CCU students track coronavirus data in real-time


MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – A Coastal Carolina University student organization, Chanticleer Intelligence Brief, is turning a semester away from campus into a career jumpstart for students wanting to go into intelligence and national security jobs.

Nearly 80 CCU Intelligence and National Security students are tracking the worldwide outbreak up to the minute. “COVID-19 information…anything about updates and cases, I track that every single day all day as much as I can,” AnaMaria Lankford, a CCU student, said.

They have found a way to turn the outbreak into an opportunity while studying the virus in different parts of the world. Rick Storzieri, a junior CCU student has focused on U.S and Mexican analysis for the last two years. “Now, what I focus on is mostly the effects of coronavirus on U.S. Mexican relations and how we can mitigate further spreading of this to make sure our relations remain intact during this trying time,” Storzieri said.

By using coronavirus data that is constantly changing, students prepare for dream jobs down the road. While some worried that missing an entire semester was a setback, the students have found a way to use the current crisis to better their future.

“When something like this happens, it transforms the way we do intelligence. 9/11 was a transformative moment for the intelligence community and the way we train intelligence professionals,” Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis, CCU Intelligence and National Security Studies professor, said.

While working from home and dispersed across the country, students continue exchanging and combining information daily. Many of the student’s careers will involve providing non-biased intelligence to policymakers and professionals in the intelligence community.

“So, what better way to get a practice for that during this rough time than to brief the actual community we are residing in to make sure everyone knows what’s going on, and properly and effectively mitigate the long-term effects of the coronavirus,” Storzieri said.

Out of all their school projects, students haven’t been able to relate in real-time like this one. “I think this is great practice for anyone who is a part of the organization because we all have the same goals in mind,” Lankford said.

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