The MSEM program students have diverse backgrounds and are prepared to pursue a broad range of career opportunities in emergency management and related fields. The profiles below represent a few of our current and former MSEM students.
A recent graduate of Millersville University’s renowned Meteorology Undergraduate program, Daniel Berndt is in his first year of study in the MSEM Graduate program. Brought onboard initially as a Research Assistant, Daniel has worked alongside Drs. Yalda and Hagelgans in numerous projects as an undergrad, such as the ongoing StormReady certification by the NWS and updates to the university’s Emergency Operations Plan. Beginning in the fall semester of 2014, Daniel will step up to a full-time Graduate Assistant and will also fulfill the role of Program Manager in the highly-successful Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training held on campus each semester since 2011. Additionally, in the Millersville Student Chapter of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), Daniel has recently accepted the position of President in the organization, rounding off a list of achievements only possible to do the outstanding nature of the MSEM program and faculty who manage it.
Since Daniel was old enough to walk, his passion has been held by the weather. Coincidentally enough, he learned how to read by watching The Weather Channel’s Local on the 8’s, getting frustrated only when the text moved to quickly to read at his young age. Fast forward over a decade and Daniel sought to pursue his dreams and enrolled at Millersville University working toward his Bachelors of Science Degree in Meteorology. While at MU, he spent his time in numerous organizations such as the student chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), the Marauder Men’s Glee Club (MMGC), and University Christian Fellowship (UCF). In fact, thanks to a partnership with UCF and the locally-based Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS), Daniel had a tremendous opportunity to assist in the rebuilding efforts in the tornado-scarred towns of Joplin, Missouri and Birmingham, Alabama. It is a direct result of these mission trips that Daniel felt called to further his studies in the MSEM program at Millersville stating, “Seeing the incredible damage from these storms and equally helping rebuild someone’s home was enough to convince me of what I needed to do, that’s helping others, and this unique hybridization between Meteorology and Emergency Management is the key.”
Sara is starting her first year of study with the MSEM graduate program in the fall. She graduated from Millersville in 2011 with dual majors in Anthropology and Government & Political Affairs and a minor in International Studies. During her undergraduate pursuits, Sara worked as a resident assistant and completed an internship with Member of Parliament, Emily Thornberry in London, UK. The time she spent abroad further increased her desire to study culture and human interaction. She hopes to apply the variety of her undergraduate
Since graduating, Sara has worked in the Lancaster area. She looks forward to absorbing as much information as possible from the program and working at the CDRE.
Jeff Jumper is a part-time CDRE graduate assistant for the 2014-2015 school year at Millersville University. Jeff is enrolled in the Masters in Emergency Management program, beginning coursework for the program in the Fall of 2014. Jeff currently works full time as the Morning Meteorologist for WPMT FOX43 in York, PA. Jeff is in for the early shift, forecasting and delivering weather information to viewers from 4AM-9AM, every weekday. With his leftover time, Jeff volunteers as a firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT-B) with the Wrightsville Fire Company in York County.
Jeff is Pennsylvania native; born and raised in Northeast Pennsylvania. He graduated from Penn State University in 2006 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Meteorology with high honors. After college, Jeff entered the field of broadcast television working for TV stations in Williamsport PA (WBRE-TV), Lake Charles LA (KPLC-TV) and Montgomery AL (WSFA-TV) before returning home to Pennsylvania to work at FOX43. Along the way, Jeff earned the prestigious American Meteorological Society’s Certified Broadcast Meteorologist designation and the National Weather Association’s Broadcasters Seal of Approval for his competency in science and weather broadcasting.
Jeff’s other passion lies in helping others, which is why he’s looking forward to advancing his education in emergency management. He joined his home fire company as a junior volunteer firefighter within days of turning 14 years old and hasn’t looked back. Since then, he’s worked diligently to earn national certifications in firefighting including meeting the standards for Firefighter I, II, Fire Officer I, Fire Inspector I, and Fire Instructor I. He’s also a Pennsylvania certified EMT and Vehicle Rescue Technician. Jeff’s job as a meteorologist has taken him many places, and he’s continued his passion volunteering with many fire companies throughout the state as well as in Louisiana and Alabama.
