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AFCEA Intelligence Scholarship Undergraduate Recipients

(Each winner received $2,250)

2008          2009        2010


Ms. Cara Cantakis

Mercyhurst College

Erie, PA


Ms. Cantakis is a junior majoring in Intelligence Studies with a minor in Spanish.  She has a 3.918 GPA.   She says her ideal job today would be to work for the Drug Enforcement Administration or as a criminal analyst with a large police force.  During summer 2010, she was a student intern at Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).  At the HIDTA, she worked on full background searches on suspicious persons and conducted gang investigation mainly utilizing social networking sites.  She was also tasked with looking into a prescription pill ring that was operating at the interstate level. The last major project she worked on was a human trafficking organization investigation.  She is on the Dean’s List and a Mercyhurst College Egan Honors Scholarship recipient.


Ms. Chyvonne Cruz

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Prescott, AZ


Upon completion of a BS in Global Security & Intelligence Studies with a minor in

Arabic & Middle Eastern Studies, Ms. Cruz intends to enroll in a Ph.D. program in

International Relations.   Her main interests are counterintelligence, counterterrorism, global crime, and international economics in relation to United States national security.  She plans to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible through academic study and research within the United States as well as through international study and experience.  She hopes a combination of academic research she hands-on experience will allow her to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to become a great asset to the Intelligence Community.   She is the president of The Melting Pot, a student organization focusing on social justice and diversity.   Ms. Cruz has a 4.0 GPA and is a McNair Scholar. She also is on the Director’s Academic Honor Roll.


Ms. Jordyn Elizabeth Arndt

St. Catherine University

St. Paul, MN

Ms. Arndt is a junior, International Business & Economics and French Minor in Women’s Studies with a 3.9 GPA. “I have been fascinated by the relationships between economic development, national security, and global prosperity. Through courses such as Economics of Development & Growth, Women & Globalization, and International Economics, I have come to see the importance of fostering economic development in the world’s poorest nations in order to prevent the cultivation of terrorism, religious fundamentalism, and anti-Western sentiments.”

As an incoming first year student at St. Catherine University, Ms. Arndt was awarded the Presidential Scholarship and selected as a finalist for the Elizabeth Ann Beatson O’Shaughnessy Merit Scholarship. Presidential Scholarships are awarded to students who are in the top 15% of their high school class and have an ACT composite score of 26. The Elizabeth Ann Beatson O’Shaughnessy Merit Scholarship is the institutions’ most prestigious award.

Ms. JoEllen L. Marsh

Mercyhurst College

Erie, PA

Ms. Marsh is a sophomore, Global Security & Intelligence Studies with a 4.0 GPA. Her interests lie in national security. Her program uses applied methods to teach students how to effectively communicate with decision makers, particularly in crisis situations. Ms. Marsh is editor-in-chief of a student-run newspaper. As a freshman she worked on a Department of Defense contract within the school's department. She was one of the first to write about adoption of Web 2.0 technologies in the IC. Ms. Marsh also worked for Mercyhurst Institute of Intelligence Analysis as an analyst/writer. Her team of five analysts wrote a book and instructional material for a 14-hour course for use by the Department of Defense. The course taught the practical application and theory of using wikis as a tool for collaborative intelligence analysis. Ms. Marsh is a member of the National Security Club, Mercyhurst College Concert Choir, Carpe Diem Women’s Chorus, Ultimate Frisbee Intramural Club and the Mercyhurst College Green Team.


Mr. Aaron M. (Mitch) Jones

Brigham Young University

Provo, UT

Mr. Jones is a junior Physics major with a minor in Mathematics with a 3.95 GPA.
He is currently involved in research related to quantum computing which has significant implications for U.S. intelligence. The successful development of this work would result in the breaking of current cryptography methods, since according to Mr. Jones “the factoring of large prime numbers would be readily accomplished.” Mr. Jones plans to continue his studies to the Ph.D. level in experimental physics. He is employed by the Department of Physical and Mathematical Sciences at Brigham Young as a research assistant, focusing on the spin lifetime of semiconductors, especially gallium arsenide. He is also directly involved in research related to the design and fabrication of high-accuracy neutron detectors, which would provide protection at the nation’s ports by inhibiting the illegal importation of fissile materials. Mr. Jones and his wife both attend college full time and work 20-hour weeks.

Mr. Alexander Jay Borman

St. Mary’s College of Maryland

St. Mary’s City, MD

Mr. Borman is a junior Political Science and Economics double major with a 3.7 GPA. He likens the study of international political economics to the inseparable spheres of politics, economics and security, commenting, “It is impossible to have security without a strong political system to maintain order” and likewise, “It is impossible to have a strong economy if a country has weak leadership.” Mr. Borman is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, holds a Certificate of Excellence from the Maryland Department of Transportation as a result of his summer 2008 Fellows Internship, was selected as a St. Mary’s Scholar the past two years, currently serves as President of the St. Mary’s Sailing Club and will serve as Class of 2010 Treasurer for the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Student Government Association. Upon graduation, Mr. Borman plans to pursue a graduate degree in intelligence studies.


Click here to read the bios of the graduate recipients!


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