The College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC) stands for the Principles for a Just Community issued by its parent University, the University at Albany.

In carrying out our mission of teaching, research and service-- and in our engagement with one another-- we strive to foster respect for and advance the values of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. We recognize that every member of our CEHC community has a role in sustaining an environment in which these values thrive. We also understand that these values are interdependent—there is an intrinsic relationship between diversity, inclusion and excellence.  Our actions must advance justice and equity and our community must be infused with each of these values.  

CEHC is committed to continually engaging in reflection and review to ensure that our actions are consistent with our deep commitment to these values. These are fundamental values for our community and animate all we do.


Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Task Force

The Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Task Force is a committee comprised of students, alumni, faculty and staff, along with community partners, that systematically self-examines all aspects of the College to assess the efforts that promote diversity, equity and inclusion.


CEHC values the importance of creating an environment in which all students, faculty and staff feel that they matter, are valued, included, empowered, and affirmed. We recognize that each stakeholder’s unique experiences, perspectives, and viewpoints add value to our ability to create and deliver a solid education, meaningful partnerships and desirable employment to our students, faculty, staff, alumni, families, and community partners. The college is committed to ensuring inclusivity and a sense of belonging for all stakeholders and affirming that everyone who is apart of CEHC is preparing leaders of tomorrow in the fields our degrees serve.

CEHC is determined to work with our faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners to institute change within co-curricular experiences, coursework, experiential learning, and research to address justice, legal, and service disparities. Through self-discovery and assessment, we endeavor to uncover disparities and address their root causes to develop the ethos needed to sustain measurable changes. CEHC continues to address social justice through forums to check in on our community; hear their thoughts, ideas, concerns, and hopes; and generate ideas on how to move from being passive participants to engaged learners and leaders in our fields.


Comprising the JEDI are five task forces consisting of faculty, staff, students, alums, and community members charged with self-assessment of the current climate, experiences, programs, and aptitudes within the college. These task forces will conduct audits in their respective areas taking stock uncovering what we already do as a college, recommend ways to highlight what we already do well in these areas, determine where we need to prioritize changes and then provide measurable recommendations with time-based goals, objectives, tactics.


Task Force Committee Co-Chairs  

  • All Committees: Tiffany Williams-Hart and Mike Baumgardner
  • Structures and Policies: Thora Knight and Cristyn Magnus
  • Teaching and Learning: David Turetsky and Shannon Mersand
  • College Climate: Michael Leczinsky and Erin Couture
  • Recruitment and Retention: Benjamin Yankson and Elisabeth Dubois
  • Responsibilities for our Communities and Professions: Jayson Kratoville and Nancy Kreis


Structures and Policies

Review systems, policies, procedures and practices taking stock of what we currently do, how we can highlight what we do well, and what can we change to improve?

Committee Members: Thora Knight, Cristyn Magnus, Sam Jackson, Stephen Conard, Abebe Rorissa, Jack Connelly, Jose Valle, Ariel Rovere, Eitan Goldmeer


Teaching and Learning

Assess our curriculum, pedagogy, learning modalities, faculty resources, and classroom experiences taking stock of what we currently do, how we can highlight what we do, and what can we change to improve?  

Committee Members: David Turetsky, Shannon Mersand, Christine Vassallo-Oby, Joette Stefl-Mabry, Joseph La Barbera, Ryan Szpicek, David Araujo, Jeffrey Doherty, Erin Morrison


College Climate

Review student, faculty and staff experiences from recruitment/promotion, hiring/admission, classroom experiences, co-curricular experiences, social media presence, traditions, interactions with staff and faculty inside classroom/office and beyond taking stock of what we currently do, how we can highlight what we do, and what can we change to improve?

Committee Members: Michael Leczinsky, Erin Couture, Alex Greer, Kathleen Miller, Crescent Mascarenhas, Maricarmen Jimenez, Nicholas Sturgeon, Justin Leathers, Robert Shepherd, Annie Connors, Jessica Daisak


Recruitment and Retention of Students, Faculty and Staff

Examine all recruitment efforts for students, faculty and staff, assess their effectiveness, determine additional ways to tell our story, promote our college and make us a desired college of choice regionally and nationally for students, faculty and staff.  Moreover, to retain our valued family members, the group must examine efforts to celebrate, reward, acknowledge, engage and value our faculty staff and students taking stock of what we currently do, how we can highlight what we do, and what can we change to improve?

