Sharing his experience
Gaven returned to his alma mater to speak with a classroom full of motivated community leaders. Sharing his real-world insight with the group, Gaven discussed the diverse career options available to graduates of the program.
Discipline and focus are keys to success. And they're values that Gaven knows well. As a reserve solider with the Army National Guard, he learned to stay calm under pressure and prioritize the safety of his team. In the Emergency Management program at Penn College, Gaven cemented this foundation and seized additional skills that he relies on and teaches others in his role as Supervisory Program Manager with FEMA.
After graduating from Penn College, I started working full-time as the Planning Non-Commissioned Officer at the Region III Homeland Response Force. After a year and a half of doing that, I applied for a posting on USAJobs for a Training Manager with the Planning Cadre at FEMA headquarters. I was selected for the position and did work to manage the delivery of training for roughly 700 planners with the agency. I eventually applied for another posting on USAJobs, still with the FEMA Planning Cadre, and was selected to be a Supervisory Program Manager. This is the position I still occupy. I oversee the program delivery of the Situation Unit Leaders, Planning Support Unit Leaders, and the Deliberate Planning Advisors.
After several years as a reserve solider with the Army National Guard, assigned to the Region III Homeland Response Force, I was decently acquainted with Emergency Management and the Defense Support to Civil Authorities. I was changing majors at the time and was looking to switch from Information Technology to Criminal Justice. Penn College didn’t have a Criminal Justice program and I was kicking around the idea of becoming a police officer after college. So, I figured Emergency Management was good enough and would set me apart from everyone with a Criminal Justice degree. I eventually learned how much I loved Emergency Management through the program Penn College built and through my experiences with the Region III HRF.
One of my favorite aspects of the job is the ability to work in many different areas including planning doctrine development, human resources and hiring, managing planners, coordinating personnel deployments, staffing the National Response Coordination Cell, etc.
I enjoyed the College's location to my home and somewhat rural setting. I also enjoyed the intimacy of the classroom settings due to the small class sizes.
From prevention to planned response strategies, you'll learn how to take the lead when your community needs you most.
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