Who We Are

Samantha C. Phillips

Director | Public Service Professor

Samantha Phillips is the Director of the National Center for Security and Preparedness (NCSP) at UAlbany. NCSP works in partnership with the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to develop and deliver high-quality, interdisciplinary training to first responders. Phillips is also a Public Service Professor in the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity.

Phillips is the immediate past Director of Emergency Management for the City of Philadelphia. During her tenure in Philadelphia, Phillips reorganized OEM to improve capacity, refocused the agency’s attention on strategic planning, and concentrates on the operational integrity and implementation of citywide planning efforts. Phillips was integral in the City’s response to several citywide emergencies, many of which received Presidential Disaster Declarations, including Superstorm Sandy (2012), Hurricane Irene (2011), and Tropical Storm Lee (2011), major snow storms, record flooding events, and the fatal Amtrak 188 derailment (2015). She is also responsible for public safety coordination for major special events and served in a leadership capacity for the visit of Pope Francis in September 2015 and the Democratic National Convention in 2016.

Phillips has a Bachelor of Science from American University, a Master of Public Health from George Washington University, and a Master in Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security.


Jayson L. Kratoville

Associate Director

Jayson Kratoville is an Associate Director at the National Center for Security & Preparedness. He channels the Center’s practical expertise and academic insights to present clients and partners with innovative approaches in support of their missions. He supervises development, project management, and administration. Kratoville previously served as the NCSP’s Chief of Staff and has been with the Center since 2011.

Kratoville believes that a dynamic threat environment must be met by a persistent desire to adapt and change. Effective training and exercises challenge participants to integrate new concepts and tactics to face tomorrow’s threats. Kratoville has been at the forefront of advocating this progressive growth in New York State. He has managed the development and execution of discussion, skill, and scenario-based training courses, facilitating hundreds of deliveries reaching thousands of first responders and other practitioners across the Homeland Security Enterprise. Kratoville has guided the NCSP’s strategic vision and implementation, contributed to rapid growth at the NY State Preparedness Training Center, and advised on the development of the UAlbany's College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity.

Jayson is a proud alumnus of the UAlbany’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, holding a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Public Administration in Homeland Security and Information Strategy & Management.


Chad Simpson

Program Manager

Chad Simpson is a Program Manager at the National Center for Security & Preparedness (NCSP) at the University at Albany.

Simpson received a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from the University at Albany. Prior to working at the NCSP, Simpson served in the US Army as a Parachute Rigger for six years, stationed in Alaska, Japan and Arizona. As a New York State Licensed Guide, he also works leading trips into the backcountry and as a wilderness skills instructor year round.

In his spare time Simpson serves as the Preparedness Training Director for Adirondack Mountain Rescue, a search and rescue team that specializes in wilderness high angle technical rescue.


Alisha B. Hennet

Finance & Administration Manager

As the National Center for Security Preparedness Finance & Administration Manager, Alisha Hennet is directly responsible for providing financial stewardship for the Center’s accounting functions, as well as for the management of its resources. Hennet administers the operating budgets, reporting, auditing, invoicing and procurement processes. In addition to her fiscal leadership, Hennet also oversees human resources, business operations, and web/social media services.

In 2007, Hennet was brought onto work for the University at Albany Athletics Department and subsequently the division of Student Affairs.  With over a decade of experience in higher education administration, Hennet brings a passion for strategic vision, change management and data driven decision making.  Throughout her tenure with UAlbany, Hennet has collaborated on a number of committees/councils, including Career Leadership & University Excellence, LGBTQ Concerns Advisory Board, University Assessment, and Student Conduct/Title IX.

Prior to UAlbany, Hennet was in the field of Sports Medicine.  She served as a athletic trainer for Wake Forest University, administering tailored rehab and strength programs for Division I athletes.

Hennet received a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Studies and Masters of Science in Physical Therapy from Springfield College.  She also graduated from UAlbany's Business School, earning an M.B.A.


Timothy Davis

Project Coordinator

Timothy Davis is a Project Coordinator for the National Center for Security and Preparedness (NCSP) at UAlbany. Before becoming a Project Coordinator in April 2018, Davis was a part of the NCSP internship program beginning in August 2017.

Before joining NCSP, Davis received a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, where he majored in Political Science, with a concentration in International Affairs. In May 2018, Davis received his Master's Degree in International Affairs, concentrating in Global and Homeland Security, from the University at Albany. Davis also received a certificate in Cybersecurity from the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC).


Matthew Goldberg

Project Coordinator

Matthew Goldberg is a Project Coordinator for the National Center for Security and Preparedness (NCSP) at UAlbany. NCSP works in Partnership works in Partnership with the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to develop and deliver a high level of training to first responders. Goldberg Coordinates the Woodland Tactics and Operations, Land Navigation and IED/EMS courses which NCSP offers.

Goldberg spent four years in the Navy, as an Operations Specialist on a Destroyer with the U.S.S. Constellation Battle Group. There he was the education Petty Officer in charge of all training within the operations work center. In preparation for this role, he attended the Navy’s Master Training Specialist School where he learned teaching practices utilized by the Navy. After an honorable discharge from active duty, Goldberg was hired by the Albany City School District. During Goldberg’s fifteen-year tenure with the school district he worked at nearly every age level, coached wrestling, and volunteered on many committees to work on the improvement of teaching accommodations for students with special needs. Goldberg left the Albany City School District after fifteen years working in the Special Education Department at the secondary level. After many years of assisting students with learning and emotional disabilities to navigate the NYS Common Core curriculum, it was a unique opportunity to be able to switch to adult education, develop and write curriculum as well as oversee teaching methodologies during course deliveries.

Goldberg has a B.A. in English Literature from Grand Canyon University and is currently working to complete an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Literature from Southern New Hampshire University.


Kevin Goldstein

Project Support Specialist

Kevin Goldstein is the Project Support Specialist at the National Center for Security and Preparedness (NCSP) at UAlbany. Goldstein works directly with staff to complete travel accommodations for NCSP employees. Goldstein maintains all New York State (NYS) travel voucher and NYS Travel Card reconciliation processes for NCSP.

Goldstein has a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and a Master’s of Science in Computer Forensics from Utica College.


Kevin Koller

Senior Project Coordinator

Kevin Koller is a Project Coordinator for the National Center for Security & Preparedness (NCSP) at UAlbany. Koller is currently a graduate student studying International Affairs with a concentration in Intelligence at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy. Kevin has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from UAlbany.

During his undergraduate career, Koller was a part of the Semester in Washington Program of Rockefeller College where he interned in the Executive Branch’s Office of National Drug Control Policy in the Office of Policy, Research, and Budget. After completing his semester in Washington D.C., Koller returned to Albany to begin his graduate education and became a training intern with NCSP during the Summer 2016. Koller became a Project Coordinator with NCSP in October 2016.


William Lanfear

Training Logistics Coordinator

William Lanfear is the Makeup and Moulage Coordinator for the National Center for Security and Preparedness (NCSP) at UAlbany. He creates medically accurate injuries and prosthetics to enhance the realism and medical objectives during high-quality scenario-based training exercises.

Lanfear has a B.A. in Communication from Utica College of Syracuse University and has spent over 12 years working backstage in theaters across Central New York as a makeup designer, special effects coordinator, and wig master on over 60 theatrical productions.


Christopher Palumbo

Project Coordinator

Christopher Palumbo joined the NCSP team as a training intern in September 2016, and became a Project Coordinator in April 2017. Palumbo has collaborated on a variety of projects at NCSP related to Active Shooter Events and Mass Casualty Incidents, and helps maintain the quality and integrity of training materials.

Prior to joining NCSP, Palumbo received a Bachelor’s degree from UAlbany, where he majored in Criminal Justice and minored in History. He then received a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management from Rockefeller College.

Palumbo is currently enrolled in the Masters of International Affairs program at UAlbany, and is expected to graduate in December 2017. His academic focus is on security studies, particularly the overlay between foreign and domestic policymaking.


