New Center for Emergency Management and Homeland Security uses student involvement to solve problems

The Center for Emergency Management and Homeland Security at the Downtown campus is a new addition within the College of Public Programs that allows students to become engaged in collaborative research and efforts.

Rick Dale, CEMHS’ executive director, said the center is a trusted advisory that brings in the vast capabilities of ASU and targets them toward problems.

The center is expected to develop further in fall 2014 and allow students more involvement and access in the academic aspect of the center.

“It’s an opportunity to get hands-on experience,” Dale said. “(Students) will get practical experience.”

Some future goals of the center are an online master’s program, new degrees related to emergency management and homeland security and possible internship prospects.

Dale said the center already has a number of internship programs lined up for students, who will be allowed to become actively involved in the process of generating solutions.

“Students can be part of the center and work alongside of researchers to develop solutions,” he said.

Dale, who joined the University in September, is a former executive chairman and chief executive officer for IXP Corp, a public solutions company that looks to solve problems in complex emergency communications.

Now part of the ASU community, Dale advocates for being part of the overall solution for problems in the emergency management and homeland security field.

“We believe that many of the things that we’re offering will serve the public good far beyond the state of Arizona,” Dale said.

Professor of practice Danny Peterson will serve as operations executive for the center.

Peterson was part of the initial development that took place on the Polytechnic campus, which led to the launching of the center on the Downtown campus.

“My personal hope is that we’re able to enhance our readiness as a community — as a nation for various types of disasters,” he said.

Peterson said students who want to get involved should become informed. He referred to ASU’s page for the center and advised students to call the center directly to express any casual interest in CEMHS.

“The impact will be to better inform and better provide useful skill sets for folks who are wanting to pursue emergency management and homeland security as a career choice,” Peterson said.

Leezie Kim, an advisory member for CEMHS, said she believes the center will bridge the gap between “the incredible research and knowledge” available at ASU and the implementation of the collective resources into the community.

Kim has experience in the homeland security field as a deputy general counsel for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to CEMHS official website.

She said the advisory board is made up of members who are experienced in the area and can help serve the future developments of the center.

“I really have high hopes,” Kim said.

Reach the reporter at kjonessc@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @_KennedyScott