Since the age of 12, Maggie Kase has known that she wants to work in national security. Catholic University’s intelligence studies offerings are helping her pursue this ambition.Specifically, Kase aspires to be an analyst in the intelligence world. To get there, she is majoring in sociology, minoring in French, and completing the Certificate in Intelligence Studies within the Department of Politics. She is also vice president of the Catholic University Intelligence Club, which is advised by Nicholas Dujmovic, a former CIA officer and current assistant professor of intelligence studies at Catholic University.
“[The certificate] definitely builds the skills that you’re going to eventually need if you truly want to go into intelligence,”
The Intelligence Club is largely what drew Kase to attend Catholic University in the first place. After falling in love with the campus during a tour, her decision to enroll was confirmed at Cardinal Preview Day, where she spoke to a representative of the Intelligence Club.
“I was like, ‘Wow this is great, like this is exactly what I’m looking for,’ and my mind was essentially made up at Preview Day,” Kase said.
The club fosters students’ interest in intelligence, organizing trips to intelligence agencies in the D.C. area and inviting guest speakers (often contacts of Dujmovic) who work at these agencies. Through these guest lectures, Kase has been able to gain valuable insight on how to navigate the intelligence field.
“I come away from those with a lot of knowledge about specific intelligence agencies, about specific workings of the intelligence community, and then also with advice on how to get there. I think that’s been very beneficial in the last couple of years,” Kase said.
Kase has also visited several intelligence agencies including the National Reconnaissance Office, the FBI headquarters, and the CIA headquarters, where the club toured the CIA museum collection. These visits provide club members tangible experiences with the intelligence world and a unique perspective on daily work at these agencies.
“When I walked into the CIA headquarters when we took our field trip there, I was like, ‘This is amazing.’ I was just taken aback, I was awestruck,” Kase said. “It’s just a cool feeling to stand in a building where people are coming into work and are effectively changing and shaping the world we live in.”
Personal experiences like those complement Kase’s courses from the Certificate in Intelligence Studies. Some of her favorite classes have been Introduction to American Intelligence and Issues in Contemporary U.S. Intelligence. In the introductory course, students learn about the history of the U.S. intelligence community and how intelligence agencies are organized. The Contemporary Issues course transitions students from writing academically to writing as they would in intelligence, providing them practical knowledge they can carry into an intelligence profession.
“[The certificate] definitely builds the skills that you’re going to eventually need if you truly want to go into intelligence,” Kase said.
Kase is currently completing the semester remotely from her home state of Maine, where she is still able to take sociology and intelligence courses that prepare her for her career. She is also able to help coordinate events for the Intelligence Club, such as guest lectures from women in intelligence. For Kase, the value of the club and the knowledge she gains from it cannot be exemplified by a singular experience. Rather, the experiences build upon each other.
“It’s all encompassing, everything builds from week to week, guest lecture to guest lecture, field trip to field trip. You take different things from each experience,” Kase said.
Liliana Lomas, junior, Media and Communication Studies major.