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Pulitzer-Winning Journalist to Keynote Disasters, Ethics, and Social Justice Event

New York Times correspondent Sheri Fink will provide reflections from a former emergency aid worker-turned journalist and then help lead a panel of academics, practitioners, and professionals.

Albany, NY (April 11, 2016) — Sheri Fink, award-winning journalist and New York Times correspondent, will deliver the keynote address at the upcoming symposium, When Disaster Strikes: Ethics and Justice in Disaster Settings, Friday, April 15, at 12:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public; attendees are asked to register at http://bit.ly/1Q34JXS.

The conference, hosted by the new College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC), will provide a forum where academics, practitioners, and professionals from multiple disciplines can discuss and explore the unique challenges and ethical questions faced by emergency responders, public officials, healthcare providers, law enforcement, and other professionals who deal with the aftermath of natural and human-caused disasters, and crises that threaten the security and safety of a community.

Fink’s presentation, “Emergency Response Ethics and Leadership Abroad and at Home: Observations from a Practitioner-turned-reporter,” will be followed by a panel discussion that she will lead along with Kevin Wisely, director of the New York State Office of Emergency Management; John Mutter, professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University; Eli Fresquez, attorney and senior planner, New York City Emergency Management; and Michael Primeau, director of the Office of Health Emergency Preparedness, New York State Department of Health.

Fink is one of America’s most acclaimed journalists and nonfiction authors. A correspondent for the New York Times as well as a senior fellow at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and the New America Foundation, Fink has won Pulitzer Prizes for both investigative and international reporting. In addition, she received the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction for Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital, her widely acclaimed examination into the causes of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

CEHC designed the symposium as an opportunity to launch a critical conversation that will enhance the College’s ability to prepare students to be effective, ethical, and just leaders who will help society prepare for, protect against, respond to, and recover from a growing array of natural and human-caused risks and threats in New York State and around the world.

A reception and book signing will follow the program at 2:15 p.m. The event is free and open to all members of the UAlbany community and general public.

When Disaster Strikes: Ethics and Justice in Disaster Settings is an initiative of the University’s College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity in collaboration with the New York State Writers Institute; Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy; School of Criminal Justice; School of Public Health; School of Social Welfare; College of Arts and Sciences; Student Association; Graduate Student Organization; Global Institute for Health and Human Rights; Office of Environmental Sustainability; and Alliance for Security and Preparedness.

The University was named home to CEHC, the first-in-the-nation security college dedicated to enhancing the security of New York State, the nation and the world, by Governor Cuomo in his 2015 State of the State Address. Its mission is to support high-quality academic programs for undergraduate and graduate students, to produce new knowledge through innovative research, and to provide training and lifelong learning opportunities for professionals – all to help prepare for, protect against, respond to, and recover from a growing array of natural and man-made risks and threats in New York state and around the world.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.