Posted on May 19, 2023 by Amanda Cerreto

Crime Scene Investigation

Crime Scene Investigation

Two criminology and criminal justice students spent the semester interning with San Antonio Crime Scene Investigation (CSI), thanks to a special opportunity provided by Alpha Phi Sigma.

jackelyn-rodriguez.jpgAlpha Phi Sigma is the nationally recognized honor society for students in the Criminal Justice sciences. Its goals are to honor and promote academic excellence, community service, educational leadership, and unity.

Jackelyn Rodriguez and Frida Zavala, both seniors, have been members of APS for most of their time at UTSA. “I took Policing, Corrections and Crisis Response with Professor Henry Meade,” Rodriguez said. “I always had the impression he wanted to help us, and it was refreshing. I knew I had to get involved with APS.”

Zavala had a similar experience as Rodriguez. She wanted to be more involved with UTSA as well as increase her time spent volunteering, so after speaking to Meade she knew APS was the place to do that.

Once students reach their senior year, they are able to take an internship course. Listed internships range from Drug Enforcement Agency, SAPD Patrol, private investigation and more. None of these options, however, spoke to Zavala. She approached Meade to ask him for other options.

Thanks to his close connections with community agencies, Meade was able to institute and set up a selective internship with San Antonio CSI. Zavala and Rodriguez applied and were accepted to what will now be a yearly internship opportunity.

frida.jpgBoth students participate in ride-alongs, travel with investigators to calls, dust for fingerprints and assist with evidence collection. “It’s so fast paced,” Zavala said. “It can be a challenge to keep up with how fast things change, but it’s been such a great learning experience.”

Each intern shift involves a different crime scene assignment. Some are led by civilians, while others are sworn officers. “Each one would explain what they look for and what evidence is important,” Rodriguez said. “The best part is seeing the evidence we find at crime scenes.”

Both students credit APS – and Meade – for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pursue their interests. “I’ve watched crime shows and read textbooks, but it’s different when you see things in person,” Rodriguez said.

“I’m so glad I joined APS,” Zavala said. “Professor Meade really goes out of the way for students and it’s because of him that we’re able to do this.”

— Amanda Cerreto