January 11, 2017

Psychology and religious studies major Brianna Soars ’13 graduated from Susquehanna as an aware global citizen who can understand human behavior, particularly the motivations of religious extremists.

Together with a master’s degree in forensic psychology from George Washington University and several related internships, she’s prepared to take a job in counterterrorism with the U.S. intelligence community.

“I firmly believe that Susquehanna’s faculty members and their commitment to seeing the students succeed is what prepared me for both graduate school and my upcoming career,” says Soars. “They encouraged all students to have an open mind and reminded us that it is okay to step outside of your comfort zone.”

“The latest trends in terrorism and violent extremism have been focused on extreme interpretations of religion. As demonstrated by groups like Al-Qaeda and the Aryan Nations, religiously based violent extremist movements are not going away and this program has positioned me to move forward in my career with the foundation to confront the future national security challenges of the world,” Soars adds.

Since she graduated, Soars has kept in contact with Karla Bohmbach, head of the religious studies department. “She is a true testament to Susquehanna’s astounding faculty, who are extremely dedicated and truly care about their students’ success,” Soars says.

“Susquehanna will always hold a special place in my heart,” she adds, reminiscing about the welcoming community, beautiful location and friendships she made here.