Combining his forecasting and broadcasting skills with his fire service knowledge, Jeff plans to use this background to aid in his completion of the Masters program at Millersville University.
Robert is a 2005 Millersville University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a concentration in Criminology. As an undergraduate, Robert played for the Millersville Basketball team.
Prior to beginning the MSEM program in fall of 2010, Robert worked in the human service field with various positions. These positions included Therapeutic Staff Support for child/adolescents with mental health issues, Youth Detention Counselor for juvenile delinquents, and a Direct Support Professional for adults that suffer from mental health/mental retardation issues. It has always been Robert’s passion to help others.
In 2005, Robert entered the emergency services field as a Nuclear Security Officer with Peach Bottom Nuclear Power Station. This position included carrying out investigations to prevent crime or radiological sabotage and following the guidelines set forth by the Nuclear Regulatory Committee and the Department of Homeland Security.
From 2007 to the present, Robert has been working for the Pennsylvania State Police. As a State Trooper, Robert is responsible for enforcing the criminal and traffic laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Robert’s long term goals within the state police are to obtain a director position in the Emergency Preparedness & Planning department and work closely with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.
Robert graduated from the MSEM program in December of 2012. He is also a member of the Emergency Management Honor Society, Epsilon Pi Phi, at Millersville University. Robert is confident that this program has prepared him to lead at levels emergency management.
Robert also plans on pursuing his PhD. He recently applied to Eastern University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania and anticipates starting a doctorate program in the fall of 2013.
Robert is happily married to 2002 graduate of Millersville University, Tanisha Negron-Bailey. And also has a 3 year old son named Robert Bailey, Jr.
David Boucher is the Operations and Training Officer for Lancaster County, PA Emergency Management Agency (LEMA). His interest in Emergency Management grew from a 2005 PA Army National Guard deployment to Louisiana in support of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita relief. He has 12 years of total military experience.
David earned his Bachelor of Arts in Government and Political Affairs from Millersville University in 2007. While at Millersville, he completed an internship at LEMA. After graduation, he was deployed to Iraq for a year in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He began working at LEMA in 2010.
During the 2011 Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee severe weather Events in Lancaster County, David assisted the response and recovery efforts by serving in the Lancaster County Emergency Operations Center. David has completed FEMA Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP) certification. He has also attained the Basic Certification as an Emergency Manager from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA).
Alan Gerard is the Meteorologist-In-Charge of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Jackson, MS, a position he has held since 2002. Prior to that, he was the Science and Operations Officer and a Senior Forecaster in the same office. He has also held positions at the NWS forecast office in Cleveland, OH and the NWS office in Columbus, OH. He is a past-president of the National Weather Association. He has published articles in numerous publications, including National Weather Digest, Electronic Journal of Operational Meteorology, and Weather and Forecasting. He is a graduate of St. Louis University, and is currently pursuing his MS in Emergency Management at Millersville University.
His interest in emergency management sparked from working closely with emergency managers at the federal, state, and local level. With his degree in emergency management, Alan hopes to blend his meteorology and emergency management skills to improve work at his current job.
Mr. Paul J. Benyeda joined the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) staff in July 2006. In June, 2008, Mr. Benyeda received from the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) the designation as Certified Emergency Manager (CEM). Mr. Benyeda has completed EMI’s Master Trainer Program and Master Exercise Practitioner Program.
Prior to joining FEMA, Mr. Benyeda was the State Training Officer for the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.
Before joining the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, he was the Emergency Management Coordinator for the Manchester Fire – Rescue – EMS Department, where he developed and implemented disaster preparedness and response plans for the town of Manchester, CT. He introduced the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program to the community, developed a Special Needs database and held the position of Secretary and then Vice Chairman for the Capital Region Emergency Planning Committee (CREPC) and was also the Chairman of Emergency Support Function #16 (Volunteer Management) and Chairman of the Capitol Region Citizen Corps Council.
