ALBANY—Fifteen years after 9/11, the spectre of terrorism remains a global threat and, in response, the University of Albany announced that it has made faculty experts available to discuss our contemporary post-9/11 world and the impact of terrorism in the United States.
From Syria to Orlando, the Philippines and San Bernardino, extremists have continued to take the lives of innocents around the globe, inciting heated national discussion over homeland security, immigration reform and international relations. The College of Emergency Preparedness, Cybersecurity and Homeland Security is “designed to maintain New York’s position as a front-runner in state and national security.” It is designed to provide students with a broad overview of the three fields, help them develop critical thinking skills and acquire subject area knowledge of public policy, management, and risk analysis.
“There’s no denying it,” wrote Andrew Cuomo with the establishment of the new college, which was announced in 2015, “from extreme weather to terror and technological threats, New York State is facing new challenges every day, and we need to be prepared.” Albany is also home to the National Center for Security & Preparedness, which will operate as a research center for the college.
“That’s what the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity is all about. It is the first college of its kind, and I believe that it will play a fundamental role in both keeping New Yorkers safe, and in helping other communities around the globe rise to meet the challenges of the future,” said Cuomo.
In addition to required courses in Emergency Preparedness, Cybersecurity and Homeland Security, the college will offer elective courses in a wide variety of topics, including: Climate Change, Public Policy, Natural Disasters, Urban or Environmental Planning, Healthy Communities, Political Violence, Comparative Ethnicity, Civil Liberties, Crime Deviation, Order and Disorder in Society, Data and Databases, Cyber Crime, Digital Forensics, and Cryptography.
UAlbany’s faculty advisory team on terrorism team includes:
• Victor Asal, associate professor of political science at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy: Asal is an expert on the interaction of international relations and domestic politics and how this interaction influences ethnic conflict and ethnic terrorism.
• Richard Lachmann, professor of sociology at College of Arts and Sciences: Lachmann is an expert on political sociology, war and terrorism. Lachmann can discuss the role of “Islamophobia” in recruitment of terrorists to join ISIS.
• Brian Nussbaum, assistant professor of public administration and policy at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy: Nussbaum is an expert on cybersecurity and cyber threats, terrorism and terrorism analysis, homeland security, risk and intelligence analysis and critical infrastructure protection.
• Rey Koslowski, associate professor of political science, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy: Koslowski’s primary teaching and research interests are in the field of international relations dealing with international organization, European integration, international migration, information technology, and homeland security.
• Blanca Ramos, associate professor, School of Social Welfare: Ramos, an expert on cross-cultural social work and immigration, examines the role of post-traumatic stress in victims of disasters, including terrorist attacks. Ramos, an affiliated faculty member of the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity, can discuss the responses, experiences, health concerns and adjustments of survivors in the aftermath of major disasters.
• Karl Rethemeyer, interim dean, Rockefeller College: Rethemeyer researches social networks, both their impact on social, political, and policy processes, and the methods used to study such networks.
• Eric Stern, professor, College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity: Stern has published extensively in the fields of crisis and emergency management, crisis communication, resilience, security studies, executive leadership, foreign policy analysis and political psychology. Other key areas of interest and expertise include social media and crisis preparedness, post-crisis evaluation and learning, interactive education and instructional design, and case research/teaching methodologies.
Asal and Rethemeyer are working together on a project meant to enable a better understanding of how terrorist organizations network and function over time. The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) has launched the Big Allied and Dangerous (BAAD) online platform, a new tool that features updated, vetted and sourced narratives, and relationship information and social network data on 50 of the most notorious terrorist organizations in the world since 1998, with additional network information on more than 100 organizations.
Prospective students can visit the UAlbany website here.