Indiana Daily Student

IU professor to relive CIA experience tonight

Despite security oath, Gene Coyle will dispel myths

Professor Gene Coyle has taught a variety of subjects at IU for the past four years, but his previous job is what sets him apart from the rest of IU’s staff.\nBefore he started teaching, Coyle was a CIA officer living abroad in countries such as Russia, Kyrgyzstan, and Brazil, and convincing people to become spies for the U.S. government. Now he will relive his experiences in a speech to students Wednesday. \n“My task was to go out, meet foreigners and find a reason to convince them operating for the U.S. government was in their interest or their country’s interest,” Coyle said. “It is a great intellectual chess game, getting to know their hopes, dreams and fears.”\nCoyle will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the School of Education’s Auditorium. The speech is being sponsored by The Hutton Honors College Council Organization.\nAn IU alumnus, he majored in political science and American history. He continued his studies by studying abroad in Germany and getting his master’s degree in Eastern European studies. At 24, Coyle received a job offer as a CIA officer. All his previous accomplishments only added to the one thing the CIA looked for most in a new candidate.\n“To be a CIA officer, the most important trait is personality,” Coyle said.\nElizabeth Bercovitz and Wesley Smith, community leaders for Forest Residence Hall, planned the event, along with help from other groups.\n“Usually events are only open to community leaders, but we thought it would be more interesting if we invited the whole Honors College,” Bercovitz said. “We wanted a speaker who would appeal to a wide variety of audiences.”\nWhile searching for an interesting speaker, they did not have to look far.\n“He came recommended,” Smith said. “We encourage students to stop in for this exciting event.”\nAlthough Coyle’s security oath is binding until his death, his speech will cover a number of topics.\n“I will be dispelling the Hollywood myths of the CIA, try to explain what a real intelligence officer does and show how important intelligence is in foreign nations,” Coyle said. \nThe CIA hires people for a number of different jobs and does not require a certain major from applicants.\n “We have had roughly less than one percent of students who have interviewed through the Kelly School of Business interview with the CIA, but of those students, six percent have accepted jobs,” said Mark Brostoff, associate director of the Kelley School of Business Undergraduate Career Services.\nCoyle encountered other IU graduates during his time working for the CIA.\n“Dozens of graduates go into the CIA because of IU’s strong language programs and area studies programs,” Coyle said.

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