MDP Alum De Mel completes internship with Wilder Research


Randika De Mel (MDP’15) completed his internship with Wilder Research, Amherst Wilder Foundation in St.Paul, Minnesota. He worked as a Research Intern from September 8, 2015 2015 to May 17, 2016 and was supervised by Jennifer Valorose, a Humphrey School of Public Affairs alumnus (MPP’ 05) and a Research Scientist for Wilder Research. “Wilder Research is part of the Amherst Wilder Foundation and shares the foundation’s mission to enrich the lives of the vulnerable and disadvantaged.” The main research areas of Wilder Research are criminal justice and violence and prevention, early childhood, education, health, housing and homelessness, mental health, and older adults.

Randika worked on the following projects during his internship at Wilder Research:
Wilder Research’s statewide homelessness study.
Federal Partnership for Success preventing alcohol and drug abuse in seven Minnesota colleges.
Early childhood needs for Minneapolis public schools.
Community legal needs for Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services.
Evaluation capacity building project for nonprofits focused on Youth Social Entrepreneurship (Funded by Sundance Foundation).
Accessibility using public transport to child care for Metro Transit.
Incarceration and violent crimes study.

According to De Mel, “I would like to thank my supervisor at Wilder Research, Jennifer Valorose for all her support and mentorship during my internship. This was an incredible learning and professional experience for me. Also, I would like to thank my co-workers in the Omega team and all the staff at Wilder Research for all their support and encouragement during my internship. Interning at Wilder Research made me more aware the challenges low income communities and communities of color face in Minnesota when it comes to accessing early child hood education, housing, legal services, housing, and health care. This internship showed me how monitoring and evaluation and research can assist to address the needs of disadvantaged communities in order to improve their quality of life.”
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