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Testimonials

2012 FDD Academic Fellows
“This trip, in fact, I believe is the most significant learning experience I have had to date in my teaching career.”

Neal Coates, JD, PhD
Professor and Chair
Abilene Christian University

“I describe this trip as a once-in-a-lifetime experience because this combination of theory and practical access to various Israeli security services is obviously a rare thing.”

Dr. Luigi Bradizza
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Salve Regina University

“I should also add that despite my prior knowledge, I learned a tremendous amount from interacting with the Israeli professionals we met on our site visits. This was also a humbling experience, defying of my presumption that their views and experiences would very similar to those of the US military personnel and US-based experts I am familiar with. I gained a great deal of perspective from hearing the men and women at the “pointy end of the spear” describe their work and the challenges they face. As a young scholar, I fully expect to incorporate what I learned as an FDD Fellow into the development of my research agenda.”

Dan Shalmon
Political Science
University of Illinois – Urbana

“My experience as an FDD Academic Fellow is one I will treasure for years to come and one which will bear fruit in my teaching and research.”

Motague Brown
Professor and Chair of Philosophy
Saint Anselm College

“The whole course was devoid of the political correctness that restricts so much of the American educational infrastructure.   I learned a great deal.   More importantly, my students will benefit greatly from my experiences in Israel as my knowledge of terrorism studies is now much more comprehensive.”

David M. Claborn, DrPH
CDR MSC USN (ret.)
Assistant Professor
Missouri State University

2011 FDD Academic Fellows
“I have had the pleasure of teaching Middle Eastern history for many years to undergraduate and graduate students. [O]ne cannot appreciate the difficulty of erecting and defending democratic institutions in a Middle Eastern environment unless one walks the ground and talks to the inhabitants. FDD provided a marvelous opportunity to observe a state struggling against the threat of terror, and trying to defend freedom and democratic institutions in the process. The chance to visit anti-terror units and facilities was unparalleled in my experience.”

Prof. Jim Breckenridge
Dept. of Intelligence Studies, Mercyhurst College

“Short of military operations rarely is one offered the opportunity to witness the security challenges that a country such as Israel faces on a routine basis. . . . The ability to personally observe the actual front-line locations of the seemingly endless front-page news stories surrounding the Middle East in places such as Israeli borders, security fences, adjoining Israeli/Palestinian neighborhoods, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount is critical to any in-class discussion of these issues.”

Colonel Steve Charbonneau (USAF)
Instructor, Naval War College

"This was the best academic program that I have ever experienced. . . . There was essentially no time wasted and all of it was valuable to our understanding of terrorism and the threat it presents to democratic societies."

Prof. Carl Anthony Wege
Dept. of Political Science, College of Coastal Georgia

"I learned more about Middle East politics, terrorism, Islam and the like in 10 days than I probably could have learned in several semesters of organized courses in the States. Also, being there on the 'front lines' helped put everything in perspective and, above all, made me crave even more information."

Prof. John L. Worrall
Dept. of Criminology, University of Texas at Dallas

2010 FDD Academic Fellows
“I have emerged from this program having met my objectives in terms of a deeper, and very humbling, understanding of the issues, which I know will seep into my thinking and hence the crafting of my education. Ironically, I wanted to learn more, but have discovered that the more I learned the less I feel I know.”

Dr. Jennifer Brinkerhoff
Professor, Public Administration and International Affairs, George Washington University

“In summary, the program delivers important information via an appropriate balance between classroom lectures and discussion, and the practical application of counter-terrorism concepts in the field.”

Prof. James L Cook 
Associate Professor, Naval War College

“While lectures and readings offer valuable background, these trips within Israel provided experiences that enable us to return to our institutions and disciplines with knowledge and expertise that are unprecedented and powerfully persuasive.”

Dr. Lucian Dervan
Assistant Professor, Law, Southern Illinois University

“I realize that opportunities such as this one come at a high cost, particularly in our current economic situation. It would however, be unfortunate indeed if the program were unavailable to scholars in the future. Quite simply, there is no substitute for the unique opportunities that this program has to offer.”

