Counter-Terrorism, National Security Expert to Speak at W&J

Created: January 19, 2015  |  Last Updated: January 17, 2020  |  Category:   |  Tagged: ,

WASHINGTON, PA (Jan. 19, 2015) – Counter-terrorism and national security expert Jibey Asthappan, Ph.D. will present “The Cost of War: Weighing Civilian Losses in the Afghan War,” at Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) on Thursday, Jan. 22 at 6 p.m. in Room 100 of the Dieter-Porter Life Sciences Building.

His lecture, which is free and open to the public, will focus on evaluating operations within Afghanistan by accounting for enemy and civilian losses. The event is part of the J. Robert Maxwell ’43 Visiting Scholar Series.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Asthappan with us this Intersession,” said Kathleen McEvoy, Ph.D., associate professor of English at W&J, and coordinator of this Maxwell Series event. “His hands-on, interactive approach to teaching has made his course on terrorism exciting and eye-opening for his students.”

Asthappan began his career in 1999 as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician for the United States Air Force. Following the events of Sept. 11, 2001, he was deployed with some of the first troops in Afghanistan. He served as a bomb technician to protect civilians and military targets from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as well as chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. He has also provided advanced training for Internal Security Force bomb squad personnel in Qatar.

Asthappan has conducted extensive research on counter-terrorism and crisis management. While obtaining a Ph.D. in Justice, Law and Society from American University, he completed a study that would later be published as a book: Stealing Their Thunder: The Effectiveness of Military Force in Deterring Terrorism.

Currently, Asthappan teaches courses on homeland security, criminal justice, terrorism, criminology, cybercrime and network security at the University of New Haven, where he is an assistant professor and Director of the National Security Program in the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences.

Endowed in 2010, the J. Robert Maxwell ’43 Visiting Scholar Series was created to provide the Washington & Jefferson College community, including students, faculty, staff and interested citizens, access to a wider array of viewpoints, opinions and practices from distinguished and influential leaders.

“The Maxwell Series allows us to bring highly qualified scholars to campus to share their knowledge and experiences with our students and our community,” McEvoy said.

J. Robert Maxwell (Class of 1943) was a lawyer, community leader and trustee emeritus of Washington & Jefferson College. He went on to receive a Certificate in Meteorology from the University of Chicago, and then entered the U.S. Navy and served until the end of World War II as a Lieutenant with duty primarily in the South Pacific. After the war, Maxwell entered Harvard Law School, graduated in 1949 and embarked on a new career in law.

Throughout Maxwell’s life, he was an ardent servant of W&J. He was president of the General Alumni Association and of the Allegheny County Alumni Association, service for which he received the W&J Award of Merit in 1958. He was elected to the Board of Trustees in 1965 and served as an active member until he was appointed a Trustee Emeritus in 1985. Maxwell was chairman of numerous board committees, and through his many years of service, provided leadership and guidance with great wisdom and delightful good humor.


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Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work.

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