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CEHC Professors Featured During FEMA Higher Ed Symposium

CEHC's Eric Stern virtually shares examples of UAlbany's community response to the COVID-19 crisis.

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 16, 2020) – Two professors in the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC) were recently featured on the national stage during the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) 22nd annual Higher Education Symposium.

The symposium, which went virtual for the first time due to COVID-19, was focused on the theme of “Imagination, Improvisation, and Innovation in Emergency Management Education.” Academics in more than 600 college programs that focus on emergency management, homeland security and public health disciplines were invited to tune in during the three-day event earlier this month.

CEHC assistant professor DeeDee Bennett, who conducts FEMA’s annual higher education state-of-the-community survey, presented 2020 results from 121 participating institutions with emergency management-related programs. Professor Eric Stern, who joined a panel discussion on academic contributions to COVID-19 response and recovery, shared examples of UAlbany’s community response during the pandemic.

DeeDee Bennett accepts the 2019 Kay Goss Technology and Innovation Award at FEMA's Higher Ed Symposium in 2019.
DeeDee Bennett (middle) was awarded the Kay Goss Technology and Innovation Award at FEMA's Higher Ed Symposium in 2019.

“The [symposium] theme was selected before the extensive impact of COVID-19 on our world and has now put our imagination, improvisation, and innovation skills to the test,” said Wendy Walsh, FEMA’s higher education program manager. “We have been forced to adapt, respond, and care for each other in ways we had only previously imagined. As we move forward, we need to take an honest look and learn from our experiences.”

Bennett and Stern have long been involved with FEMA’s higher education program. At last year’s symposium, Bennett was awarded the Kay Goss Technology and Innovation Award, named after the first woman to serve as FEMA’s associate director. Stern was recently among a small group of disaster management experts and anthropologists that were selected to co-write a report in support the agency’s new strategic plan and vision.

View Bennett’s presentation here.

View Stern’s presentation here.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY 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 sciencesbusiness, public health, health sciences, 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.