An emergency management degree positions graduates to combine historical perspective, critical thinking and modern technology to prepare for and respond to natural and man-made disasters. Students in the EKU Homeland Security program learn from instructors with real-world experience. Our faculty include a former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) contractor and educators who previously worked with U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funded programs and directly in federal-level disaster management. Students benefit from the perspective of those currently working in the field, too.
“I’m extremely passionate about giving back to the next generation of emergency managers, no matter what their age or background, and trying to light that fire in them for the field,” said Joshua Kelly, planning supervisor for the Delaware Emergency Management Agency. Kelly and Autumn Stout, logistics and administration team leader with the South Dakota Office of Emergency Management, were featured in a newsletter article by the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), the professional association for emergency management directors throughout the United States. Both are adjunct professors for EKU’s online degree program, sharing their expertise and preparing students for successful emergency management careers.
Stout earned her bachelor’s degree at EKU and went on to earn her MPA from Jacksonville State University. Her EKU professors inspired her to challenge herself and never stop learning. That passion inspired her to teach. Similarly, Kelly credits his undergraduate experience at the University of Delaware with setting the stage for his work in homeland security and academia. He worked as a research assistant while he was in school, and he encourages his students to take advantage of internships and work-study opportunities, too.
These professional opportunities, for both Stout and Kelly, arose as a result of networking, a skill that both heavily emphasize to their students as they enter such a collaborative field. Networking helps those who are new to the field make contacts and explore career options. Those who already have experience in the profession can also benefit from collaborating with peers. Stout considers it essential for the work she does. “Working in emergency management requires you to be a jack-of-all-trades. You need to know which partners to bring to the table and work with the resources that are available to you. Being able to facilitate those relationships and negotiate with others is key,” she explained.
Kelly pointed out that pursuing a degree actually helps build professional relationships, too. “People you meet in your classes today, will be your peers tomorrow,” he said.
As the field of homeland security evolves, it creates more and more opportunities for professionals with education and experience. “By studying past events that have impacted emergency management, you can understand what has worked well and where improvements are still needed,” Stout explained.
Kelly knows his students are advancing the profession and will continue that momentum. “Over the past several decades, we’ve built such an incredible knowledge base from blending so many different fields together and now the students coming up are taking all those lessons learned and putting them into practice right out of school,” he said.
The EKU Homeland Security degree stands on the legacy of existing security management and disaster preparedness instructional programs that have served as national leaders in the field for more than 50 years. By customizing their degree with a minor in disaster management, students set themselves apart as exceptional professionals. To learn more, contact an enrollment advisor at 859-622-7428.
Interested in learning more about an emergency management degree?
Earn your online bachelor’s degree from a SACSCOC accredited university that has been an online education leader for more than 15 years. EKU’s online homeland security program prepares graduates to protect critical infrastructure, respond to natural and man-made disasters, implement the latest security technology, and provide for our nation’s intelligence and counterterrorism needs.
To learn more about our online homeland security degrees and certificates complete the learn more form or check out our Homeland Security Program.