CUI Forensics Profile: Shannon Prier

September 23, 2019 - 2 minute read


Shannon Prier

Graduation year and major

I graduated from Concordia in 2014. I majored in History and Political Thought.

What was your favorite thing about being a part of Concordia Forensics?

Concordia Forensics became my community both during school and after.

What did you accomplish as a member of Concordia Forensics of which you are most proud?

With the help of our coach, Kevin Calderwood, and our teammates, my partner and I were able to outperform our seed at nationals.

What’s a fond memory of Concordia that you hold?

My roommate, Amanda Ozaki, and I waking up early 4 days a week for our 7:00am class and meeting up with other debaters to eat breakfast in the cafeteria. Also, while we met before I was a student at Concordia, I met my partner while he was a Concordia debater and I competed at a community college is Los Angeles.

What, in your opinion, makes Concordia Forensics unique from other forensics programs?

While I debated for Concordia, we had students from diverse backgrounds with unique political perspectives. There was constant engagement in each other’s ideas and viewpoints.

Tell us a little bit about your current or most recent job.

I am now a Quantitative Analyst at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica. I research policies and other important issues that we talked about in competitive debate. This research helps improve public knowledge and create well-informed policies. My research interests include homeland security, violent extremism, and natural disasters using a mixture of quantitative methods including econometrics. I started at RAND in July 2019 and my first projects were researching mass violence in public spaces and countering violent extremism (CVE) training. RAND gives me the opportunity to dive deeper into the topics we talk about in debate. Before joining RAND, I worked at the DHS Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE). At CREATE, I assisted on the development of economic models that determined the economic impacts of natural disasters, stem cell therapy grants, and property assessed clean energy (loans used to improve the disaster readiness or environmental impact of your home). So if you are reading an impact that says that these areas created x jobs or x change in GDP, there is a small chance I helped with that!

What part of speech/debate have you found the most useful in your career?

I am confident in my ability to relay information to diverse audiences and can learn new topics quickly. Debate was also an introduction to the importance of networking and building relationships.

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