Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2022 graduates.
With a background in the military and an interest to expand her knowledge of current events and emerging threats, Haley Hollimon decided to pursue a Master of Arts in global security from Arizona State University.
This May, she will graduate with her MA from ASU Online in the School of Global Studies and Politics.
“I found the pervasiveness of technology to the national/global security and operating environments an on-going trend that is here to stay. I would like to be a leader in this field in the future,” Hollimon said.
Hollimon graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 2018, and was then commissioned in the Military Intelligence Corps. She currently attends the Military Intelligence Captains Career Course and is being promoted to captain following her graduation.
Hollimon said she pursued her master’s in global security because she was eager to learn more, know more and do more.
From studying in the global security program, Hollimon said that she gained valuable lessons — academically and personally — that she will take into the next chapter of her life.
Between balancing a full-time job and classes to earn her master’s degree, Hollimon said she has developed her time management skills. Learning to be intentional with how she spends her time has been crucial in managing her work and school load.
She said the reading that impacted her ideas the most was "LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media" by Emerson Brooking and Peter Singer, professor of practice in the Center on the Future of War and the School of Politics and Global Studies. She was able to utilize the message conveyed from the text and implement it in her personal life, as well as her career.
“It allowed me to understand how social media can be weaponized by our adversaries well before Russia’s current information operations surrounding Ukraine. Prior to this reading, I believed that misinformation and disinformation only targeted the uneducated and ignorant, but now I understand that information operations are complex and three dimensional,” Hollimon said.
Hollimon said that the time spent earning her master’s degree was challenging but rewarding, as it comes with short-term and long-term uses.
In the short-term, Hollimon is able to apply her degree to her position as an intelligence officer to better understand and educate her subordinates about their adversaries, including Iranian and North Korean hackers, and the contemporary operating environment as a whole.
Hollimon plans to also look for ways to implement her degree for the rest of her life, as she hopes to use it to become a leader in the intelligence community and hopefully work for an agency later in her career.
“This degree program will allow me to better explain and contextualize problems and issues to military leaders and policymakers. It will allow me to participate in critical military and national security conferences,” Hollimon said.
“For the years immediately after completing my degree, I would like to use the degree to explore more specified, competitive positions for intelligence officers, such as internship opportunities,” Hollimon said.
Ten years from now, assuming promotion trends and the size of the armed forces remain the same, Hollimon hopes to be serving in the army as a major.
Hollimon looks forward to post-graduation where she will lead and mentor a larger population of soldiers with “authority, responsibility and accountability in each assignment,” she said.
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