Personal Statement

I have decided to apply to FSU to pursue studies in mathematics (pause to see if the incredibly unlikelihood that I would ever type those words somehow causes the probability machine to explode…) Drafted this up and thought I’d put it out there. If anyone has any suggestions, feel free to send them my way. I’m not really sure what I’m doing, or what I should be doing, but then “It seemed like a good idea at the time” is pretty much my motto in life!

Brandy says, tell me more about this crazy plan of  yours.

Brandy says, tell me more about this crazy plan of yours.

Personal Statement

Rachel A. Brune

Twelve years ago I stood at the window of an office building in mid-town Manhattan and watched as the terrorist events of 9/11 unfolded in real-time. That day shaped the rest of my life. Three weeks after 9/11, I stood before a military recruiter and recited the oath of enlistment into the United States Army. Five years ago, as I completed work on my Masters degree in Communication, I found myself drawn to studies of terrorism, terror groups, the events they instigate, and the reaction by governments, populations, and news and entertainment media.

Steeped in the communication literature on terrorism, but with six years as a Soldier, I began to identify a lack of what I termed a “security perspective.” Media studies provide a certain depth of understanding of one aspect of terrorism, but neglect certain practical, concrete factors of terrorist actions and strategy. In order to further inform my future studies, I decided to study criminal justice and two years ago completed coursework for my Masters of Criminal Justice.

My studies led me to a deep understanding of terrorism from both a media and a security perspective, but my coursework and research were primarily qualitative. I was missing that crucial quantitative perspective, especially as I ventured into literature incorporating game theory and mathematical models of prediction. I currently lack the ability to understand of higher forms of mathematics, which I believe will be crucial to future research in terrorism studies. My ultimate goal is to serve my country as both Soldier and scholar, uncovering more about terrorism from a multidisciplinary perspective, using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. For this reason, I wish to pursue my studies in mathematics at Fayetteville State University.

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