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Four Eastern Kentucky University students have been invited to participate in the National Security Analysis and Intelligence Seminar (NSAISS) hosted by the U.S. Defense Agency and supported by the entire U.S. intelligence community.

The students are: Joel Bottomley, graduate student, Safety, Security and Emergency Management; Bailey Cox, senior, Homeland Security; Megan Ramirez, junior, Globalization and International Affairs and Homeland Security; and Jarren Thomas, sophomore, Homeland Security.

The NSAISS is a highly selective, rigorous two-week residential summer program in Washington, D.C. The EKU students were selected from an applicant pool of more than 150 students from approximately 40 Intelligence Community Centers for Academic Excellence (IC CAE). The affiliated institutions nationwide include EKU and four other universities in Kentucky: Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University. All four of the EKU students are IC CAE Scholars with the EKU-led Bluegrass State IC CAE (BGS IC CAE) program.

The goal of the NSAISS as well as the BGS IC CAE is to prepare students to become the next generation of intelligence and security professionals. During the first week, participants are introduced to the U.S. intelligence community and interact with senior officials, intelligence analysts, and experts through a curriculum of lectures, panels, and intelligence community agency site visits – for example, the Central Intelligence Agency. Participants will also interact with recruiters from the various intelligence community agencies at a career fair. The second week involves students participating in multiple intelligence simulations that provide an inside look into the intelligence profession and are based on complex events in which students must work as a team.

“The NSAISS can be considered a two-week job interview for employment in the U.S. intelligence community,” said Dr. Mike Collier, who serves as the BGS IC CAE principal investigator and co-director at EKU.

Earlier this semester, the BGS IC CAE awarded students from affiliated institutions $56,000 in grants and scholarships to help fund educational and professional development activities.

“The focus of the BGS IC CAE is students, and the provision of grants and scholarships to students is one of the best aspects of the program that directly supports student success,” said Dr. Brian Simpkins, BGS IC CAE associate director at EKU. In order to be eligible to receive grants and scholarships, students must apply to be IC CAE Scholars and maintain certain academic and program engagement requirements. Only after a competitive application process are students awarded grants and scholarships.

This year’s recipients will utilize the funding for study abroad experiences in Prague, Israel, and Canada, foreign language training, immersive training at the Advanced Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC), and presentations at multiple national and international conferences, including the 2017 International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE) Conference. Since 2015, the BGS IC CAE has awarded more than $150,000 in grants and scholarships to prepare students for careers in the intelligence and security fields. Through the awards, BGS IC CAE students have participated in numerous national and international conferences, studied at select institutions (including Middlebury Language Schools), and completed foreign language education and cultural immersion in countries such as Russia, Costa Rica, Oman, Turkey, China, Japan and India.

The BGS IC CAE is funded by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. In addition to student grants and scholarships, the program many other opporutnities, including academic programs (certificates and minors) and numerous outreach activities, including intelligence workshops, guest lectures, annual colloquiums, career panels and facility tours.

Additionally, the BGS IC CAE successfully conducted its third annual Kentucky Intelligence Colloquium on April 7. The University of Kentucky Patterson School for Diplomacy and International Commerce hosted the colloquium on the UK campus, and the Kentucky Intelligence Fusion Center served as colloquium sponsor.

The colloquium, the theme of which was Asymmetric Warfare and Intelligence, was attended by more than 100 individuals, including students, faculty, and staff from all affiliated intuitions; intelligence community members from the local, state, and federal levels; representatives of private sector corporations; and first responders from local and state agencies.

The event provided an opportunity where academia and the public and private sectors with intelligence responsibilities or interests could come together to investigate topics. “The colloquium is a successful venue for BGS IC CAE students to present their research and analysis and have it critiqued by members of the U.S. intelligence community,” Collier said.

colloquium photo

Bottom photo: An IC CAE Scholar Panel at the colloquium included two EKU students and one alum. From left are EKU senior criminal justice major Anna Reeves, who served as panel moderator; Ivan Duvall, Kentucky State University; EKU senior homeland security major Jacob Peoples; William Razor, Morehead State University; and Murphy Ware, EKU homeland security alum now pursuing a master's degree in diplomacy with the University of Kentucky Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce.