|By Erica Erwin, Erie Times-News, Pa.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The nation's first Secretary of Homeland Security,
"We wanted an interdisciplinary approach that brings together the skill sets of the intelligence professional, the math and computer systems expert, and the communications specialist, and produces a career professional that's comfortable in all three of those domains," said
The collaboration will fill a need for graduates who are well-versed in all three areas, including social media, Breckenridge said: data scientists and communication professionals who understand intelligence and intelligence analysts who understand data science and new media.
"We know there's a demand out there, and we're going to meet that demand," he said.
There's a need to be able to analyze, understand and use "big data" -- the volume and scope of data produced, for example, by the more than 1 million customer transactions handled by
By analyzing big data, "we can track health trends; we can track customer needs and wants and expectations; we can anticipate where a particular epidemic can be going next. We know when somebody is buying a whole lot of flu medicine in an area, there may be a flu problem.
"What makes us healthier makes us safer and makes us more secure," Breckenridge said. "You have to look at security in a lot of different ways."
Naming the building after Ridge just made sense, Breckenridge said.
"We're thrilled, obviously," he said. "From his days as governor of
Ridge is chief executive of Ridge Global, an international provider of security and risk management services, and a partner in
"Graduates of Mercyhurst's intelligence studies program are well-known and highly regarded inside the walls of our nation's intelligence and defense agencies in
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