Prior to joining the Manchester Fire –Rescue – EMS Department, he was in the nuclear power industry for over 25 years. He held a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Senior Reactor Operators License for Millstone Unit 1, and was one of the Project Managers for Millstone Unit 1’s Decommissioning. Mr. Benyeda served in the US Navy, where he was qualified in Submarines and as Engineering Watch Supervisor on board the USS Nautilus SSN 571. Prior to moving to Manchester, CT, Mr. Benyeda was Vice Chairman of the Public Safety Commission in Montville CT for many years.
Mr. Benyeda has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Memphis in Nuclear Industrial Operations. He graduated from the MSEM program in May 2012.
Kristina received her MSEM in December 2013. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Meteorology in May 2012, also at Millersville University.
As an undergraduate, Kristina coordinated the Annual Public Weather Awareness Day (sponsored by the Millersville Chapter of the American Meteorological Society) where Millersville students taught the community about severe weather and preparedness. It was through this event that Kristina gained her interest in emergency preparedness and management.
During the 2012-2013 academic year, Kristina was a graduate assistant for the Center for Disaster Research and Education (CDRE) here at Millersville. As graduate assistant, she assisted with the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training. During her time with the CDRE, Kristina has had the opportunity to attend the Annual IAEM Conference in Orlando, assist the Lancaster County Emergency Management agency with county-wide exercises, attend courses at the FEMA Emergency Management Institute (EMI) in Emmitsburg, MD, and attend training offered through the PA South Central Task Force. Kristina also served as President of the Millersville Chapter of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM).
As Kristina’s practicum, she developed a hazardous weather response plan for Millersville University to aid in their StormReady initiative.
Currently, Kristina is a Research Fellow for the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security where she coordinates emergency preparedness outreach efforts for the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.
Kasey has just completed her first year in the MSEM program at Millersville. She graduated from Millersville University in May 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Environmental Health and a minor in Environmental Hazards and Emergency Management. Prior to the MSEM program, she worked at the Center for Disaster Research & Education as an undergraduate research assistant, completed two emergency management internships, and one environmental health and safety internship. During her time at the CDRE, Kasey worked with other students to help make Millersville University StormReady certified by the National Weather Service. In addition, she assisted with the South Central PA Business Continuity Conference in Harrisburg, PA and completed Community Emergency Response Team training.
In the summer of 2010 and 2011, Kasey worked for the Wayne County Emergency Management Agency. She updated emergency operation plans for the assisted living facilities, personal care homes, nursing homes, child care centers, and over 50 dams located within the county. This past summer, Kasey completed an Environmental Health and Safety internship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. This internship involved construction hazard surveillance, dust sampling and analysis, fire extinguisher training, fire and life safety surveillance, environment of care rounds, hazardous waste cleanup, noise sampling, indoor air quality sampling, etc.
Kasey was a graduate assistant for the CDRE and program manager for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). In addition to working at CDRE, Kasey attended the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) annual conference in Orlando, Florida, and working as Vice President of the IAEM student chapter at Millersville University.
Kasey is currently a Safety Inspector at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Chelsea Troutman graduated from the MSEM program in May 2012. She graduated from Mansfield University in May 2011 with a B.S. in Geography with an emphasis in Mapping Technology. Prior to beginning the MSEM program, Chelsea worked as a 911 Addressing Field Technician for the Tioga County Emergency Services Department. While working for the county was a great experience for Chelsea, she is very excited to learn more in depth about the different facets that make up Emergency Management.
Chelsea was a graduate assistant at the Center for Disaster Research and Education (CDRE) at Millersville. She enjoyed the opportunity to work with a diverse network of people. During her graduate assistantship, Chelsea assisted with various research projects and coordinated the Millersville University-Community CERT program that the CDRE sponsors. During the course of her first semester at Millersville, she was able to attend a number of conferences including the Annual PEMA Conference and the Annual IAEM Conference. She was also able to attend trainings at the FEMA Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, MD.
Chelsea is currently a Senior Emergency Preparedness Specialist at Exelon Generation.
