IA students form new group

Women in Intelligence and National Security (WINS)

Women in Intelligence and National Security group photo

Step into the world of intelligence and national security with JMU’s newest student group – Women in Intelligence and National Security (WINS).

Under the guidance of Intelligence Analysis (IA) professor Jennifer Davis, WINS was founded by Sydney Effer, Madeline Psimas, Maddie Walden, Catie Reilly, and Kylie King, all IA majors. Together, they’ve built a platform that empowers women in the field to address challenges while equipping themselves with the necessary tools and skills to excel in their personal and professional pursuits.

Effer, the club’s president, emphasizes inclusivity – welcoming men to gain insights into the unique challenges women face and learn how to be better allies in the workplace.

WINS isn’t just another club; it’s a supportive community offering a diverse array of opportunities to explore the field. The club will host guest speakers, networking sessions with women in the industry, candid discussions on navigating the intricacies of a career in national security, and tours of top agencies.

“It’s not a public career, so you can’t look up what you’re getting yourself into,” said Psimas, the club's vice president.

If you have questions about your resume, interviews, the nuances of professional attire, or the security clearance process, WINS has you covered. King highlights that the club will offer workshops addressing even the smallest details that can make a difference in the professional world.

The founders are working on a mentorship program connecting members with seasoned professionals who can offer invaluable guidance. Psimas explains that starting these connections early is key to empowering members and fostering future leaders in the intelligence field. 

Davis underscores the importance of mentorship in driving success for women in leadership roles.

“There have been numerous studies in the business world on female leadership. “The majority of women who hold leadership positions credit the importance of mentoring in their success.” 

The WINS website, which is currently under development, will provide information about the group’s mission, guest speakers, and upcoming events.

The club will also provide a safe space for members to discuss their difficulties, not only for their careers but also with classes and projects. “Since this major typically has a small cohort, you know everyone. I think that allows us to create those safe spaces a bit easier,” said Reilly.

WINS is open to all majors.

“We want everyone to participate, men and women; everyone can benefit from the club,” said Psimas.

For more information, contact professor Jennifer Davis.

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by Maya Winder ('24)

Published: Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 30, 2024

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