Congratulations, 2022 INSA Foundation Scholarship Recipients!
The Intelligence and National Security Foundation (INSF) today announced the recipients of Investing in the Future of the IC Workforce scholarships and two endowed awards in honor of INSA Chair Letitia A. Long and Governor Tom Ridge. Six outstanding students pursuing careers in intelligence and national security have been awarded a total of $30,000 in scholarships.
"This year we had a deep field of scholarship applicants filled with students well on their way to accomplishing great things in service to our nation," said INSA/INSF President Suzanne Wilson Heckenberg. "Our six recipients demonstrated academic success, community engagement, and unwavering excellence in the face of academic and personal challenges. We are honored to help these students as they take these next steps on their journeys to rewarding careers in the intelligence and national security community."
Recipients were selected based on academic performance, leadership, and commitment to the national security mission. Two of the awards were for students from underrepresented minority groups while the other four scholarships were open to all eligible students who met the award requirements. New this year were the Letitia A. Long Endowed Intelligence Scholarship, which provides $5,000 for a rising junior or senior undergraduate female pursuing a STEM-focused career in the IC and the Governor Thomas J. Ridge Endowed Scholarship, which provides $5,000 for an undergraduate seeking a career in the defense and national security community. The INSA Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. For information on donating to the scholarship fund, visit https://www.insaonline.org/insf-scholarship.
Get to Know the Recipients!
Investing in the Future of the IC Workforce - undergraduate
Undergraduate, Syracuse University
Submission Summary: A rising senior at Syracuse University, Joah is set to graduate May 2023 with a double major in Policy Studies and International Relations. As indicated by his 4.0 GPA, he has an exceptional academic record and is committed to growing his knowledge of national security and the intelligence community.
Joah brings a diverse perspective to national security due to his two years spent studying in South Korea and China. While teaching English, he also gained fluency in Korean and Mandarin and unique perspectives on national security issues. Joah's calling for public service began when he volunteered for a child abuse service agency. He provided data analysis and technical assistance for integrative report production, skills he recognizes the importance of in the IC. Joah “would like to learn how synthesizing and evaluating sensitive information aids the US government in implementing foreign and national security policy” and is gaining experience doing so for his honor’s thesis.
Investing in the Future of the IC Scholarship- master's
Master’s, Fletcher School, Tuft’s University
Submission Summary: Marek is a master’s candidate at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he is pursuing concentrations in International Security Studies and Asia Studies. Driven by a desire to make the world safer, Marek intends to dedicate his career to national security and public service.
During his first year at Fletcher, Marek founded the Working Group on Strategic Competition in the Indo-Pacific (SCIP), a student organization that promotes discussion on geopolitical maneuvering and contestation in the Indo-Pacific region. He has hosted events focusing on such topics as Pacific coalition-building, EU-China relations, and hybrid warfare in the Taiwan Strait. Prior to enrolling at Fletcher, Marek worked at The Elliot School of International Affairs’ Hemispheric Studies Program, where he examined the impact of Indo-Chinese geopolitical competition on Latin American economies. This summer, he will serve as a Student Fellow at U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s Northeast Asia Policy Division. Marek says that he is particularly excited for this role as it enables him to “make a tangible contribution to American security strategy in the most critical region of the modern world.”
Investing in the Future of the IC Scholarship Diversity - undergraduate
Undergraduate, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Submission Summary: A rising junior in Embry-Riddle’s National Security Studies undergraduate program, Mia is excelling academically with a 4.0 GPA. In addition to her stellar academic performance, Mia has a long-held passion and determination to join the IC to provide “the ultimate protection of my great nation and its people in it”.
Her ambition and drive developed at an early age. As the youngest of three and growing up in a small, underserved community with limited opportunities, Mia recognized achieving her dream of working in the IC to advance national security would require hard work, determination, and perseverance. After developing these skills, she believes that “the great habits I have developed from reaching towards new knowledge, never being satisfied with the information given to me and always asking more questions will make me a great asset…and allow me to reach my goals, not with ease, but with great pride and respect with myself.”
Investing in the Future of the IC Scholarship Diversity - master's
Master’s, Texas A&M University
Submission Summary: Going into her final year of her Master of International Affairs program, Victoria excels academically with a 4.0 GPA. Her experience studying abroad and at home is allowing her aptitude for languages and culture immersion to combine with tangible skills to prepare for a career of service in the Intelligence Community.
She said of her upbringing, as the granddaughter of immigrants and daughter of a Marine, that “I became intimately familiar with the sacrifices people make to serve their country, and I knew to never take safety and security for granted. These sacrifices had a brighter side, however, and I was exposed to people who shared good, honest values, and humble hearts.” The community of service she grew up in led to her desire to pursue a career of public service, developing into an interest in the IC, where she can give back to the nation that gave her family so much.
Letitia A. Long Endowed Intelligence Scholarship
Undergraduate, American Military University
Submission Summary: An undergraduate student at American Military University (AMU), Alexandria is studying Intelligence with a concentration in Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT). She is the first recipient of the Letitia A. Long Intelligence Scholarship and has a variety of subspecialty areas, including LiDAR, geodatabase management, and creating geo-applications. Alexandria has also been studying the Russian language for the past year. To top off her impressive academic resume, she maintains a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Outside of the classroom, Alexandria serves as a program instructor for Rosie Riveters, a nonprofit that seeks to expose young girls to STEM concepts. She was also elected as the first Secretary of the AMU chapter of the National Security Policy and Analysis Organization.
Alexandria has a deep appreciation for the Intelligence Community and is dedicated to expanding her horizons and those her peers. Combined with her STEM skillset, we are sure she will become a vital member of any team in the Intelligence Community.
Governor Thomas J. Ridge Endowed Scholarship
Undergraduate, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Submission Summary: Grant is the first recipient of the Governor Thomas J. Ridge Endowed Scholarship, selected for his dedication to the defense of the national and homeland security. He currently maintains a 3.93 GPA and will graduate May 2023 with a degree in Security and Intelligence Studies. This summer, Grant is completing an internship with the Homeland Defense Fellowship at the National Defense University.
A US Army veteran, Grant knows first-hand the advantage effective intelligence gives to the military, from the tactical through strategic level. “As a former consumer of said information,” he says, “I have a vested interest in maintaining and advancing U.S. intelligence superiority. I find the varied and challenging mission set intelligence work demands intriguing. Building upon my military experience, I hope to support the U.S. Armed Forces and global intelligence consumers by continuing to strengthen my understanding of the world and the intelligence community at large”.