2013 Emergency Management Student Graduates
Department of Emergency Management faculty and students wish to recognize and congratulate the following 14 undergraduate students who graduate this spring/summer:
We wish each of our graduates the best as they pursue their emergency management careers!
Master's Students Pass Comprehensive Exam
All master's students are required to take an oral comprehensive exam at least two weeks prior to the end of their first academic year in the emergency management program. The exam challenges students to articulate their understanding of key emergency management concepts and issues with supporting evidence from course lectures, course readings, and the books on our master's reading list. We are proud to annouce that this year's cohort of 5 master's level students all successfully passed the exam. Congratulations to Nazgul Borkosheva, John Carr, Laura Gould, Jared Huibregtse, and Samantha Montano!
Graduate Student Progress Spring 2013
This spring two master's level graduate students successfully defended their thesis. Alexandre Cole-Corde (ad. Youngs) defended his thesis entitled, Informal Material Convergence Behavior and Emergency Management: Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth; and, Nazgul Borkosheva (ad. Jensen) defended her thesis entitled Local Nonprofit and Government Organization Conceptualizations of Disaster Response Effectiveness. These two students join 4 other graduate students in completing their thesis/dissertation this academic year. An additional, four students (two master's and two doctoral) are expected to defend their final thesis/dissertation this summer.
Online Summer courses taught by Emergency Management Faculty
This summer two online courses will be taught by Emergency Management faculty. Emergency Management 150 Homeland Security: An Exploration will be taught by Professor Dan Klenow. The course provides a systematic overview of the Department of Homeland Security and the various missions for the department.
In addition, Sociology 443/643 International Disasters will be by Professor Yue Ge, a new faculty member in the Department of Emergency Management. The course will focus on a range of major disaster events and catastrophes worldwide.
Social Media in Emergency Management Training Offered
March 20 from 3-5p.m. a training session on social media in emergency management was offered to Department of Emergency Management students as part of Spring Semester's Technology and Emergency Management series. The series explores how technology can help emergency management as well as how technology can fail us.
The training session was designed to sensitize students to the types of social media that are, or can be, used in emergency management practice and how these media can be utilized to support preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation efforts as well as the potential benefits, obstacles and limits associated with using these media.
The training session was the third installment in the Technology and Emergency Management Series which will next feature a guest speaker on Amateur Radio Emergency Services and their role in recent disasters on April 3, 2013 from 3-3:50pm in the Room of Nations, Memorial Union.
Training Held Using the Draft Research Standards for Emergency Management
It is critical that graduate students understand how new knowledge is generated and recognized in the emerging discipline of emergency management; and, since graduate students in the Department of Emergency Management are expected to carry out quality research projects as part of their course of study, it is important that they understand what constitutes quality in our field.
In order to support graduate student understanding of how to evaluate the quality of emergency management research, a training session on the topic was held on March 22, 2013. The training session reviewed the draft research standards for emergency management posted on the FEMA Higher Education Website and challenged students to evaluate research articles against the standards.
The draft standards were developed by a focus group comprised of emergency management scholars this past fall at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The standards are intended to guide the conduct and publishing of emergency management research by "students doing research as part of their masters or doctoral programs of study and faculty in EMHIED programs, scholars who associate themselves with the discipline of emergency management, and EM practitioners conducting research" according to the standards document.
Students Learn about the Failure of Technology inthe Fukishima Daiichi Incident
This spring the Emergency Management Department at NDSU is hosting a speaker series on technology and the role it plays in disasters. As part of this series, Captain Dirk Foster of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the U.S. Navy Reserves, presented on Mach 6 from 3-4p.m. in the Century Theater, Memorial Union about his experience responding to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Incident in 2011, Japan. This presentation was the second installment in the spring series. The next installment will be a training session on Social Media in Emergency Management on March 20, 2013 from 3-5p.m. in the Arikara Room, Memorial Union.
Technology in Emergency Management Training Offered
February 20 from 3-5p.m. a training session on technology in emergency management was offered to Department of Emergency Management students as part of Spring Semester's Technology and Emergency Management series. The series will explore how technology can help emergency management as well as how technology can fail us.
The training session was designed to sensitize students to the types of techology that are used in emergency management practice, the benefits and limits of these technologies, what technologies students must be familiar with for different career paths within emergency management, and where they can learn more about these technologies.
