START was recently selected by the University of Maryland to develop a program for its new First-Year Innovation & Research Experience (FIRE). The highly competitive program is designed to provide first-year students with inquiry-based experiences and broad personal and academic mentorship.
Led by Dr. Brooke Liu, Associate Professor of Communication, START will offer the Risk Communication and Resilience stream aimed to develop science-based answers for how effective government communication can help individuals and communities best prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. This three-year pilot program will bring up to 40 undergraduate researchers, several peer mentors, and a research educator to START headquarters, significantly enhancing student training in risk communication research and practice.
“It’s an honor to be selected for this program, which will introduce first-year students to the exciting world of government-sponsored risk communication research much earlier in their academic careers than typical,” Liu said. “I hope this program will inspire students to continue on in the homeland security enterprise, and I’m looking forward to mentoring and learning from these students throughout their careers.”
Selected first-year University of Maryland students will enter the FIRE program this fall and take a course in research methods. In January 2014, they begin working with Liu and her team, as well as START’s national network of researchers from disciplines including anthropology, criminology, communication, computer science, English, geography, history, international affairs, political science, public health, and sociology.