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Jeffrey Payne
Director and Chief, Dayton Fire Department
December 19, 2014 15:06

I applied for entry into the Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) master’s program because I felt that it would offer me the capability to become a better, and more intelligent, homeland security professional. In short, it did not disappoint. CHDS challenged me to think critically and address all sides of homeland security issues. CHDS offered me a vast perspective on the homeland security challenges that homeland security practitioners face today. Not only did it offer me a retrospective view of past security issues, but it also taught me how to analyze current issues in the pursuit of homeland security preparedness, response, and recovery. The level of instruction at CHDS is second to none and the guest speakers come from the highest levels of their organizations providing context to our studies. The program is rigorous and will demand the very best in you but I would recommend this program to anybody having the heart to meet the challenge.

Tom Davis
Undersheriff, Snohomish County (WA) Sheriff's Office
November 07, 2014 20:08

 The experiences and knowledge I came away with from my participation in the the Master's program are immeasurable. Yes, it was everything and more one would expect from a rigorous academic program. However, the collaboration, networking and interaction is on a level I have not experienced in my nearly 30 years in law enforcement. The program changes the way you view and approach challenges and arms you with the tools necessary to attack the most wicked of problems at every level. The benefits to the participants, their agencies and to our Country go well beyond the classroom and the degree. Most assuredly, they be repaid ten times over at the Federal, state and local levels.

Sylvia Moir
Police Chief, El Cerrito Police Department
November 06, 2014 09:19

The CHDS Masters program at NPS was more than I expected. I knew it would be a rigorous and rewarding academic experience, but I did not anticipate that learning with all disciplines would provide texture and context to the challenges that face us across the homeland security enterprise. Our debates gave students a unique and lasting perspective that will serve us as we serve our communities.

Edward Lowery
Deputy Assistant Director, Office of Protective Operations , US Secret Service
October 15, 2014 10:26

NPS/CHDS was a life changing experience that I draw upon daily. I recommend this program to anyone involved in the greater homeland security effort.

Michael Andreas
Program Director/Assistant Professor - Endicott College, Endicott College, Van Loan School of Graduate and Professional Studies - Homeland Security Studies Graduate Degree Program
March 11, 2014 09:35

 The education you receive in the master’s degree program at the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security cannot be matched by any other institution. The curriculum, course content, faculty, teaching modalities, fellow classmates, and even the facilities are exceptional in every way. For me, the experience was enlightening and transformative, empowering and inspiring. Even the support students receive from the library and other resources is remarkable. The master’s degree program is challenging, rigorous, immensely rewarding and certainly worth your time and effort. I enthusiastically suggest you begin the application process and put yourself on the path of self-discovery. The education you receive is world-class and you will be forever changed.

C. Robert (Bob) Smith
VP UPS Airline Security and Transportation Retired, UPS
February 20, 2014 11:53

 I was honored to be accepted into the Naval Postgraduate School for the Executive Leader’s Program. It was a great benefit to have my name and UPS’s name associated with this program. It was a huge asset to network with the people that will work to prevent a catastrophic event, and those who will deal with the aftermath of one. The program provided friendly, knowledgeable professors and they encourage your interaction and collaboration on many topics. The program educated me in many areas that I feel will be valuable to UPS and to other emergency response teams in my community.

Kimberly Petersen
Captain, Fremont Police Department
December 04, 2013 13:53

 The academic rigor of this program greatly improved my analytical writing skills. It made an immediate and lasting impact not only on my career, but on how I think. The subject-matter itself opened my eyes to just how critical my agency's contributions are to homeland security. I am grateful for the tools NPS has given me and my agency to help us keep our community safer.

Kimberly Owens
Lieutenant of Police, Dallas Police Department
November 25, 2013 14:29

The greatest take away from the program was my ability to look at things differently and think about issues in different ways, while considering alternative opinions and approaches. The network of contacts has proved invaluable and I treasure the friendships I developed. I applied to better myself and the Master's degree was a personal goal. It has been a great sense of pride and accomplishment, and an experience I would not trade. It not only showed me what I can accomplish, but instilled in my son at an early age the value of education.

Brian Ravert
Captain, Amtrak Police Department
November 05, 2013 13:57

I wanted to take one last moment to thank each of you for all of your hard work and help with my thesis experience over the last 18 months and also to tell you the good news I received from Captain Porter on Friday, that he has decided that a copy of my thesis, "Protecting America Through Better Civic Education," will be uploaded to the National Strategic Narrative web site. I consider that to be quite an honor and I am very grateful for that. If there is anything that I can ever do for any of you, please do not hesitate to call on me.

Jonathan Pistilli
EMS Division Chief, FDNY/EMS Manhattan Borough Commander
November 05, 2013 13:55

I decided to apply to the Center for Homeland Defense and Security Master' s program because I recognized the impact it had on other members of the FDNY who had taken it. CHDS alumni at the FDNY were very successful, in positions of influence, and spearheading positive change within the Department. Most notable among these was my mentor and friend Abdo Nahmod, who rose to the rank of Chief of EMS and was the first active member of the FDNY Bureau of EMS to graduate from the program. During conversations with him prior to, during, and after the program the breadth and depth of the education and the expansion of critical thinking as a result of it were plainly evident. The CHDS program was an opportunity to attain a master's degree from a highly prestigious and respected institution with the financial support of both my agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Participation in the CHDS Master's Program is truly a challenge, the workload and time commitment is tremendous, and the intellectual rigor is unmatched. The students are all extremely smart and bring a ton of experience from a plethora of disciplines to the intense and academically rigorous class work and often animated class discussion. The quality and variety of intellect and experience of all the instructors is surpassed only by their commitment to the success of the students.

While the breadth of the knowledge gained is certainly a huge benefit of this program, I've found that the change in my critical thinking is even more significant. This program forces you to expand your perception, broaden your perspective, and continuously question the biases that influence the information you receive and how you perceive it. This has proven to be tremendously useful in how I approach all aspects of my position within the FDNY, with broader perspective and deeper understanding of the complexities and challenges it presents, allowing me more confidence in all of my decisions. The confidence I have gained in my critical thinking and ability to analyze complex situations and provide innovative and coherent ideas and solutions has also been beneficial to the FDNY, as I have subsequently risen to a position of significantly more influence than before I began it.

I am proud to be the second active FDNY Bureau of EMS member to participate in the CHDS Master's program, and have already seen the significant positive impact it has made not only on the FDNY Bureau of EMS, but the Department as a whole.  

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CHDS Helpline
Phone: 831-656-3829
Fax: 831-656-2619

Heather Issvoran
Director, Strategic Communications
Contract Support for The Center for Homeland Defense and Security
Cell: 831.402.4672

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