Follow Christ, Lead the Way

With the pandemic situation facing our state, county and the world, emergency managers play an important role in working to stabilize the situation and save lives. “An emergency manager’s job is to bring relative calm and order to the chaos,” explains Dr. Thad Hicks, Head of the Emergency Management Program at Ohio Christian University and Certified Emergency Manager.

Ohio Christian University has offered programs in Emergency & Disaster Management for over 10 years and has many graduates serving in the field. “It is exciting for me to watch and work with graduates who are actively involved in this fight against the spread of COVID-19,” said Hicks. Read below to meet a few of these current and former students working on the COVID-19 response:

 

Lesli Holt, Operations Manager at Warren County Emergency Management Association

Lesli is a current Adult Online student planning to complete her Bachelor of Arts in Emergency & Disaster Management in 2021.

Role in COVID-19 Response: Her team has ramped up their Emergency Operations Center in order to better serve the community. She is gathering situational awareness, receiving donations and requests for personal protective equipment (PPE), assisting public health with providing guidance, and planning for current and future situational needs and cascading effects.

“OCU has helped me prioritize essential functions that help me move forward not only in my career, but in my personal life and my faith. Serving through a Christian worldview is very important to me and the spiritual focus and guidance emphasized in every course keeps faith at the forefront of my life as I work with people who are going through the most difficult moments in their lives.”

“The field of emergency management is ever-changing, and it has great impacts on the overall health and safety of the public. I enjoy the variety of the functions that accompany the role of a county emergency manager, as well as the diversity of jurisdictions and people that I serve.”

 

Donald Gossel, Director for Athens County Emergency Management Agency

Donald graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Emergency & Disaster Management.

Role in COVID-19 Response: He is communicating information to county residents, helping with personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement for the health department and providing direction, command, and control through their Emergency Operations Center.

“OCU provided essential knowledge and foundation to understand the Incident Command Structure [the standardized approach to emergency response] and public relations during disasters.”

“I enjoy the public interaction with citizens and county government and the rapport established with first responders.”

Bonus Fact: His recently hired assistant is 2019 OCU graduate, Cayla Allen!

 

Sam Neill, Emergency Response Coordinator for Pickaway County Public Health

Sam graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Emergency Management & Business.

Role in COVID-19 Response: He is working closely with the Pickaway County Emergency Management Agency and Sheriff’s Office in their Emergency Operations Center to keep the public up-to-date with accurate information and guidance on how to follow new directives. 

“OCU gave me the fundamental background on what I am doing on a daily basis within the Emergency Operations Center.”

“When I walk into work, I do not think that I am working. I am doing something that I love. I have a passion to help people and am truly blessed to be able to help people in the way of public health.”

 

Dustin Hube, Emergency Response Coordinator for Athens City-County Health Department

Dustin graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Emergency Management & Disaster Relief.

Role in COVID-19 Response: In addition to being the Health Department Liaison Officer, he is making sure they are following FEMA’s Incident Command Structure [the standardized approach to emergency response], filling out the right forms, and tracking and distributing needed medical resources to local emergency management agencies.

“OCU has prepared me to make sure I know how and when to take the next steps to help my team manage during any incidents.”

“I enjoy managing through what some see as chaos and problem solving through a disaster.”

 

Ohio Christian’s Emergency & Disaster Management Programs prepare students for work in government, non-profit and private emergency response organizations. “A degree in Emergency and Disaster Management from OCU not only gets you ready for an established and exciting profession, but also prepares you for one of the emerging new missions techniques taking place around the world,” said Hicks. Explore all programs below.

 

PHOTO: Donald Gossel pictured in the Athens County Emergency Operations Center.

 

Online Programs:

BA in Emergency & Disaster Management

BA in Business with Emergency Management Concentration

Certificate in Emergency Management

Undergraduate Campus Programs:

BA in Emergency & Disaster Management

BA in Emergency & Disaster Management and Business (Dual Major)

BA in Intercultural Ministries and Emergency & Disaster Management (Dual Major)

