Mary Peyton Sanford

Mary Peyton Sanford (C'17) studied Cognitive Science along with a mix of other disciplines at Penn. The most significant lesson she took from her time in the Integrated Studies Program and BFS more generally is the importance of intellectual curiosity and interdisciplinary study to solving real-world problems. Through her coursework and summer internships, she discovered a passion for studying the cognitive and social dynamics of terrorist organizations. The multi-faceted nature of this research appeals to her strong inclination towards integrated thinking and analysis. Thus, she has decided to apply the lessons she learned in BFS about the power of synthesizing disparate knowledge streams to the study of terrorism and counterterrorism on social media at the Oxford Internet Institute after graduation. She will always be grateful for the challenges and insights that the BFS program allowed her to experience while at Penn, as well as for the encouragement it gave her to explore beyond her comfort zone in order to discover her passion.

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