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King University News :: King University Launches King Institute for Security & Intelligence Studies

BRISTOL, Tenn., Jan. 28, 2014 – King University is announcing the launch of a nonpartisan organization dedicated to the scholarly study and advancement of security and intelligence issues – the King Institute for Security and Intelligence Studies (KISIS).  National and international security and intelligence issues are headlining the news on a daily basis around the globe. As a result, many employers are seeking college graduates who can demonstrate an appreciation of contemporary issues including security threats and challenges.

KISIS will serve as a forum for research and analysis, regularly conducting research in areas of counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and security themes as they apply to local, regional, and national communities. Research analysis will be publicized through a variety of peer-reviewed outlets in an effort to provide public and private-sector leaders a greater appreciation of intelligence and their homeland-security responsibilities. 

Serving as director of the institute is Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis, an internationally recognized expert in the history and practice of international espionage; intelligence and terrorism; cyberespionage, cyberterrorism, and cyberwarfare; and the interception of communications. Fitsanakis also serves as coordinator for the Security and Intelligence Studies minor and assistant professor of Political Science. He is a frequent contributor to news media, such as BBC, ABC Radio, and RT Television. His work has been referenced in dozens of outlets, including The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, The Boston Herald, The Independent, The Guardian, Politico, Al Jazeera, Le Monde Diplomatique, L’Express, Libération, The Huffington Post, Wired, The Diplomat, and AlterNet.

“Throughout our students’ academic career, King University facilitates global awareness, responsible citizenship, and intellectual depth,” says King University President Dr. Greg Jordan. “The King Institute for Security and Intelligence Studies provides a pathway for both King students and the surrounding community to engage in discussion of security and intelligence matters of a regional, domestic, and foreign significance.”  

“I’m thrilled to be a part of this ground-breaking venture,” says Fitsanakis. “From the moment King began Security and Intelligence Studies (SIS) as a program, our students have embraced it. They are eager to learn more about the issues they see on the news every day and how they can make a difference locally, nationally, and globally. The institute will not only provide incredible opportunities for discussion for our students but also for members of the surrounding community.”

In May 2013, King’s SIS program launched the world’s first undergraduate scholarly journal focused exclusively on intelligence, security, terrorism, geopolitics, and international relations, the Security and Intelligence Studies Journal (SISJournal).  On July 10, the SISJournal was included on the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) official list of student-run peer reviewed publications alongside such prestigious academic institutions as Stanford, Notre Dame, Harvard, Yale, and MIT. The CUR list may be viewed at http://www.cur.org/resources/students/undergraduate_journals/. The SISJournal is available at Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/1489513957/.

In addition to research, KISIS will also focus on areas of media and community outreach with institute experts available to local, regional, and global media outlets as specialists on matters of security and intelligence. They will also participate in community boards, forums, and other platforms of public life, with the aim of reaching out to the wider society.  

The institute will provide seminars, workshops, and lectures, which are designed to advance society’s understanding of the nature of intelligence and the changing security landscape in the 21st century, by nationally and internationally known experts. Recent KISIS co-sponsored lectures included Joyce Connery, director of nuclear energy policy within the Office of International Economics on the National Security Council, and John Buchanan, 26-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and director of the White House Situation Room the day terrorist Osama bin Laden was slain.

“I'm very excited that King can offer an institute of this significance,” says Dr. Matt Roberts, chief academic officer and dean of academic affairs. “Security and intelligence are important topics, particularly in a post 9/11 world. The SIS program and institute build upon the strong academic traditions of liberal arts, particularly history and political science, and create a relevant venue for applied studies. Dr. Fitsanakis has done a wonderful job in bringing nationally recognized security and intelligence experts to King; additionally, he has brought national and international recognition to King--a robust and scholarly SIS program that we have developed here at King is virtually unheard of at the undergraduate level. The SIS Institute is a natural extension of his good work.” 

In addition to serving as the executive editor for the SISJournal’s inaugural edition, Micah-Sage Bolden posed the idea of creating an undergraduate journal to examine topics of security and intelligence. Bolden graduated in May 2013 with his degree in Political Science and History and minors in Philosophy and Security and Intelligence Studies and is currently working on his Ph.D., studying domestic terrorism, at Michigan State University. Of the SISJournal’s inception, Bolden commented, “Beyond the fact that this journal, by the very essence of its originality, elevates King to an internationally distinct institution, I think the greatest importance of the journal is the unparalleled opportunity it affords to undergraduate students; every student with a passion for research and ambition to be published should have the chance, and the Security and Intelligence Journal will help make that possible.”  

King first began offering Security and Intelligence Studies as a minor in 2012. The program was a natural complement to numerous degree programs offered by King. SIS provides students with the opportunity to learn about espionage and intelligence, international terrorism, the Cold War, covert action, and advanced topics in geopolitics.

To learn more about King University’s King Institute of Security and Intelligence Studies, visit http://kisis.king.edu or contact Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis at 423.652.6014 or jfitsanakis@king.edu

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King University is a Presbyterian, doctoral-level comprehensive university.  Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities.  Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing.  A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available.  King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports.  For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu.  King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability.  King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia.  For more information, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.