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.


Lori Percle

Associate Director

Lori Percle is the Associate Director of Training for the National Center for Security & Preparedness (NCSP) at the University of Albany. The NCSP works in partnership with the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) to develop and deliver high-quality, interdisciplinary training to first responders at the New York State Preparedness Training Center (SPTC) in Oriskany. Percle is stationed at the SPTC and is responsible for the overall training delivery for NCSP-based courses, and management of the Instructors/SMEs, and Training Role Player programs.

Prior to her tenure at the NCSP, Percle worked for the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training (NCBRT), a National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC) member that develops and delivers first responder training throughout the United States. Percle’s efforts were focused on Instructor/SME recruitment, Instructor professional development initiatives, and various other projects including online awareness-level training, the Instructor Development Workshop course, and the Instructor Certification Program which became the benchmark for other training providers.

In addition to her first responder training experience, Percle spent four years managing the district office for a Louisiana State Legislator, and she also consulted for several political campaigns. Lori also worked for a primary care association in Austin, Texas to increase immunization coverage levels in community health centers throughout the state, and she also served on the Committee to establish the first statewide immunization registry.

Lori has a Master in Public Administration and a BGS with a focus in Political (Mass) Communication from Louisiana State University.


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.


Brian R. Burt

Project Coordinator

Brian is the Project Coordinator for the Emergency Vehicle Defensive Driving suite of courses including, EVDD, ATV/UTV and Snowmobile Operations. His other responsibilities include serving as the organization’s multimedia coordinator. In this role, Brian is responsible for the production of photography and video of the training activities at the State Preparedness Training Center to be used in presentation and media resources for education, training, public relations, websites and marketing communications for the NCSP.

Prior to joining the NCSP staff in 2012, he owned and operated a commercial photography studio in the Capital Region, where he worked with construction and restoration contractors, restaurants and food service, retail industries, commercial and residential real estate. Before he established his studio, Brian worked for 13 years as an award-winning, broadcast commercial producer for an ABC network affiliate. Prior experience includes 15 years as contract photographer and video production specialist for corporate and industrial clients.
Brian graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Clinical Laboratory Technology including physiology, microbiology, biotechnology and more recently, molecular protein and DNA analysis areas of study.


Lauren Effinger

Financial Coordinator

Lauren Effinger is the Financial Coordinator for the National Center for Security & Preparedness at UAlbany. She is tasked with working through the analytical and financial aspects of ensuring that the NCSP meets its obligations to both UAlbany and its external stakeholders.

Effinger received her B.A. in Cultural Studies at SUNY Empire State College. She is currently working on her M.A. in Cultural Anthropology at UAlbany. Upon completion of her M.A., she plans on pursuing her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology.

Effinger's research interests include trauma, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury within the military, veteran and first responder communities and their relations to the civilian population.


Sherry Farrington

Student Services Coordinator

Sherry Farrington is the Student Services Coordinator for the National Center for Security and Preparedness (NCSP) at UAlbany. She brings over 15 years’ experience to the table with expertise in Administrative policies and procedures. Her expertise in customer service relations makes her a valuable asset to the National Center for Security and Preparedness (NCSP). Farrington also assist in the National Center for Security and Preparedness (NCSP) course delivery efforts at the NYS Preparedness Training Center.

Farrington has work for the National Center for Security and Preparedness for the past 5 years. Farrington reports directly to the Assistant Director of National Center for Security & Preparedness. She is also responsible for registration as well as maintaining accurate enrollment numbers for upcoming courses. Farrington also makes sure students are qualified before they are enrolled into the course. As a result, she has been acknowledged from students on her willingness to work with them one on one.

Farrington holds a Bachelor of Science from SUNY Empire State College, and an Associate of Science from Cazenovia College.


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

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

Makeup and Moulage 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.


