Brianna Whittaker '17

Major: NSFIA
Hometown: Twinsburg, Ohio

Minors: Network Security and International Affairs
Member of Student Senate Executive Board, Delta Sigma Tau, Oasis, Purple Raider Marching Band Featured Twirler, Dowling Mentor Program, Academic Policies, Integrative Core Review Task Force, Honors Program, Sigma Iota Rho and Alpha Lambda Delta

Future analyst

Choosing Mount Union
One of my teammates in my competitive baton twirling team went to Mount Union and was the featured twirler when she went here, so from a very young age I knew about Mount Union. I was looking for a small, private college that had a national security program that was not too far from home.  That left me with a few choices. Mount Union was the only place, among my top choices, where I could twirl.  After talking to the professors here, it reaffirmed my suspicion that Mount Union was the perfect fit for me. I then received the Trustee academic scholarship and a music scholarship for playing flute. The scholarships I received made Mount Union more possible for my family to afford. It was a fantastic education for a manageable price.

Home Away From Home
I love the community of Mount Union. It feels like a small town where everyone is friends with everyone. No matter whom you pass, they will smile at you and make you feel welcomed. The people that go to Mount Union are the most genuine people I have ever met. My sorority helped me adjust to college life the most. It gave me the sisters that I would consider as close as family. They are there for me whenever I miss home and instantly make me feel loved. The friends I have made here will be with me for the rest of my life despite the fact that we will probably be hours away from each other. 

Finding Your Perfect Match
Mount Union has an exorbitant amount of majors for its size. I cannot believe I found a national security program at a school of this size. It is everything I could have hoped for. My advice to prospective students would be to not sacrifice wishes and desires when picking a college. There is a college or university out there that is exactly what you are searching for. Hopefully you have found it at Mount Union!

Falling For NSFIA
I wanted to major in national security ever since my 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C. I fell in love with the monuments and memorials. I knew from that point on that I wanted to do something with my life that would make a difference. Then I looked at what I enjoyed in school—history and math—and saw that I could merge the two nicely with national security analysis.

Beyond the Classroom
I have attended multiple conferences, went to an academic seminar in D.C., and traveled to Vietnam during my time at Mount Union. While I enjoyed all of these, my favorite thing was doing volunteer work in Vietnam over winter break. I really learned a lot about myself, and different cultures around the world.

Passion For Learning
I really enjoyed my philosophy class that I took for one of my foundations. This made me think about the world in a completely different way and really made me reflect inward about my life. I think going into any field where you will deal with policy prescription that may affect a massive amount of people requires you to be hyperaware of your moral responsibilities. Philosophy gave me a good foundation to do so. I have loved all my political science classes thus far. My favorite by far, though, was Post-Soviet Politics taught by Dr. Michael Grossman. We covered an outrageous amount of history within the 15 week semester. I went from knowing nothing about the subject to feeling like I have a decent understanding about Russia’s history and current state of affairs. My favorite professor is Dr. Grossman. I first had him in Honor’s World Politics and he strengthened my love of researching the world and looking at history, different cultures, and how states interact with one another. He made me think about the international system in a completely different way.  Then, while he was a group leader during the national security academic seminar in Washington D.C. through the Washington Center, he encouraged us to digger deeper into the issues that affect the national every day. I appreciate how much he challenges me to consider things I had not before and entertains my constant questions and type A personality. Furthermore, he is a fantastic advisor and has helped me succeed academically as well as in my career goals.

Liberal Arts Education
I loved getting a liberal arts education. It made me take classes that I would have never taken before, and often, these classes ended up being my favorite ones. Combining this sort of education with professional preparation makes you a more well-rounded, aware, and civic-minded citizen. I truly I believe I am a better person after taking some of these liberal arts classes. You end up learning so much about yourself and the world that can then be applied in your daily life but also in your career. The integrative core has made me extremely comfortable to give long presentations in front of large groups of people. Although I was never nervous to speak in public before, having to do so many presentations throughout college has made is an easy feat now and I have absolutely no problem with going up in front of a crowd and delivering a speech. This will serve me well as I enter the professional world and will translate not only to ease while giving presentations but also give me the courage to convey my thoughts in a coherent fashion.

Ultimate Goal
I would love to be doing some sort of analysis dealing with the security of America. Through the countless essays, research projects, speeches, and material, I feel well prepared to do so in the future. I believe I have a good grasp on the foundations that I need to be successful in the professional world, but also to do tough analysis of the problems facing our nation.

Brianna Whittaker

The people that go to Mount Union are the most genuine people I have ever met.

Fun Facts

Where is your favorite travel destination?
My grandparents' cottage along Lake Erie in Canada.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Christmas because everyone is so chivalrous toward one another.
What is your guilty pleasure TV show?
Gilmore Girls!
What three songs define your music tastes?
Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov, Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles, and anything by Tim McGraw
What is your favorite app?
To The Top!