CAS Corps Feature: Samantha Brakefield

The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Corps are chosen to serve as representatives to all constituents of CAS and to create, promote and execute opportunities for academic and professional growth. These students represent a variety of departments from across CAS and will represent the College at events through interaction among current students, future students, parents, donors and alumni.

Throughout the year, we will be introducing new students representing the College in the 2023-24 academic year through a question and answer format. For more about the CAS Corps, visit:

Samantha Brakefield

Year: Junior
Major: Criminal Justice (International Studies)
Hometown: Monroe, N.C.

What research or coursework have you been most passionate about?

"The coursework I have been most passionate about was learning about the corrections system. After learning about how unfair the corrections system is and how little opportunities there are to get back on your feet after spending time in prison, I became very invested in learning all about the system."

Which location(s) do you hope to visit for an internship, a study abroad trip, a research experience, or just for fun?

"I hope to obtain an internship in Washington, DC or another big city. I would also like to spend a Semester at Sea."

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

"My favorite place on campus is easily Sanford Mall. I love how it is a shared space for everyone in the App State community and how people share the hobbies they love with others while they're there. Sanford Mall has allowed make lots of friendships and take up plenty of new pastimes."

What is one of your favorite memories at Appalachian thus far?

"My favorite memory at App State was the first football game I attended. I met so many awesome people and the experience of being in the student section was unreal. The energy from the crowd was insane and I have not stopped going to the games since."

What do you like about Boone and the surrounding community?

"My favorite thing about Boone is how welcoming and supportive it's community is. Although the population is continually rising, it doesn't feel like it both around campus and surrounding areas. It feels like home in every part of Boone."

What are your hobbies?

"My main hobby is fitness. I love all aspects of working out, whether that be doing yoga, going for a run, or lifting heavy weights. Outside of fitness, I love to go on hikes and explore the local waterfalls."

What is your favorite book, podcast, artist, and/or television show?

"My favorite television show has recently become 'Suits.' The continuous power conflicts and intriguing characters are what keep me watching it."

Tell us about one faculty or staff member that has made an impact on your life and how.

"The faculty member that has made a positive impact on my overall experience at App State is Dr. Cathy Marcum. Dr. Marcum is such an inspiring, wise, and dedicated woman. Dr. Marcum makes sure her students not only comprehend the material at hand, but that they are also prioritizing their mental and physical health."

What do you feel has been valuable in your education at Appalachian versus another institution?

"I owe my academic success to the phenomenal professors at Appalachian State. Each semester, I become more impressed with the talent and knowledge each professor holds and the way they go about sharing the information. I feel like I am fully immersed in the educational experience because of how well the professors instruct."

What do you hope to do after graduation?

"After graduation, I hope to obtain a job with the federal government, as I would like to work as a Law Enforcement Agent."


About the Department of Government and Justice Studies
Appalachian State University’s Department of Government and Justice Studies offers undergraduate programs in political science and criminal justice, and graduate programs in political science and public administration. Housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, the department has over 600 undergraduate majors and more than 70 graduate students. Learn more at

Compiled by Lauren Gibbs
February 23, 2024

CAS Corps member Samantha Brakefield is a junior criminal justice major from Monroe. Photo by Lauren Gibbs.
Published: Feb 23, 2024 9:00am