Heather Morgan graduated from the MSEM program in May 2012. She graduated in May 2010 from Millersville with a B.S. in meteorology. In her junior year as an undergraduate, Heather was introduced to the world of emergency management and Millersville's MSEM program by Dr. Yalda. With this introduction, Heather realized that her passion for helping others and knowledge in meteorology would prove useful in the emergency management world.
In the summer of 2010, Heather participated in an internship at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency [MEMA]. Here she participated in different aspects of the field, received guidance on how to integrate her knowledge of meteorology into the field, and walked away with numerous networking connections. Heather's most memorable experience at MEMA was observing an activated Emergency Operations Center. At the end of the internship, she knew that the MSEM program would only further her passions in life and continue her learning experience in emergency management.
While she completed her Master's degree, Heather was the graduate assistant in the Dean's Office of the School of Science and Mathematics. Heather's current research interest is finding a way to incorporate emergency management materials into middle/high school curriculum for Pennsylvania. "Passion from the professors, excellent guidance, and endless opportunities," she says, "is what makes the MSEM program at Millersville beneficial to myself and my classmates as we continue our educational experience."
Heather is currently the Exercise and Training Coordinator for Chester County Department of Emergency Services.
Matthias Miziorko is the GIS Specialist for the Center for Health and Homeland Security. He is responsible for using Geographic Information System (GIS) software to support day-to-day and emergency operations to counties with the National Capital Region.
Prior to working at the Center, he was the Emergency Management Specialist for Carroll County, MD. Matthias received his Masters of Science in Emergency Management from Millersville University in 2011 as well as his Bachelor's in Geography from Millersville in 2009."
Joyce Moyer is a Graduate of the Millersville MSEM program, and now sits on the External Advisory Board for the program. Joyce is the CEO of Jaxon Mattison Consulting, LLC; a Woman Owned Small Business that focuses on domestic and international Emergency Management and Maritime Security consulting. Mrs. Moyer is a Certified Emergency Manager, HSEEP Instructor, ICS Instructor and is the Plans Section Chief for the Southeast Region of the US for the Department of Health and Human Services. Joyce also is a Committee Member of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies: Subcommittee: Committee on Aviation Security and Emergency Management, AV090 which promotes research and education as it relates to the transportation industry. Joyce enjoys mentoring new professionals in emergency management, traveling, reading and spending time with her children (ages, newborn, 12, 13, and 17). Joyce and her husband are located in Charleston, SC.
Fahad Alhaider began his career in emergency management by joining the Saudi Aramco Fire Protection Department in Saudi Arabia. He is currently working as an Industrial Skills Trainer at the Dhahran Fire Training Center in Saudi Arabia. Fahad graduated in December 2009 from Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology. Fahad began Millersville's Master of Science in Emergency Management (MSEM) program in August 2010, and will graduate in July 2012.
His extensive study in emergency management, in conjunction with his fire and safety service; provide Fahad with a strong foundation to shape his career path. Fahad participated in several meetings and conferences that advanced his academic learning in emergency management. Of course, the knowledge and the insights that Fahad gains in MSEM are empowering him to be well equipped to meet the challenges of the emergency management field.
Fahad applied to Millersville for the MSEM program after learning about it from the web. Living thousands of miles away from the MU Campus does not hinder Fahad from experiencing the quality of instruction and flexibility of the online, distance education program. He enjoys and develops the interaction and professional relationships with class peers from other countries within the Emergency Management profession.
Fahad is the father of four children; one boy and three girls.
Scott Mickalonis is the Deputy Director for the Division of Emergency Management with the Montgomery County, PA Department of Public Safety. Scott received his MS in Emergency Management from Millersville University's Center for Disaster Research and Education. He is responsible for the management of County's comprehensive emergency management program and has served on numerous subcommittees within the Southeastern PA Regional Task Force, including the role of Project Manager for the regional Knowledge Center deployment. Scott also maintains active certification as a paramedic, firefighter and hazardous materials technician and regularly works as an independent consulting contractor in the emergency management field. He has worked for the Department of Public Safety for 13 years.
