Criminology, Law and Society
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Mason Team Competes in CIA Simulation Exercise

Mason Team: Ian Dobson, Robert Donahue, Courtney Sarik, and Kayla Ebright.

A Mason team of four would-be Intelligence Analysts participated in a competition with 11 other area schools in a CIA simulation exercise hosted at Georgetown University. The students were selected from the new CRIM 310 Introduction to Intelligence Analysis course based on short justification essays they submitted to the instructor. Although the team did not ‘win’, the team put in an excellent performance reflecting the quality of the students enrolled in the Minor in Intelligence Analysis, launched this fall by the Department of Criminology, Law and Society. Compliments are due to the team of Courtney Sarik, Ian Dobson, Kayla Ebright, and Robert Donahue for their efforts. Retired CIA Officer Alan More, currently Employer in Residence for US Government Programs in Career Services and Adjunct Faculty for Intelligence Analysis in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society, was the Faculty Advisor for the team.

The CIA simulation involved a hypothetical North Korea-South Korea conflict over a three-day period in which each university team functioned as a crisis taskforce, sifting through conflicting and incomplete reporting, writing a situation report, and briefing a senior intelligence official on their assessment of the evolving situation. Some 25 CIA officers with over 200 years of collective Intelligence Community experience orchestrated the event, including three from the Senior Executive Service ranks—and one current Mason PhD student! The CIA conducts events like this as part of their outreach efforts to college and universities to interest students in intelligence careers and illuminate the realities of the intelligence business. The Agency sponsored a similar simulation for eight schools in southern Virginia in February.

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