EPIC Members Meet with Students from The Intelligence Center of Academic Excellence (ICAE) Scholars Program of the University of Maryland School of Public Policy (MSPP)
Students from The Intelligence Center of Academic Excellence (ICAE) Scholars Program of the University of Maryland School of Public Policy (MSPP) recently had the privilege of networking with members of the AFCEA Emerging Professionals in Intelligence Committee (EPIC). The EPIC Committee, an extension of the longstanding and highly regarded AFCEA Intelligence Committee, is comprised of intelligence professionals under the age of 40 from both the public and private sectors. The committee formed just three years ago of AFCEA members possessing the common desire to enhance AFCEA’s outreach and education about the Intelligence Community (IC).
In the spirit of the committee’s mission, six EPIC members attended an event on April 18th at the MSPP that introduced the ICAE scholars to the Principal Deputy Director for National Intelligence (PDDNI), The Honorable Stephanie O'Sullivan. Prior to Ms. O’Sullivan’s remarks about her own career in the IC, the ICAE scholars heard from each EPIC member on their own backgrounds and then had individual discussions about their career aspirations. The students were impressive both in their current studies and their plans for future education. They ranged in areas of study from Criminal Justice and Chinese to Arabic studies and computer science, and are preparing themselves and their resumes for a career in the IC, some beginning in high school. One student is going to follow her double major in criminal justice and Chinese with a masters in cybersecurity to be poised to contribute to the government’s increasing cybersecurity mission. The EPIC members offered up advice on where to look for internships and what classes to take to round out their education for a career in the IC, and provided their own anecdotes about their personal experiences working for the federal government. They echoed the message sent by the PDDNI that the IC needs a diverse workforce, both in cultural backgrounds and academic disciplines, to be able to handle today's global challenges of national security. All EPIC members provided the students with their contact information and the offer to stay in touch with them to answer questions and provide guidance on resume building and job searching.
EPIC members attending represented Battelle, Invertix Corporation, General Dynamics Information Technology, and SAVA Workforce Solutions. They were all extremely impressed by the quality of the ICAE scholars, appreciated the opportunity to provide mentorship to the next generation of IC professionals, and look forward to building an enduring relationship with the ICAE and Maryland's MSPP.
The MSPP event was hosted by Dr. William Nolte, Chairman Emeritus of AFCEA's Intelligence Committee and director of programs for intelligence research and education at MSPP. The ICAE Scholars Program prepares students for careers in intelligence. Its curriculum develops the skills relevant to intelligence community careers, while also allowing students to pursue the major or career of their choice. The program is designed to increase the pool of eligible applicants for positions within the intelligence community with an emphasis on students with diverse cultural backgrounds, language proficiency, geographical expertise and related competencies. The ICAE Scholars Program is open to high school, undergraduate and graduate students.