Southfield college student has eyes set on the FBI

Unsolved crimes motivate Wayne State student

By: Kathryn Pentiuk | Southfield Sun | Published January 11, 2024

 Brea Hartsfield is a second-time recipient of the 2023-2024 Wayne State Corvias Endowed Scholarship with dreams of becoming an FBI agent.

Brea Hartsfield is a second-time recipient of the 2023-2024 Wayne State Corvias Endowed Scholarship with dreams of becoming an FBI agent.

Photo provided by Brea Hartsfield


SOUTHFIELD — Southfield resident Brea Hartsfield has her eyes set on the FBI.

Hartsfield is a 2022 graduate of Clarenceville High School and a sophomore at Wayne State University pursuing a criminal justice degree with a minor in forensics and investigation.

“If I’m being completely transparent, it all started with ‘Criminal Minds,’” she joked. “I became really, really intrigued, and I started to do a little bit more research. Then I started to watch more crime documentaries. When I found out about JonBenet Ramsey, the little girl, and the fact that her murder still isn’t solved, I think that really pushed me, because there’s a lot more cases, similar cases, that haven’t been solved. They’re just closed, and that’s not OK with me.”

Hartsfield explained that she originally wanted to become a detective, but after researching and learning that fewer than 1% of the FBI consists of African American women, her path changed course. She attributed this low percentage to stigmas.

“It was kind of a shocker, but also not really. I want to change those numbers and bring those numbers up. I want to be able to show future generations that they can do it, because I feel like right now, we’re in this stage where we’re trying to break out of the stereotypes of a man’s job and a woman’s job.”

On Nov. 14, it was announced that Hartsfield was one of the two recipients of the 2023-2024 Wayne State Corvias Endowed Scholarship, which was established in 2018. She is a second-time recipient of this scholarship, also winning the scholarship in 2022.

Each recipient receives $6,250 per semester, up to $12,500 for the academic year. The scholarships are presented to two Wayne State University students each year as part of a 10-year, $1 million commitment to the partnership between Wayne State University and Corvias.

The other recipient is Neveah Rogan, a Warren resident and first-year student at Wayne State, who also happens to be studying criminal justice with a minor in pre-law. Rogan aspires to become an attorney.

Corvias is a privately owned company headquartered in Rhode Island. It has a partnership with the Department of Defense and higher education institutions across the U.S. to address housing, infrastructure and energy resiliency needs in an effort to create sustainable solutions for the long term. Corvias serves nearly 20,000 students and 15 colleges and universities, including Wayne State University.

Todd Pedersen, the senior vice president of asset management for Corvias, explained that it was “pure coincidence” that both recipients are pursuing the same major.

“They’re pretty great,” he said. “I had the privilege to spend a little bit of time with both students last year and this year during a luncheon that the university hosts on campus. So, I’ve gotten to meet with the very impressive students that have received the scholarship each year.”

Hartsfield said the scholarship “is a really strong push for me. This scholarship has really helped me, and I feel like being able to get out of the house and from under my mom’s wing makes me want to be more independent and more responsible.”

To be eligible for the scholarship, students must live on campus and have and maintain a 3.0 GPA. The application window is open through April 1. For more information, visit To learn more about Corvias, visit