CU Professor Max Wise Unites with API to Offer International Course in Homeland Security

By Rachel Crenshaw, student news writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.— Max Wise, assistant professor of political science and lead professor for the homeland security minor at Campbellsville University, will be instructing a new international homeland security course available to any student seeking the opportunity to learn from a fresh perspective.

“This program will be an awesome opportunity for our students or any student who wants to step outside of reading a textbook and look at the concept of terrorism with their own eyes,” said Wise, as he explained the benefits of the new course Campbellsville University will be offering July 1-30, 2009.

Campbellsville University has partnered with API (Academic Programs International) to offer the course “Studies in Homeland Security: Political Violence and Government Response” which will allot six semester hours of CU transcript credit.

This course is offered nationwide to any college or university student wishing to participate. The minimal requirements are 3.0 GPA, completed API application by April 1, one letter of recommendation, an official transcript and a course prerequisite: introduction to political science or equivalent.

The course will begin in Madrid at the start of the program and will fly out of London at the program’s conclusion. The students will be housed in student residence halls.

The course’s main objective is to deal with an issue that crosses the social science fields of political science, international relations and sociology: the use of terrorism for political purposes, Wise said.

Some other key issues the course will be presenting includes: the financing of terrorism; the use and exploitation of the media as it deals with terrorism; connections between fundamentalism, religion and terrorism; the abilities of security services and intelligence organizations to effectively monitor and combat terrorism; use and Internet by extremist groups and the cooperation between and among terrorist networks.

Wise has worked with the intelligence and counterterrorism area for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Washington D.C. and for the Lexington, Ky., Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Wise said when he first came onboard as a faculty member at CU he had two short-term goals in mind. One was to create a homeland security (HLS) program and the second was to create a study abroad component that would compliment the HLS minor. Both have been accomplished.

Wise said the program would not have been made possible without the help of Bill Holmes, CU director of international education, and without the help of Brittany Norman and Christie Johnson from the Academic Programs International (API).

In addition, Wise said he greatly appreciates Dr. Franklin Cheatham, vice president for academic affairs and professor of math and computer science, and the administration who gave him full support in creating the program.

Wise said the program began to take flight when he approached Holmes with the idea and a list of countries that he thought the students would be interested in traveling to and that would have a nexus to the study of terrorism.

Together they decided to explore the Basque region of Northern Spain with its continuous confrontations with political violence, Madrid for the 2005 Al-Qaeda inspired train bombing and the United Kingdom targeted on the focus of the London subway terrorist attacks.

Holmes foresaw this type of program being marketed nationwide attracting all college students not just those in the region. The program was then taken a step further when API was contacted and not only agreed to the program but believed it to be one of a kind.

“This is a great accomplishment and opportunity for our university in terms of marketing, recruitment and precedent as this program is one of the first of its kind,” Wise said. The team effort succeeded in producing a study abroad program marketed nationwide which will offer CU transcript credit, said Wise who said “it’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

The goal, Wise said, is to get at minimum 15 students involved. They will be able to hear firsthand from Basque supporters and separatists, as well as visit the sites of terrorist attacks and view memorials that reflect upon the tragedies.

While in London, the students will visit Hyde Park to hear from those individuals who may be espousing radical thoughts and also talk with the UK emergency responders about the subway and bus attacks.

“I am excited as a professor to be able to talk to people over there that live in this environment,” said Wise, “and hope to be able to bring those stories back to the classroom for the homeland security courses.”

Wise said he is also looking forward to working with students outside of the realm of Campbellsville University and having the opportunity to travel and develop friendships overseas with the host universities in Spain and the UK.

Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,601 students who represent 93 Kentucky counties, 27 states and 31 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2009 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 22nd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South for the second consecutive year. CU has been ranked 16 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges®. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his tenth year as president.

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