Scott graduated from the MSEM program in May 2011. "Thank you for the outstanding educational experience I had while at Millersville"
Rod McWilliams has been enrolled in the MSEM program since its inception in 2007 and graduated in December 2010. Rod learned of the MSEM program after an extensive search for a program that would provide an academic structure to the field of emergency management. "I have been extremely happy with the MSEM program at Millersville," says Rod. "At first, it was a bit daunting to return to school after 20 years, but this program has benefited me greatly professionally and personally." Rod received his Bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations from Marquette University.
Rod is currently the Director of Crisis Management Services for FEI Behavioral Health in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In that role, he advises clients in the aviation, banking, retail, and educational industries on how to best address the human side of a crisis. His company also provides call center and on-site services in the event of a disaster. Prior to this position, he was the Communications Director for a politician. Before that, he was a police officer, EMT, and volunteer firefighter. Rod began his career in emergency management with the American Red Cross.
Rod was born in Canada and has lived in Great Britain, France, and Greece, before moving to the US in 1976. He currently lives in the Milwaukee area with his wife and daughter. He also has a son in university and another son currently serving with the US Army in Afghanistan.
Maureen began the Master of Science in Emergency Management (MSEM) with the inaugural class in August 2007, while concurrently enrolled in Millersville’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. With a background in risk management, she was looking for a program that offered a broad range of coursework in emergency management that would help her pursue a career in the field.
As a graduate student, she volunteered for the American Red Cross, then began a semester-long internship in their Harrisburg, PA office in the Emergency Services Department. This position, which transferred to the MSEM as an independent study course, was part of the federal AmeriCorps program encouraging community service. While at the Red Cross, Maureen was involved in many aspects of their operations, including response, emergency planning, tabletop and full-scale exercises, and deployment to a federally declared disaster.
Having completed the internship and on-campus MBA program, Maureen moved to Austin, TX, and continues taking MSEM courses online. She was recently hired by the Governor's Division of Emergency Management, within the Texas Department of Public Safety, as a Mitigation Specialist. Her primary responsibility is working within the federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to award and oversee projects that local jurisdictions implement to minimize the damage caused by future disasters. She uses lessons learned from various MSEM classes in her day-to-day work, as well as the comprehensive collection of books required throughout the coursework.
Maureen graduated from the MSEM program in Spring 2010.
Pamela Drake completed her Master of Science in Emergency Management at Millersville University in May 2011. While enrolled in the program, Ms. Drake was the Graduate Assistant for the Center for Disaster Research and Education (CDRE) on Millersville’s campus. While at the CDRE, Pamela was able to work with the South Central Pennsylvania Task Force’s Exercise Working Group where she performed mainly Public Information Officer duties. She also volunteered with Lancaster County’s Emergency Management Agency on a number of exercises, trainings, and real-world activations of their Emergency Operations Center. Additionally, she and a number of other people developed the Millersville University-Community CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) program that is sponsored by the CDRE.
Prior to enrolling in the MSEM program, Pamela earned her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Millersville University, and worked as a Community Educator for the Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center at the YWCA of Lancaster. In regards to the MSEM at Millersville, she says, “The opportunities within the MSEM program are incredible. The faculty and other students set the stage for the best education available today—diverse, applicable, and flexible.”
Pamela is currently the Safety and Emergency Management Coordinator at Holy Spirit Health System.
Tony Subbio, CEM, a 2009 graduate of Millersville University's MSEM program, began his career in emergency management as the emergency planner for the Dauphin County (PA) Emergency Management Agency. There, he maintained the County's Emergency Operations Plan and related plans; assisted municipalities, school districts, and other agencies with emergency preparedness; and served in the County Emergency Operations Center.
In 2008, Tony switched to the private sector, and currently serves as an Emergency Management Specialist for Tetra Tech EM Inc. Tony has assisted public and private organizations with all-hazards emergency planning, training, and exercises, with specialties in hazard mitigation, post-disaster community recovery, and public health. Tony credits the MSEM program for his ability to quickly digest and apply research findings to his work products.