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

MPS in Security and Terrorism Studies Faculty & Staff

MPS in Security and Terrorism Studies Faculty & Staff

Welcome from our Head Faculty and Program Directors

Marcus Boyd
Marcus Boyd

Director of Graduate Studies, Geospatial Research Unit (GRU) Director, START

Amy Pate
Amy Pate

START Executive Director
and Research Director

William Braniff
William Braniff

Department Chair,
START Director

Liberty Day
Liberty Day

Program Director for
Education and Training, START

By enrolling in our MPS in Security and Terrorism Studies program, you are guaranteed guidance from some of the top experts in the fields of intelligence analysis, national security and terrorism studies. You will learn from distinguished professionals with a comprehensive understanding of global security and terrorism, prepared to equip you with the same critical analysis tools that inspired their successful careers and global impact. Our small class sizes enable you the full attention you need to master your coursework and absorb as much knowledge as possible. Feel free to explore the experts on our faculty and staff below, and please reach out to education-start@umd.edu with any questions.

Meet the Faculty

Marcus Boyd – Geospatial Research Unit (GRU) Director, Director of Graduate Studies, START | Bio ➔

Dr. Marcus Boyd is the Director of Graduate Studies and the Director of the Geospatial Research Unit (GRU), where he oversees research relating to terrorism, illicit finance, and GIScience. His research has been funded by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, and others. Watch a lecture from Dr. Boyd here.

Sara Winegar Budge – Program Director, ExitUSA

Dr. Sara Winegar Budge is the Program Director of ExitUSA, a CVE program that helps individuals leave violent far right movements, and NTT faculty at Western Oregon University. Her research interests include attitudes and behaviors associated with violent extremism, effective secondary and tertiary intervention techniques, and the intersection between psychopathology and ideological violence. Dr. Winegar Budge has worked in community mental health, university counseling, and private practice settings with a diverse array of clients and clinical challenges. 

Jeffrey Davis – Department of Political Science Associate Professor and Chair at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County | Bio ➔

Dr. Jeffrey Davis is the Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. His research focuses on human rights justice and international law. 

Michael Egnoto – Affiliated Faculty, Clinical Informaticist at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research | Bio ➔

Dr. Michael Egnoto is a clinical informaticist at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. His research deals with risk and crisis communication in digital environments by focusing on communication in social environments.

Samuel D. Henkin – Geospatial Research Unit (GRU) Researcher, START | Bio ➔

Dr. Samuel D. Henkin is a researcher on the Geospatial Research Unit (GRU) at START. His approach to the study of political violence, instability, and conflict is the result of his own geographic education which focused on a rigorous survey of critical theory and methodological multiplicity at the leading-edge of geographic inquiry. Specific research interests include spatial relations of violence in everyday life, the intersections of political geography and security, and political violence in Southeast Asia.

Amy Pate – START Executive Director and Research Director | Bio ➔

Dr. Amy Pate is the Executive Director and Research Director at START. A political scientist specializing in international relations and comparative politics, Pate has worked with START since the center was founded, first through her work on the Minorities at Risk Project and as a START researcher, prior to becoming research director. Pate is trained in both quantitative and qualitative methods, has conducted fieldwork in conflict zones in Africa, and has extensive experience working with researchers in developing countries.

Elizabeth Yates – Radicalization and Disengagement (RaD) Researcher, START | Bio ➔

Dr. Elizabeth Yates is a Senior Researcher on the Radicalization and Disengagement (RaD) team at START. She works primarily on the suite of datasets associated with PIRUS (Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States) and BIAS (Bias Incidents and Actors Study), with a special focus on far-right violence, extremism, and hate crimes. Watch a panel with Dr. Yates here.

Meet the Staff

Eva Coll – Experiential Education Specialist, START | Bio ➔

Eva Coll is the Experiential Education Specialist at START, managing and overseeing START’s internship program. In this role she collaborates regularly with Center researchers and intern supervisors, supervises and provides professional mentorship for approximately 75 student interns each academic term, and is responsible for the marketing/recruiting for the internship program.

Erin Copland – Outreach and Transition Specialist, START | Bio ➔

Erin Copland is the Outreach and Transition Specialist and Acting Communications Manager at START, supporting the Media and Communications team in publicizing START's research, brand and mission. In doing so, she contributes content to START's social media and monthly newsletter, and runs START's virtual events series.

Liberty Day – Program Director for Education and Training, START | Bio ➔

Liberty Day is the Program Director for Education and Training at START, where she oversees the administration of educational programs including the Global Terrorism Studies Minor, the internship program, the MPS in Security and Terrorism Studies, and the Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis.


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