Committee Members: Benjamin Yankson, Elisabeth Dubois, Darima Dorzhieva, Tiffany Williams-Hart, Mike Baumgardner, Andrea Morales Arauz, Ruben Gbegnedji, Tino DeMarco , Leslie Xicohtencatl, Jess Wenger, Robert Mornan


Responsibilities for Our Communities, Professions and Partners

Conduct an internal review of our current relationships and partnerships with local, state, regional and national agencies. Additionally, this group is tasked with a review of how we currently prepare our graduates for these professions and provide recommendations for improvement. During this assessment, the group will take stock of what we currently do, how we can highlight what we do, and what can we change to improve?

Committee Members: Sam Penta, Nancy Kreis, Jayson Kratoville, David Adkins, Ed Welch, Casey Cogdill, George Berg, Curtis Paul, Crystal Baker

Recommendations Framework

The JEDI Task Force committees will assess and conduct thorough research in their respective areas and use the following framework to provide recommendations.



Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) Analysis

  • Take stock/assessment of what we already do
  • How can we highlight what we are already doing?
  • What can we do in the future?



Goal (e.g. what can we do in the future?)

  • Specific objective (e.g. measurable, implementable, prioritized) 
    • Tactic (e.g. steps on how to achieve it - assign timeline and responsible party)


Goal #1

  • Specific Objective #1
    • Tactic 1
    • Tactic 2
    • Tactic 3
  • Specific objective # 2 
    • Tactic 1
    • Tactic 2
    • Tactic 3 

Goal #2, Goal #3, etc. 


Teaching and Learning Committee Example

Goal: Make Diversity and Inclusion an integral part of the curriculum at CEHC

  • Specific Objective: Identify appropriate courses that are amenable to integrating Diversity and Learning topics
    • Tactic: Create a list of such courses by December 2020
Implementation Timeline


  • July 6th: Solicit task force committee members 
  • July 29th: Orientation for task force committee leaders/co-chairs
  • August 7th: Orientation for task force committees 
  • August - September: Task force committee research
  • September 30th: Task force committees deliver recommendations to Dean Griffin and Administration
  • October 3rd: Kick-off of recommendations and implementation rollout with timeline
  • Mid-October: Implementation of recommendations



  • June: Evaluation and assessment of recommendations

Current Initiatives 

  • CEHC commitment to diversity and equity in academic advising statement
  • Brown bag session collaboration:
    • Sam Caldwell, Office of Diversity and Inclusion
    • Ekow King and Courtney D’Allaird, Office of Intercultural Engagement
    • Alex Pieterse, Director of Equity and Inclusion, School of Education
  • Dean Griffin has declared addressing systemic racism as a CEHC priority for 2020 and beyond
  • The college is promoting events, professional development opportunities, and additional resources for our stakeholders
  • Evaluating the Spring 2020 Culture of the College Survey
  • Launched a “CEHC Listens” email for feedback to the college
  • CEHC Diversity Resources
  • Grace Hopper Celebration "State of Grace"
  • New York Celebration of Women in Computing (NYCWIC)
  • Highlighting leaders in fields from respective underrepresented groups during affinity month celebrations


Planned Initiatives 

  • Release the Culture of the College Survey in Fall 2020
  • Review feedback from future CEHC town hall and family meetings as well as "CEHC Listens" email
  • Review FARs
  • Equality Can't Wait


Diversity Resources

The College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity provides resources on diversity, inclusion, equity, pluralism and justice.


Student Diversity

of EHC Undergraduates are from Underrepresented Populations
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of EHC Graduate Students are from Underrepresented Populations
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of Informatics Undergraduates are from Underrepresented Populations
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of Informatics Graduate Students are from Underrepresented Populations
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of Information Science Graduate Students are from Underrepresented Populations
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