Patz Lab

Internship Location: Madison, WI 

Organization Type: Higher Education

Policy Areas: Energy, Public Health, Health Equity, Environmental Justice

I worked as a Policy Analyst and Researcher in the Patz Lab here at UW-Madison’s Global Health Institute. A team of undergraduates and I were tasked with reading the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act and translating their provisions from its complex political jargon to plain language that all audiences could understand. We then analyzed the translations for its impact on human health, equity, and climate change and placed our translations and analysis into a database to be used as an easily understandable breakdown of the long and complicated laws. Our analysis was also condensed into short policy memos that highlighted the most impactful and important aspects of each section and finished with our personal recommendations for advocacy, monitoring, and implementation. These memos were then sent to local and regional activists and organizations to ensure that the most positive outcomes of programs and provisions would happen. During my time in the Patz Lab, I learned how to understand and navigate complex legislation as well as describe the changes and content of them in easily understandable ways. This required “zooming in” to the legislation to understand and translate each sentence and section, while simultaneously “zooming out” to analyze those section’s impacts on individuals, communities, states, governments, and the environment. Working with my supervisor/mentor, I gained communications skills that improved the conciseness, clarity, and quality of both my analysis and writing. I loved my time at this internship, and I am positive I will use the skills and connections I acquired during it in my future career.