Dr. Jeanette Fregulia
Assistant Professor, Department of History, Carroll College

“I believe this was an eye-opener for all of us- as it gave us a “hands on” view of Israel’s counter-terrorism procedures.”

Prof. Susan Jellissen
Assistant Professor, Political Science, Belmont University

“The substantive knowledge I acquired about terrorism, and the strategies with which to defend against it, was extraordinarily rich. I saw and experienced things to which I could not have had access in any other manner.”

Dr. Steven Livingston
Professor, Political Science, Middle Tennessee State University

“I have been a university professor for more than 25 years. I lecture my students on the need to challenge their own assumptions in order for them to grow as individuals. I thought that I had already moved through the stage of my life and my career but I now see that my own assumptions needed challenging and that is exactly what FDD did through the summer seminar.”

Dr. Carmine Scavo
Associate Professor , East Carolina University

2009 FDD Academic Fellows
“The FDD academic fellowship program is an unparallel learning experience. The lectures at Tel Aviv University by leading experts provided theoretical perspectives on pressing issues that usefully complemented the practical nature of the field trips to military and security installations around Israel.”

Dr. Robert Barnidge
Lecturer of Law, Reading University

“Because the program addressed areas and events from the tactical military level up to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, our group was able to see how counterterrorism is part of virtually every aspect of Israeli society, and began to develop an understanding of how these issues of national security have such a dramatic impact on Israeli domestic policies.”

John Williams
Deputy Director, Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies, United States Naval Academy

“It gave me the opportunity along with other U.S. scholars representing not only my own field of Political Science, but also several other disciplines, to achieve a better understanding not only about the threats of contemporary terrorism but also of effective responses to it, as confirmed by the State of Israel in confronting terrorism on its multiple military, diplomatic, ideological and cultural levels.”

Dr. Sean Anderson
Associate Professor of Political Science, Idaho State University

“Overall the trip was formative for my thinking about the importance of teaching the next generation the price of freedom and our duty to preserve it.”

Dr. Michael Krom
Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Saint Vincent College

“It is quite difficult to grasp the dynamic of Islamic extremism in the Middle East without actually witnessing firsthand the reality of the situation and hearing from those directly involved with combating terrorism.”

Dr. Robert Morris
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, University of Texas at Dallas

“The academic lectures provided a non-American perspective on the confrontation between terrorist groups and liberal democracy. The confrontation is a global one, and the United States can learn from the experience of other countries.”

Dr. Patrick Roberts
Assistant Professor, Center for Public Administration and Policy, School of Public and International Affairs, Virginia Tech

2008 FDD Academic Fellows
“Every day was not only a new adventure but also a new vantage onto issues and problems that constitute challenges for both citizens and democracies throughout the world.”

Dr. Robert E. Rook
Professor & Chair of History, Towson University

“The Program has left me highly informed and very passionate about the fight against terrorism. I am not exaggerating when I say the program was a life-changing experience and I am very grateful to the Foundation for this opportunity.”

Dr. Matthew C. Ogilvie
Director & Assistant Professor, Philosophy and Letters, University of Dallas

“I was also impressed with the composition of the Academic Fellowship group. It included people with divergent points of view, from different sorts of colleges and universities, from different parts of the country. There was also a wide range of ages and experiences represented.”

Dr. Edward Lynch
Associate Professor/Director of Political Science, Hollins University

“And thank you FDD, for a truly unique experience to learn without equivocation what terrorism is, why it us a morally unacceptable means of political action, and why free peoples are morally entitled to counter this threat by means that have proved effective.”

Dr. Paul Kamolnick
Associate Professor of Sociology, East Tennessee State University

“I think students will appreciate an honest and open assessment of the dire threat that Islamic radicalism continues to pose to the U.S. seven years after 9/11. In the near future I hope to create a new course on global Islamic fundamentalism that will rely heavily on voluminous notes and photos that I took in Israel.”

Dr. William Cummings
Associate Professor of History, University of South Florida

“One can read numerous books before leaving on such a trip, but no amount of reading can possibly match the breath and depth of knowledge acquired from actually traveling and interacting with the people in a country the way that this program allows one to do.”

