Pictured left to right are: Jon Beuerle (undergrad vice president), Daniel Berndt (president), Mary Kate Hudson (secretary) and Joseph Seborowski (treasurer).

 

The International Association for Emergency Managers (IAEM), an organization that promotes the principles and practices of emergency management, recently announced that Millersville University will take home this year’s IAEM-USA Student Chapter of the Year Award.

Millersville’s chapter was recognized by IAEM for its diverse population—MU is one of few schools nationwide that opens its chapter to students outside of the emergency management major. This, according to the news release provided by IAEM, “has created a chapter that includes an extremely well-rounded collective group of individuals.”

The IAEM also acknowledged Millersville’s wide variety of speakers present at meetings and the chapter’s use of technology to accommodate its members. Led by Berndt, the chapter has transitioned the group’s meetings into Google Hangouts, computer-assisted conversations similar to Skype that allow a wider array of dispersed members to actively participate in meetings.

“Often, we invite speakers from the profession to attend our virtual meetings and present on an emergency management topic of their choice,” said Berndt. “From hosting our own Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, to engaging and establishing connections with those individuals in the profession, to enhancing the awareness of Emergency Management by bringing in undergraduates, our chapter has made the advances that we feel are necessary to equip  our members.”

Founded in 2006 and originally targeted toward graduate students in the Master of Science in Emergency Management program, MU’s IAEM chapter expanded in recent years to allow for undergrads to get a taste of the emergency management grad program.

“The program has grown substantially, from graduating a few students per year to now having roughly 25-30 newly admitted students per semester,” said chapter president Daniel Berndt.  “More students are learning about and becoming interested in the EM field, including a diverse mix of students from social work, earth science, political science, occupational safety, meteorology, education and sociology.

Since the year began, we have been working hard to come up with ideas to advance the chapter and sustain future growth.”

Refusing to take all the credit for the chapter’s successes, Berndt  expressed his thanks to his fellow officers, Dr. Hagelgans and Dr. Yalda “for all their hard work, their innovative ideas, the continued support of the chapter and all the resources they dedicate to the advancement of the chapter and the master’s degree program.”

For more information on IAEM, visit the group’s Facebook page, or stop by their table at the first annual MU Preparedness Day on Sept 23 on the grounds of the Luzerne House.

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