November 28, 2011
University Relations and Marketing
Students, faculty at Bowie State to conduct international research for national security
University joins consortium to research homeland security issues in Afghanistan, India, etc.
Students and faculty from Bowie State University will soon be traveling to countries like Afghanistan, India and Pakistan to study their cultural elements and political systems as part of a new consortium funded by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to educate more students in security studies.
A five-year, $1.8 million grant established the Mid-Atlantic Consortium - Center of Academic Excellence (MAC-CAE), led by Morgan State University and including Bowie State, Elizabeth City State and Norfolk State universities. The participating institutions will develop research initiatives as part of a national effort to better understand the social, ethnographic, cultural, economic and political elements of societies in Southeast Asia. The research projects will prepare students for careers in national security or intelligence-related fields.
Bowie State faculty and students from sociology, criminal justice and the humanities will focus on identifying emerging groups of organized crime in these countries in order to reduce military and civilian conflict. They will also study criminal law and human rights in these countries as it pertains to international relations. New courses in security studies and fieldwork opportunities will be developed to enhance students' language and cultural skills needed to do this type of anthropologic and ethnographic research in a foreign country.
Judith L. Fitzgerald, J.D., a lecturer in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Human Services, will lead BSU's role in the consortium. "Our students will be exposed to a number of extraordinary opportunities in national security and intelligence-related fields through our participation in this consortium. It is important that we continue providing these resources for students as we work to prepare graduates for success in a global society. "
Each summer for the five-year period, four students from Bowie State University and each consortium institution will be selected to travel to Southeast Asia for eight weeks, where they will study issues like conflict resolution, civil wars and social movements.
Many other students at the university will also be placed in internships and coops with intelligence agencies throughout the region.
Bowie State President Mickey L. Burnim, Ph.D. supported the proposal for this grant. "This program offers students an opportunity to pursue a career in government or intelligence-related fields by promoting cultural immersion and study abroad activities, career development seminars, annual colloquia, symposia, strategic language courses, and internships with all 16 intelligence agencies."
The activities of the consortium will not only help prepare graduate students who are well-trained and ready to work upon entry, but they will also help diversify the current national security workforce and train leaders for the intelligence community in the 21st century.
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