The training session was the first installment in the Technology and Emergency Management series which will next feature a guest speaker on the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Incident in Japan on March 6, 2013 fro 3-4p.m. in the Century Theater, Memorial Union.
Graduate Students Present Research
Graduate students from the Department of Emergency Management are presenting their research at the March 1, 2013 "Ties that Bind: Methods of Social Research Conference" at North Dakota State University. Sarah Bundy, doctoral student, is presenting the early analysis of her dissertation data on the role of elected officials in disaster recovery. Nazgul Borkosheva is presenting her research on voluntary agency and public agency views of what constitutes disaster response effectiveness. And, Laurence Chauvet is presenting the results of her research on county emergency manager perspectives regarding the relationship between the concept of sustainability and their jobs at the local level.
Emergency Management Professors Publish
George Youngs, professor of emergency management has co-authored an article with D. K. Yoon, former NDSU assistant professor and Daiko Abe, a graduate student in the Department of Emergency Management. Yoon recently returned to South Korea to begin a new disaster and risk management degree program at Ulsan National Institute of Science & Technology (UNIST). The article, “Examining factors contributing to the development of FEMA-Approved Hazard Mitigation Plans,” was published in the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires local governments to secure approval from FEMA for their multi-hazard mitigation plans if the local governments wish to be eligible for mitigation funding, but a significant number of local governments still do not have approved plans. The Yoon, Youngs, Abbe article analyzes data from multiple, nation-wide data sets and examines the relative role of staff resources, financial resources, and disaster experience in predicting whether local governments have FEMA-Approved Multi-Hazard Mitigation plans.
Cwiak Supports High School Emergency Management Program Development
Dr. Carol Cwiak has been working with The Urban Assembly, a non-profit organization in New York City, New York, in its development of curriculum for The Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management. Cwiak, along with school leadership, the design team, representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, members of the Red Cross, and community partners, has helped inform a curriculum that will allow students to either move directly into the workforce after high school graduation or be better prepared for entry into college. The Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management is slated to open in Fall 2013 and is the first high school of its kind in the United States. Throughout students' high school careers they will be engaged in emergency management specific coursework, ultimately selecting one of three tracks to focus more intently on for their junior and senior years. Students in the program will have an opportunity to utilize their education from their courses to contribute to community organizations' and businesses' preparedness, mitigation, response, recovery, and continuity of operations efforts.
The Urban Assembly was founded in 1990 to address a wide range of poverty issues in the New York City area. The initial three schools established in the early nineties by The Urban Assembly were very successful. The Urban Assembly now has 21 campuses in New York City which focus on areas such as: Law, Government, and Justice; Civic Engagement; Math and Science for Young Women; Media; Criminal Justice; Design and Construction; Writers and Artists; New Technologies; Wildlife Conversation; and, the Performing Arts.
According to Cwiak, "The Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management is an exciting venture. By allowing high school students access to this type of specialized educational experience we not only create informed citizens who are better able to manage their own risk, we also begin to engage those interested in emergency management at a much younger age. Also of note, this school - and hopefully other schools like it in the future - will help advance two overreaching agendas of the emergency management professional community: 1) to increase diversity in the field; and, 2) to create greater connectivity and understanding between emergency management programs and the citizens, businesses, and organizations they serve."
Graduate Students Make Progress Fall 2012
This fall semester was a productive time for our graduate students. Master's students, Nazgul Borkosheva and Stan Carignan, successfully defended their thesis proposals. Borkosheva will examine public agency and nonprofit perspectives of disaster response effectiveness (ad. Jensen); and, based on the disaster literature, Carignan will develop a measurement tool to assess the extent to which organizations are likely to behave collaboratively in disaster response as well as a post-disaster measurement tool to assess the degree to which individual organizations behaved collaboratively (ad. Jensen).
Doctoral students, Sarah Bundy and Mariama Yakubu, successfully defended their dissertation proposals. Bundy will investigate the role of locally elected officials in disaster recovery (ad. Jensen); and, Yakubu will explore the extent to which variables related to emergency management higher education program development and quality exist in Ghana (ad. Jensen).
