Crystal is currently an Associate Professor in the Criminal Justice Program at CUNY Bronx Community College (BCC). She earned her doctoral degree in criminal justice from The Graduate School and University Center in 2014. Her scholarship focuses on high-impact pedagogical practices, cross-cultural competency, quantitative reasoning, and criminal justice reform. She is a first-generation college graduate who educates and advocates for justice.
Crystal saw the benefits of camp from her older brother who survived cancer at the age of 9. Her brother, Juan “John” Rodriguez, always expressed that camp was a place where he could just be a kid away from all the doctor visits and worries.
She also experienced the advantages of attending Happiness is Camping (HIC) starting in 1991 as the first group of siblings invited. She attended camp for seven years until she aged out at 15 in 1998. HIC introduced Crystal to horseback riding, archery, volleyball, hiking, canoeing, and many other adventures that she would have never experienced without camp. In addition, camp was a place where she developed long-lasting friendships that evolved into family. About ten years later, she returned as a volunteer counselor.
Crystal is an avid runner and participated in the NYC Marathon for three consecutive years (2014-2016). During her 2016 run, she raised money and ran to represent Happiness Is Camping.
Crystal was born and raised in the Bronx, New York, but now resides in Monroe, New York with her fiancée Gabriella.