CISTP Project, 2018-2019:
The Friendly City Cultures Collective: One Community, Many Cultures 

The FCCC is a public education project for the City of Harrisonburg that involves the many immigrant communities that make up our city, as well as several longer established cultural groups.  CISTP Interns have worked closely with local city officials, met with representatives of many cultural groups, taken oral interviews for a public education installation, and researched the impact of immigration and cultural and religious diversity on the economy, security, and social resiliency of cities like Harrisonburg.


  • Shawn Ellis (Interdisciplinary Religion) (not pictured here)
    • Projects: IRB for Friendly City Cultures Collective (FCCC); revisions to Immigration public education pamplet (with Che'Maiah Francis)


  • Kristen Betzner (Intelligence Analysis) (pictured right)
    • Projects: Installation of Exhibit, "The Oppression of (Not) Being Seen"; FCCC capacity building; video for Alhasawi Exhibit

  • Che'Maiah Francis (Interdisciplinary Religion and Public Policy) (pictured left)
    • Projects: Installation of Exhibit, "The Oppression of (Not) Being Seen"; FCCC capacity building and grassroots community networking; IRB preparation; media relations


  • Maxwell Titus (Geographic Information Systems and Religion) (Senior Intern)
    • Project: Publishing A Systems Dynamics Security Micro-Model, with an emphasis on refugees, religion, identity
    • Project: CISTP Analysis of Global Distribution of Persons of Concern
    • Project: Case Study - Yemen - A Systems Dynamics Macro-Model of Refugee Creation and Resettlement and Micro-Model, Security Sector
  • Lauren Brittigan (Intelligence Analysis and Religion) (Senior Intern) 
  • Sarah Baker-McEvilly (Justice Studies and Religion) (Junior Intern)
    • Project: The Friendly City Cultures Collective - grant writing and research stage; public relations and draft of immigration pamphlet 
  • Catie Robertson (SMAD) (Junior Intern)
    • Project: The Friendly City Cultures Collective - grant writing and research stage; public relations and draft of immigration pamphlet 
Congratulations to our 2017 Student Interns, Catie Robertson (SMAD) and Sarah Baker-McEvilly (Justice Studies and Interdisciplinary Religion) for their success in procuring a JMU Faculty Senate Grant for public education on immigration in Harrisonburg!  

GROUP PROJECT: Developing a Systems Dynamics Macro-Model for Refugee Creation and Resettlement
  • Matthew Murphy (Intelligence Analysis and Interdisciplinary Religious Studies) (Senior Intern)
  • Caroline Desmedt (Intelligence Analysis and Interdisciplinary Religious Studies) (Senior Intern)
  • Najeeha Khan (Religion) (Senior Intern)
  • Lauren Brittigan (Intelligence Analysis and Religion) (Junior Intern)
  • Maxwell Titus (Geographic Information Systems and Religion) (Junior Intern)
Najeeha Khan (left) and Guest of Honor Arjun Sethi (right), at CISTP Listening Cafe, March 2017.
From left to right: Najeeha Khan, Frances Flannery, Arjun Sethi, Maxwell Titus (post Listening Cafe March 2017)

2015-2016 CISTP Student Research Interns

2015-2016 Interns

(P resenting a Systems Dynamics Model of Refugee Creation and Relocation at the JMU Diversity Conference, March 2016,
from left to right: Matthew Murphy, Caroline Desmedt, Molly Wolpert, Kat Donovan, Allison Lindsey, Najeeha Khan, Dr. Frances Flannery.)
  • Matthew Murphy (Intelligence Analysis and Interdisciplinary Religious Studies)
  • Caroline Desmedt (Intelligence Analysis and Interdisciplinary Religious Studies)
  • Molly Wolpert (Intelligence Analysis and Interdisciplinary Religious Studies)
  • Kat Donovan (Intelligence Analysis)
  • Allison Lindsey (WRTC and International Relations)
  • Najeeha Khan (Religion)

Our 2015 CISTP Student Research Interns have been engaged in research addressing sustainable development and peacebuilding in Kosovo, in collaboration with Ambassador Ahmet Shala.
2015 CISTP Interns with Ambassador Shala