Additionally, 3 master's students defended their thesis and one doctoral student his dissertation. Congratulations to the following students for their accomplishment:
Laurence Chauvet, M.S. "Sustainability and the Emergency Manager: Do They Mesh?" (ad. Jensen)
Natalie Easterday, M.S. "Evacuation Vulnerability Grading: Exploring Public Transportation Service and Vulnerability" (ad. Klenow)
Pierre Freeman, M.S., "An Integrative Review of the Emergency Management Research Literature on Tornadoes" (ad. Klenow)
Azad Bewari, Ph.D. "The 2009 Flood Impact on the Fargo-Moorhead Health System" (ad. Youngs)
Congratulations to our Fall Graduates!
This Fall 15 undergraduates received their B.S. degree in Emergency Management. We want to congratulate them on their efforts; and, wish them luck in their future endeavors.
We are fortunate to have a very close student cohort; one might even describe our Department as a family. Thus, when members of our "family" graduate and go on to great things, we are happy, proud, and, yet, sorry to see them go! The Fall 2012 graduates included:
Feliciana L. Anaya (Hastings, Minnesota)
Michael J. Bittner (Fargo, North Dakota)
Seth D. Bowman (Rhame, North Dakota)
Kaleb A. Brunswig (Sauk Centre, Minnesota)
Cailin M. Foerster (Iola, Wisconsin)
Brittney M. Hein (Rush City, Minnesota) (Double major: Sociology)
Glenn P. Manning (Excelsior, Minnesota)
Cody B. Mattson (Rolette, North Dakota)
Blake D. Nelson (Maple Grove, Minnesota) cum laude
Jason T. Pagan (Fargo, North Dakota) (Double major: Sociology)
Jeana R. Scheffler (Barnesville, Minnesota)
Tyler J. Schwankl (Fargo, North Dakota)
Ashton K. Schwinler (Winner, South Dakota) summa cum laude
Matthew J. Siegel (Brainerd, Minnesota)
Max V. Stueven (Carlos, Minnesota) (Double major: Sociology)
James L. Thorson (Edinburg, North Dakota)
End-of-Semester Social Held
The Department of Emergency Management held its third end-of-semester social on December 3. More than 40 emergency management students attended the social. Faculty and students were able to chat informally; EAT; and, reflect on the accomplishments of and news from the semester. We have had a very busy semester highlighted by on campus interviews for a prospective faculy member, faculty and student publications, conference presentations, EMSA activities, a speaker series, sponsored training sessions, multiple thesis and dissertation proposal and final defenses, 15 undergraduates graduating, and more. With a Fall semester this good, who knows what we will accomplish next semester?
Emergency Management Student Proposal Advances to Second Round of Competition
Emergency management graduate students, Regine Laurence Chauvet, Sarah Bundy, Emmanuel Nojang, and Samantha Montano, have been informed that their proposal to use the latest mobile technolgy to enhance campus safety has advanced to the second round of the 2nd Annual Innovation Challenge ’13. The Provost and NDSU's Research and Technology Park sponsor the Innovation Challenge, a competition focused on the innovative work being done on campus by NDSU students.
The challenge offered the following three tracks for students to compete: tangible goods, intangibles, and corn-based goods or services. The emergency management students entered in the intangibles category competing with 22 other projects and are one of seven advancing to the next round. Each track will have a top $5,000 prize with the three track winners competing for a Grand Prize of another $5,000.
Annoucement: New Faculty Member to Join Department of Emergency Management
The Department of Emergency Management is pleased to announce that our top candidate for our Emergency Management/Public Health position has accepted our contract offer and will be on campus this fall. Gurt (Yue Ge) comes from one of the few well established universities that produce doctoral faculty with the background that we need in our undergraduate and graduate programs. He will fill a unique position in our department as he will be one of the primary faculty bridges to the Disaster and Emergency Preparedness track in the new Master of Public Health program (MPH). He will teach environmental health in that program as well as three courses in our department. His expertise is a perfect match for the needs of our program as he will teach spatial analysis, mitigation, hazard, vulnerability, and risk assessment , as well as other courses. He will defend his dissertation on "Planners' Perceptions of Land Use Planning Tools in the U.S. Pacific States" at Texas A and M University in the coming weeks. He holds a variety of certificates from Texas A and M including Environmental Hazards Management, Geographic Information Systems, and one in teaching. He has refereed journal publications in Risk Analysis and the International Journal of Disaster Risk Science. Two additional articles are currently under review. The coming months should be exciting as Gurt joins our faculty in the fall and we begin the semester in the new Minard addition which is slated to open in February of 2013.
