Tulane SoPA students to address real-life security issues with federal STRATCOM leaders
Editor's note: This article appeared first on Nola.com.
A new partnership will allow Tulane School of Professional Advancement (Tulane SoPA) emergency and security studies students to tackle real-world issues and develop valuable relationships with federal officials.
Tulane SoPA is one of the newest members of the U.S. Strategic Command Academic Alliance, known as STRATCOM. The institution joins universities such as Harvard, Georgetown, Stanford and others in the alliance, which is designed to create an academic community that is focused on researching and analyzing national security issues.
Michael Wallace, director of Tulane SoPA’s Emergency and Security Studies program, said STRATCOM officials provide lists of areas they want students to research. Students then choose a topic of their choice to tackle as a capstone project, research project or independent study. Research areas may include missile attacks, weapons proliferation, cybersecurity, intelligence analysis, counterterrorism and more.
“The great thing about this partnership is that our students will work in conjunction with the professionals at STRATCOM,” Wallace said. “They will be addressing real world problems with the people who work on these issues every day, which is a really unique opportunity. At the end of the projects, STRATCOM will invite some students to present their work and findings to the STRATCOM commander and staff. It’s possible their work can influence U.S. military policy and strategy.”
Wallace said the partnership is just the latest way that Tulane SoPA provides real world experience to its students. Aside from the experience of addressing actual problems, partnerships like STRATCOM let Tulane SoPA students network with others, which can lead to future job opportunities.
“What appeals to STRATCOM is that students often come in with a new perspective on an issue and can present things in a new light,” Wallace said. “It gives them a fresh look at these topics, and that can sometimes change people’s views on how to address an issue. Plus, the students get this incredible experience. It truly is a win-win.”
Wallace added that there is enthusiasm among Tulane SoPA faculty about the partnership. Many faculty members are former or current military members or first responders who understand the value of gaining real-world experience, he said. As students work on their projects, Tulane SoPA faculty will serve as advisors to help guide them through the process and answer questions that arise.
“It gives them a chance to get involved as well, which is always fun,” Wallace said.
Tulane SoPA offers master’s degree programs in emergency management, homeland security and security management, as well as a bachelor’s degree in homeland security studies. Graduate certificate programs are offered in emergency management, intelligence studies, open source intelligence and sport security. Graduates have gone on to work in agencies including FEMA, the CIA, the U.S. Department of Justice, the City of New Orleans and more.
For more details on STRATCOM, visit https://www.stratcom.mil/Academic-Alliance/.
For more information on Tulane SoPA’s emergency and security degree offerings, visit https://sopa.tulane.edu/ess.