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King University News :: King’s Brittany Linkous Seizes Learning Opportunities Through Study Abroad in South Korea and Internships in Washington D.C.

BRISTOL, Tenn., February 25, 2014 – Study abroad and internships are just two of the ways Brittany Linkous has expanded her educational opportunities while studying at King University. A senior set to graduate in May 2014, Linkous is double-majoring in cellular molecular biology and political science history, while minoring in security and intelligence studies.

During the spring of 2013, Linkous received an email about an opportunity to study abroad in South Korea. A few days later she returned to the email, completed the application and sent it in. “The program is through the Hannam University, which is in Daejeon, South Korea. I went into it completely blind. I didn’t want to have any presumptions about the Korean culture, any stigmas, or anything like that. When I arrived, it was just a complete culture submersion essentially.”

After arriving in Daejeon in the summer of 2013, Linkous spent 25 days immersing herself in the Korean culture. “Everything we did was about Korea, specifically South Korea, the history of it, the economy, how it has built itself up from the Korean War, and how it has progressed forward from being one of the strongest economies in its area to being able to support itself after [the war].

“I had never been to Asia,” added Linkous. “When I got the email I just said, ‘Why not.’ At that time, I didn’t have an internship lined up for that summer. I thought, with the tuition covered by King, it was just an experience I couldn’t pass up. I like to think that going abroad opens up your eyes to a lot of different things; that’s what I wanted - something different, something that would shock my system, and let me see a different perspective of the world.”

King University has always placed a great emphasis on its students understanding of global citizenship, a concept in which students are taught that there must be cooperation, communication, and an external awareness of cultures, politics, and economics.

Upon her return, Linkous said she wanted to be seen as a citizen of the world. “I wanted to be seen as more than just somebody who’s from the states. I wanted to be seen as somebody who’s experienced in world travel, someone who understands different cultures, and doesn’t have a one-sided view of things. And, I feel like this experience, going to Korea, definitely opened up more doors and helped me to see things in a different light. I have definitely changed who I am. I’m more open; I’m more accepting of things. It has definitely been one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.”

From her world travels to South Korea, Linkous travelled to Washington D.C. this semester to participate in not one but two internships. She is currently interning at two think-tanks: the Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (PHDS) at the National Defense University located at Fort McNair, and the Federation of American Scientists (FAS).

“While at the PHDS Linkous is working as a research assistant under the supervision of Dr. Luis Kun, a professor of national security. I am currently working on research regarding the implications of arsenic. She has also attended lectures, events, and meetings with international leaders held by the National Defense University and PHDS. At the FAS, she works for Mark Jansson, adjunct fellow for special projects. Her time is divided between editing journal articles, research assistance, developing independent research projects on topics of biosecurity, and updating the Virtual Biosecurity Center.”

“Due to the amount of research and critical thinking that is required of me each day in the work setting, I feel I was well equipped because of the structure of the courses I have taken at King. I am thankful for my professors taking the initiative to push me beyond the surface of the subjects they were teaching, providing me with an excellent foundation for these internships.”

In addition to an already busy schedule, Linkous has also served as the executive editor for the Security and Intelligence Studies Journal (SISJournal) for the 2013-2014 academic year. The second edition of the SISJournal, King’s student-led, undergraduate academic publication, focuses on ‘Al-Qaeda: Past, Present, Future.’ The journal is currently available on Amazon.com.

“Being selected as the executive editor of the SISJournal for the 2013-2014 year has been an honor and a privilege. After working with the founding editorial team and seeing the leadership of the previous executive editor, I knew I had high expectations to fill. I am very grateful that my peers and the faculty believed I was qualified to oversee the work of the editorial staff and ensure the quality and integrity of the journal.

“By being part of the development of the journal, I have learned a significant amount regarding the establishment of a successful organization, academic research, and working under considerable pressure as a member of an ambitious team of editors. Through my position as executive editor of the Security and Intelligence Studies Journal, I have gained valuable insight on the inner workings of the academic publication process. This has already been a beneficial experience as it was a key skill that the Federation of American Scientists looked for in selecting intern.”

After graduation in May 2014, Linkous is looking at possible career avenues in biodefense and security. “I want to be involved with something that will take in both sides of my interest in biology and political science and history. And I’m hoping to go into something that will incorporate my interest and expertise. I am open to new ideas and different careers options, because I feel it is hard for me to settle in one area when I have my hand in so many different things. I especially like traveling. You gain new ideas each time your travel to a new place. I am most interested in security and intelligence, particularly biodefense.”

In her time at King, Brittany Linkous has shown that there are ways to explore all of the paths in which one is interested – one need only take a chance.

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