Human trafficking, corruption and fraud. These topics are typically reserved for the subject of evocative headlines. However, Danielle Crosson, ‘20, spent eight weeks abating these serious crimes with the Newark division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). As part of the FBI’s prestigious Honors Internship Program, Crosson was able to work on real, time-sensitive cases.
“In most internships, students spend a lot of time shadowing someone else without too much hands-on experience,” explains Crosson, a double major in both psychology and criminal justice. “However, just a day after orientation I was analyzing bank records, watching surveillance videos and conducting data analysis.”
For Crosson, this internship was a dream come true. She’d been intent on joining the law enforcement field ever since she was a child and nothing was going to get in her way. Even when doctors informed Crosson that she needed serious reconstructive knee surgery just one week before the program began, her commitment never wavered. She underwent the intensive surgery and showed up to the FBI headquarters on crutches, ready to work.
“I grew up watching TV shows where law enforcement agents would work on these exciting cases and always wanted to do what they were doing,” explains Crosson, whose father was the chief of police in Chatham Borough. “Now, when I watch crime shows with friends, I can actually say, ‘I got to do this. I was involved in this.’ I’m just amazed by how far I’ve come.”
Prior to entering college, Crosson was a junior instructor at the Summit Youth Police Academy (YPA), which is designed to mimic the actual police academy for middle school students. Since Crosson completed the program twice herself, she was the perfect guide for the younger students.
Upon graduating from the College of Saint Elizabeth, Crosson hopes to earn her master’s in psychology and ultimately aspires to join the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. She believes it’s imperative to study criminals from a psychological perspective in order to better understand their motives and predict their future crimes.
“Law enforcement is the perfect career choice for me because it’s a way to give back to the community and help others,” says Crosson. “And studying at CSE has been essential in preparing me for this career.”