The Arkansas State University Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management program, as well as the department itself, is a work in progress and has experienced exponential growth over the last year. The entire department began with one woman's vision, Dr. Deborah Persell, who's own personal experiences of September 11th, 2001 made her see the need for disaster preparedness education in not only our region, but all over the nation and world.
Dr. Deborah Persell is the Coordinator of the Regional Center for Disaster Preparedness Education, which is housed at Arkansas State University in the College of Nursing and Health Professions department. The Center began in 2005 and offered various disaster preparedness trainings, like Basic Disaster Life Support (BDLS), Advanced Disaster Life Support (ADLS), Core Disaster Life Support (CDLS), as well as others. Not long after, Dr. Persell developed a multi-disciplinary minor in Homeland Security Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management which is a valuable asset to not only healthcare professionals, but to all majors throughout the university, ranging from communications to education. The minor offers three different tracks that a student can choose to obtain, each containing different courses to appeal to each student's specific educational needs, and each modeled to help the student build their beginning career. The center has only continued to grow, as well as the activities, services, and training programs offered within it.
Roughly a year ago, the Regional Center for Disaster Preparedness Education reached new heights, becoming its own department in the university. The ASU-Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Managment (DPEM) department began to offer its own educational tracks. An Associate's degree in DPEM and a Graduate Certificate of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management began during the 2011-2012 academic year. The fall of 2012 saw the inaugural Master of Science in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management class begin. The majority of these graduate students will receive their degrees in August 2013 and will be well-prepared, well-rounded students to serve in the DPEM community. A good number of these students also receive a scholarship offered by the ASU-DPEM department which funds the student's tuition, leaving only the university and book fees for the student to pay for.
The Fall 2012 semester has also welcomed the new Bachelor of Science in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management program, which was accepted and approved by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education in October 2012. The ASU-DPEM department has also taken over the communities Farm Medic training, which will be offered periodically.
With new faculty, students, and a changing world everyday, the ASU-DPEM department has only began its journey and will continue to grow with time in order to serve the needs of its students, who in turn will go out and help others, in hopes of changing the world for the better.
-2014-2015 Faculty and Staff-
Dr. Deborah Persell; DPEM Program Director
Brad Holloway; DPEM Assistant Professor
Brent Cox, MS, BS; DPEM Assistant Professor
Kayleigh Wilson, MS, BSRS; DPEM Assistant Professor