Melonie Richey, a graduate student majoring in Applied Intelligence, went to Turkey in Jan. 2014.
The reason for her trip was to see up close what was going on in regards to the movement of Syrian refuges.
Before her trip she had created a simulation that predicted the population movement of Syrian refuges in Turkey. It also told where certain groups such as Sunni Muslims, Kurds, Alawites and Christians were anticipated to go once in Turkey.
This interest in the Syrian refugee movement was what led Richey to Turkey. She wanted to see if people actually followed the paths her simulations predicted or not.
While there, Richey was able to talk with 20 families and over 100 individuals who told her stories of their experiences.
An interesting group of people that she was able to talk with was a group of 15 former members of the Free Syrian Army.
These men were a particular interest to Richey because they were all around her age of 23, and they all attended universities just as she attends Mercyhurst. The difference between Richey and these men was that they woke up with AK-47s and went and killed Syrian regime fighters every day whereas Richey went to school and created simulations.
She will be replicating the simulation she created for the Syrian refugee movement soon, but this time the focus will be on Africa. This new simulation will be part of a project for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.