MS in Criminal Justice

Kelsey Amison, 2022

Kelsey Amison

Describe your dissertation, thesis, or capstone (if you completed one):

My thesis involved the analyzation of a nationwide dark web drug trafficking organization. I observed the organization's core activities to better understand the organizational structure and functioning of the network and explored the effective business practices utilized by trafficking group. Specifically, I identified the individual-level and network-level characteristics that explain the formation of dark web drug trafficking networks. The data I collected can be used to evaluate and inform future investigations.

How did you choose your specific area of study?

I always had an intense passion for working within the criminal justice system. I have so many interests and want to do so many things. From researching topics like human trafficking, working in the intelligence field, and advocating for prison reform, almost every topic within this discourse is of interest to me. I grew up watching shows like Criminal Minds and Law & Order, and watched many crime documentaries. I have a lot to add to the criminal justice field and am determined to make a difference within it.

How did your academic experiences in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences impact you?

My academic experiences in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences impacted me because it shaped my future. CHSS gave me experience. It gave me opportunities. It gave me inspiration. My department had some of the most prestigious professors and each and every one gave me an immense amount of knowledge regarding criminal justice and shared advice and experiences that helped shape many of my decisions. The reason I have so many interests within the field is because of the different professors I have had. They are the reason I feel so confident within this field and have inspired to do anything I put my mind and heart to.

Of which accomplishment(s) during your time at Mason are you most proud?

I am most proud of my experiences and academic success at George Mason. From maintaining a 4.0 for my entire Graduate degree, researching human trafficking in Tanzania, becoming an RA for freshman, and being nominated for the Outstanding Graduate position, my time at Mason has been nothing short of success and opportunity.

Are there faculty or staff members who made a difference during your Mason career?

One of the most amazing parts of the CHSS Department is the professors & faculty. They are nothing short of amazing and each and every staff member should be recognized for their amazing contributions within such a prestigious department. For me personally, these professors and faculty members below are some of the many who inspired me and made a difference in not only during my time at GMU, but for the rest of my life.

Larry Guerin- Professor Guerin was my first upper-class professor that I took as a freshman. He inspired me. His teaching methods were so unique, he truly cared for every single one of his students. He became my biggest supporter and mentor and to this day stills keeps in contact and gives me career advice, criminal justice advice, and life advice. He is a professor I will never ever forget. He also sparked my passion in the criminal psychology field.

Dr. Jin Lee- Dr. Lee was another professor similar to Professor Guerin. Dr. Lee cared deeply about each and every one of his students and wanted us all to succeed. He was also one of the most smartest professors I have ever had, and because he was so young, a lot of students related to him. He was open, honest, and provided the best advice regarding careers, the cyber field, and life in general.

Kristin Tyburczy
Brielle Manovich
Both Kristin and Brielle are advisors within the Criminology Department, and both have helped shaped my time at Mason as well as my future plans. Both of these advisors wanted the absolute best for me and helped plan my successful academic career at Mason. They were always an email away and I always felt secure and comfortable within my department because of them.

What advice would you give to an incoming cohort of graduate students?

Discover yourself; take every single class you are interested in, talk to your professors about topics and research you are passionate about, reach out to your academic and career advisors, network with classmates, peers, faculty, and professors, learn from every experience, every challenge, and lastly, stay goal hungry, and achieve whatever you set your mind to.

What are your current career plans following graduation? What are your long-term career goals?

My current career plans after graduation include working within the government contracting field. I will be an investigative analyst and work in the intelligence branch. My long-term career goals are to work for either the CIA or FBI, become a professor at George Mason teaching criminal justice courses, adding research to the discourse, and getting as much experience as I can within the entire criminal justice field.