Minor in Emergency & Disaster Management

Articles of Interest

Lauren Ray Highlight

Alumni Spotlight: Lauren Ray

Lauren Ray Highlight

Published: April 26, 2020

CIRCLEVILLE, OH – A familiar face is once again killing it for Ohio Christian University, only this time her impact is being seen off the court. Lauren Ray, a 2018 Emergency and Disaster Management graduate of OCU, currently serves as the Assistant Director of Student Life – Housing and Discipline, a role she took over earlier this year. Lady Trailblazer Volleyball fans will remember Lauren as a key member of the program, playing for the team for three seasons (2015-17). Originally from Canal Winchester, OH, Lauren transferred into OCU following her freshman year at Ohio University,
CIRCLEVILLE, OH – A familiar face is once again killing it for Ohio Christian University, only this time her impact is being seen off the court. Lauren Ray, a 2018 Emergency and Disaster Management graduate of OCU, currently serves as the Assistant Director of Student Life – Housing and Discipline, a role she took over earlier this year. Lady Trailblazer Volleyball fans will remember Lauren
CIRCLEVILLE, OH – A familiar face is once again killing it for Ohio Christian University, only this time her impact is being seen off the court. Lauren Ray, a 2018 Emergency and Disaster Management
Online Emergency & Disaster Management Program Ranked #2 in the Country image

Online Emergency & Disaster Management Program Ranked #2 in the Country

Online Emergency & Disaster Management Program Ranked #2 in the Country image

Published: March 18, 2020

Ohio Christian University’s online Bachelor of Arts in Emergency
Ohio Christian University’s online Bachelor of Arts in Emergency
Ohio Christian University’s online Bachelor of Arts in Emergency
Research supports Ohio Christian’s Emergency Management Programs image

Research supports Ohio Christian’s Emergency Management Programs

Research supports Ohio Christian’s Emergency Management Programs image

Published: February 28, 2020

A recent research project published in The Journal of Emergency Management[1] supports Ohio Christian University’s approach to educating tomorrows emergency managers. The research highlighted the need of students to understand the concept of emergency exercises and the average emergency manager needing more experience with emergency exercises. This is an area where the program at Ohio Christian University shines. “The requirement for emergency exercises is a part of our core course load for emergency management students,” said Dr. Thad Hicks, Head of the Emergency Management Program
A recent research project published in The Journal of Emergency Management[1] supports Ohio Christian University’s approach to educating tomorrows emergency managers. The research highlighted the need of students to understand the concept of emergency exercises and the average emergency manager needing more experience with emergency exercises. This is an area where the program at Ohio
A recent research project published in The Journal of Emergency Management[1] supports Ohio Christian University’s approach to educating tomorrows emergency managers. The research highlighted the
Emergency and Disaster Management Partner with Mennonite Disaster Service image

Emergency and Disaster Management Partner with Mennonite Disaster Service

Emergency and Disaster Management Partner with Mennonite Disaster Service image

Published: November 8, 2019

Representatives from Ohio Christian University’s Emergency and Disaster Management Program recently joined their new disaster partner, the Mennonites, at the Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Region 2 Conference. The event took place in Rosedale, Ohio on Oct. 25-27. The Mennonite Disaster Service is a network of Anabaptist churches that responds in Christian love to those affected by disasters. While their primary focus is on clean up, repair, and rebuilding homes, they expand beyond these activities. Their service touches lives and nurtures hope, faith, and wholeness. Emergency
Representatives from Ohio Christian University’s Emergency and Disaster Management Program recently joined their new disaster partner, the Mennonites, at the Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Region 2 Conference. The event took place in Rosedale, Ohio on Oct. 25-27. The Mennonite Disaster Service is a network of Anabaptist churches that responds in Christian love to those affected by
Representatives from Ohio Christian University’s Emergency and Disaster Management Program recently joined their new disaster partner, the Mennonites, at the Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Region
Emergency Management Degree Now Offered Online image

Emergency Management Degree Now Offered Online

Emergency Management Degree Now Offered Online image

Published: June 17, 2019

A bachelor’s degree in Emergency and Disaster Management is now available through Ohio Christian University's Adult
A bachelor’s degree in Emergency and Disaster Management is now available through Ohio Christian University's Adult
A bachelor’s degree in Emergency and Disaster Management is now available through Ohio Christian University's Adult

