Feminism in the FBI: Female agents visit campus, discuss career paths


Photo credit: Thea Leimone

A female agent from the FBI demonstrates how bulletproof vests are worn. Students who participated in the assembly had the opportunity to try on gear following the presentation.

By Vaughan Anoa'i, Editor in Chief

On Jan. 19, representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation led a discussion during US-FLX Block in the BlackBox Theatre, sharing further insight into the Bureau’s mission, the many professions available and different methods in which students can become more involved. The main purpose of this assembly was to offer a glimpse into what it’s like to be apart of the FBI, especially for female special agents and analysts who are working in a male-dominated career path.

Sophomore Olivia Miro said it was important for girls of all ages to be exposed to opportunities like these to ensure that they are better informed of the available careers that women can thrive in.

“I think it’s important for them to know that fields like these — that are usually seen as fields for strong men and figures like that — they can be a part of that as well, and it’s not just closed to those types of groups,” Miro said. “I think experiencing this and seeing the nice diversity helps them see that.”

Math teacher Michelle Hogan brought this opportunity to Archer as she was eager to expose not only her own students, but also the entire Archer community to learning more about the FBI. Hogan’s husband was an FBI agent who served on the Evidence Response Team that deals specifically with crime scene investigation.

“I think it gives them a great opportunity to see that, hey, there’s a niche for us in this field … It opened up their eyes. I think that there is this presence and want for the woman there,” Hogan said. “So I think it gives them the opportunity to take charge and understand that you don’t have to be a male to be an FBI agent.”

I think it gives them the opportunity to take charge and understand that you don’t have to be a male to be an FBI agent.

— Michelle Hogan, math teacher

During the presentation, the agents spoke about the journeys that led them to their current occupations as well as the many opportunities that are offered within the Bureau. The presenters also discussed what a typical day-in-the-life looked like, describing elements of both their desk work as well as their field work.

“I learned that there’s a lot more desk work than I expected, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But since my interest was described from “Criminal Minds,” you mostly see the field work [on the show], but I think it’s cool,” Miro said. “You get both sides and there’s so many different fields within the FBI that you can take part of.”

Senior Erin Mamalakis said that she enjoyed learning that there are no physical tests that agents need to pass in order to work in the Bureau. Mamalakis also spoke to where her interest in the FBI and police force initially stemmed from as a child.

“My biggest takeaway is … that they have to pass no physical tests to be able to run a mile and a half. I can probably do that,” Mamalakis said. “I always wanted to be a police officer when I was younger. This is a way that I could do the same thing [working in the Bureau] and put puzzles together because I love doing puzzles.”

Students also had the chance to try on actual FBI gear and practiced dusting for fingerprints as well. Since Hogan’s husband worked mainly within the CSI realm of the FBI, she hopes to host a future assembly that focuses more on how to investigate a crime scene or the way that blood splatters. As the central organizer for this opportunity, Hogan said the most meaningful part of this event was watching the participants’ interest evolve and grow as the assembly progressed.

“I think it was just getting the ability to watch the girls ask these really educated questions and … hearing their feedback at the end and how they all really enjoyed it,” Hogan said. “It did open up their eyes to a new career path and something they didn’t know about.”