New Grant Promotes Intelligence Careers

A $720,000 grant will help provide training to students interested in careers in the intelligence community.

 

By Lorie Briggs

Special to USF News

 

TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 13, 2011) – Students desiring careers in business and governmental intelligence will soon have an opportunity to sharpen their analytical and critical-thinking skills and take advantage of overseas internships in order to prepare for careers in intelligence analysis.

 

A two-year, $720,000 grant the University of South Florida received from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Monday is paving the way. If subsequent renewals are awarded, the grant could mean nearly $1.9 million in funding for USF.

 

Offering certificates in national and competitive intelligence at the undergraduate and graduate levels, the university expects to serve at least 200 students in the coming year and will begin offering workshops and seminars as early as this fall. 

 

Aiming to educate and prepare students for entry-level positions in the intelligence community, as well as for analysis-related jobs in the private sector, the program will build upon strong relationships between the university and area partners such as United States Central Command and Special Operations Command, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tampa chapter of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. Students will participate in workshops and special seminars and complete coursework in international affairs as part of the program. The program will also help students land internships in the U.S. Department of State, at U.S. military installations, and in the private sector. 

 

“We will be training the next generation of intelligence analysts with this grant,” said USF business professor Walter Andrusyszyn, who will serve as the director of the project. “The skills needed by top-notch CIA analysts are the same as those needed for risk analysts in banking or for forecasters in other industries. We want USF to become a training ground for a new generation of professionals with superb analytical and communications skills.”

 

Andrusyszyn, who began teaching at USF’s College of Business in 2007, has an extensive background in both business and government. He served as the deputy permanent representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and shared responsibility in preparing U.S. President Barack Obama’s first visit to Europe. He has also served on the White House’s National Security Council and has held various positions with the U.S. Department of State.

 

The program will not only include rigorous academics, but will also include opportunities for students to conduct intelligence-related research and apply their classroom learning through internships. USF will help place selected students as interns at U.S. Central Command or at embassies across the globe. 

 

“Students will do more than simply learn in the classroom,” Andrusyszyn added. “We intend to provide students with hands-on learning experiences that are accompanied by secret clearances, so that participants will be able to have immediate contact with intelligence materials and officers,” he said. In addition to developing relationships with internship supervisors, he said, students will develop mentoring relationships with members of the local chapter of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.

 

“Students will evaluate lessons learned from the last decade and become familiar with new intelligence programs and analysis programs that have resulted from America’s experiences,” said Bob Forsythe, dean of the USF College of Business. “They will hone their analytical skills and discover how the lessons learned in the business classroom can impact the whole world.”

 

USF faculty will develop a new undergraduate course that will focus on the Middle East, especially Afghanistan and Pakistan, with a special emphasis on how the intelligence community addressed conflict-related issues and terrorism in the past. 

 

While college students are the primary focus of the grant, USF envisions serving area high schoolers as well. The university plans to host workshops on cyber security and satellite imagery reading for the younger students, starting with those enrolled in area International Baccalaureate programs.

 

Lorie Briggs can be reached at 813-974-7280.