Internship provides real-life career preparation

October 16, 2013

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Alicia Paske

When Alicia Paske decided to do a 320-hour internship as part of her BSCJ degree, she had no idea she would gain so much hands-on experience. Her first day with the Columbia County, Wisconsin, Sheriff’s Office started with an autopsy and a death investigation. The following months were no less eventful, including ride alongs and numerous police stops involving armed robberies, traffic stops, domestic calls, and a river drowning.

“Columbia County did an excellent job of introducing me to everything for my career and giving me all of the different experiences,” Alicia said.

A native of Columbia County, she was already familiar with the jurisdiction: her father worked for the Portage Police Department for over 30 years before his retirement. His career impacted Alicia’s decision to pursue her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

Alicia chose UW-Platteville because of its online program and the convenience it provided. “Platteville was an excellent school. I had a very good experience, so I’m very happy with the way it turned out with my internship and with my degree.”

Alicia made an impression on criminal justice instructors as well. “Alicia was a standout, always putting forth maximum effort, and actually earned a perfect score in one of my classes,” Gary Apperson said.

Dan Avenarius, instructor and director of distance learning, taught Alicia in both of his courses. “During the last six years, I’ve had over 100 students. Some of the students you remember more easily than others. Alicia is one of those students because she was one of the most conscientious I’ve ever had.”

Alicia graduated with honors in December, and at present, her goal is to work in Columbia County. She plans on attending the police academy so that she can work in the field.

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