Dr. J. Peter Pham with Mark R. Brennan 
and Michael J. Dreyfuss.


May 10, 2006

HARRISONBURG— Two James Madison University students, Mark R. Brennan of Richmond, Virginia, and Michael J. Dreyfuss of Reston, Virginia, have been selected as to receive 2006-2007 undergraduate fellowships on terrorism from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Both students, rising juniors majoring in Justice Studies and concentrating in the Global Justice and Policy track, were students in the Seminar in International Terrorism taught by Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs.

Brennan and Dreyfuss will join forty-three other fellowship students from across the United States in taking part in an all-expenses-paid two week course of study in Israel from July 29- August 13, 2006. The course of study in Tel Aviv features several days of lectures from experts in the field of terrorism who will focus on issues relating to the threat that terrorism poses to democracies around the world.  The students will have an opportunity to hear from academics, politicians, intelligence and military officials, and diplomats from Israel, Jordan, India, Turkey and the United States. The curriculum will include courses such as “Current Terror Threats to the United States,” “Terrorism in Kashmir: The Indo-Pakistani Conflict,” “Roots of Islamic Fundamentalist Terrorism,” “Terrorists and Weapons of Mass Direction,” “ Israel's Counter-Terrorism Strategy,” and “Legal Constraints in Fighting the War on Terror.” They will also travel to border zones, visit military and police facilities, and engage in hands-on, live-fire exercises to learn more about the practical realities of combating terrorists.

The undergraduate fellowship students will also participate in a four-day seminar in Washington, D.C., January 7-10, 2007, where they will hear from leading academic and professional experts from Congress, CIA, Defense, FBI and the State Department. They will also travel to the FBI Academy, CIA Headquarters and other national security sites to learn more about America’s leading role in the war on terrorism.

The award of the fellowships to Brennan and Dreyfuss marks the second year in a row that JMU students have received the distinction. Last year, two of Dr. Pham’s other students, David B. Centofante, a rising junior majoring in Justice Studies, and Samier A. Mansur, a rising senior majoring in International Affairs, were awarded fellowships.

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies is a Washington-based nonpartisan institute dedicated exclusively to promoting pluralism, defending democratic values, and fighting the ideologies that drive terrorism. Its work uniquely combines policy research, democracy training, strategic communications, and investigative journalism. Dr. Pham holds an appointment as an academic fellow of the foundation.