DHS Internships Available for Summer 2013
In 2013 DHS will sponsor about 60 summer internships for students majoring in homeland security disciplines related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (HS-STEM). These internships are open to undergraduate students in a broad spectrum of DHS mission-relevant research areas and graduate students interested in the specific field of Nuclear and Radiological Threat Detection.
The DHS HS-STEM program will cover student’s travel expenses and includes a stipend. Undergraduate students receive a stipend of $500 per week ($5,000 for 10 weeks). Graduate students receive a stipend of $700 per week ($7,000 for 10 weeks). Detailed information about the internships can be found at:
Additionally, a flier is located at: http://www.orau.gov/dhseducation/about/files/HS-STEMflier2012.pdf
EMSA Hosts 4th Annual Preparedness Expo
November 15 the Emergency Management Student Association at NDSU hosted the 4th Annual Preparedness Expo in the Memorial Union Great Plains Ballroom. The Expo featured participants from the university and community that play a role in local, state, and regional preparedness. More than 468 people attended the expo this year; and, those who attended had an opportunity to learn more about how they can become better prepared, meet the people that protect and serve our community on a daily basis, and learn more about where emergency management expertise is woven throughout the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. There were also refreshments, a silent auction, speakers, and door prizes.
Azad Bewari Successfully Defends Dissertation
Azard Bewari, doctoral student in Emergency Management, successfully defended his dissertation on November 6, 2012. His dissertation is entitled, "The simultaneous evacuation of a Midwestern community’s multiple health care facilities during a major flood event: A study in decision-making and implementation". Bewari will be the 8th student to graduate with NDSU's doctoral degree in emergency management and the 8th such degree holder in the world.
Final FM Diversion Project Speaker Series Presentation
Terry Williams and Brett Coleman, US Army Corps of Engineers Project Managers for the Red River Diversion Project, spoke about the project’s evolution, the Corps’ past and current involvement, the ACE's feasibility study, and where the Diversion Project is now. The presentation was the final one in the Department of Emergency Management’s 4-part speaker series on the Red River Diversion Project. This diversion project is a perfect case study related to what undergraduate and graduate students are learning in their respective mitigation courses this semester. Throughout the duration of this speaker series students had the opportunity to learn about the different views of various groups of stakeholders and how these different groups interacted and affected one another.
Students attend Annual IAEM Conference
This year a combination of 17 undergraduate and graduate students attended the Annual International Association of Emergency Managers Conference in Orlando, Florida. The conference represents an excellent opportunity for our students to gain knowledge through attending a variety of practitioner-oriented sessions, network with practitioners in the field, and learn about a variety of potential career paths in emergency management.; and, each year a number of students take advantage of the opportunity. The Department of Emergency Management highly encourages students to attend the IAEM Conference as well as other national, regional, and local emergency management conferences as a complement to their educational experience through the Department.
Cass County Commissioner and FM Diversion Authority Board Chair, Daryl Vanyo, Speaks to Students and Faculty
Darrell Vanyo, Chairman of the Fargo-Moorhead Flood Diversion Authority Board and Cass County Commissioner, with the assistance of Keith Burns, City of Fargo Engineer, spoke with Department of Emergency Management students and faculty about the proposed F-M diversion project providing an overview of Fargo's history of floods from 1900 to present; highlighting efforts to explore diversion alternatives; and, presenting recent updates to the plans for flood mitigation. This presentation was third within the Department of Emergency Management's 4-part Speaker Series on the F-M Diversion Project. The final presentation in the Speaker Series will feature the Diversion Project Co-Directors from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The Department of Emergency Management educates students in how human beings interact and cope with hazards, vulnerability, and associated events particularly through activities related to preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. All of our undergraduate and graduate students are required to take a mitigation course as part of their study in our program; and, both the undergraduate and graduate courses are being offered this fall. The courses cover how individuals and households, businesses, and government can mitigate, the research related to why they do and do not undertake such activities, government aid/government organizations available to support mitigation and government policies, and laws related to mitigation, among other topics. The speaker series allows students to analyze a "real world" local case study while they are learning about mitigation through the courses this semester.