Dr. Dominic M. Beggan
Assistant Professor of Political Science, Lamar University

2007 FDD Academic Fellows
“The entire series of lectures and briefing, site visits, and both formal and informal conversations far exceeded my expectations. I have returned from Israel with a broader and deeper understanding of the Arab/ Palestinian and Israel conflict, but more importantly the threat of global jihadist-based terrorism. To say that this recent trip/educational experience was life changing was an understatement.”

Randall G. Rogan
Professor & Department Chair of Communication, Wake Forest University

“As you know, professors have an almost disproportionate influence on the hearts and minds of the next generation. This trip, I believe, opened some eyes and helped many of us see for the first time how a country that faces terrorism daily deals with it and retains its democratic nature.”

Mark Clark
Professor, Director of NSS program Political Science; National Security Studies Program, California State University, San Bernardino

“In light of the daily distortions in the news media, the pseudo analysis of revisionist political pundits, and the obfuscating rhetoric of Middle East politics, one has to get close to get a deeper and clearer appreciation of the psychology, attitude, and the strategic posture that drives Israel’s counterterrorism initiative. One has to be in the region to have a fuller appreciation of the political and security dynamics at play on both sides of the issue. The FDD has made this enlightening experience possible.”

Dr. Kalu N. Kalu
Associate Professor of Political Science & Public Administration, Auburn University, Montgomery

“I appreciate the strong academic emphasis of the fellowship with your Foundation. A combination of providing recommended reading of specific books and articles prior to the visit, followed by lectures from subject matter experts, and the ability to interact with political, strategic, and military practitioners is a powerful combination to advance learning through this fellowship.”

Patrick Oliver
Director of Criminal Justice Program; Assistant Professor of CJ, Cedarville University

“Participation in the program has been extraordinarily useful for me, bringing into sharp relief a number of critical issues of the struggle against terrorist threats to open and democratic societies. Participation in the program has put me in a much more informed, realistic and practical position with respect to teaching, conducting research and writing about terrorism insurgency.”

Gregory Gleason
Professor of Political Science, University of New Mexico

2006 FDD Academic Fellows
“It was one of the most enlightening educational experiences of my career.”

Dr. Mark Jones
Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, College of Human Ecology, East Carolina University

“I can’t imagine anyone coming away from the program unimpressed by your personal dedication to make the program a success and FDD’s comprehensive presentation of the threat of terrorism faced by Israel and, by implication, other democratic countries. The relationship that FDD has with specialists who presented comprehensive and informative lectures and connections to facilitate visits to organizations dedicated to counter-terrorism was so impressive.”

Dr. Eric Hyer
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Brigham Young University

“I came away from this experience with a renewed commitment to do what I can as an educator and spokesperson to fight terrorism here in the United States…The fellowship was an extraordinary opportunity for me to learn more and to meet the best thinkers in Israel who have been working on this issue far longer than we have.”

Dr. Mark Lusk
Director and Professor, International Programs, Oregon State University

“The program FDD puts on for its academic fellows is phenomenal. I can think of no other experience that compares with my time in Israel. The opportunity to listen to and speak with Israeli officials on the front lines of the war on terror gave me a new appreciation for the fight in which we find ourselves and the plight of our ally.”

Dr. Adam Lowther
Assistant Professor, Social Sciences and Philosophy Department, Arkansas Tech University

“The access we had to experts and decision makers was unparalleled…The students at Florida State – and concerned citizens in Tallahassee – will benefit for years to come due to the work you and your staff put in.”

Dr. Will H. Moore
Professor, Department of Political Science, Florida State University

“I believe that this trip was worthwhile and enlightening and I would highly recommend it to those involved in trying to understand or explain the Terrorism phenomenon.”

Dr. Joseph F. King
Associate Professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York

“Although I expected the trip to be interesting and professionally beneficial, I had no idea how profoundly the experience would impact my thinking about conflict…I am only beginning to appreciate the depth of knowledge gained from the experiences in Israel; however, I am certain that all of my teaching (as well as my future research) will be informed by what I learned with this group.”

