Amber Hopwood, Criminal Justice and Psychology, Class of 2017

As a freshman I entered Quinnipiac University as a Psychology major, hoping to eventually work in federal law enforcement. With that goal in mind I took my first Criminal Justice class and immediately fell in love with the topics we discussed and the work we were assigned to read. As a second semester Sophomore I added Criminal Justice as my second major. Throughout my career at Quinnipiac I had some inspiring mentors, such as my advisor, Steve McGuinn; the head of the Department, who was also my work study boss, Catherine Solomon; and Theater professor Kevin Daly (who happened to share an office in the Criminal Justice department at the time). When I wasn’t doing coursework, or my work study job, I was a major part of the theater department and treasured every second of it. All of these professors steered me along the right path and were helping me every step of the way.

During my Junior year I took on an internship with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and was able to get my first real look at the workings of federal law and the different positions that are available. I got my foot in the door, volunteered to do more work, and was able to learn a lot about casework. During this time I also got a job with a small law office and was able to combine what I was learning from my law enforcement intern work with the legal cases and paralegal work that I was doing at the office.

Upon returning to school that final fall for my Senior year I became part of the inaugural class for InsideOut, Quinnipiac University’s groundbreaking program which took place at Garner Correctional Institution. Eight Quinnipiac students were selected to join a class of eight inside (incarcerated) students within the maximum security prison. For one semester, eight of us traveled to Newtown, CT every week and all sixteen of us learned from one another while sharing a classroom. At the end of my Senior year I received a job offer with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Now while working full time there I’m also continuing on with my education and pursuing my Masters of Science in Social Work from Columbia University. It’s been quite a journey but I’m still on my way. I will be graduating with that degree in May 2021.

By Amber Leigh Hopwood
Amber Leigh Hopwood