I enrolled in the EMCP certificate program two years ago and recently completed the program. I am currently working on a full Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. I received my undergraduate degree from U of I Urbana/Champaign in Natural Resources and Environmental Science. My work history includes environmental/natural resources and engineering, law enforcement and fire/medical services. I originally pursued the program after seeing and understanding that all these organizations and business in these field/industries are uniquely tied and reliant on each other. The program allowed me to learn many principles that are involved in these fields and how they directly correlate to each other. The emergency management and risk assessment courses were valuable for me in my field. The professors demonstrated, explained, and challenge me to think and respond in a new way. I was able to learn and experience through this program not only the processes that go into being a first responder, but the procedures and protocols involved, as well as the roles of other industries and their reliance on each other. The program has allowed me to be involved with special assignments with the Chicago Fire and Police Department that relate to emergency management. I would highly encourage those involved in the safety, security and first responder field to apply and experience the program. It will not only teach them about what’s involved in businesses continuity planning and operations but the emerging field of emergency management.
I previously served as a Chemical Officer on the Illinois National Guard Team which conducts casualty search and extraction, medical triage and treatment, decontamination and search and recovery. I was interested in furthering my knowledge and education on the subject. It was intimidating to return to school after five years, especially for an online program as I had never taken an online class before. However, Dr. Ibrahim and Dr. Cailas were always available to answer any questions I had. Both professors motivated me by creating an exceptional educational experience and presenting the material in an interesting format. The interaction with the professors and other students was extremely beneficial because it exposed the learners to different ways of doing things. I finished the Emergency Management and Continuity Planning program in the summer of 2011. As a member of the Illinois State Guard, I have implemented the concepts I learned from the program course work, including how to apply considerations of risk communication to manage evolving situations and successfully execute a state operational emergency response plan. Currently I am enrolled in the Master of Public Health program at UIC in the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences.
I am currently a student in the UIC Emergency Management and Continuity Planning (EMCP) program and am also a Chicago resident. I am currently serving on active military duty as the Director of Logistics Operations for Regional Training Center Central Ft. McCoy, Wisconsin. This is a United States Army training organization responsible for preparing soldiers to deploy overseas. The knowledge gained from the EMCP program has benefited me and my workplace in a variety of ways. Throughout the last two years, Ft. McCoy has been developing and exercising its All Hazards emergency response plans. Being introduced to the vulnerability analysis tools in the EMCP program has given me the ability to add value to this very important plan. Dr. Ibrahim and Dr. Liotine are excellent mentors who constantly seek to guide me in my questions and concerns toward solutions. They are definitely student-focused. The flexibility of the online curriculum was beneficial to me “any time, any place.” Through the vast network of resources from this program, I was recruited to be an evaluator at the 2011 State Level Exercise for the New Madrid Seismic Zone Earthquake Event in Metropolis, IL. There were 22 IL counties participating, and the exercise tested the local EOC operations on a functional level. This program offers such tremendous opportunities in the pursuit of advanced education in the field of emergency management and professional development. My motivation for applying to the UIC EMCP program was that I wanted to find a way that I could leverage my military experience towards continued community service. The program adds value to my skill set and gives me a few more tools to utilize in my pursuit of continued community service. I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in emergency management and continuity planning.