Monday, March 5, 2012

UVU Disaster Conference

UVU hosts 2-day conference on emergency preparedness and disaster response

Two disaster scholars will speak at a conference at Utah Valley University Thursday and Friday, April 5 and 6 about emergency preparedness and disaster response.

The conference entitled, “2012: Anticipating and responding to Future Disasters,”will bring two keynote speakers to UVU. Both, Dr. Mark Yang and Dr. David McEntire are scholars in the fields of emergency and disaster relief.

The Utah Valley University Institute of Emergency Services and Homeland Security is sponsoring a two-day emergency and disaster conference, Thursday, April 5 and Friday, April 6, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the UVU Sorensen Center room 206. In addition, faculty from the UVU School of Public Service will speak about their experience and research in emergency management and homeland security.

Dr. Mark Yang will speak about “Spiritual and Existential Themes in Disaster Relief Work” on Thursday, April 5 at 10 a.m. in the UVU Sorensen Center room 206a. Dr. Yang is a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise in grief and bereavement counseling and cross-cultural psychology. He is currently involved in the training and supervision of psychology students from the humanistic-existential perspective in Hong Kong and Macau. The core of his clinical experience has been working in university counseling centers where he conducted short-term individual and group psychotherapy for students and consulted with faculty regarding mental health issues.

“Dr. Yang shows how important cultural competence is in helping people whose lives have been upset by catastrophes,” said Dr. Rodger Broome, a faculty member in the Emergency services department. “He found in China that as an American he had to do a lot of listening before he could help people in disasters and then most of the help was supportive.”

Dr. David McEntire will speak about “2012 and Disasters: Popular Myth or Future Reality” on Friday, April 6 at 10 a.m. in the UVU Sorensen Center room 206a. Dr. McEntire is professor of emergency administration and planning in the Department of Public Administration at the University of North Texas. He has taught terrorism response training for FEMA and contributed to a study of Texas Homeland Security Preparedness for the Century Foundation. He is the author of five books and has written numerous articles on emergency management theory, international disasters, community preparedness, response coordination, homeland security, and vulnerability reduction. He has received several Quick Response Grants, funded by the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado, along with a grant from the National Science Foundation. Dr. McEntire is the 2010 Dr. B. Wayne Blanchard Award Recipient for Academic Excellence in Emergency Management Higher Education.

“We’re fortunate to have Dr. McEntire come speak on the UVU campus,” said Dr. John Fisher, a faculty member in the Emergency Services Department. “He is one of the leading disaster and homeland security scholars in America. His knowledge is based on the practical experience of training responders and planning for catastrophes.”

More information about the conference is available from Dr. John Fisher, phone 801 863 7732 or email The conference is free to UVU staff and students and to community members.

The program for the two-day conference is as follows:


10-10:10 a.m. – Introduction

10:10 -11 a.m. Keynote Address, Dr. Mark Yang, “Spiritual and Existential Themes in Disaster Relief Work.” Introduced by Dr. Rodger Broome.

11:10-12 noon – Presentation: “Hero Construct,” Dr. Rodger Broome, Emergency Services Department.

1-1:50 p.m. – Presentation: “Terrorism Realities in America,” Ken Crook, JD, Criminal Justice faculty, Introduction by Eric Russell.

2- 2:50 p.m. – Presentation: “The LEAP Model of Leadership,” Dr. Jeff Maxfield, Associate Dean of the College of Technology and Computing; “Servant Leadership in the Emergency Services,” Eric Russell, Emergency Services Department.


10-10:10 a.m. – Introduction

10:10 -11 a.m. Keynote Address, Dr. David McEntire, “Disasters & 2012: Modern Myth or Future Reality?” Introduction by Dr. John Fisher.

11:10-12 noon – Presentation: “Extreme Interrogation Methods,” Matt Duffin, JD, Criminal Justice Department; “Mass Media Coverage of Disasters: Help or Hindrance?” Dr. John Fisher, Emergency Services Department.

1-1:50 p.m. – Presentation: “What We Have Here Is a Failure to Communicate,” Gary Noll, chair of Emergency Services Department; “Leadership in the Fire Service,” Andy Byrnes, Emergency Services Department.

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