The Mid-Atlantic Consortium-Center for Academic Excellence (MAC-CAE) is designed for students interested in studying national security and intelligence studies. The MAC-CAE is a workforce development effort for the intelligence community with an emphasis on the South Asian region of the world. Students will be able to earn a graduate national security certificate and learn the languages of Hindi, Urdu and Bengali. This award of $1.8 M over a five year period was made from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to Morgan State University. The MAC-CAE will be led by Dr. Arlene Maclin, Adjunct Professor of Physics at Morgan State University, with Judith Fitzgerald, JD in the Criminal Justice Department at Bowie State University (http://www.bowiestate.edu); Dr. Shahidullah Shahid, Professor and Chair of Social Sciences at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) (http://www.escu.edu) and Dr. Camellia Moses Okpodu, Director of the Norfolk State University (NSU)-CAE program and Professor of Biology at NSU serving as co-project directors at their respective institutions (http://www.nsu.edu/iccae). The MAC-CAE proposal ranked #1 among 41 proposals that were submitted in response to the BAA HM1582-11-1-0001. The MAC-CAE program was established through a proposal writing workshop offered by Dr. Camellia Okpodu as part of an NIH Extramural Research Development Award (5G11 HD052382-05) at Norfolk State University in fall, 2010.
The MAC-CAE builds on a number of best practices that were established by Dr. Arlene Maclin through an Intelligence Community-CAE (IC-CAE) program that was established in 2006 at NSU with ODNI funding. President Wilson at MSU said in his letter of support that "This program offers students an opportunity to pursue a career in government or intelligence related fields by promoting cultural immersion and study abroad activities, career development seminars, annual colloquia, symposia, strategic language courses, and internships with all 16 intelligence agencies. The proposed MAC-CAE will broaden the efforts established by NSU to the region of South Asia and expand many of the "best practices" that were established under new and shared leadership and governance through the MAC-CAE consortium." The MAC-CAE will address research in areas in human terrain systems (HTS) and bio-systems. The HTS initiated by the Army uses empirical socio-cultural research and analysis to fill a large operational decision -making support gap. By adapting the HTS approach, the research topics that have been selected for this program have applicability to problems in South Asia as well as support US national interests and contribute to the applicability of problems in South Asia and support systems at a number of other levels. This "dual use" approach to the proposed research has a number of implications for the education of the 21st Century intelligence analysts and professionals.
The MAC-CAE will begin training a cadre of students prepared to navigate HTS including language and culture specific to South Asian Countries including Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. The study of HTS will include broader religious themes of a particular country, e.g., better understanding of the strategic initiatives that are part of the ODNI which includes to: (1) increase the number of students gaining employment in the 16 IC agencies; (2) increase the amount of research that is closely aligned with the agencies in the IC community; and (3) promote research that pertains to the national security and defense of our nation. The proposed research projects will not only provide prospective personnel who are well-trained and ready to work upon entry, it will also help the ODNI diversify its current workforce and train and educate leaders for the intelligence community in the 21st Century.
For example, MSU will be developing a national security certificate program at the advanced undergraduate/graduate level in regional and intelligence studies with an emphasis on various cultures and languages. BSU will conduct ethnographic and cultural anthropological research to assist the IC better understand local cultures and social structures in South Asia; thereby enhancing situational awareness. NSU will perform innovative research with a long-term goal to use biochemical and molecular tools to engineer algae to perform as a screen and/or monitor of potential harmful biological and toxic agents. ECSU will develop a program on HTS that will be housed within the Department of Languages, Literature and Communication focusing particularly on South Asian languages, literature, culture and religion. Initially, ECSU will also offer Hindi/Urdu to other members of the consortium via the Internet.
Further, Dr. Maclin stated that "the strategic location of the MAC-CAE institutions makes this CAE an ideal partner for the ODNI as its develops its strategic plan for national security and defense over the next decades. We expect that at least 20 students from the MAC-CAE will be offered cultural immersion and language support each year through the center in South Asia, and countless others will gain internships and jobs with the IC community that may include both government, industry and university positions. Further, this is a catalytic grant for working with the IC community".