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Intelligence expert visits Ruston

May 16, 2014
Historian and intelligence expert Richard H. Immerman gives his speech “The CIA: Its Origins, its Transformation, and its Militarization” at the Lincolin Parish Library. – Photo by Devin Dronett

Historian and intelligence expert Richard H. Immerman gives his speech “The CIA: Its Origins, its Transformation, and its Militarization” at the Lincolin Parish Library. – Photo by Devin Dronett

 

Frededreia Willis
Staff Reporter

 

Louisiana Tech students and the community of Ruston had the chance to learn more about the CIA on May 7 when historian and intelligence expert Richard Immerman visited Ruston to lecture on his new book, “The Hidden Hand: A Brief History of the CIA.” 

 

The lectures covered both aspects of the CIA’s mission –– the collection and analysis of intelligence and the execution of foreign policy through covert, paramilitary operations. 

 

The first lecture, “Intelligence and National Security in the Cold War and After,” was held on campus in University Hall.  

 

Andrew McKevitt, an assistant professor of history at Tech who coordinated Immerman’s local appearance, said this event was a great way for Tech to combine the students with local community. 

 

“Hopefully exposing the students to this atmosphere will allow new perspectives and ideas to come,” McKevitt said. “I love when we get to expose our students to these type of events. Immerman did a great job.”

 

Nick Smith, a sophomore political science and speech communication major, said he appreciates McKevitt bringing Immerman to Tech. 

 

“It was really interesting getting an insider’s perspective on the CIA and foreign affairs,” Smith said. “I enjoyed it.”

 

Immerman is a professor of history and a director within the Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy at Temple University in Philadelphia. 

 

“My goal was not to make every student learn something new but to simply raise questions,” Immerman said. 

 

The second lecture, “The CIA: Its Origins, its Transformation and its Militarization,” was held at the Lincoln Parish Library. Immerman spoke to an overflow crowd in the 340-seat Dubach Room of the library as students and community residents stood in the hall listening to his lecture.

 

“I love working with Tech’s history department,” said Emily Arnold, program coordinator at Lincoln Parish Library. 

 

Arnold said she is grateful to have helped to make this event successful.

 

“Immerman was very interesting and brought in a great crowd,” said Arnold.

 

Immerman’s lectures were sponsored by Tech’s department of history and American Foreign Policy Center, Lincoln Parish Library, and Lambda-Rho Chapter, Phi Alpha Theta history honor society. 

 

Immerman said he wants to provoke students to think about new things.

 

“If they leave doing that I know I have accomplished something,” Immerman said. “I truly enjoyed Tech’s hospitality toward me, I’ll be back.” 

 

Email comments to flw005@latech.edu.

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