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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Forensics Professors Share Lessons Learned from Syracuse University’s ICCAE Diversity Initiative at Rockefeller Institute Government Forum

Portraits of Corri Zoli, left, and Michael Marciano, right.

Posted on: March 23, 2022

Ensuring that the up-and-coming U.S. Federal Intelligence workforce reflects all backgrounds is a primary mission of Syracuse University’s Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (ICCAE). The federal funding to start ICCAE, awarded to Syracuse in 2019, established a program tasked with broadening diversity within the American national security and intelligence community by providing unique coursework and training opportunities for students from groups that have been traditionally underrepresented.

ICCAE’s leadership team includes principal investigator Robert B. Murrett, professor of practice of public administration and international affairs in the Maxwell School, co-principal investigator Carol Faulkner, professor of history and associate dean for academic affairs in the Maxwell School, and many faculty co-investigators, including Michael Marciano, research assistant professor and director for research in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute (FNSSI), and Corri Zoli, research assistant professor in FNSSI. Marciano and Zoli presented the successes of the ICCAE to fellow researchers, practitioners, and policymakers in New York State at the Rockefeller Institute of Government forum on March 16, 2022.

Zoli and Marciano reflected on ICCAE’s progress thus far, highlighting how the initiative is broadening and diversifying the U.S. national security and intelligence pipeline by recruiting and educating next-generation students from underrepresented backgrounds. Zoli and Marciano’s presentation illustrated how collaborations forged through the ICCAE between interdisciplinary academics, government leaders, and public servants is critical to increasing diversity outcomes.

The Syracuse ICCAE has created innovative partnerships with four campuses: Wells College, Norfolk State University, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering. Each campus is part of a consortium with the SU ICCAE to attract, recruit and educate students from a wide array of experiences, including military servicemembers, for intelligence community careers. Zoli and Marciano encouraged policymakers and academics throughout New York State to think proactively about partnerships between government and higher education—so that, through collaboration, a workforce that represents the diversity of New York State can be achieved.