First students of Disaster Preparedness Program awarded certificates

October 11, 2007

Penn State College of Medicine recently awarded certificates of completion to Timothy Allen and Brian White, the first two students of its Disaster Preparedness Program. The program, offered through Penn State's World Campus, was designed in the aftermath of the tragic events that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, to provide training for national disasters.

White, a member of the New York City Fire Department, was part of the World Trade Center recovery effort after the Sept. 11 attacks. With his new certificate, White's goal is to prevent terrorism and restore a safe, comfortable lifestyle for the American people. Allen is part of the U.S. Air Force and is currently fulfilling his 17th year of active duty. He plans to pursue a position as a medical readiness director.

Robert Cherry, associate professor of surgery, trauma program medical director, chief of the section of trauma and critical care, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, serves as graduate program chair of the master of homeland security in public health preparedness. With Cherry's leadership and the added insight of Michael Verderame, associate professor of medicine and microbiology and immunology, and associate dean for graduate studies, the program accepted its first students in January 2006, making the College of Medicine the first institution to offer this kind of training nationwide.

The curriculum concentrates on understanding the roles each agency of terrorism responders is accountable for, understanding the psychology associated with the disaster and devising effective methods to protect critical infrastructure, such as public health facilities.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009