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CSU-Pueblo Homeland Security students to conduct exercise

Release Date: April 08, 2015

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director, External Affairs

Colorado State University-Pueblo

(719) 549-2810

PUEBLO - Students in the Center for the Study of Homeland Security at Colorado State University-Pueblo, in coordination with the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office, will plan and conduct an emergency tornado response exercise on Monday, April 20 at the Emergency Operations Center, 909 Court St. Students enrolled in some of the University's homeland security courses will plan, supervise, implement, and role play during this educational and functional emergency exercise.

The exercise will be held from 5-7:30 p.m. on April 20 and include a student-coordinated combined table top and real-time operational emergency exercise focused on a tornado disaster response. For the first time, students from the Critical Incident Management class and their faculty member will simulate operations and role play Emergency Operations Center activities and decision-making processes that would occur during an emergency. This would include a simulated press conference, media relations, and Public Information Office activities.

Steve Liebel, director of the Homeland Security Program, said the entire day's activities will be run by students in collaboration with the expertise of Sheriff's Department personnel with the goal to give students a working knowledge of proper and failed emergency response

"We are talking about experiential education, giving students experiences that are immediately transferrable," Liebel said.

The Center for the Study of Homeland Security (CSHS) provides the Southern Colorado region with opportunities to study the growing field of Homeland Security and to prepare them to succeed in related careers that include government, military, and high technology industries at the federal, state, and local levels. No other college or university in the region offers a comprehensive homeland security program at the undergraduate level.

CSHS offers two choices of program, each providing a career relevant education:

  1. The certificate in Homeland Security studies is a three-course, nine-credit hour program for students in any major, featuring Intro to Homeland Security, Terrorism, and Critical Incident Management.
  2. The minor in Homeland Security Studies is an 18 credit-hour program which provides students an in-depth understanding of the mission, challenges, and methods behind homeland security. In addition to the three-course sequence from the certificate, students enroll in classes on Intelligence and National Security, Threat and Strategic Planning, and Homeland Security and the Law.

Liebel said the experience and qualification of the faculty in this program make it unique. For example, the Critical Incident course is taught by J.R. Hall, deputy with the Pueblo County Sheriff's Department. Other faculty have held positions with the Navy's North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) (Captain Todd Davis), United States Northern Command (NORTHCOMM) (Lt. Col. John Erickson, Jr.) and the Center for International Security Policy Research (Mark Tallman). Liebel said since the minor was added in 2012, the program has grown to include 31 minors and already has a tremendous track record relative to the hiring of its graduates to significant posts with the Red Cross and the Department of Defense. The program also has established an active internship program with a variety of agencies from the Sheriff's Department and Pueblo Police Department to the Colorado State Patrol.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.

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