Dr. Karen K. Petersen
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Middle Tennessee State University

2005 FDD Academic Fellows
"The FDD academic fellows program is a unique experience, providing American scholars the opportunity to visit and learn from terrorism experts in Israel…. As someone that teaches and conducts research on terrorism and counter-terrorism, I found these field visits to be invaluable…. I highly recommend this experience to other college professors and I encourage potential donors to consider supporting this worthwhile program.  Working together, the United States and Israel will create a world that is safer from the scourge of terrorism."

Dr. Michael Kenney
Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg
Organizational Learning for Homeland Security Fellow, Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University

"The FDD program has also impacted my teaching plans for the coming year.  I now plan to develop a course on terrorism and the law…. No one has ever offered such a course on this campus, and it certainly would not have been in the planning stages any time soon but for the FDD program."

Dr. Ronald Rychlak
Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, University of Mississippi

"As a result of my experiences on that trip I have completely redirected my research and my courses. For the first time this year every course I teach will have an extensive terrorism component…. FDD has helped remind me that freedom is not something we can take for granted- it is a fragile privilege that is worth fighting for, and this is a message we really need to transmit to our students."

Dr. Patricia Olney
Associate Professor of Political Science, Southern Connecticut State University

"As a result of my trip, I feel infinitely better prepared now to teach a course on terrorism/counter-terrorism, which I plan to teach Spring 2006.  Indeed, I very much hope to take part in an FDD seminar on teaching terrorism next summer, and with that fine-tuning in place, to make the course part of my standard academic repertoire…. Given the gravity of the international terror threat, FDD's work, I think, is more than just a good investment. It is a truly noble enterprise."

Dr. Daniel C. Palm
Associate Professor of Political Science, Azusa Pacific University

"The Foundation's program on democracy and counter-terrorism was enormously beneficial. It is one thing to read about a subject; it is quite another to confront people and institutions that are directly seeing to confront the problem terror…. As I return to the classroom this fall, I will bring many new insights, stories, and experiences from the seminar that will, I'm sure, enhance my teaching and contribute to a more realistic scholarship-one that addresses more explicitly the challenges in promoting and defending freedom in the world."

Dr. Mark Amstutz
Professor of Political Science, Wheaton College

"The trip was one of the most memorable, intellectual, and experiential journeys of my career. The access to anti-terrorist security and military personnel gave flesh to my bare bones understanding of terrorism."

Dr. Timothy J. O'Neill
Paideia Professor and Holder of the Tower-Hester Chair in Politics, Southwestern University

"I continue to be amazed at how we were able to experience getting an inside look at the Israeli defenses against terror as well as attend lectures from top academic and governmental personnel."

Dr. Fred Foldvary
Department of Economics and Director of Civil Society Institute, Santa Clara University

"The trip was superbly executed and remarkably substantive.  I could not have asked for a better introduction into this area.  The positions of the FDD are clear and were forcefully articulated, but opposing viewpoints were taken seriously."

Dr. Alan Gibson
Associate Professor of Political Science, California State University at Chico

"It was a remarkable learning experience, and in some ways life altering.... I can assure you that what I learned will be incorporated into my classroom lectures.… I would highly recommend this experience to others and will be glad to assist FDD's efforts in the future."

Dr. Stephen Knott
Associate Professor and Research Fellow of Political Science, University of Virginia

"I would like to thank FDD for providing me with an unparalleled opportunity to study the challenges Israel faces in confronting the challenge of modern terrorism.... I have no doubt that these experiences will enhance both my teaching and my public lectures. It is one thing to study terrorism in a classroom.  It is quite another to see the complexities and consequences on the ground.  I came away re-dedicated to do whatever I can to contribute to confronting this evil of our time…. I also understood that this would not have been possible without the support of those who funded this trip.  They should understand that they made it possible for us to have a unique experience which will pay off in a host of ways in our classrooms and communities."

