Mercyhurst Magazine Fall 2022

The developments of 2004 were milestones in the growth and reputation of Mercyhurst’s intelligence program, which flourished under the leadership of a second chief, Jim Breckenridge. Breckenridge served as the dean of the Walker School (now College) of Business and first chair of the Intelligence Studies Department from 2004 to 2011, executive director of the Institute for Intelligence Studies from 2011 to 2017, and founding dean of the Ridge College from 2014 to 2017. Applying the Ridge College emphasis on interagency and corporate intelligence work, Breckenridge developed effective partnerships with the Department of State, Department of Defense, Homeland Security, and networks of experts in national security policy, business strategy, and law enforcement, all of which heightened the student experience. GLOBAL THOUGHT LEADER In 2010, Breckenridge took a bold, new step in growing Mercyhurst’s reputation as an international thought leader in intelligence when he founded the biennial Global Intelligence Forum in Dungarvan, Ireland, Erie’s Sister City and home to Mercyhurst’s international campus. There, he brought together intelligence professionals from around the world to share their experiences and methods. Among the more notable speakers at the conferences were Gov. Tom Ridge, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, and former CIA Director Michael Hayden. INNOVATIVE FACULTY & STAFF Key to the success of Intelligence Studies was the hiring of talented faculty and staff. Their contributions changed the lives of the students they taught. These foundational faculty and staff members each served for over 15 years, all producing groundbreaking work. First Kris Wheaton, followed by Dave Grabelski, Art Mills, Dawn Wozneak, Bill Welch, Shelly Freyn, and Linda Bremmer. The staff work of Brad Gleason, Michelle Henderson, Kris Pollard, and Kayla Murphy was pivotal to the success of the program. Along the way Drew Danzell and Steve Zydek made significant contributions. CYBER SECURITY, DATA SCIENCE The addition of programs in Data Science and Cyber Security to the Ridge College in 2018 broadened the opportunities available to students. A new cyber-specific building was constructed adjacent to intel’s home in the

Center for Academic Engagement and, with a new business partnership, christened the Federal Resources Corporation Cyber Education Center at Mercyhurst University.

Today, with a strong student population in its Intelligence Studies program, a successful body of alumni who have maintained their connection to Mercyhurst, cutting-edge facilities, and curricula tailored to the changing world of the 21st century, the future of Intelligence Studies at Mercyhurst is brighter than ever. Joining Gov. Tom Ridge in D.C. as he receives the 2022 William Oliver Baker Award is Lindy Smart ’11, executive director of the Mercyhurst Intelligence Studies Department in the Ridge College of Intelligence Studies & Applied Sciences. Ridge is the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. From left are Smart and Mercyhurst Intelligence Studies alumni Susan Lipster, Sophia Jensen, and Natalie Anderson. INTEL 30 TH ANNIVERSARY EVENTS Join us as Intelligence Studies kicks off its 30th anniversary during Homecoming Weekend Sept. 30-Oct. 2. We’ll bring back former faculty for a long overdue reunion with alumni and friends, welcome dynamic speakers from both national and international locales, and, as the pièce de résistance, host a panel discussion with Intel’s historic leaders: Bob Heibel, Jim Breckenridge, and the program’s newest chief, Lindy Smart ’11. For more information, or to register, visit .

Bob Heibel, founder of Mercyhurst’s Intelligence Studies program, left, looks over materials at the Global Intelligence Forum in Dungarvan, Ireland, with Kevin Giblin, a retired senior FBI intelligence manager and former deputy inspector general of the Irish Garda, 2015.

Intel chief Jim Breckenridge, right, chats with former FBI Director Louis Freeh and his wife, Marilyn, at the Global Intelligence Forum in Dungarvan, Ireland, 2013.


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