Celeste Morris

Celeste Morris

Celeste Morris

How did you choose your degree program?

My dad taught me how to read with Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. Since then, I’ve been hooked on solving mysteries and puzzles. I knew I wanted to go into the criminal justice field and use my love of puzzle solving to help others. When applying to colleges, Mason’s program stood out due to the proximity to D.C and backgrounds and careers of the professors. I knew I would receive the best education from those who have worked in the field and could bring their own experiences to the classroom. I chose my minors and concentration as I enjoyed the intelligence programs and wanted multiple educational perspectives brought from psychology and current affairs.

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

The experiences, knowledge, and stories of many professors enabled further understanding of the wider criminal justice system and national/international security issues. I feel like my professors have fully prepared me for graduate school and any careers I pursue.

What accomplishment(s) during your time at Mason are you most proud of?

Maintaining (and hopefully graduating with) a cumulative 4.0 GPA despite the pandemic and other hardships. Engaging in the Mason community through organizations, leadership opportunities, and close friendships. Being elected to the executive board of Pi Beta Phi as the Vice President of Operations and holding other director positions during my time at Mason. Receiving high academic praise from professors through special recognition, graduate school recommendations, and nomination for this award.

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

Yes, specifically:

  • Dr. Teresa Gudaitis for providing internship and career advice. She also pushed me toward my current career goals of working in the IC.
  • Steven Remick for helping with graduate school applications and proving guidance during very challenging personal times after the loss of a family friend.
  • Richard Denholm for sparking my interest in the IC and intelligence fields. Also for helping with graduate school, internship opportunities, and career advice. Professor Denholm also gave some of the best advice… “don’t give up hope. keep pushing.”
  • Dr. Justin Ramsdell for having some of the best classes during my time at Mason. I always looked forward to his lectures even on the hardest days. He is always there for his students and will work to ensure they are succeeding.
  • Dr. John Woolsey for being able to bring a smile and joke to each class and working with his students. Encouraging me to continue with Mason activities after graduation this fall.

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

I am currently interning with the Department of Energy and will continue after graduation until next June. I will begin a Masters program for Applied Intelligence at Georgetown this January. Long-term, I hope to continue working toward a federal career related to criminal justice or national security. Additionally, I hope to continue my education beyond graduate school.