Independent Activities Period Seminars with SSP Military Fellows | 2021 | News

Independent Activities Period Seminars with SSP Military Fellows
Brittany Logan

Every year, SSP proudly sponsors a series of contemporary military talks for MIT’s Independent Activities Period (IAP). IAP talks take place in January throughout MIT to help showcase the work and interests of students and fellows.

This year’s five SSP Military Fellows join a long line of incredible service men and women who spend a year at MIT earning war college credits as visiting fellows. One to two serving members from the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Army are chosen each year, and offer their expertise, unique experience and perspective to our students and faculty during their fellowship.

Due to the pandemic, this year’s IAP talks with SSP’s military fellows were virtual, and for the first time, we were able to record a couple for the broader SSP community. Check out the great topics covered below.

Lieutenant Colonel John Black of the U.S. Marine Corps presented: “Marine Corps Tips for Peak Performance.” This inspiring presentation introduced and explained the concepts of peak performance, flow, and grit as tried-and-tested by the Marines. A highly relevant talk for anyone seeking actionable steps to improving their professional and personal performance abilities and work-life balance.   

U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Brian Novchich took us into the cockpit and skies for a fantastic presentation on: “Fighter Fundamentals: Defensive Maneuvering.” If you’ve ever wondered how fighter pilots survive one-on-one engagement with enemy combatants, wanted to understand the basics of defensive fighting, or just feel “the need for speed”—this presentation has got it covered.

Our U.S. Army fellows, Lieutenant Colonel Molly Solsbury and U.S. Army Colonel Scott Synowiez, took us to the Middle East with their presentations on U.S.-Taliban talks and the Iraqi, Kurdish and Saudi armed forces, respectively.

Lastly, U.S. Navy Commander Trevor Prouty explored the risks behind conducting global Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPS) around the world and the procedures used to prevent incidents. 


Read more about our Military fellows, as well as our Stanton and Statecraft Fellows, with our Virtual Hallway Chat with Security Studies Program Fellows, and on our People page.

To learn more about MIT's IAP sessions, please visit the IAP website.