Brian D. Heslin, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, HSI – Boston

The Center for Homeland Defense & Security (CHDS) Masters Program is an extremely challenging, yet very rewarding programing. The educational aspects of the program are outstanding as they challenge the student to go outside their comfort zone and study areas one may not normally ponder during their career. While the education portion of the program is the reason one applies, the interaction one obtains with other members of the cohort brings tremendous value. In my class I encountered individuals from across the nation in various positions each of whom brought their own experiences and perspectives. Over the 18th month program the cohort came together as a team, supporting each other through the challenging academic curriculum and real life events that occurred during that time. The cohort becomes a family that will be with you long after graduation. As a career government employee, I’m truly thankful that the agency participates in programs like CHDS. Throughout my career I often thought of pursuing a high education, yet never had the right time or opportunity to do so. The agencies participation in this program provided me that opportunity. For those considering this program, go for it. Yet be aware it is no cake walk. You will be challenged, stressed and at time utterly confused. Yet the dedicated educational staff at CHDS and the cohort family you will encounter will get you through it. In the end you will obtain a Master’s Degree and apply those newly obtained skills to your profession. A long trip, yet one worth taking.” Brian D. Heslin Assistant Special Agent in Charge Homeland Security Investigations-Boston

Laura Jamison, Supervisory Intelligence Analyst (SIA), FBI

I applied to CHDS because I wholeheartedly wanted to learn about homeland security from a prestigious academic university that promoted independent thinking and problem solving methods. I wanted to understand how the homeland security enterprise impacted my role as an FBI supervisory intel analyst and ways I can better assess vulnerabilities in protecting the US. I also wanted to write a thesis to strengthen my research, analysis, and writing skills and examine a problem that was currently on my plate. The caliber of the professors and classmates and the discussions about homeland security and problem-solving went above my expectations. The resources and facilities were outstanding and I am forever grateful for the experience.” Laura Jamison Supervisory Intelligence Analyst (SIA) FBI

Craig Schwartz, Captain, Santa Rosa Police Department

I began looking for a Master’s degree program in 2015, looking for something that would be relevant for my job now and in the future. My Chief of Police suggested applying to the CHDS program through the Naval Postgraduate School. I got my Bachelor’s Degree from the Naval Academy, so I was immediately enthusiastic. The application process was rigorous, and I was not accepted into the program until about a year after I applied. It was the best educational experience I have had since attending USNA almost 28 years ago. The faculty and staff are fantastic, as were the members of my cohort. I loved our time together during the in-residence sessions in the National Capitol Region, and miss our discussions, classes, and networking already, just a month after graduating. I gained a broader view of homeland security and my agency’s place in the enterprise. I wrote my thesis on a topic I could apply immediately at work, and I hope my thesis work will benefit other law enforcement agencies across the country as they look to implement unmanned aircraft or other controversial technologies. If you are thinking about applying to this program, do it! It will be both difficult and one of the best experiences of your life.” Craig Schwartz Captain Santa Rosa Police Department

Jay Scott Emler, Commissioner, Kansas Corporation Commission

As the chairman of the Joint Committee on Kansas Security, I thought it might be wise to have a better understanding of what the issues in homeland security actually were. I asked the Adjutant General of Kansas for recommendations. He recommended CHDS and I am glad he did. The learning I was able to absorb showed me there was truly a need at the local and state level, not just the federal level, to focus on homeland security. I spent six more years on the Joint Committee and three years as deputy homeland security advisor for the state of Kansas. I continue to use my training to work with utilities on CIKR in Kansas and across the nation. The contacts and friendships developed at CHDS are invaluable!” Jay Scott Emler Commissioner Kansas Corporation Commission

Jeff Friedland, HSEM Director, St. Clair County

I applied upon recommendation of my State Homeland Security Advisory and was very hesitant to do so based upon coming from a relatively small County. My experience was unbelievable and was a game changer in my career and how I approached my job. The opportunity to write my thesis with guidance from 2 dedicated advisors allowed me to change the direction of our program and better understand the importance of creating a whole community focusing more on resilience. I have and continue to recommend the program and all other benefits of CHDS.” Jeff Friedland HSEM Director St. Clair County

Charles Cavnor, Fire Lieutenant, Dallas Fire Rescue Department

Applying and being accepted to CHDS has positively altered my career path in several ways. Enhancing critical thinking skills benefits my organization through increased production that includes disciplined thinking through both short and long term issues. Personally, the skills learned through solo and collaborative projects have revealed a desire to interact and contribute to homeland security issues on a larger stage, beyond the scope of a local responder. Agency leaders should strongly consider supporting members to apply to the CHDS program that show a self-driven determination and a desire to engage with traditional and non-traditional partners to solve common problems.” Charles Cavnor Fire Lieutenant Dallas Fire Rescue Department