January 23, 2014 | 8:33 a.m.
By Nicole Finsaas '13
While many students were working summer jobs or hitting the beach, Emily Stroud ’14 spent last summer fighting terrorism. Stroud, a double major in business and political science and international relations, interned in Washington, D.C. with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). She worked mostly on the Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS), where she profiled radical extremist individuals whose ideology inspired illegal acts in the United States. Now, Stroud’s research will be turned into case studies to further the study of similarities in radical extremists.
Stroud heard about the internship opportunity through Chris Moore, associate professor of political science. Moore has always encouraged Stroud to get involved in the political science department. “She is intellectually curious and interested in connecting classroom experiences to internship and career experiences,” says Moore. “And she's mindful about how the content she's studying now will lead to future life goals.” Stroud is vice president of the Model UN club on campus and president of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society. “I honestly have to give [credit] for the majority of my collegiate academic accomplishments to Dr. Moore. Not only does he invest time into discussing career interests, but also clearly takes that mentorship to heart…. He approached me about the internship and told me how it aligned with my interests and future aspirations,” says Stroud.
Stroud’s START internship is a great starting place for her career, and the military intelligence and operations field will likely be a part of her future. “I think it would be thrilling to work with the CIA, Homeland Security, or the National Counterterrorism Center,” she says. But thrill isn’t the only reason Stroud is interested in the counterterrorism field. “My faith is actually one of the strongest reasons why I am looking to go into the field,” she says. “It won’t be an easy field to work in day in and day out; but because of my discipline, education, supportive family, and personal relationship with God, I believe I can succeed in fulfilling what He has called me to do …I can be a light in a very dark field of this country.”