A Department of Homeland Security Emeritus Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

In training the next generation of scholars and practitioners, START offers its students a chance to publish their work on this blog.

Undergraduate terrorism course leads recent grad to START

Undergraduate terrorism course leads recent grad to START

Monday, July 6, 2015

Julia Lamar, Unconventional Weapons and Technology (UWT) CBRN Intern

This May, I graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA as a double major in corporate communications and political science. Throughout my undergraduate career, I had taken an array of political science coursework, but I couldn’t decide which area interested me the most— until I signed up for a terrorism studies course in the fall of my senior year.

The class was a game-changer. I was enthralled with the material and eager to learn more. I was especially interested in the social and political causes that led individuals to commit acts of terror. It was during that semester that I decided to pursue a career in counterterrorism.

My final semester of college, I was not ready to stop learning about terrorism. I wanted to do something that would allow me to continue researching what I had become so passionate about. I heard about START through a family friend and applied to the summer internship program immediately.

This summer, I’ll be working on the Unconventional Weapons and Technology team, specifically focusing on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats. I have only been doing the internship for a few short weeks and it is already proving to be hugely beneficial to my professional skillsets.

 At START I have been able to explore new content within this area of study, and I am constantly learning new things. The environment has been great to work in and everyone here is excited and passionate about the work they are doing.

I believe this internship experience will bring about greater clarity and insight as I think about future opportunities, and I feel confident that START is a great place to begin my career.