Klenow Serves on Accreditation Team for Emergency Management Program in Canada
Daniel J. Klenow, emergency management department head, traveled to Toronto to serve on an accreditation committee for the Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities for the province of Ontario. As chair of the accreditation committee, he coordinated a review of the first emergency management undergraduate degree being proposed for Ontario. He also served in a similar capacity for the Commission for Academic Accreditation in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Klenow said NDSU’s emergency management program serves as a model for other programs as its faculty have published work on curriculum development and emergency management professionalization.
2nd Presentation of F-M Diversion Speaker Series Held
Marcus Larson, founder of FMDAM.org (an independent news source developed to report on the diversion project) and member of MnDak Upstream Coalition (a coalition of concerned citizens affected by the proposed diversion), and Perry Miller, Richland County Commissioner and Chair of the Richland Wilken Joint Authority (the organization representing more than 26 governmental jurisdictions opposed to the diversion project), spoke about their views on the Red River Diversion Project in the 2nd presentation within the Department of Emergency Management's 4-part Speaker Series on the 'F-M Diversion Project.
They shared how their organizations came to be, their activities, how they personally became involved in their respective organizations, their perceptions of the issues related to the diversion( particularly the diversion's current and future impact on outlying communities and households),their ideas of what might constitute alternative mitigation solutions for the Red River Basin including Fargo-Moorhead, their experience working with the F-M area toward a resolution, and the next steps their organizations will be taking to oppose the project. Discussion of these themes made up the greater part of the event, with some time for questions from the audience.
The Red River Diversion Project is a perfect case study related to what undergradaute and graduate students are learning in their respective mitigation courses this semester. The next two presentations in the speaker series will feature proponents of the diversion including a presentation from Daryl Vanyo of the Red River Diversion Authority and Terry Williams, Project Manager from the Army Corp of Engineers.
4-Part Speaker Series on F-M Diversion Kicks Off
Cass County Emergency Manager, Dave Rogness kicked off the Department’s four-part speaker series on the Red River Diversion Project. It was a packed house! Mr. Rogness presented to students about his involvement with mitigation in general and the Red River Diversion Project specifically. Discussion of these themes made up the greater
part of the event, with some time for questions from the audience.
The Department of Emergency Management educates students in how human beings interact and cope with hazards, vulnerability, and associated events particularly through activities related to preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. All of our undergraduate and graduate students are required to take a mitigation course as part of their study in our program; and, both the undergraduate and graduate courses are being offered this fall. The courses cover how individuals and households, businesses, and government can mitigate, the research related to why they do and do not undertake such activities, government aid/government organizations available to support mitigation and government policies, and laws related to mitigation, among other topics. The Red River Diversion Project is a perfect case study of so many of the things they learn in their mitigation course; and, our Department believes this 4-part speaker series on the project that will featureadditional speaker(s) from the Red River Diversion Authority, the
Army Corp of Engineers, and land owners that have not supported the project will benefit the education of our students.
Students Hear About Planning Realities from Seasoned Practitioners
The Department of Emergency Management at NDSU educates students in how human beings interact and cope with hazards, vulnerability, and associated events particularly through activities related to preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. One of the key ways human beings and their institutions cope is through the development of various types of emergency management plans; and, the Department offers a Comprehensive Emergency Management Planning course that educates students in the role of emergency managers as planners, the context in which planning occurs, the process and choices they make related to the process, what makes a plan of high quality, and the components of 4 types of basic emergency management plans.
We feel that the endeavor in which we are engaged is an important one. Moreover, we feel that this endeavor is best approached as a partnership between academia and practitioners in the field. Thus, the Department of Emergency Management sought seasoned practitioners to complement student experiences in the Planning course.
On October 3, 2012 , approximately 45 emergency management students came to hear Cass County Emergency Manager Dave Rogness and Fargo Emergency Manager Leon Schlafmann discuss the subject of planning realities associated with local government emergency management planning. The two spoke to students about their roles as emergency managers, the types of plans they produce, factors that influence how they approach planning, issues they contend with in the plannign process, and how their efforts and plans overlapped and affected the other's.
Faculty Participate in the Development of Research Standards for Emergency Management
If emergency management is to be an academic discipline, then there are certain characteristics it must display. For instance, the discipline must have an identified disciplinary purview and core research questions; research standards for how new knowledge is produced in the discipline and recognized; and, a body of knowledge; among other characteristics. Determination of the discipline’s research standards is a particularly important task for the emergency management higher education community to undertake since the academic discipline is just beginning to formalize, there is a significant need for emergency management research, and there are an increasing number of individuals conducting emergency management research (e.g., students, faculty, practitioners).