2015 CISTP Student Interns (pictured with Ambassador Ahmet Shala of Kosovo, left):

  • Spring 2015, Sydney Sumner (Integrated Science and Technology)
  • Spring 2015, Kaitlin Thurgood (Religion and Communications)
  • Spring 2015, Haley Leopold (Elementary Education)
  • Spring 2015, Sean McArdle (Integrated Science and Technology)

Transatlantic Collaboration: U.S.-Kosovo Education as a Vehicle for Adaptive and Sustainable Development (Haley Leopold)

Using Sustainable Energy to Cultivate Energy Security and Economic Development in Kosovo (Sean McArdle and Sydney Sumner)

Interreligious Dialogue and Environmentalism in Kosovo (Kaitlin Thurgood)

Our 2014 CISTP Student Research Interns formed a focused group that produces in-depth student research on topics of pressing interest to current terrorism and peace studies.

CISTP Interns

2014 CISTP Student Interns:

  • Spring 2014, Sidney Barton (Interdisciplinary Religion and Intelligence Analysis)
  • Spring 2014, James Prince (Interdisciplinary Religion)
  • Spring 2014, Christiaan Firmani (Philosophy and International Relations)
  • Spring 2014, Emily Spiwak (Interdisciplinary Religion and International Relations)
  • Spring 2014, Katherine Hussey (Intelligence Analysis, minor in Global Issues and Global Religions)

Destroying Buildings, Destroying Culture: Architecture and the CIA-BICP Archive (Emily Spiwak)

What was Iran's Role in the Bosnian War?  A Red Team Analysis of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) (Christiaän Firmani)

Systematic Mass Rape as Cultural Eradication in Bosnia-Herzegovina (Katherine Hussey)

Steps on the Path to Genocide: A New Analytical Model Applied to Bosnia-Herzegovina (James Prince)

What's in a Name?  Ascriptions for Bosnian Muslims in the CIA-BICP Archive (Sidney Barton)


The Spring 2018 Intern Cycle is Closed. The following application template is provided as a courtesy for those interested in 2018-2019 and it may change slightly in the future.

Periodically, CISTP Faculty Fellows mentor student research interns who work in a team-based fashion using the CISTP model to create original research projects, publicly present their findings in a professional setting, assist Faculty Fellows with their research, help organize CISTP workshops and activities, and interface with professionals from the intelligence community, public policy arena, diplomatic circles, NGOs, and/or city officials.  This highly competitive position will sharpen your critical thinking skills, deepen your interdisciplinary understandings, and improve your communication skills with a wide variety of professionals. Being an intern may also earn you 3 credits as an internship or independent study, depending on your major.

DEADLINE: 2018-2019 is not yet open. 


This is both a research and service training opportunity for someone who is  growth oriented and welcoming of critique. Additional qualifications include:

  • demonstrated familiarity with the goals and approaches of CISTP, including past intern projects (posted on the website),
  • demonstrated maturity and ability to handle stress, including deadlines and changes of plan,
  • ability to work well independently and on a team,
  • dedication to pursuing and completing a substantial original research project equivalent to or exceeding a senior capstone project,
  • the ability to present oneself professionally in a presentation at a conference (after faculty feedback),
  • the ability to represent CISTP in an official capacity,
  • intelligence and creativity,
  • capacity to execute details in a timely fashion,
  • capacity to solve common sense problems and execute tasks,
  • prudent and effective communication skills,
  • demonstrated efficiency,
  • demonstrated punctuality,
  • willingness to be contacted at odd hours and to work occasional weekends,
  • and most of all, a profound eagerness to help Faculty Fellows  and fellow interns with a positive attitude and spirit of cooperation.

To apply, write a two page reflection essay explaining why you would like to be a CISTP Student Research Intern working on this particular theme and illuminating how you exemplify most or all of the above qualifications. Please be as specific as possible, including examples of when and how you demonstrated the qualities sought for in this position and any specific ideas you have for a research project. Also explain how you believe this internship will help prepare you for your chosen future vocation.  Send your application to Dr. Frances Flannery, (Subject line: CISTP Student Intern Application).

At the top of the page, include the following information (Copy and Paste the following).
Major(s) and the disciplinary perspective(s) you will bring:

Year of study (freshman, sophomore etc):

Proposed Mentor (must be a CISTP Faculty Fellow - see website):

Have you already discussed your interest in this position with your proposed mentor?             
        Circle one: Yes  /  No
Briefly Describe Proposed Project and Student Collaborators and Other Stakeholders:

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