ASU student finds community with global security degree


Matt Oxford

When Alison Rohrer graduated from Towson University Honors College in 2018 a semester early she realized she wanted to keep her momentum. With bachelor's degrees in psychology and sociology-anthropology, Rohrer began looking at programs that would let her start in January.

Rohrer was familiar with Arizona State University: She toured the Tempe campus in March 2018. Upon researching ASU’s graduate programs, she found the Master of Arts in global security — an online degree in the School of Politics and Global Studies supported by the Center on the Future of War. The program accepts applications in both fall and spring semesters — perfect timing for Rohrer.

Aside from the perk of a rolling start date, the MA in global security’s online component and courses drew her attention.

“The courses offered are not only interesting and challenging topics, but also match what I will need in my future career,” Rohrer said. “The online flexibility allows me to pursue my career without giving up my education.”

Since starting the program in spring 2019, Rohrer believes her critical thinking and writing skills have significantly improved. Unexpectedly, she has also learned a lot of history while covering topics such as climate change, technological innovation and war strategy. However, Rohrer is most passionate about the global security concepts that allow her to apply her psychological and sociological background. 

As of this summer, Rohrer is in the final stages of joining Air Force Special Investigations. Although she expects her education to help prepare her for her future, Rohrer shared that her peers and professors have provided support as well.

In January, after just starting the program, Rohrer sought guidance prior to an interview with the Air Force.

“My fellow classmates online had all been through similar processes and gave me amazing advice, support and confidence before and after my interview,” Rohrer said.

This past April, she found herself back in Arizona and reached out to the school to see if she could stop by and meet some of her professors. In Coor Hall she met with Jeffrey Kubiak, co-director of the program, as well as visiting faculty affiliates. Rohrer said she was “shocked and grateful” that the MA in global security community has welcomed her so quickly.

“(It) is truly a community. The professors, advisers and peers are all committed to this program and want to see it and each other succeed.”