Eddie Mienie, Associate Professor of Strategic & Security Studies

Written By Dr. Eddie Mienie, Executive Director, Strategic Studies Program & Partnerships and Associate Professor of Strategic & Security Studies

SSG was officially started as a student organization in the Spring of 2017. SSG originally consisted of four members who met in the library once a week to discuss topics chosen completely at random as long as they pertained to national security issues. They decided to make it an official student organization after Jared Attaway, a Strategic & Security Studies major, realized that no similar civilian-inclusive organization existed. Dr. Hamid Serri is the Faculty Advisor for the organization.

The purpose of SSG was two-fold: (1) to promote the strategic studies program across the various concentrations in a sort of peer-learning environment; (2) to engage the state and federal government to establish relationships with various agencies for students to find internships and jobs. Participants in SSG meetings include anyone, irrespective of their major, with an interest in national security issues. SSG meets on a rotational basis on either a Tuesday or Wednesday – every other week. Currently, SSG meets in Dunlap Hall 205 at 5:30 p.m..

A board of officers broken into three directorates governs SSG, namely, operations, technology, and recruitment. The president and vice-president are selected by the previous administration and faculty members weigh-in on who should be in charge. The other officers are all elected by popular vote. Currently, the President is Thomas Vella, and the Vice President is Nik Pujals. SSG takes direction from the Strategic Studies Program faculty and the Institute for Leadership and Strategic Studies. Faculty members are involved in SSG to various degrees. Most of these faculty members are the heads of the concentrations within the Strategic & Security Studies Program, and the executives in the program. Faculty members within the Institute for Leadership and Strategic Studies have also been involved with SSG.

SSG invites guest speakers to speak, which includes mostly faculty. Speakers are decided upon, and engaged by, the senior officers of SSG. SSG gets its funding from the Student Government body and the Office of Student Involvement. Anyone seeking to join SSG should simply show up at a meeting and introduce himself or herself. It is a great way to meet fellow students, engage faculty members, take part in research projects, and share knowledge among peers of different concentrations or majors. It is also a great way to learn about internship and job opportunities.