To address this task, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Higher Education Program convened a group of emergency management scholars at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, MD to draft a set of research standards for conducting and publishing research in the emerging academic discipline of emergency management. Jessica Jensen, Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Management, facilitated the group and Daniel Klenow, Head of the Department of Emergency Management, participated.
Jensen reports, "The consensus amongst the group as to the need for standards as well as the standards for conducting and publishing research themselves was instrumental to the ability of the group to draft a set of standards within the allotted time for the focus group. The next step will be for the wider emergency management higher education community to review the standards and provide feedback. Once the feedback is incorporated into the draft document, it is the group's hope that both emergency management higher education programs and scholarly journals related to emergency management formally indicate their support for the standards. Assuming these steps are taken, the standards effort will have significantly and substantively contributed to the development of the academic discipline of emergency management."
Training Held: Doctoral Level Comprehensive Exams
To become a doctoral candidate in emergency management, doctoral students must first pass three comprehensive exams: one related to emergency management theory, one that requires them to demonstrate the depth and breadth of their familiarity with and analysis related to two of the four functional areas of emergency management (i.e., preparedness, response, mitigation, recovery), and one in which they must demonstrate their expertise in qualitative and quantitative methods.
Classes alone do not prepare doctoral students for successful completion of their comprehensive exams. Having some basic knowledge about the comprehensive exam process (including length of tests, grading schema, question types) and study strategies can help students succeed in addition to significant out-of-classroom exploration of the literature and engagement in research projects. Graduate Coordinator and Assistant Professor, Jessica Jensen, met with doctoral students on Thursday, September 20, 2012 from 12:30-1:30p.m. to train them in some of the basics of the exam process and study strategies. This training will be available to new doctoral students each fall and represents just one of the ways the Department of Emergency Management seeks to support our graduate students.
EMSA Sponsors Beginning of the Year Social
The Emergency Management Student Association (EMSA) hosted a welcome back social at Oak Grove Park from 6-8p.m. September 18, 2012. Emergency management faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students (as well as their families) had a chance to socialize and eat traditional barbeque fare outside of the classroom! This is the second year that EMSA has sponsored a kick-off social; and they expect it to be an enduring tradition.
Candidate Visits for EMGT Open Faculty Position Scheduled
Gurt Ge and Eric Best have been invited to NDSU for on-campus interviews for the open emergency management faculty position. Gurt Ge will visit October 1st and 2nd and Eric Best will visit October 4th and 5th. Monday, October 1st Dr. Ge will be doing a presentation on his research in the Hidasta Room of the Memorial Union at 9am and a teaching presentation at 2pm in South Engineering Room 116. Thursday, October 4th Eric Best will be doing a presentation on his research in Morrill Room 107 at 8am and a teaching presentation at 3:30pm in Minard Room 210. All are welcome to attend.
Bundy Successfully Defends Dissertation Proposal
Sarah Bundy successfully defended her doctoral dissertation proposal September 17, 2012 at 2:30p.m. in the Graduate Learning Center at the library. She will be exploring the role of elected officials in short-term disaster recovery through interviews with county elected officials in counties that experienced a recent Presidentially Declared Disaster.
Graduate student proposal defenses and thesis/dissertation defenses are open to emergency management graduate students; and, many of our students took advantage of the opportunity to listen, learn, and get socialized into what the process is like! Students are encouraged to watch for future annoucements of proposal and thesis/dissertation defenses and attend if at all possible!
Emergency Management Students Sponsored to Attend the Annual IAEM Conference
Two undergraduate students, Paige Beck and Anastacia Hermes, have been sponsored to attend this year's IAEM Conference in Orlando, FL October 29-November 1st, 2012. The conference is a great opportunity for students to network with other individuals in the Emergency Management field as well as to get to know the newest and latest technologies and techniques being used in the field. Professionals in the field were very interested in EMSA’s activities and reinforced how much these activities help develop skills that will be helpful upon graduation.
