EMU senior one of only two Michigan students to receive FBI internship
YPSILANTI - When friends ask Crosby Houpt what he did with his summer vacation, he may not be able to tell them.
Houpt, a senior at Eastern Michigan University, is one of only 56 college students nationally – and one of only two in Michigan - to earn a prestigious internship with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The 22-year-old from Mount Gilead, Ohio, will have a top-secret security clearance during his more than two months at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., so he may not able to share details of the projects assigned to him.
“It’s quite an honor, and I’m really excited about the challenge,” said Houpt, who is majoring in language and world business within EMU’s College of Business.
According to the FBI, the Honors Internship Program offer students an insider's view of its operations and an opportunity to explore career opportunities within the bureau. The program also is designed to enhance the FBI’s visibility and recruitment efforts at U.S. colleges and universities.
Only individuals with strong academic credentials, outstanding character, a high degree of motivation and the willingness to represent the FBI upon returning to their respective campus are selected.
Houpt’s first day is June 5, and he will spend the next 70 days at the J.Edgar Hoover Building, returning to Ypsilanti in mid-August.
An estimated 4,000 students apply to the program, now in its 25 years. Houpt discovered the program while doing Web searches last fall on internship opportunities. He applied in November 2005, and after enduring and passing months of interviews, essays, drug screenings, background checks and polygraph exams, he was officially accepted in late April.
As part of the final review process, FBI agents interviewed more than two dozen friends, family members, EMU professors and employers about his background and character.
Houpt believes that his language background – he’s studying Spanish and spent several months studying abroad in Mexico last year – and business background were favorable factors in his selection, as was his range of on- and off-campus activities.
For example, he is president of Alpha Kappa Lambda, a Greek social fraternity that he helped form a local chapter nearly three years ago. No alcohol is allowed in the fraternity’s chapter house, a decision its leaders made as a way to break with the stereotypes of collegiate Greek life. He also has served as vice president of the Inter-Fraternity Council, the body that represents EMU’s fraternities.
He has served on the First Year Council, a subunit of Student Government comprised of freshman, and as chief of staff for a student body president. And for three years, he has sat in the press box and announced home games for the women’s softball team.
He also works in the College of Business’ Department of Management, one of several campus jobs he has held since arriving at EMU as a freshman in September 2002. He also has served as a residence hall office manager for two years. When time allows, he enjoys watching and playing baseball and guiding EMU’s Ultimate Frisbee team in competition against other universities.
Houpt was one of 60 students from Michigan colleges and universities who applied last year Each of the FBI’s 56 field offices – the Michigan one is in Detroit – does an initial application screening in order to select and forward five finalists to FBI headquarters. There, a second committee does a deeper review. Eventually, a finalist and alternate are selected from each field office. Houpt was the alternate for the Detroit field office. But occasionally, both a finalist and alternate from a field office are rejected in the very final stages, usually after failing a polygraph or background exam. Or additional funding is found allowing more of the alternates to be awarded internships.
Whatever the case, someone else’s loss was Houpt’s gain
Houpt graduated from Mount Gilead High School in 2002, and chose to enroll at EMU after comparing the strengths of colleges of business from a handful of Mid-American Conference universities. His parents, Kimberly Hickman and Kevin Houpt, still live in the Mount Gilead area.
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.
Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.