Homeland Security - Contemporary Crisis Management in Homeland Security

Homeland Security - Contemporary Crisis Management in Homeland Security

Penn State Homeland Security Programs are combining their successful models of a Tabletop Exercise and a Summer Seminar into one comprehensive offering in either a five-day or two-day course.

Students and practitioners in homeland security, emergency management, or related disciplines can benefit from the exposure to contemporary crisis management knowledge, networking opportunities, and practical experience in complex crisis management. 

The course consists of three parts: a seminar, two excurisions, and a table top exercise.

  • In the seminar part (Monday to Wednesday), missions space experts will brief participants on current topics and challenges of complex homeland security crisis management. In the evenings, participants will actively use the learning outcomes of the day in expert-supervised syndicate group work to prepare for the table top exercise. 
  • Excursions with briefings to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Headquarters and to Fort Indiantown Gap.
  • In the table top exercise (Thursday and Friday), participants will work in three teams (representing the federal, state, and local level) in a table top exercise. Facilitated by experts from the emergency management sectors, teams will discuss response to an IND (improvised nuclear device) terrorist attack on a major U.S. city. 

Participants will practice core capabilities such as planning, operational coordination, information sharing, as well as public information and warning.

Learning Outcomes

After successfully completing the course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how response to homeland security crises in general and to an IND detonation in particular does not occur in isolation of different responders but is a collaborative effort.
  • Develop scenario-based examples of how planning and response involve federal, state and local tiers, the military, and international collaboration.
  • Find and present solutions to scenario-based response and coordination challenges to improve preparedness.
  • Define non-traditional approaches to preparedness within the whole-community approach

Who Should Attend

Students and practitioners in homeland security, emergency management, or related disciplines can benefit from the exposure to contemporary crisis management knowledge, networking opportunities, and practical experience in complex crisis management.

Presenters Include

  • David J. Allard, CHP, Director, Bureau of Radiation Protection
  • PA Dept. of Environmental Protection
  • Raphael M. Barishansky, MPH, MS, CPM, Deputy Secretary of Health, Pennsylvania Department of Health 
  • Marcus Brown, Director, PA Governors’ Office of Homeland Security and Public Safety 
  • Richard D. Flinn, Jr., Director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA)
  • Brian Harrell, CPP, Director of Security and Risk Management Navigant Consulting, Inc.
  • Robert F. Kabata, MPS, Mass Care Coordinator, PA Department of Human Services
  • Bert Tussing, Professor of National Security Affairs, Center for Strategic Leadership and Development, U.S. Army War College
  • And others


Alexander Siedschlag, Ph.D., MA, is a Full Professor and Chair of the Homeland Security at Penn State Harrisburg, is a joint appointment as Professor of Public Health Preparedness at Penn State Hershey. He also is the Chair of Penn State Homeland Security Programs. A native of the American Sector of West Berlin and a political scientist by education, he is a tenured faculty member of Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Public Affairs. In additional, he has served as a guest lecturer at NATO School Oberammergau, Bavaria/Germany, since ten years.  His research among other aspects focuses on civil security and security cultures, and ELSI (ethics, legal, and social issues) studies of security technologies.  Previous appointment included, among others, institute director and professor for European Security Research at Sigmund Freud University, Vienna, member of Austrian DoD Science Commission, and coordinator in European Union security research projects.  http://sites.psu.edu/homelandsecurity/

To Register

Registration Instructions for Graduate Degree Students:

  1. Meet with your adviser and plan your course schedule.
  2. Internet registration is available using LionPath. Login with your user ID and password and proceed to registration.
  3. Select Harrisburg as the location.
  4. Select PADM as the subject.
  5. Select PADM 897 – Special Topics; Topic Contemp Crisis Management - HLS
  6. If you have missed two consecutive semesters, you must complete a Resume Study form and be approved through the office of your major prior to registration. If you missed just one semester, please contact Enrollment Services at (717) 948-6020.
  7. Penn State Harrisburg Residential Tuition Rates apply.

Overnight accommodation available at: 

Additional Information

This is a Penn State Harrisburg course offering, where the tuition/registration fee covers participation in the course. No meals or breaks are included. The setting for the course is like for any academic class, where meals are within the responsibility of the student/participant. No full dining service will be available on campus. Sandwiches, salads, and snacks may be bought in the campus coffee shop. Several dining options are available within a few minutes’ driving distance. 



Contact 814-867-4973 for immediate assistance.