Jeffrey Joseph '15
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR)
USCCR is a federal agency that works on a range of civil rights issues, bringing academics and professionals together with government officials formulating policy. It also issues reports on its findings. One of the matters addressed during my time there was sexual harassment in educational institutions, particularly higher education. I worked on background research to help inform the commissioners and aid their questioning of panelists, and on the final report.
My time at ILR has been focused on social issues with an emphasis on disability inclusion and awareness. It was then really exciting that I was able to work on disability issues at the Commission and expand my knowledge of other issues—for example, harassment in educational institutions and the treatment of detained immigrants.
My work at the Commission gave me a better understanding of the interplay between academia and policy implementation. At hearings on sexual harassment, we had people from the Department of Education and different educational policy groups—it was interesting to see how Department of Education representatives utilized research and referenced it in their testimony. I was able to see how academia and, more broadly, research can help inform policy making, and how people on the academic side can drive the conversation forward by doing interesting research.
Overall, I enjoyed the opportunity to get a firsthand look at how government policy is implemented and improved.
During the spring of 2014, I completed an ILR Credit Internship at the SanDisk Corp. with their HR Communications function, in California. I worked on tasks such as recruitment branding on LinkedIn and assisted with on-boarding activities. The Credit Internship program provided my first opportunity for significant engagement with the HR issues I had learned about, enriching my educational experience.
A highlight of the internship was being able to work on diversity issues because I had devoted a lot of my time at ILR to courses focused on workplace diversity. I helped benchmark diversity practices and programs at SanDisk's peer companies, as well as at research organizations and programs that aligned with SanDisk’s strategic diversity goals. This aspect of the internship really resonated with me because I was able to gain a better understanding of the processes behind implementing various EEO laws and policies.