TJ Scandaliato

Project Coordinator

TJ is a Project Coordinator with the NCSP where he is currently developing courses such as the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Basic Operator Course and the Rescue Task Force (RTF) for EMS course. Previously, Scandaliato worked as an Investigator for the Office of Personnel Managements National Background Investigations Bureau (OPM-NBIB).

Scandaliato has a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at Oswego and currently attends UAlbany in the Masters in International Affairs (MIA) program.


Subject Matter Experts

NCSP's Subject Matter Experts serve as the cornerstone for the development and delivery of our training programs. They are an elite cadre of industry leaders who are committed to strengthening the preparedness of first responders. Each practitioner is committed to staying ahead of industry standards and challenging the status quo. Their on-the-job dexterity is instrumental in creating and refining the content of our courses.

In addition to being a valuable asset to our development team, the Subject Matter Experts also serve as NCSP's instructional team. These seasoned and highly-trained professionals enable NCSP to provide premier-level training by guiding participants through well-designed curriculum and face-to-face experiential learning.

Training Role Players

The NCSP’s professional Training Role Players are an integral part of the delivery team and simulate aggressors, victims, and practitioners in a variety or scenario and reality-based courses. These actors utilize their unique skills, backgrounds and experiences to enhance training by adding the element of realism. Scripted chaos bolsters the learning experience by heightening the participants' level of stress and it simulates the turmoil of a critical incident.  Training Role Players work hand-in-hand with the instructional team to trigger the critical thinking, evaluation, and actions that facilitate consequence-based learning.

Michael Coopersmith

Michael is a graduate student in the Masters in Public Administration (MPA) Program with a dual major in Policy Analysis and Homeland Security. Michael was born and raised in Ellenville, NY and currently lives in Troy, NY. Michael began working at NCSP during the Summer 2018 semester. In his spare time, Michael enjoys being a high performance driving instructor and likes to exercise, read, and watch / play basketball and baseball.

Ryan Denardo

Ryan joined NCSP during the Fall 2018 semester. Ryan is a transfer student from SUNY Brockport, where he played as a corner for their football team. Upon entering University at Albany, Ryan began studying Homeland Security under the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity (CEHC), with a minor in Criminal Justice. He is expected to graduate in December of 2018. Ryan was previously an intern at the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) under their department of policy and program development. Following this, Ryan began his current internship at NCSP in the Fall 2018 in hopes of gaining more experience towards his future career aspirations. After graduation, Ryan hopes to begin a career in law enforcement. Outside of his time at NCSP, Ryan enjoys hobbies like snowboarding, motocross, and staying in shape.

Samara Bierria-Anderson

Samara started her internship with NCSP in June of 2018 after getting back from humanitarian efforts in Puerto Rico. During this trip to Puerto Rico, she assisted in re-building the country following devastation from hurricane Maria. A Long Island native, Samara is a double major in Public Health and Emergency Preparedness. Upon her expected graduation in May of 2019, Samara plans to attend graduate school at SUNY Albany. Her long term goals include employment at FEMA and/or the FBI. Samara is currently the captain and president of UAlbany’s Women’s club rugby team. In her free time she enjoys going to the gym and focusing on overall health/wellness.

Samantha Spampinato

Sam is an undergraduate student in CEHC at UAlbany. She is majoring in Homeland Security with a minor in Criminal Justice. Sam was born and raised in Rochester, NY and currently lives in Albany, NY. Sam began working at NCSP in September 2018. She previously interned at the Hudson Institute as a Research Intern with the Center for Political-Military Analysis in Washington, DC. Sam also interned at the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services with the Office of Counter Terrorism in Albany, NY. Outside of work, Sam enjoys going to the gym, watching football and hockey, reading about emergency preparedness, and partaking in seasonal activities. Sam is currently President of the professional co-ed fraternity, Epsilon Delta Psi. After graduation, Sam hopes to begin a career in the public sector, working for an agency within the Intelligence Community.