Thirty-two professionals were awarded a Master of Arts in Security Studies during a ceremony at the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security on March 27.
The graduates comprise professionals from law enforcement, fire safety, homeland security, the military and public health. The first program in the nation of its kind, CHDS provides a cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary curriculum in its 18-month master’s degree program. Graduates are required to write theses pertinent to their employing agencies.
The mission of the Naval Postgraduate School is to provide unique advanced education and research programs in order to increase the combat effectiveness of the US and allied armed forces, as well as enhance the security of the United States.
“These graduates bring great credit to themselves and their professions. They will join the expanding network of homeland security leaders who are shaping the future of our nation,” CHDS Director Glen Woodbury said.
Three students earned special honors:
- Captain John Milby of the Douglas County (Nevada) Sheriff’s Office earned the Outstanding Thesis Award for his thesis, Preempting Mass Murder: Improving Law Enforcement Risk Assessments of Persons with Mental Illness. Theses were evaluated on: overall academic rigor; quality of the literature review; impact of the study on homeland security strategy and future research implications; quality of analysis and conclusions; quality of organization, writing and overall presentation of thesis.
- Gerilee Bennett of FEMA’s Office of Response and Recovery earned the Curtis H. “Butch” Straub Award, which is based on grades, thesis and classroom leadership. The honor is in memory of one of CHDS’ founders. This award is based on grades, thesis and classroom leadership.
- Detective Robert Runnels of the Los Angeles Police Department earned the Philip Zimbardo Award. This award honors a student who demonstrates the best understanding of the psychological aspects of terrorism and whose performance in the master’s program best embodies the highest levels of academic achievement and outstanding leadership. The honor is named after Stanford University psychologist and professor emeritus Philip Zimbardo, who also formerly taught at CHDS.
In addition to its Master’s Degree, the Center offers graduate-style education through its Executive Education Seminars, Executive Leaders Program, Pacific Executive Leaders Program and the Fusion Center Leaders Program.
Through the CHDS University and Agency Partnership Initiative (UAPI), theCenter shares curriculum and promotes faculty development in the homeland security field at more than 300 institutions nationwide. The CHDS is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security National Preparedness Directorate within the Federal Emergency Management Agency.