtus. She also created a document for the implementation of CHAMPS week to recognize the people working to prevent child abuse. Continuing into the summer, Evelyn compiled contact organizations and legislators regarding the Protecting Our Students in Schools Act and represented the Up Institute when attending the bill’s congressional briefing.  She further contributed to the Victim Advocacy Curriculum and served as a Technical Assistant Moderator for APSAC’s 28th Annual Colloquium.

Jessica Li, Summer 2021

Jessica is a Senior at Tulane University studying Psychology and Cognitive Science with a minor in Sociology. She is interested in ultimately contributing to the field of Child Development and has appreciated learning about child abuse prevention in the Tulane ACES course along with interning at The UP Institute. During the Spring 2021 semester, Jessica contributed by increasing APSAC Anyk engagement, translating peer-reviewed journals into summary slides, aiding a parent in building a Pediatrician packet, creating a No Hit Zone one-pager, and issuing the first No Hit Zone newsletter. Additionally, Jessica worked closely with other interns in writing the AAC courthouse book for adults with disabilities, and the VIRTUS article on No HIt Zones. Volunteering her time, Jessica aided Summer interns in efforts to educate organizations and legislators about the recent Protecting Our Students in Schools Act. She also contributed to the development of the VAC (Victim Assistance Curriculum) on child maltreatment. Furthermore, Jessica attended the 28th annual APSAC Colloquium as a moderator, listening to presentations regarding resilience in children and families, and forensic interviewing.