Counter-terrorism expert joins Rider faculty

Anthony Stoeckert

When Dr. Bryan Price arrives at Rider this year to teach, he will be tasked with encouraging respectful debate around the contentious topics of terrorism and international relations.

“One of the things that teachers do is model what good behavior is like in the classroom,” says Price, who is an academy professor in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy at West Point. “Teachers should also encourage a diversity of thought to where people feel comfortable expressing their opinions in a way that is respectful of other people’s points of view.”

Price is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army and the director of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. His experience as an aviator and strategist has included deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from the U.S. Military Academy, a master’s in international relations from St. Mary’s University, and a master’s and doctorate in political science from Stanford University.

This winter, Price will join Rider as a part-time visiting assistant professor teaching a J-Term class on defense policy and analysis (HLSP 520) and a course on counter-terrorism (LFSP 515).

He says today’s college students are more politically active than students have been in a long time. They are studying at a time when the United States is politically divided, and Price wants to use the classroom as a place to learn, reflect and challenge assumptions.

“There is no shortage of challenges facing us in the economy, politics, security and the private sector,” he says. “Students are drawn to political science because the discipline offers some useful ways to think about these problems.”

In a time when the amount of information available to people can be overwhelming, it’s easy to go only to cable news channels or websites that reinforce and support one’s political views. Price says people should use social media and the internet to expose themselves to arguments they wouldn’t encounter elsewhere, and he wants his classroom to reflect that thinking.

“In the classroom, what you try to do is make sure you expose all your students to a lot of different arguments,” he says.

Price explores topics like counterterrorism largely through the perspective of the U.S., but he says it’s important to expose students to a broader worldview as well.

“You have to bring in what our allies and our partners are doing,” he says. “This fight, just like pandemics or climate change, is a multi-lateral fight. The United States can’t win it by itself, and so you have to bring in other perspectives.”

Price says he has to be passionate about the subject he teaches, because if he isn’t, neither will his students. And even though the topics are very serious, he isn't afraid to inject a little humor into his classes. That perspective on creating a productive and exciting classroom reflects his passion for teaching.

“I’m convinced that teaching is the fountain of youth,” Price says. “It is one of the most challenging yet rewarding professions, and I get a natural high after every class. I’m very passionate about the subject matter. We live in the greatest country on Earth and the number-one priority of our government is to keep American citizens safe. To do this in a way that is consistent with our national values and ethos is imperative.”

Rider's new 36-credit Master of Arts in homeland security offers a distinctive and multidisciplinary approach to preparing professionals for leadership roles in protecting the United States, its interests and its allies from terrorist attacks, as well as responding to natural disasters and other threats.

Price grew up in Sea Girt, N.J. His father, Jay, worked as a sports writer for the Staten Island Advance for decades, and his mother, Mary, was a nurse.

The chance to teach at Rider “gives me a meaningful opportunity to give back to a university in my home state,” he says. “I’ve really enjoyed my time thus far in getting to know the Rider community, from the students to the faculty to the administration."