[Note: Portions of this article are drawn from a UNG Newsroom article that originally appeared in March 2022. (https://ung.edu/news/articles/2022/03/security-impacts-of-education-in-focus.php)] 

PSIA’s Strategic and Security Studies degree program, together with UNG’s Institute for Leadership and Strategic Studies (ILSS) and the College of Education hosted the annual ILSS Symposium at the Convocation Center on UNG’s Dahlonega Campus April 6-7, 2022. Through a series of guest speakers and panels, the symposium, titled “United States Higher Education and National Security,” explored ways in which higher education serves to strengthen U.S. security. 

“… the civilian population plays a major role in supporting and promoting higher education institutions by encouraging the enrollment of students to pursue studies in a variety of disciplines,” Dr. Edward Mienie, PSIA associate professor and executive director of the strategic and security studies program and partnerships, said. “Higher education plays a crucial role in assuring that national security is protected and strengthened against a multiplicity of adversarial nation-state and non-state actors.” 

 Panelists included U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadets, representatives from three other senior military colleges and four of our very own PSIA family – Drs. Dlynn Armstrong Williams, Cristian Harris, Craig Greathouse and Eddie Mienie discussed “How higher education fills the security gap in the post-Cold War era”. Watch their discussion on our YouTube channel at Higher Ed & Natl Sec Panel 1 discussion  

In addition to the panelists, guest speakers included: 

  • Retired Army Gen. Robert Brooks Brown, president and CEO of the Association of the United States Army. 
  • Larry Wortzel, a retired Army colonel and Senior Fellow in Asian Security at the American Foreign Policy Council. 
  • Margaret Kosal, professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Institute of Technology. 
  • Retired Australian Army Maj. Gen. Mick Ryan, author of War Transformed. 
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation national security analysts. 

Dr. Dan Papp, Retired President, Kennesaw State University and the moderator for the PSIA panel said, “UNG’s recent conference on ‘’United States Higher Education and National Security’’ continued the University’s standard of presenting high quality academic analyses of critical national security issues.  Given on-going events in Ukraine, this year’s meeting was more relevant and important than ever.” 

Other partners of the symposium included the Association of the United States Army, Army Strategist Association, Atlanta Council on International Relations, and Army War College Strategic Studies Institute. 

 According to Keith Antonia, UNG’s Vice President for Military Programs plans are already in the works for next year’s symposium, with a possible focus on the implications for national security of various human security issues.  You can watch the entire symposium courtesy of UNG’s AV Team via the ILSS Symposium webpage