My Criminology Story: Lindsey Fath
With my graduation being less than two months away, I’ve been thinking a lot about my criminology story. It’s hard to even believe that I’m able to write this because it feels like just yesterday that I was moving into my dorm both terrified and excited for what was to come. When I reflect on the last three and a half years and see everything I’ve done not only within this department, but within NC State itself, I see how much I’ve grown as an adult. Every day has been a new experience with challenges and learning opportunities. Since this is most likely my last article as an NC State student, I want to share my criminology story and hope that it influences others to follow their passions within their fields and see just how far they can go.
I decided to come to NC State because I essentially grew up on this campus with my stepmom being an alumni and current faculty member, and my brother obtaining both his undergraduate and master’s degree on this campus. In addition, the criminology program was something I wanted to go into, because criminology takes the curriculum of criminal justice one step further by entering the mind of the criminal and asking, “Why?” When people ask me why I wanted to do criminology, I give the same answer. My goal has always been to help people and criminology was the best way I thought I could do it. I can’t go much further into that explanation because I don’t know why it was the best way, I guess it was just a gut feeling.
Since I have been on this campus, I have participated in many criminology experiences that have built my resume and turned me into the person I am today. For starters, I have taken a multitude of classes that have helped me answer the question of why criminals commit crime. There’s not one straightforward answer to the question, but I believe my classes have well prepared me to the point where I can spend over an hour rambling about “why.” In addition, I completed NC State Police’s Citizens’ Police Academy last spring. This eight-week program took me through all of our police department’s units such as their K9 unit, investigations unit, and I even got to meet our police horses. I would highly recommend this program to anyone interested in a career in law enforcement or those who just want to see what our police department is about. You even get to go to a gun range and shoot guns, which is something that many in the program had never done before.
This past summer, I was able to complete an internship with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. The best way I can describe the SBI is that they are the FBI for North Carolina. I was given the opportunity to complete this internship for academic credit, since the criminology program at NC State requires an internship to graduate. With the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, I was able to observe homicide investigations, drug buys and busts, autopsies, and so many more things. I am hoping for a career within the SBI in my future, and this internship definitively got my foot into the door.
The SBI internship was something I had been wanting to do since my freshman year, and I was dedicated to making myself the most well-rounded student so that I could be best prepared for it, since the SBI internship in Raleigh is arguably one of the most competitive criminology internships in North Carolina. I am extraordinarily grateful for these opportunities I was able to participate in, and I wouldn’t change them for the world because of the person they have made me today.
As for my plans after graduation, I have been in the application process with the Wake County Sheriff’s Office since July. I am applying for a deputy cadet position, and hope to use this position to help people and be proactive in the community. I am so close to being selected, so I have definitely been crossing my fingers. Maybe I can make it to the SBI or FBI someday (that’s the goal), but I have to gain some experience first.
Since this is my last article, I wanted to take the time to thank those at NC State and home I feel I don’t give enough credit to when it comes to everything they have done for me. First, I want to thank my parents, siblings, and grandparents. Without them, I wouldn’t have pushed myself as far as I have and overcome the obstacles I have faced these last three and a half years. With all the mental health stuff going on in today’s society, sometimes it’s hard to see the people you have in your life, but I know I will always have my family. I also wanted to thank Margaret Stiffler and Stephanie Jares. They have been my rock since the start of college, and their recommendations are part of the reason I was able to experience and get so far on my criminology journey. Thank You. Seriously.
For those who feel like they can’t do this and complete these amazing opportunities, take some advice from me. I was once that freshman who was in your shoes and could have never imagined I would be out my senior year investigating homicides all summer with the SBI. With the dedication and right mindset, you would be amazed at how many great things you will be able to accomplish in your life. Your criminology journey is just beginning.
This post was written by Lindsey Fath, a senior majoring in criminology with a forensic science minor and a Department of Sociology and Anthropology Student Ambassador.