Cwiak Facilitates Course at FEMA's EMI
Dr. Carol Cwiak from the Department of Emergency Management recently taught a course in the Emergency Management Leaders Academy program for the Federal Emergency Management Agency at the Emergency Management Institute. The Institute is located at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The course’s goals and objectives are to introduce qualities of effective EM leaders, relevant management styles, strategic thinking, and decision-making in EM leadership; understand and implement EM program evaluation, situational awareness, planning, mission and vision statements; effectively address Human Resource (HR) issues; develop awareness of key attributes of communication and collaboration for an effective EM leader; and discuss inter- and intra-agency communication, public advocacy, change management, and personal strengths. The course was attended by emergency management professionals from universities and all levels of government from across the United States.
Cwiak worked with a team of instructors that included Glenn Cannon, the State Director of Pennsylvania’s Emergency Management Agency; Tom Hirt, Training Specialist and Course Manager at the Emergency Management Institute; and, Lillian Virgil, Mitigation Branch Chief at the Emergency Management Institute. The Emergency Management Leaders Academy is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s efforts to further professionalization efforts by bringing together concise training that extrapolates areas of research that are relevant to further developing the leadership cadre in emergency management.
Jensen Faciltiates FEMA Higher Education Focus Group
The emergency management higher education community has developed some consensus around the notion that emergency management is on a path toward becoming an academic discipline in its own right. If emergency management is to be an academic discipline then there are certain characteristics it must display. For instance, the discipline must have an identified disciplinary purview and core research questions; research standards for how new knowledge is produced in the discipline and recognized; and, a body of knowledge; among other characteristics. Determination of the discipline’s purview and core research questions is perhaps the first and most crucial step the emergency management higher education needs to complete.
To this end, the Higher Education Program hosted a focus group to help determine emergency management's disciplinary purview, disciplinary responsibilities, and core research qconcerns. Jessica Jensen, Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Management at NDSU, facilitated the group September 10-11 at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, MD. The group was able to develop consensus around each of the topics they were brought together to discuss. The group's discussion will be available in a short report through the Hi Ed website; the group will collaboratively author a white paper sharing its recommendations and the rationale for its recommendations; and, the group will present is discussion and recommendations at this coming year's Hi Ed conference.
Jensen Participates in Emergency Management Higher Education Accreditation Focus Group
During the 15th Annual FEMA Emergency Management Higher Education Conference, June 4-7, 2012, there were two accreditation presentations. These presentations were not unlike presentations at previous year's conferences; yet, the presentations made it clear that a decision must soon be made as to what the higher education community wants to do about the issue of accreditation. The discussion during and following the sessions at this year's led many within the emergency management higher education community to suggest that the FEMA Hi Ed Program host a series of focus groups to tackle the controversial issue of whether accreditation should be pursued, under what terms, and who should do the accreditting. Thus, a group of emergency management academics and program representatives gathered at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, MD on September 12-13, 2012 to discuss and debate these issues. Jessica Jensen, Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Management at NDSU, participated in the focus group.
Jensen reported that the group was able to achieve consensus around many key accreditation questions. She stated, "I believe all of the focus group members realize that emergency management education is at a critical juncture. Accreditation is one of the many issues we must address as a community. With this realization in mind, the group assembled with the intent to achieve consensus, develop recommendations for the higher education community, and map a way forward with respect to accreditation of emergency management programs." The group's discussion will be captured in a report available for review on the FEMA Hi Ed website; and, the group will be soliciting the wider emergency management higher education community's feedback through a survey before continuing its discussion in future focus groups.
Training Held: The Master's Thesis Process
The thesis is the culmination of the master's degree and it is important that students know about what needs to be in a thesis proposal, how the thesis development process works, how to choose an advisor, what the student's responsibilities include, etc. Yet, it is rare that special attention is given to addressing these issues within graduate programs. The Department of Emergency Management has decided that its master's program will communicate this information to students early in their program of study; thus, Jessica Jensen, Assistant Professor and Graduate Coordinator, held a "training session" related to the thesis process Friday, August 31st following the monthly graduate lunch at The Turf. The next training session for graduate students will be in September and will address how to search for academic literature on emergency management topics.
Training Held: Preparing for the Master's Comp Exam
Within two weeks of the end of their second semester in the Department of Emergency Management's Master's degree program, all students take an oral comprehensive exam. During the comprehensive exam, Department faculty ask students a series of questions designed to determine the students understanding of the concepts principles, and ideas contained within 8 seminal books related to the study of disasters. Students are asked purposefully broad questions designed to allow them to draw upon more than one of the books. And, students are expected to refer to the book author(s) as evidence while providing their responses to the questions posed.
