CRIM 425: Organized Crime
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Kendall Cleaver

Liberal Arts Major: Criminology, International Politics
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: New Castle, Pennsylvania
Experience Time: Spring 2022

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

Through this embedded course, I had the opportunity to visit another country for the first time. We met with a DEA agent and toured the US military base in Curacao. We also got a tour of customs, got to see how people try to smuggle drugs into other countries, and watched a police dog at work. We also went on a tour of the city with a police officer who taught us about the local gangs and an assassination of a political figure there. We also got the opportunity to participate in a salsa dancing class.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I have never travelled out of the country before, so traveling with Penn State through an embedded course seemed like a perfect opportunity. It was nice to have people there that our professor, Howard Smith, knew. Having people who know the island and it's inner workings was a nice touch to the trip that made the cultural experiences more impactful. It was also intriguing to see the way in which foreign governments differ from our own, as well as how the criminal justice system works in another place.

"This will impact my career goals because I eventually want to work for the federal government, and knowing that there are opportunities to work in other countries is super interesting to me."

How will this experience impact your career goals?

I think it was interesting to see how much the United States is involved with other countries. This will impact my career goals because I eventually want to work for the federal government, and knowing that there are opportunities to work in other countries is super interesting to me. Since I am a Spanish minor, it would be beneficial for me to work in other countries where they speak Spanish so I can improve and hold onto the language.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

Brandon McCartney and Howard Smith were excellent staff to have on the trip. They both provided a fun, but also meaningful embedded experience. Howard's dedication to studying abroad and his wide range of knowledge made me feel excited to learn on the trip. I really liked that he has such close contact with those in Curacao, as well as in the Netherlands, to give students the full immersive experience, even though it was just for a week. I also greatly appreciated the Career Enrichment Network, as the funds they provided relieved a lot of financial stress for my family.

For more information on education abroad for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

 

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