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Meet Briana Leone

Briana Leone, BS Criminology & Justice Studies and BA Sociology ’21

Drexel Criminology and Justice Studies and Politics student Briana Leone

Degree: BS Criminology & Justice Studies and BA Sociology ’21
Concentration: Criminal Justice
Research Interests: I wish to research basic human rights violation at the heart of our correctional systems as they relate to education, health and socioeconomic status.
Extracurricular activities: Events Coordinator, Drexel’s Criminal Justice Club; Alpha Phi Sigma
Awards: AJ Drexel Scholarship

Coolest experience you’ve had through your major?

One of my coolest experiences in this major was going to the juvenile court. Not only is the court restricted access, meaning only authorized personnel and the family of the accused are allowed to attend, it was also my first court experience. What I most liked about the experience was the judge’s kindness and father-like approach to the children who came through the courtroom. He also maintained a very humble tone when interacting with us and answering our questions, even when those questions were very basic inquiries within the legal world.

What were some of your most memorable travel experiences through Drexel?

One of my most memorable experiences at Drexel was traveling to Washington D.C. to visit the Pentagon and the Supreme Court. Not only did I have fun on the trip, but I also visited two of the highest institutions of this land (even if I still fail to completely understand the role of the Pentagon, which I think is intentional!)

What is one thing a faculty member has told you – or a particular course/lesson – that has stuck with you?

One of the most significant things I learned was in the Inside-Out class I had at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility. During a group discussion about the jail environment, one of my peers, who was incarcerated, said, “I do not walk around with a knife in my sock;” this statement still grounds me to this day. We often get carried away by the sensationalized portrayal of prison, of “gangsters” and what we see on television, and we forget there are people beyond actions. Yes, actions define us, but we are more than the worst thing we have ever done. We tend to forget that when we look at incarcerated or formerly-incarcerated populations.

What motivates you?

What keeps me going every day is my family. I keep going because my mom inspires me. I keep going because my dad did not go to university, but would have gone if he could travel back in time. I keep going because I want to be the best possible example for my sister — to be a role model, and to be secure enough in my career to help others.

What advice do you have for a high school student looking for an undergraduate program?

I chose my major based on a gut feeling, and that turned out to be the best decision possible. Sometimes overthinking can take away from our decisions. It is important to step away from rationality and decide based on what we feel is best for us. If you are undecided, that is okay — you have your whole life ahead of you. If you cannot close your eyes and say “this is my major,” than that is probably not the major that best suits you.

What are your goals for after graduation? What do you hope to do with your Drexel degree?

After graduation, I plan to go to law school, and hopefully intern at the International Criminal Court at the Hague in the Netherlands. I want to start small, practice defense and then move upward towards humanitarian and international law to declare and contest basic human rights.

Prospective Students

Please email or call us at 215.895.1805 with any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!