Because the oral exam experience is new to many master's level students, Jessica Jensen, Assistant Professor and Graduate Coordinator, held a "training session" related to how to prepare for the comprehensive exam for incoming master's students on Friday, August 24th. The training addressed how to study for the comp., what to expect during the comp., how grading of the comp. works, and more. A separate session will be held for doctoral students facing the comprehensive exam process in September. These kind of training sessions are just one of the things the Department of Emergency Management is doing to support graduate student success. The next training session for graduate students will be August 31 and address the thesis process.
Department of Emergency Management Holds Graduate Orientation
On Tuesday, August 21 the Department of Emergency Management held its graduate orientation. All faculty and new graduate students were in attendance as were a number of students who have been in the program more than a year. The orientation included introductions of students, faculty, and staff, a review of expectations associated with the graduate program at NDSU, milestones in the program, departmental and Graduate School policies and more. The Department views the orientation as one of the most important things it can do to support student success in the program.
Klenow Part of Accreditation Team for University in Abu Dhabi<//span>
Daniel J. Klenow, Ph.D., Head of the Department of Emergency Management recently returned from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates where he served as a subject matter specialist for an External Review Team for the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research's Commission for Academic Accreditation. Proposals for two new four year degrees were reviewed by the team. One program is titled Integrated Emergency Management and the other Business Continuity Management. The degree programs are part of a series of national initiatives to create a more resilient nation. The educational institution is being established by royal decree by Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the U.A.E. NDSU's Emergency Management program was among those used as a norm for developing these new programs.
Emergency Management Faculty Offer 10 Presentations at FEMA Higher Education Conference 2012
Emergency management faculty participate in the FEMA Higher Education Conference each year because it is the largest annual gathering of emergency management higher education program representatives dedicated to discussing program sustinability, disciplinary and curriculum development, and research issues. This year faulty offered a total of 10 presentations at the conference.
Daniel J. Klenow gave three presentations entitled "Maintaining and Improving Bachelor’s-Level Emergency Management Programs", "University Politics – Survival and Success!", and "How Emergency Management Research Builds the Base of the Discipline and Serves the Practitioner Community".
Carol Cwiak gave a plenary presentation on "The State of Higher Education Programs 2012" and two additional presentations entitled "Utilizing Curriculum Outcomes to Develop, Evaluate, Enhance, and Validate Emergency Management Degree Programs", and "Emergency Management Accreditation Programs: Are ANY Right for You?".
Jessica Jensen gave an invited presentation on "Graduate Study in Emergency Management" and three additional presentations entitled "Confronting Research Issues in Emergency Management", "Serving Students for Whom Emergency Management is a Career of First Choice", and "Maximizing the Potential of Emergency Management Higher Education Programs".
Jensen stated, "Dynamic discussions like those we participated in at this year's conference set the stage for emergency management higher education to make significant progress—not as individual institutions and programs—but as a collective building a new academic discipline. It truly is an exciting time to be involved in emergency management higher education."
D.K. Yoon to Develop Korea's First Emergency Management Higher Education Program
D.K. Yoon, Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Management, is leaving the Department of Emergency Management at NDSU to develop Korea's first emergency management program at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) and to head a disaster research center there. Yoon was asked by the national government of Korea to take this position.
Yoon had travelled to UNIST earlier in 2012 to deliver an invited workshop on how to develop a disaster management degree program at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST). Yoon's workshop addressed topics such as types of classes in U.S. higher education programs at various degree levels, foundational concepts and theories associated with the field, how to construct meaningful curriculum and syllabi, sources of the body of knowledge (e.g., key books and journals), and career paths for students.
Yoon had been at NDSU since 2007. He taught Mitigation (undergraduate/graduate), Preparedness (graduate), Spatial Analysis, and Hazard, Risk, and Vulnerability Assessments.
Yoon Publishes Article
D.K. Yoon, Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Management, published an article entitled, "Assessment of social vulnerability to disasters: A comparative study", in Natural Hazards, 63(2), pp. 823-843. According to the article abstract, "The purpose of this study is to examine and compare the methodologies being developed in assessing social vulnerability to natural disasters...This study empirically compares deductive and inductive index development and indicator aggregation methods in assessing social vulnerability to natural disasters in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coastal areas."