Dan Reardon

Role Player Coordinator

Dan Reardon coordinates the Training Role Player Program for the National Center for Security & Preparedness (NCSP) at the University of Albany. The NCSP works in partnership with the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) at the New York State Preparedness Training Center (SPTC) in Oriskany to deliver high-quality, interdisciplinary training to first responders. Reardon is responsible for recruiting and scheduling role players for all scenario based courses at the SPTC as well as other large scale events. Reardon has been with the NCSP since 2011, and initially served as the liaison between the NCSP and DHSES where he helped to develop and expand the training program at the SPTC.

Reardon’s career spans several decades and includes a variety of positions within New York State government. Prior to working part-time for the NCSP, Reardon was the NIMS Coordinator for DHSES, he served as Director of Internal Affairs for OPWDD, he was a Commissioner of the New York State Parole Board, and Chief of Investigations for the New York State Attorney General. Dan also served ten years as Sheriff of Herkimer County, from 1985 to 1995.

Dan has a Master of Science in Education from Marywood College in Scranton, Pennsylvania, a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from SUNY-Cortland, and an Associates in Social Science from Herkimer Community College.


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.

Timothy Davis

Timothy Davis joined the internship program in August 2017, and has conducted research on domestic UAS programs used by first responders, and helped develop the Rescue Task Force for EMS course.

Before joining NCSP, Davis received a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, where he majored in Political Science, with a concentration in International Affairs.  Davis is in his last semester of the Master of International Affairs (MIA) program at the University at Albany, concentrating in Global and Homeland Security. He is currently working on his Capstone Project, which analyzes the United States Department of Homeland Security and compares the organization to similar entities worldwide.

As an intern at NCSP, Davis has had opportunities to apply the skills he learned during his academic career to solve real-world problems. Upon completion of the MIA program, Davis hopes to start a career in the private or public sector creating policies that defend the United States from acts of terror, and exploring intelligence and emergency preparedness opportunities. In his spare time, Davis enjoys building models out of wood and similar hands-on activities such as carpentry.

Jeremy Teekasingh

Jeremy Teekasingh joined the internship program at NCSP in January 2018, and hopes to learn just what it takes to develop a professional law enforcement-training course.

Before he joined NCSP, Teekasingh, 23, attended the University at Albany as an undergraduate and majored in Political Science and Journalism. He also obtained a graduate certificate in Cybersecurity from the University at Albany. Teekasingh is currently enrolled in the Master of Public Affairs program at the University at Albany, concentrating in Homeland Security.

Teekasingh, a native of Queens, sees working at NCSP as an opportunity to gain real-world experience in emergency preparedness and law enforcement. He also has interests in counter terrorism strategy and policymaking, intelligence analysis and risk management. After graduation, Teekasingh hopes to begin a career in the public sector, working for a federal agency such as the FBI, DHS or CBP where he can make a difference. In his spare time, Teekasingh plays piano and the drums, and enjoys going to the gym.

Joseph Dworkin

Joseph Dworkin joined the NCSP internship program in January of 2018. Dworkin is working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Cybersecurity, Emergency Preparedness, and Homeland Security. Prior to attending UAlbany, he served four years in the Marine Corps as a rifleman with the Second Battalion, Seventh Marines.

Dworkin has a variety of interests related to NCSP’s programs, and is primarily focused on developing law enforcement and medical training. After completing his degree, he hopes to pursue a career with the FBI as a Special Agent. Dworkin enjoys spending time at the gym exercising and expanding his knowledge of brewing craft beer.

Anna Wetzel

Anna Wetzel joined the NCSP team as an intern in January 2018. Wetzel is currently a junior at the University at Albany where she is working towards a Bachelor’s degree in both Homeland Security and Political Science. She initially became interested in NCSP after attending the Crisis Decision Making course. She then joined the internship program to gain experience with the practical aspects of homeland security and emergency preparedness.

After completing her undergraduate studies, Wetzel wishes to pursue a career in intelligence or data collection. She is also a military aviation enthusiast, and enjoys spending time flying in online flight simulator communities.