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Ramapo College Student Chosen to Attend West Point Conference on ‘Disruptive Technology’

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)December 9, 2021

Ramapo student Patrick Centeno '22 (seventh from left) with fellow delegates at SCUSA 72 conference at West Point.

MAHWAH, N.J. – Ramapo College student Patrick Centeno ’22 was among a select group of student delegates who attended the 72nd Student Conference on U.S. Affairs (SCUSA 72) in November. The focus of the four-day conference, held at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, was “Disruptive Technology and American Influence in the Coming Decade.”

The goal was for student delegates to evaluate new and challenging technologies for a better understanding of the future of American domestic and foreign policy. Delegates collaborated on development of policy proposals for the U.S. government that address a dynamic, yet uncertain strategic environment.

“Over the four-day period, I worked with like-minded students, military cadets and professionals to tackle the issues of disruptive technology that the country faces daily,” said Patrick, an International Studies major at Ramapo. “It was interesting and really exciting to be part of this conference.”

Dean Chen, Associate Professor of Political Science at Ramapo, said Patrick was the ideal candidate for the delegation. “My colleagues from Political Science and International Studies who have taught Patrick agree that he is full of energy and creative ideas, and is always ready to contribute to our discussions with deep intellectual understanding and insights,” Chen said. “We are so proud of his rewarding experience the West Point conference and trust that he will continue to impress us with his achievements here at Ramapo and beyond.”

Patrick said he joined students of various colleges and universities, several military cadets and others in “intense roundtable discussions” concerning “Artificial Intelligence and Automation.”

“Among other contributions in this effort to create and deliver our policy memo, I paired with a student from Brown University to develop the strategic options,” said Patrick. He added that his most “meaningful moment” of the conference came when he had the opportunity to speak with General Paul Nakasone, Commander, U.S. Cyber Command and Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service. “We chatted a bit and I introduced him to Ramapo College. It was a proud moment for me and now I feel that Ramapo is part of their vocabulary.”

Prior to his attendance at SCUSA 72, Patrick held a summer internship position with NESA (Near East South Asia) Center at the U.S. Department of Defense regional center in Fort McNair, Washington, D.C. NESA focuses on enhancing security cooperation between the United States and the Near East and South Asia region. Following graduation, he is hoping to be accepted for a Boren Fellowship, a U.S. Department of Defense program that funds research and language study proposals by U.S. graduate students in world regions critical to United States interests.

Patrick said he is planning to incorporate his collective experiences to pursue a “mission-based career” in an international setting. “I feel this is the direction for me,” he said. Currently he serves as President of Sigma Iota Rho (Honor Society for International Studies), and is Treasurer of Phi Kappa Sigma, Delta Omicron Chapter at Ramapo.



Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World ReportKiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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