Students eye function of – and potential futures at – PEMA

Published 11.15.2022

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Nineteen students enrolled in emergency management & homeland security at Pennsylvania College of Technology recently toured the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency in Harrisburg.

“Touring PEMA was a great experience,” said Colten C.B. Hajicek, a freshman from Redmond, Washington. “It was amazing to see all the technology and intricate parts that go into emergency management.”

Students learned about the role PEMA plays in emergencies and regularly planned events throughout the commonwealth, as well as jobs for which students may apply after graduating.

The 20-member Penn College contingent, properly identified with visitor badges, pauses for a group photo during its tour of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency in Harrisburg. Joining students on their inspiring outing is William A. Schlosser (right), emergency management and homeland security instructor.

The tour included the Commonwealth Response Coordination Center, the Commonwealth Watch and Warning Center, and the Joint Information Center. The Penn College students were able to talk with Robert Meinert, director, internal operations; Kirsten Cohick, director, Bureau of Planning, Training and Exercise; David Nitsch, director, Bureau of Technological Hazards; and Matt McGeary, division chief, logistics.

“This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to interact with experts in the field and future employers at PEMA,” said William A. Schlosser, the emergency management and homeland security instructor who chaperoned the outing.

Rebecca Baker, a sophomore from Watsontown, commented, “I really enjoyed learning about the Watch (and Warning Center) and all of their responsibilities, along with the Planning section. The Watch seems interesting because they are continually searching for anything that may require attention. I was also happy to learn what experience and skills are required for a job with PEMA. That is something that I may work towards.”

Freshman Nick Anthony Blank, of Southampton, added, "I really enjoyed seeing all the behind-the-scenes parts and functions of the PEMA headquarters."

Penn College offers a Bachelor of Science degree in emergency management & homeland security, including an online option. Students can also pursue a dual degree with paramedic science, achieving both the bachelor’s and an associate degree in four years of full-time study.

Photo provided