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University of Akron Launches Interdisciplinary Center for Intelligence and Security Studies

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University of Akron
Olin Hall at University of Akron houses the Department of Political Science, the Ray Bliss Institute for Applied Politics and the newly launched Center for Intelligence and Security Studies

The University of Akron has launched a new program drawing together a range of departments at the university to provide training to better combat domestic and international security threats. The Interdisciplinary Center for Intelligence and Security Studies will draw on the university’s existing strengths in political science, criminal justice, computer science, mathematics and communication. It is the first of its kind in Ohio.

Dr. Karl Kaltenthaler is a professor of political science and the center’s director. He says they’ll bring together not only students and faculty cross-discipline, but also national intelligence experts and practitioners.

Dr. Kaltenthaler on why it is important for this center to be launched now

"We want to be as connected to the intelligence community not just with getting people to mentor our students but also having pipelines into jobs in the intelligence community."

Kaltenthaler says there will be a strong emphasis on internships and other experiential learning including research opportunities. He believes now is an important time to train people in intelligence and security to counter international and domestic threats.

Dr. Karl Kaltenthaler, Director of the Center for Intelligence and Security Studies

“Domestic political extremism has never been as frightening or as really, salient as it is right now in terms of its ability or propensity to cause significant harm to the country. At least not for generations.”

Kaltenthaler says faculty and students at the new center will be focused on China and Russia which he calls the biggest international threats. Another area of concentration will be climate change and biosecurity, pressing issues he believes could spark conflict in the years to come.

Jay Shah is a broadcast journalist finishing her Master of Arts degree at Kent State University. She joined WKSU as a news intern in 2020 and now works as a freelance producer for Ideastream Public Media’s daily local news headlines.