Archived Articles of Interest

OCU Professor and Students at IAEM Conference

Professor Thad Hicks Presents at International Emergency Management Conference

OCU Professor and Students at IAEM Conference

Published: October 24, 2018

Ohio Christian University (OCU) Emergency Management Program Director, Dr. Thad Hicks presented Creating Effective Teams in the Non-Profit Context at the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Conference in Grand Rapids Michigan in October.  Team-building is a vital but dirty piece of the emergency and disaster fields.  A group’s ability to form an efficient and effective team correlates directly with its success. When an organization does not have the resources available to properly support a team, they often depend on untrained—often spontaneous—volunteers. Non-
Ohio Christian University (OCU) Emergency Management Program Director, Dr. Thad Hicks presented Creating Effective Teams in the Non-Profit Context at the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Conference in Grand Rapids Michigan in October.  Team-building is a vital but dirty piece of the emergency and disaster fields.  A group’s ability to form an efficient and effective
Ohio Christian University (OCU) Emergency Management Program Director, Dr. Thad Hicks presented Creating Effective Teams in the Non-Profit Context at the International Association of Emergency
Emergency Management Students Participate in Great Miami River Exercise image

Emergency Management Students Participate in Great Miami River Exercise

Emergency Management Students Participate in Great Miami River Exercise image

Published: October 1, 2018

On September 20, 2018, a massive emergency operation occurred on the Great Miami River in Butler County, Ohio. Although just a drill, the full-scale emergency exercise involved 50 departments and agencies and over 200 people focusing on how to respond to a full-scale disaster. Ohio Christian University students in the Emergency Management Program observed and participated in the exercise. According to Emergency Management Director, Dr. Thad Hicks, "We need to practice our work in high-stress situations, understanding that decision-making in a crisis is quite different from normal
On September 20, 2018, a massive emergency operation occurred on the Great Miami River in Butler County, Ohio. Although just a drill, the full-scale emergency exercise involved 50 departments and agencies and over 200 people focusing on how to respond to a full-scale disaster. Ohio Christian University students in the Emergency Management Program observed and participated in the exercise.
On September 20, 2018, a massive emergency operation occurred on the Great Miami River in Butler County, Ohio. Although just a drill, the full-scale emergency exercise involved 50 departments and
OCU Emergency Management Program Ranks #3

Ohio Christian University Ranks #3 of Online Emergency Management Programs!

OCU Emergency Management Program Ranks #3

Published: August 6, 2018

Best Schools has ranked Ohio Christian University’s Emergency and Disaster Management Program #3 among the top 15 programs based on its quality and courses provided, as well as the school’s other awards, rankings, and reputation. OCU's Emergency and Disaster Management program trains students to lead during disasters. Graduates contribute during every stage of disaster management and recovery, including providing immediate relief and rebuilding and redeveloping communities. Student Lesli Holt, Operations Manager for Warren County Ohio's Office of Emergency Management, comments that “
Best Schools has ranked Ohio Christian University’s Emergency and Disaster Management Program #3 among the top 15 programs based on its quality and courses provided, as well as the school’s other awards, rankings, and reputation. OCU's Emergency and Disaster Management program trains students to lead during disasters. Graduates contribute during every stage of disaster management and
Best Schools has ranked Ohio Christian University’s Emergency and Disaster Management Program #3 among the top 15 programs based on its quality and courses provided, as well as the school’s other
EM Exercise Design Program Gives Students Hands-on Experience image

EM Exercise Design Program Gives Students Hands-on Experience

EM Exercise Design Program Gives Students Hands-on Experience image

Published: July 30, 2018

One of the biggest pieces of emergency management is designing preparedness and readiness exercises for various disasters that can befall communities and regions.  In Ohio, annual emergency management exercises are required at the county level.  The practices vary from table-top and office-based to full-field deployments.  Scenarios cover every possible disaster from highway and railroad spills of hazardous materials, to tornadoes and hurricanes, blizzards and earthquakes, forest fires and flooding, to rioting or other possible emergencies.  OCU’s program is one of a few that
One of the biggest pieces of emergency management is designing preparedness and readiness exercises for various disasters that can befall communities and regions.  In Ohio, annual emergency management exercises are required at the county level.  The practices vary from table-top and office-based to full-field deployments.  Scenarios cover every possible disaster from highway and railroad
One of the biggest pieces of emergency management is designing preparedness and readiness exercises for various disasters that can befall communities and regions.  In Ohio, annual emergency
What is Going to Stop the Salvation Army?  Nothing! image

What is Going to Stop the Salvation Army? Nothing!

What is Going to Stop the Salvation Army?  Nothing! image

Published: December 8, 2017

By Jerica Donald, OCU Junior, Emergency
By Jerica Donald, OCU Junior, Emergency
By Jerica Donald, OCU Junior, Emergency