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2021 Leaders in Graduate Education in International Affairs

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Nova Southeastern University, Master’s Program in National Security Affairs and International Relations

Program Emphasizes Global Over National Perspective to Prepare Next Generation of Leaders

David P. Kilroy, PhD, Chair, Department of Humanities and Politics, Nova Southeastern University

At this fraught moment in history, education for the next generation of international affairs professionals should include classes in ethics, civil liberties, and international law—built upon a solid understanding of history, according to David P. Kilroy, PhD, professor of history and chair of the Department of Humanities and Politics at Nova Southeastern University (NSU Florida).

At NSU Florida, Kilroy teaches in the master’s program in National Security Affairs and International Relations, which takes an interdisciplinary approach to ensure that its graduates have access to a variety of perspectives and offers training in these critical issues.

For example, ethics courses teach students how decisions made in the United States can have a greater affect on people outside the country. The 2003 invasion of Iraq by a US-led coalition didn’t entail a tax increase or draft in the United States, but it was a major contributing factor to refugees from the Middle East seeking asylum in Europe.

“Ultimately, we’re committed to challenging our students to think in ways about the world that do not see things exclusively through an American lens,” Kilroy says. “We want to emphasize the global over the national.”

Ethics is an area which is underemphasized in training for people going into various national security and foreign policy fields. An understanding of history remains foundational, and an understanding of international relations, both theory and practice.David P. KilroyKilroy, a native of Ireland, has personal experience with global thinking. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University College Dublin and was inspired there by two visiting professors from the United States, one from the University of Iowa, with expertise in the history of US foreign relations and early American exceptionalism. Kilroy went on to earn his PhD from the University of Iowa, focusing on US policy in West Africa.

He says he stayed in academia because he loves research and teaching, and more broadly, the rewards of a purpose-driven career. “Serving a large community is hugely rewarding. Pursuing a career for reasons other than monetary gain is in and of itself rewarding. To free yourself from that opens up a lot of other opportunities,” Kilroy says. “In academia, there is an opportunity to constantly engage in learning. Careers in foreign policy present a similar opportunity.”

Professors Broaden Her Mind, Stimulate Her Passion for International Affairs

Aprille McIntosh found two sources of inspiration in the master’s program in National Security Affairs and International Relations: professors Robin Cooper and Ransford Edwards, who “broadened” her thought processes. Edwards, her thesis adviser, “opened my eyes to the different ways in which to view a single idea, and that one question leads to more questions and ultimately more outcomes. I came into this program with a base level of knowledge regarding the field, and I left this program with a reinvigorated passion for it,” says McIntosh, MS ’20, of Plantation, Florida. A daughter of immigrants from Jamaica, she hopes to find a job in a US government agency or the United Nations.

Nova Southeastern University, Master’s Program in National Security Affairs and International Relations
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