Lewis Brownstein
Professor of Political Science and International Relations, State University of New York at New Paltz

"The program, "Defending Democracy, Defeating Terrorism" was, in my view, exemplary. It was well conceived and planned; the terrorism experts as well as the Israeli politicians and academics with whom we were able to meet were exceptional…it has affected the way I intend to teach two of my courses I teach on a regular basis at California State University: U.S. foreign policy; and a course on national security policy."

M. Kent Bolton
Associate Professor of Political Science, California State University, San Marcos

"The FDD trip to Israel in 2005 was an outstanding event.  In a comparatively short period of time we were exposed to many aspects of the Israeli security situation and many views from some key academic and official sources.… The program has a good balance of the "theoretical" and the "practical" in that we had lectures on everything from South East Asian terrorism to Turco-Israeli relations while also witnessing demonstrations from Sniper Squads, SWAT Teams and bomb disposal experts.… Our ten days in Israel involved acquiring new perspectives, absorbing new information, having new experiences and meeting new friends such as to make the program unforgettable.  All in all, it was an invaluable opportunity to visit Israel under a very advantageous set of circumstances and I for one felt very glad to be involved."

Colin A. Pearce
Assistant Professor of Humanities, University of South Carolina at Beaufort

"One month later, I am finally coming to terms with the overwhelming, eye-opening experience in Israel made possible by the gracious fellowship I was awarded…. Our group got the distinct feeling in each case that we were being told about the many facets of the threat of terrorism by people who knew of that threat the best, and we were being told it all straight, presented with hard evidence to show us in detail that the claims being made were not just naked assertions, but fact-based, accurate reflections of the actual situation experienced by free societies trying to defend themselves against terrorism…it will make a great difference for me to be able to say to my colleagues and our students that I was in the Middle East where I saw for myself the remarkable organizational prowess and disastrous effects of global jihad."

Andrew Flescher
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Center for Applied and Professional Ethics, California State University at Chico

2004 FDD Academic Fellows
"This program rates right at the top. The context was substantive, access was extraordinary, and the insight brought clarity to complex issues."

Dr. David L. Carter
Professor of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University

"The access which FDD provided to top government officials--and to academic, police, security service, and intelligence experts at the highest levels--was truly remarkable. I know of no other foundation or fellowship program which is able to provide so much top-level access and first-hand intelligence and security service information in so compact a form, or in such an intellectually stimulating environment."

Dr. Cathal J. Nolan
Professor of History and International Relations, Boston University

"The number of high level officials we had access to, the military installations we visited, and our ability to ask numerous questions made this program one of a kind. The insight I was able to gain will enable me to educate both students and law enforcement in the area."

Dr. Andi Katz-Bannister
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Wichita State University

"The American public remains unaware that we are at war with an implacable foe intent on supplanting the Judeo-Christian West with fundamentalist Islamic hegemony. We FDD Fellows must engage the public on issues attendant to this struggle. Your program provides the knowledge vital to effective combat in Information Age warfare."

Dr. Earl. H. Tilford
Professor of History, Grove City College

2003 FDD Academic Fellows
“Many of us on the trip are now positioned to tackle the subject in a way that we had not before; armed with many more facts, with a sense of urgency of combating this problem, and with a set of valuable contacts – both the experts and our fellow trip members.”

Dr. Gerard Alexander
Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Virginia

“The success of this venture is a testament to the vision of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and to the professionalism of its entire staff.  I am sure that the things we learned in Israel will ripple out across American campuses and into American society.  The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies has struck a blow for freedom.”

Dr. Joseph M. Skelly
Professor of History, The College of Mount Saint Vincent

“You delivered what you promised, an extraordinary experience that taught me a lot, and in particular, put into my hand things I can use in teaching about terrorism.…Given the circumstances, you outdid yourself in providing us access to places I am amazed we were allowed to go.”

Dr. Fred Bauman
Professor of Political Science, Kenyon College

“You put together a logical, well-organized, and balanced combination of thoughtful and practical lectures on fighting terrorism, in addition to enjoyable education sights.  The program went off without any glitches.”

Dr. Norman L. Zucker
Professor of Political Science, The University of Rhode Island