Meet the Bellevue University Faculty: Emergency and Security Management Professor Greg Allen
Gregory Allen is the Program Director of the Security Management and Emergency Management Programs at Bellevue University. Allen has over 25 years of public law enforcement and security experience in their respective fields. He first joined Bellevue University as an assistant professor in 2004.
Q: Bellevue University offers degrees in both security management and emergency management. What’s the difference between those fields? And how do the degree programs differ?
A: Those who work in emergency management do mitigation, preparation, response, recovery, and resilience especially when it comes to working through a natural disaster like a hurricane or earthquake. Whereas people who work in security management are more behind the scenes. They protect intelligence and gather and disseminate that intelligence to local, state and federal levels for the protection of our nation.
With so many open jobs available in both the private and public sector, both programs are valuable in today’s world and can lead to an incredibly fulfilling career.
Q: What type of jobs are available for these degrees?
A: As an emergency management major at Bellevue University, students learn from the people who have been on the frontline of emergency preparedness and disaster relief so they can build confidence in the field. After they graduate, students might find a career in crisis readiness for natural and human-caused disasters, terrorism and homeland security, command structures, or technology and communications and that’s just to name a few.
As a security management major at Bellevue University, students learn how to analyze and apply basic security theories to homeland security policies and activities, prepare, manage and critique personnel involved in emergency response situations, compare and integrate organizational standard operating procedures, analyze and construct risk analyses and threat assessment reports and assess and develop effective business continuity and emergency response plans.
Q: Natural disasters seem to be occurring more and more frequently. What skills do students learn in the emergency management program that prepares them for the realities of a changing world?
A: Bellevue University teaches using real-life situation examples in the learning environment. Students also learn from others who are enrolled in the program and they learn from me as the instructor. The key is bringing those real-life situations to the table and discussing them collaboratively so students graduate with the knowledge they need in order to get hired and do the job successfully. With issues like global warming, these natural disasters are a reality now. So, real learning for real life is what we stand by at Bellevue University and we've been very successful with that approach.
Q: Bellevue University’s emergency management program curriculum is one of the few programs in the country that aligns with FEMA guidelines. Can you tell me why that’s important to students in terms of their career prospects? And also – why is it important for communities?
A: We reached out to FEMA to find out what skills they look for in employees when hiring professionals and that’s when we discovered a lot of those skills overlapped with our Emergency Management program. We are the only university in the United States that’s adopted the 10 skills that FEMA requires when they're looking to hire the right individual as part of our curriculum. Some of those skills include: Disaster Recovery, Strategic Planning, Budgeting and more.
Q: What kind of skills do Bellevue University adjunct faculty and instructors teaching emergency management bring to the classroom?
A: We have a cross section of professionals. We have professionals with experience in the public and/or private sector and we have those that are in the military. Our adjunct faculty and instructors have not only emergency management education, but they have experience too which means students benefit from learning from educators with real-life experience.
Q: I know you have years of experience in the security management industry. Can you tell me a little bit about your background and then tell me why someone should consider a career in security management?
A: I started my career in law enforcement in 1971, which resulted in work at the local, state, and federal levels. I joined Bellevue University in 2004 as an assistant professor and academic program director of the Security Management programs, Emergency Management programs, both undergraduate and graduate levels. I have over 25 years of public law enforcement and security experience and I’ve been an educator for many years.
To me, a career in security management is a great choice for anyone who has considered a career in law enforcement because you're basically doing the same thing that law enforcement’s doing, but you’re behind the scenes and you get to deter, detect and disseminate information and also educate people inside an organization.
Q: The world of work has changed significantly over the last 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. How has the pandemic impacted the role of security management?
A: The pandemic has enhanced the need for security management professionals. The skills students learn in our program can be used for a number of different situations and that includes the current pandemic. Students can take learning techniques and skills and adapt them to make an impact in the world.
Q: Security management students complete their degrees as part of a cohort. Can you explain how that works and what the benefit is for students?
A: The cohort program is a unique and flexible program. Students start the program with 12 other students and they know what their classes are going to be for the next 12 or 16 months depending on if it’s the undergraduate or graduate program. Our cohort programs allow for a shared learning experience where students collaborate and learn about real-life issues together.
Q: What is the most gratifying part of your role at Bellevue University?
A: Working with the students and giving them the education they need to go into the career field and utilize what they learned at Bellevue University.