A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

Intern Spotlight: Rick Magill


Intern Spotlight: Rick Magill

February 26, 2013Catherine Llamido
Meet Rick Magill, a current second-year graduate student at the University of Maryland studying public policy with a focus in international security and economics. He has been interning with START since last year's fall semester and applying his skills in Global Terrorism Database (GTD) research.

rick This semester he is working closely with Special Project's Open Source Intelligence research in Europe. His research is focusing on criminal and terrorist groups, and identifying new and emerging patterns in national security interests.

What made you interested in studying terrorism?

I initially got into the study of terrorism because I was studying things like ethnic and civil conflicts, which now are taking center stage in global conflict. Terrorism is a major tactic in use for commandeering political power and control and my thought was that it seems to be the new way of waging war.

What fascinates you more: foreign or domestic policy?

Foreign policy mainly. I'm finding the situation in West Africa interesting, and that's actually what I did my project course on. However, academically a lot of my other classes are focused on economics. As an undergraduate, I did not take any economics courses so right now I'm just trying to catch up. Economics can play a huge role in warfare and conflicts.

What has been your favorite city to travel to?

While at Northeastern, I did a program focusing on multi-culturalism in Central Europe. Mainly it was through the Austria, Hungary area, Prague too. My favorite city is probably Budapest. It's globalized enough that it's not totally foreign, but definitely has such a unique culture. However, I don't think I'll be learning the language anytime soon: I've heard it spoken and it seems impossible.

What's your favorite book?

Over the summer I read "The Guns of August," which is about the start of World War I and the circumstances surrounding it. Pre-World War I, you have your empires and all the monarchies in the old system. During the First World War you see old tactics with modern weapons. It's really well done because it narrates how Empires were broken up and you see some of that Eastern European nationalism come into play.

Other than a passion for history, you mentioned you have a love of sports. Any injuries sustained?

I've broken several bones: a finger and my orbital bone while playing football and baseball in high school. Surprisingly, I didn't break any bones in wrestling. I'm also a big sports fan, a Steelers fan primarily. I used to be a huge Red Sox fan, but that's tamped down a bit.