Stephanie Morgan (2004)

U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award

[Editors Note: Stephanie Morgan graduated in 2004 with a major in International Relations. Her story provides a very good example of how a student can establish a career and life direction from an undergraduate foundation at The Ohio State University. Notice how she took advantage of the opportunities available to OSU students by gaining foreign experience through study abroad. She worked as a student. Importantly, she took on a senior thesis project. Graduate schools are attracted to students that perform research at the undergraduate level because it indicates they have begun to make the transition to a graduate level of work and study. Research requires the ability to conceptualize, construct and execute a complex project. This is performed in consultation and with the support of faculty and graduate students, but ultimately it is the responsibility of the student to complete the task at a level acceptable for approval by a review committee. This is the essence of graduate study and establishment of an independent career.]

"When I entered OSU in the fall of 1999 I knew I wanted to major in a field that would allow me to study politics, languages, history, and cultures. The International Studies program provided the ideal curriculum for my career interests. In addition to the diversity and strength of the program and faculty, I took advantage of study abroad opportunities, student work and research programs at the Mershon Center and the Honors & Scholars options available to International Studies students. Experiences such as living in Germany and writing an Honors Thesis helped me develop a competitive portfolio. [Editors Note: Stephanie's thesis was entitled Vladimir Putin: The Man, the Myth, and the Future of the Russian Federation.]

After graduation from OSU in 2004, I received my MA in International Security from the University of Denver in 2006. During this time I also worked with US NORTHCOM, DHS, and various security research institutions. From there I moved to Washington, DC where I spent several years working as a consultant and analyst for the US Government. In my positions, such as Senior Intelligence Analyst, I supported efforts related to international security.

In 2010 I received the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award for my service in Iraq and Afghanistan. [Editors Note: the Commendation Award is a mid-level United States military award which is presented for sustained acts of heroism or meritorious service. It is for valorous actions in direct contact with an enemy force in a less than combat role. In addition, Stephanie was awarded the US Department of Treasury Secretary's Award of Appreciation.] None of my accomplishments would have been possible without the foundation I received at OSU's International Studies Program.

I recently left my career as analyst to move to South America where I currently live with my husband and dog. In order to maintain a connection with international and domestic issues I created a blog and Facebook page called The Right Track POV;. The articles and discussion topics range from the recent Yemen-based terror plot, to Mexican drug gangs, to the midterm elections. Most posts are rightof- center in the analytical portions, but the aim of the page is to initiate dialogue between followers of all political parties and beliefs.

I am currently looking for contributors to my blog. All contributions would remain property of the author and I would only make necessary screenings and changes as the Editor-in-Chief. This is a great opportunity for students and alumni to contribute their analyses to a wider audience and supplement their resumes.

Please contact me on my blog or by email if you are interested."

Among Stephanie's many publications are: Terrorist Network Analysis: Ansar al-Islam (published for the Terrorism Research Center, 2005); The Yemen Problem and the Administration's Failure to Address It (published in The Right Track POV, October 2010). She publishes regularly in The Right Track POV.

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