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The Westminster Institute for National Security

June 24-27, 2018
For rising high school juniors and seniors (11th and 12th graders in 2018-19 school year).

Fight terrorism. Establish post-war peace. Analyze intelligence. 

Westminster ColumnsHow will you save the world?Westminster Institute for National Security

The Westminster Institute for National Security (WINS) is an intensive, residential academy experience for high school students. Through WINS, students explore, confront, and challenge the global security issues facing our nation and world today. 

WINS is led by Dr. Tobias Gibson, Associate Professor of Political Science and Security Studies Program Director. Dr. Gibson, a recognized national and homeland security expert, is a member of the Board of Advisors of Omicron Sigma Sigma, the homeland security academic honor society.

Gain knowledge and expert perspective - through analysis, discussion and debate, and challenging, hands-on problem- solving, role-playing and games - to serve you as you prepare for college and consider your future career.

Courses this year will include...

Torture in the Twenty-First Century. Despite the fact that torture is condemned as a human rights violation, it is still widely practiced in the twenty-first century, even by countries that claim to be liberal democracies.  This course examines the history of torture, current laws and policies concerning the use of torture and enhanced interrogations, and the ethics behind attempts to justify the use of torture in “ticking time bomb” scenarios.  With Dr. James McRae

Show me the money! Accounting is often referred to as the language of business and is used to tell the financial story of an organization.  While the users of this information hope this story is always true, fraudsters use this language to rewrite a company’s reality for their own financial gain.  Students will use accounting in a simulation to uncover financial fraud and figure out “who dunnit?” With Professor Elise Bartley

Biological Crisis and Security. An Ebola outbreak in Africa, Zika virus in Brazil, tuberculosis in the prisons, drug-resistant bacteria in our hospitals, the threat of bioterrorism.  These and other stories appear in the news almost daily.  How do we make sure that one of these local biological crises does not become the next worldwide security threat?  In this session, students will take on one or more of these situations.  Students will each take the role of one of the interest groups that would be involved in the crisis or a United Nations representative of a key nation.  Through research on the internet, class discussions, and a series of role-plays the students will come up with a UN response to the crisis.  I encourage students to bring their own laptop, tablet, or other electronic device, but we will have computers available for use during the research stages of this class. With Dr. Jeff Mayne

Islam and the Future of Global Politics. From the seventh century to today, the growth of the world’s third oldest monotheistic religion continues around the world. Its impact has affected education, politics, history, security, and literature. From the events of 9/11 to the conflict that has killed more than 200,000 in Syria resulting in a steady stream of Muslim refugees into the west, Islam continues to be in the headlines.  What is this major world force?  Who are its practitioners?  Why are there so many variations of Islam?  And, how does Islam relate to national security? This class will help students understand this major religion, its role in the world, and the difficult co-existence that it has had with western states.  With Dr. Kurt Jefferson

Intelligence Analysis. Students will use critical thinking skills to assess and analyze information and explore the process of turning information into actionable intelligence. With Spencer O'Gara, MIAC, Westminster College graduate.

Winston Churchill, Fulton, and the Cold War. On March 5, 1946, on the campus of Westminster College, Winston Churchill delivered a speech he called “Sinews of Peace,” commonly known today as the ‘Iron Curtain’ speech. Widely considered Churchill’s most significant post-World War II address, the speech outlined the security measures that would help the West win the Cold War. This course will examine original primary sources from the National Churchill Museum collection, including a rare draft of the ‘Iron Curtain’ speech. With Sandra L. and Monroe E. Trout, Director of the National Churchill Museum, and Chief Curator Timothy Riley


$500 (all-inclusive, food, housing, and all activities and classes). Bonus - Earn 1-hour college credit when you complete the Westminster Institute for National Security (additional $150 fee). 



Tobias G.

For more information, contact Dr. Tobias Gibson, Associate Professor of Political Science Security Studies Program Director 

Watch the video below and read what students have said about attending the Westminster Institute for National Security.


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