Center for American Studies Brings Homeland Security and FBI Director to Campus

Last Thursday, Feb. 17, the Center for American Studies at CNU held a day-long conference on the subject of National Security, headlined by the visit of the current director of the FBI, Christopher Wray. Additionally, the speaker’s list included Rear Admiral Douglas Verissimo, Director of Maritime Operations for the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, and Aliscia Andrews, the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security for Virginia; as well as several panel sessions of professionals within both the government and private sector.

The broad subject was national security, with specific focus on a range of topics that included Cyber Vulnerabilities and Ransomware Attacks, Domestic and International Terrorism, and The Risks and Potential Benefits of Unmanned Systems. 

Senior CNU student and political science major, Erin Reno, spoke to the value of these sessions, “The Director spoke a lot about the fight against cyber crime and stuff, which was really interesting, something that I don’t know a ton about… I’m really excited to hear from these experts.” 

During this conference there were several breaks in the program for ‘Student Networking,’ to give students the opportunity to connect with careers that several speakers described as not only professionally attractive, but also fulfilling an essential service to the country as well.

The event was put together and planned through CNU’s Center for American Studies, headed by Professor Nathan Busch and the center’s Junior Fellows. 

In the days following this event, Professor Busch told The Captain’s Log, “This conference would not have been possible without our team of Intrepid Junior Fellows. We are grateful for your help in making this event the success that it was.”

One of these fellows, Keelan Graves, a junior double majoring in American studies and political science, spoke about his time at the Center, “[F]inding Junior Fellows was such an eye opening experience for me because I got to not only get unique opportunities like working this one, but also be able to meet people that I would have never met before.” 

When asked about the event itself,  Graves said: “I enjoyed meeting all the new people. I have worked two symposiums for the Center of American Studies now and one of the best things is meeting all the professionals. They’re so passionate about their jobs. They bring unique opportunities, they also bring different informational stuff, and so it’s really cool seeing all the students who are passionate about it come out.”