To Get to Law School, Investigate Homicide History
Lindsay Horejsi, a College of Liberal Arts student majoring in psychology and minoring in the sociology of law, criminology & deviance, has explored several career options since her high school graduation in 2008.
“After I graduated, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life so I started working full time at Mystic Lake Casino,” Horejsi says. She then moved on to Asset Marketing Services, where she worked as a fraud prevention specialist.
After studying at Normandale Community College for two years, she transferred to the University of Minnesota through the Minnesota Cooperative Admissions Program. “I’m proud of going back to school. There are so many other options now.”
In addition to being a full-time student, Horejsi retains her full-time job as a fraud prevention specialist, serves on the Student Behavior Committee for the University Senate, and is interning for the Center for Homicide Research.
Horejsi is also working as a research intern at the Center for Homicide Research. “[Research interns] generally do archival research or field research . . . If they’re building a database for a specific type of homicide, we look up different cases in a certain set of years, and they eventually code it and update their databases,” Horejsi says.
Breaking Out of the Comfort Zone
The center’s main goal is to track violence trends as a tool for homicide prevention. Specific areas they examine include convenience store killings, detection of crime scene staging, missing victims homicide, rhythmic cycles of homicide, and more.
Research interns collect useful data to contribute to these subjects. Since some of the case file information was published decades ago, interns often have to consult the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul.
“I like the investigative work,” Horejsi says. “It takes me out of my comfort zone when it comes to finding information. I’m used to having information readily available for me on search engines online, but this kind of research requires a bit more time and effort.... I often have to look through old newspapers.”
Paving the Way for the Future
Horejsi maximized her internship experience by enrolling in the department’s new course, Internships in Psychology (PSY 3996), which allows students to earn elective credit toward their psychology major.
She also received the Barbara Newsome Internship Award, which provides financial support for undergraduates who participate in unpaid internships related to their major. “This experience has helped me to make the most of my liberal arts education, and for that I am truly thankful,” she says.
Her work at the center has impacted the way Horejsi views the world. “I did [enjoy crime shows] a lot before I started working at the Center for Homicide Research, but since I’m seeing that all day, it’s no longer my go-to!” Horejsi jokes. Importantly, it has helped her solidify her career path. Her next stop: law school.
“I want to be a public defender,” Horejsi says, “I want to give people strong legal advice. There are so many people in the criminal justice system, I want to make sure they get adequate help.”