Student Profile MAISS


Master of Arts in Intelligence Security Studies

Kim Toler

Kimberly Toler 

Heidelberg, Germany
Mentor: Craig Albert, PhD
Areas of interest: Foreign Intelligence & Counterintelligence


Why did you choose the MAISS program? 

I grew up in a military family and I've always enjoyed learning about different cultures and foreign affairs. My father worked in intelligence and I was fortunate enough to have grown up in that environment. It is from the perspective of this background that I have learned the importance of intelligence and how it impacts our lives. It's the work of the people in intelligence that influences the decisions and policies our elected officials put in place. I wanted to make an impact as an intelligence analyst. The MAISS program's majority-online aspect  was extremely appealing, the classes being offered were very interesting, and relevant to what I wanted to do. The price tag only solidified my choice that MAISS was the program for me.

Why did you pick AU as the university to pursue your graduate program? 

AU is one of the only schools in the world that offers a Master in Intelligence and Security Studies. Augusta is becoming a big place for cyber and there are a lot of government agencies in the area. In my opinion, AU is the best university to pursue further education if you want to get into any of those fields.

Mentorship Perspective:

Dr. Albert is always striving to challenge his students and to constantly break down and rebuild our ways of thinking. He is probably the best person you could have an intellectual debate with on any topic. He has done a great job of listening to feedback and recommendations and has shaped the program in a way that sets us up for a future career in our area of study. If you ever need advice, a book to read, or even a podcast recommendation, Dr. Albert is your guy.

What do you like about the program:

The coursework is particularly relevant and engaging.  I am specifically interested in foreign intelligence and counterintelligence. I like to see how countries and leaders interact with each other, why they interact that way, and how we can learn from those experiences.

Favorite AU Memory:

Through AU, I had the opportunity to work at The Augusta Nationals' Masters Golf Tournament as a part of their security team. It was a completely unique experience that I was only able to get because I was a student at AU. I met people from all around the world, got about a foot away from Tiger Woods, and led the Jonas Brothers to Will Call.