IWP student Lennea Mueller grew up in South Dakota, where she studied political science and criminal justice at Northern State University.
She worked for Senator Tim Johnson from South Dakota and the State House Majority Leader, but she knew she wanted to move to D.C. and work in national security after she interned at the State Department's Bureau of Political and Military Affairs.
Working alongside military personnel, former military, and civilians on the Global Peace Operations Initiative team gave Lennea valuable insights. "This experience truly sparked my interest to come back to Washington," Lennea remembers.
Lennea knew that she wanted to seek further education in the field of national security affairs, and that she wanted her graduate studies to focus on it, instead of studying it as merely a concentration or minor. In fall 2011, she began classes at IWP, where she is now enrolled in the MA program for National Security Affairs with a concentration in Intelligence. She says, "I knew I was in the right place when I saw the IWP poster with Mount Rushmore - I felt right at home!"
IWP has been "a good change from South Dakota," according to Lennea. She has already completed several core courses at IWP - "Western Moral Tradition;" "Twentieth Century Politics and Diplomacy: Case Studies in War and Peace;" and "International Relations, Statecraft and Integrated Strategy." "These courses give you good groundwork," Lennea comments. "I'm especially glad I took the International Relations course right away. It was great to have this background, because I didn't concentrate in international relations for my undergraduate degree."
This semester, Lennea is keeping busy with "Information Operations and Information Warfare" with Prof. Waller, "Intelligence and Policy" with Prof. Thomas, and "American Founding Principles" with Prof. Smith.
In addition to classes, Lennea is juggling two new internships. She is an intern for Wikistrat, which "leverages a global network of subject-matter experts via a patent pending crowd-sourcing methodology to provide insights unavailable anywhere else." Dr. Waller suggested to his students that they become involved with Wikistrat, where Lennea is now assigned to the counterterrorism desk and the international crimes desk. Lennea posts summaries and analysis of news and events relevant to these topics. She particularly enjoys this work, because she receives prompt feedback on her work from Wikistrat's researchers. Lennea is also doing counterterrorism research for the Westminster Institute, along with two other IWP students.
In the future, Lennea is looking forward to putting her IWP education into action, and plans to continue to work in the field of national security.