The annual National Security Education Program (NSEP) Colloquium will take place in-person April 12 in the Commonwealth Ballroom of Squires Student Center on Virginia Tech's Blacksburg campus.

The NSEP colloquium is an annual event hosted by the Ted and Karyn Hume Center for National Security and Technology where students across academic colleges and departments hear from leaders in the national security field and present their research to Virginia Tech faculty, government, and industry partners.

“The NSEP colloquium is the highlight of the Hume Center’s academic year,” said Ehren Hill, associate director for education and outreach at the Hume Center. “It’s a perfect reflection of how we’re working toward Ted Hume’s vision of helping develop the next generation of leaders in national security.”

In 2009, alumnus Ted Hume and his wife, Karyn, created the Hume Endowment, launching the Ted and Karyn Hume Center for National Security and Technology. The goal was to create programs at Virginia Tech that would develop and execute research and experiential learning opportunities to engage students hoping to begin careers working for defense and intelligence agencies.

The future of national security

The 2022 NSEP colloquium is the ninth annual event and is sponsored through the Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence grant. The theme for this year’s colloquium is “The Future of National Security” in efforts to showcase students' continued endeavors to become the next generation of national security leaders.

Susan Gordon will serve as the keynote speaker. A highly respected leader in the national security field, Gorden brings with her three decades of expertise and dedication to public service. 

She is the former principal deputy director of national intelligence at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (the country’s second-highest intelligence official) and is now a director at CACI International. She received the Intelligence and National Security Alliance’s 2021 William Oliver Baker Award in recognition of her extraordinary contribution to U.S. intelligence and national security affairs.

Industry and government collaboration

Typically, the research and experiential-learning projects that students present at the colloquium are funded by the National Security Institute’s program sponsors or through one of the Hume Center’s workforce development or academic affiliate programs.

“This event, specifically the student research projects highlighted during the colloquium, would not be possible without support from our industry and government partners, who understand how critical it is to prepare students for careers after graduation,'' said Hill. “A key aspect of the event will be the opportunities for our partners to talk with students about their work and their interests after graduation, whether that be graduate education or joining the workforce.”

Students participating in the Hume Center research and experiential-learning programs gain hands-on experience that will better equip them for careers in the national security space by applying the knowledge they gain in the classroom to real-world problems of importance to the center's partners in the department of defense and intelligence communities.

Panel information

The colloquium panel this year will discuss “Required Skills for Future Graduates Interested in National Security Careers” and will be moderated by Gretchen Matthews, professor in the Department of Mathematics and director of the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative Southwest Virginia node.

The panel will include the following speakers:

  • Mike Burns, associate director of CIA for Talent, Central Intelligence Agency
  • U.S. Army Col. Sharon R. Hamilton (retired), associate vice president of strategic partnerships, Norwich University
  • Kevin Keating, associate deputy director for Directorate of Science and Technology, Central Intelligence Agency
  • Glenn Kurowski, senior vice president, chief technology officer, CACI International
  • Robert Kurtz, engineering fellow, Raytheon Technologies
  • Gordon LoPresti, director of hardware engineering, Northrop Grumman

Colleen Bartos, Hume Center project manager and primary coordinator of the NSEP colloquiums, said she’s looking forward to this year’s colloquium being in-person for the first time since 2019.

“These talented students have worked diligently on critical research topics that will impact the field of national security one day,” Bartos said. “The colloquium being in-person again gives students a chance to show off what they’ve been working on for the past year, face-to-face, while being able to field questions from partners and sponsors, interact personally, and ultimately show other university faculty the stellar students the Hume Center works with.”

The colloquium will take place 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. April 12 in the Commonwealth Ballroom of Squires Student Center. All are invited to attend. Registration is open until 9 a.m. April 12.

Written by Aubrey Medina

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