WWU Emergency Management Certificate Program; Online Classes Begin March 29

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Western Washington University's online Emergency Management classes provide training suitable for a variety of emergency management professions, from public administration and public health to emergency administration and planning. Classes can be applied towards a WWU Emergency Management Certificate.

WWU’s program offers flexibility - attend class any time and online. The biggest advantage is the instructors. Students learn from field experts who use real world examples and curriculum that meets the standards for professional certification.

Western Washington University announces spring quarter, online Emergency Management classes which can be applied towards WWU’s Emergency Management Certificate. The classes provide training suitable for a variety of emergency management professions, from public administration and public health to emergency administration and planning. The Emergency Management classes are open to the public and formal admission to WWU is not required to enroll in the certificate program. Participants can start the program in any one of four quarters: spring, summer, fall or winter.

WWU’s Emergency Management Certificate program provides the academic background established by the Higher Education Project at the Emergency Management Institute at FEMA and International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) as essential for an effective Emergency Manager. Completion of the 24-credit certificate program ensures that participants meet a base level of training and understanding, and prepares individuals to sit for the Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) exam administered by IAEM once all experience requirements have been met.

Western Washington University is an accredited university and is consistently ranked as one of the top public regional universities in the western United States. The online classes are taught over a 10-week period corresponding to the University’s quarter schedule. Up to three courses are offered each quarter, and four will be made available during spring. Because classes are taught asynchronously, attendance is not required on any specific day or time.

During the program, students will learn about disaster and hazard mitigation, business continuity (keeping a business running in a time of crisis), and emergency response planning using the model “Mitigate, Plan, Respond, Recover.” In addition, students will learn how to respond to hazardous materials and bio-terrorism, determine critical infrastructure, define vulnerable populations in a disaster, and understand the roles of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and National Incident Management System (NIMS).

The following courses are available this spring:

1. Practical Applications of Emergency Management
Study the theory and techniques involved in developing an emergency management plan for a public or private sector organization. Explore the processes involved in data gathering, hazard identification and vulnerability assessment, plan development, training and exercise. Students will prepare a draft emergency program development plan for the organization of their choice.

Course instructor, Jason Lum, JD, MPA, earned his JD at the University of California, Berkley with a concentration in Constitutional Law and received his MPA at Harvard concentrating in Law and Public Policy. Lum recently earned an executive certification in management from MIT’s Sloan School. Academic honors include the Prosser Award (Ethics) and National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Scholarship at UC Berkley, John F. Kennedy Fellowship and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship at Harvard. Lum recently completed writing and editing the appellate decisions for the civil rights class action settlement, Pigford v. Glickman. He has taught Public Policy Implication of Terrorism Legislation and Policies and A Systematic Approach for Emergency Preparedness at the doctoral level.

2. Group Dynamics and Facilitation
Evaluate group systems in relation to the effective implementation of emergency management systems. Reviews the influence of personality styles, identifies the process of problem solving, determines solutions for organizational problems in terms of work motivation/group dynamics, and assesses the role of conflict management in an emergency management setting. Emphasis will be on participation in and facilitation of task-oriented or decision-making groups and leadership theory. Minimum enrollment of six students required.

Course instructor, Lori Varick, PhD, earned her BA in Psychology and her MEd in Adult Education Administration at Western Washington University. Her PhD is in Professional Psychology with an emphasis in Clinical Psychology and Impact of Trauma on Brain Functioning. Dr. Varick worked as the Victim Service Coordinator for the Alaska Department of Corrections where she provided a variety of services to victims, trained staff in victim services, and managed the statewide Victim Impact and CISM programs. She was also a staff psychologist at the Washington State Correctional Facility for Women. Dr. Varick recently returned to Alaska where she is a counselor at the Salvation Army’s Clitheroe Center; the largest substance abuse treatment center in Alaska as director of women’s services in residential and outpatient best practices.

3. Impact of Disaster
Investigate the impact and consequences of post-traumatic stress on victims, families, emergency workers, and community members resulting from natural disasters, human-made emergencies, or societal violence. Readings and discussion will center on psychological, physiological, biological, and behavioral reactions to emergencies with an emphasis on risk factors, social support systems, crisis intervention and treatment. Students will examine the effectiveness of programs designed to prevent mental health problems.

Course instructor, Julie Gibson, MD, MBA, RN, received her MD from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. She was a registered nurse with seven years experience in a neonatal intensive care unit prior to completing medical school where she specialized in forensic pathology. Dr. Gibson has been a medical examiner in Phoenix, Arizona since 2000. She has Master's degrees in Human Behavior and Business, and Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Biology. Dr. Gibson has responded to multiple mass fatality disasters as a member of the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) and is a member of DMORT-WMD, a specialty team responsible for decontaminating bodies following weapons of mass destruction incidents. Dr. Gibson most recently served in Haiti following the devastating earthquake in an effort to identify and recover remains of US Citizens.

WWU’s spring quarter begins March 29 and prompt registration is encouraged to reserve your space in the course. Details are on the Web site, http://www.EmergencyMgmt.wwu.edu or contact Ariel.Cleasby-Heaven(at)wwu(dot)edu or call (360) 650-3717 for more information.

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