FSU’s Center for Defense and Homeland Security Hosts First National Security Alumni Symposium
On Monday April 2, 2012, Fayetteville State University’s (FSU) Center for Defense and Homeland Security (CDHS) held its first National Security “Alumni” Symposium. “The symposium was an opportunity to bring back FSU alumni who have or are currently working in influential positions within the military services, national security agencies or in the private sector,” said Dr. Curtis Charles, CDHS Executive Director.
The event was attended by more than 100 National Security Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), with many coming from North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Washington, DC, New Jersey, and New York. In addition to FSU alumni, attendees included senior officials from the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, US Army, US Air Force, US Coast Guard, as well as national and local businesses. The purpose of the event was for the attendees to share ideas, establish networks, and identify mutually beneficial resources and opportunities for the new Center.
The symposium began with opening remarks by Retired Colonel (USAF) and FSU alum Bobby Washington, followed by FSU Chancellor James Anderson. Dr. Curtis Charles, Executive Director of the CDHS, gave an overview and outlined the goal of the Center. Presenters included:
- Mr. Dean Checknita, Department of Homeland Security
- Mr. Wilton Best, Best Solutions
- Major General Rodney Anderson, Dep/CC XVIII Airborne
- Brigadier General Velma “Von” Richardson, Lockheed Martin
- Col. Altrus “Ace” Campbell, G2 Pentagon
- Col. Stephen Sicinski, Ft. Bragg Garrison/CC
- Dr. Nabil Adam, Department of Homeland Security
Breakout sessions were facilitated by Retired Lt Colonel and FSU alum Charles Snead (USAF). The breakout sessions focused on Executive Leadership, Disaster Preparedness and Infrastructure Protection, Cyber Technologies, as well as Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) areas. The panels gave attendees the opportunity to collaborate with each other and discuss ways that outside resources and the CDHS could accomplish common goals. Before the meeting concluded, Mr. Snead and Dr. Charles discussed the next steps for the CDHS, to include the development of a 30-day infrastructure, management, media, and marketing execution plan.
The CDHS is a breakthrough initiative. When in full operation, it will move the university into the arena of being a Center of state-of-the-art technical and industrial applications. Specifically, the CDHS would support development of the next generation of national security and disaster preparedness workforce by addressing issues of compelling interest to the security of the United States. Coupled with the university’s current leadership in education and research, FSU will be able to respond a significant number of local, state, and federal opportunities for funding and support.
The Center has been in the conceptual stages since 2010 — an idea aimed at creating a Center of Excellence (COE) that would support development of a national security and disaster preparedness workforce emphasizing studies in technology and social science. The idea was timely in that statistics released at the time projected the loss of 50 to 60 percent of the country’s scientists over the next two decades. Additionally, colleges and universities across the country including historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) such as FSU are encouraged and often funded to create a pipeline for various STEM-centric programs for America’s students starting at pre-K and culminating with college graduation.
FSU is the second-oldest public institution in North Carolina. A member of the University of North Carolina System, FSU has nearly 6,000 students and offers degrees in more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
For more information, call (910) 672-1474.