CHDS Announces Winner of First Annual Essay Contest

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The Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School is pleased to announce that Matthew Allen is the winner of the Center’s first annual homeland security essay competition. The winning essay entitled, "Reducing the Risk" was selected from 80 other entries. Allen is a staff scientist at Sandia National Laboratories in California and is currently serving as an American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Congressional Fellow.

Allen, along with four finalists, was selected from a diverse group of writers representing a broad spectrum of homeland security perspectives from across the country. The essay competition is open to all homeland security professionals and students. This is an annual contest with entries due in the beginning of January. "The essay contest gives individuals who are interested in homeland security a national platform to articulate their ideas and innovations," says Glen Woodbury, CHDS Director.

The purpose of the essay competition is to promote creative thinking, innovative ideas and discussion and debate in the arena of homeland security. Allen will receive a $1,500 cash award and travel to CHDS to present his essay to faculty, staff and officials participating in the CHDS Master’s Degree program. The winner and four finalists will have their essays submitted to the Homeland Security Affairs Journal ( for a special supplement edition in July. The four finalists and their essays are:

Jesse Tucker, a graduate student at the University of Alabama, "Proliferation of Biodefense Laboratories and the Need for National Biosecurity."

Meredith Allen, an epidemiologist with the Department of Health in Bucks County, PA, "Brick by Brick: The Strategic Re-Building of the Public Health Infrastructure."

William L. Gardella, a Deputy Marshal with the Maine Judicial Marshal Service, his essay addressed the importance of having dedicated investment in academic homeland security research and inquiry.

William Goodman, Assistant for Plans in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, "Making Consequence Management Work: Applying the Lesson of the Joint Terrorism Task Force."

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