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  • Norwich's Men's Cross Country Coach Michael McGrane named GNAC Coach of the Year after championship season

    Norwich's Men's Cross Country Coach Michael McGrane named GNAC Coach of the Year after championship season

    • Athletics News
  • Applications are open for the June 2023 GenCyber Teacher Training Camp.

    Applications are open for the June 2023 GenCyber Teacher Training Camp.

    • Special Events
  • Norwich University's Dr. Rachele Pojednic featured in Eating Well article on the health benefits of celery.

    Norwich University's Dr. Rachele Pojednic featured in Eating Well article on the health benefits of celery.

    • Norwich In The News
  • Norwich Men's & Women's Basketball host the 25th Ed Hockenbury Classic Dec. 2 - 4 in Andrews Hall.

    Norwich Men's & Women's Basketball host the 25th Ed Hockenbury Classic Dec. 2 - 4 in Andrews Hall.

    • Athletics News
  • The 2022 Journal of Peace and War Studies is published by the Norwich's John and Mary Frances Patton Peace & War Center.

    The 2022 Journal of Peace and War Studies is published by the Norwich's John and Mary Frances Patton Peace & War Center.

    • University Publications
  • 'So Much to be Thankful for'

    'So Much to be Thankful for'

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Norwich students meet with FEMA in Boston

Hurricanes occur with increasing frequency, requiring planning and preparedness. Most people focus on individual responses – how will family and friends remain safe, how will the house be protected, what will happen if food and water are in limited supply. With support from the College of Liberal Arts, Peace & War Center, and University Honors Program, a group of twelve Norwich students traveled to Boston to focus on the Hurricane Peter scenario. The Boston Policy Excursion challenged their thinking beyond the individual impacts of a hurricane to address disaster preparedness and response more broadly.

Students from seven majors representing the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Professional Schools participated to lend a multidisciplinary perspective that mirrors a real work environment. For three days, students were in Boston with faculty from Political Science and Criminal Justice to visit federal and state institutions that address emergency management at state and regional levels.

Boston Policy Excursion group photo

During the trip, students learned about federalism, emergency response, and institutional cooperation. Two key agencies that framed the trip were the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Federal Emergency Response Agency (FEMA). Students toured secure bunkers meant to withstand the worst of natural disasters and heard from emergency response experts. Students also visited a pair of law enforcement agencies – Massachusetts State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Law enforcement agents discussed how state and federal agencies partner to address a range of issues.

Boston Policy Excursion group photo

The US Coast Guard lent a new perspective on coastal support and the management of hazardous materials entering the United States. Lastly, the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency helped students identify vulnerable infrastructure and methods of risk assessment, skills important beyond emergency response.

Visits were made possible because of Norwich alumni working in these institutions. Alumni helped organize tours and schedule speakers so students could ask questions that informed their hurricane scenario. Each day, students would receive new information about the progress of the hurricane that would shape their conversations with practitioners. Students were split into two teams and on the final day, each team presented their hurricane planning and response plan to FEMA administrators that provided questions and critiques. Teams defended their plans and expanded on the real-world consequences of their decisions when responding.

News reports in Massachusetts identified Hurricane Peter as a Category 3 event moving up the eastern cost. When the hurricane makes landfall, it is anticipated to cause significant damage to coastal areas and move inland, leading to substantial flooding and damage to infrastructure.

FFEMA identified the team that best addressed issues of preparedness and response. The winning team had time to discuss their trip with the President’s Chief of Staff who is the coordinator for Norwich’s emergency response plan and the Provost. Students discussed the importance of the trip, learning objectives, the value of a multidisciplinary approach to problem solving, and their engagement with alumni.

“…this trip also showed me the importance of having a team made up of people who are all empowered to reach the same goal as you and that you can trust to put in the same amount of effort to reach that goal. Coming from different backgrounds that didn’t relate to each other allowed us all to showcase our own knowledge and showed us that we needed to trust and rely on what our team members brought forth.” -Alyssa Brink 23’ Architectural Studies (Major), Construction Management (Minor)

“One of the main objectives of this trip was for students to apply the knowledge they gained by visiting the agencies in crafting a response for a simulation. Perhaps, this was the component that most benefited us academically since it required acquiring data and critically using it in the scenario we were given. The simulation engaged us in teamwork, which was highlighted as a key feature of any work done by federal and state agencies…. These experiences highlighted the importance of communication and how different actors can contribute to a common goal.” -Greyce Kelly Camargo Silva 23’ Political Science (Major), Psychology (Minor)

Boston Policy Excursion group photo

 “Attention to detail was a value the Boston Policy Excursion added to my academic study. Throughout the trip, we were tasked with observing and understanding the organizations in front of us, especially trying to grasp the concept of emergency management and how it is so much more than it sounds. I found myself in a whirlwind of information that I needed to distinguish what would be relevant to the task and what team 1 needed to do before, during, and after Hurricane Peter.” - Morgan Butcher 23’ Criminal Justice (Major), Sociology (Minor)

“The Boston Policy Excursion was a one-of-a-kind chance to receive hands-on learning on a fascinating subject that I had only been just introduced to. As a cybersecurity and criminal justice major, a trip with a focus on government response and policy writing seemed somewhat unrelated to my current studies, but the careful planning of the event allowed me to not only understand the topic but to make connections between the topic and my field of study through an immersive experience.” - Brendan Coyne 25’ Computer Security and Information Assurance and Criminal Justice (Dual Major), Leadership Studies (Minor)

Boston Policy Excursion group photo

“This trip also opened my mind to other careers I could pursue rather than only a military career. During my time in the FEMA facility and with the simulation, I was amazed by all of the different working parts that go into helping state-level emergency management with a disaster… One of my most significant takeaways was noticing how our speakers spoke about their respective team members. All of our speakers spoke very highly of their fellow team members, and they explained how their teams worked. Everyone we met held themselves confidently and had a great connection with each other, which is something that not all work environments develop. Seeing this made me hope for a similar setting in my future work because it is an environment that helps build bonds and makes communication smooth.” - Isabella Ross 25’ International Studies and Criminal Justice (Dual Major), Political Science (Minor)

* * *

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in baccalaureate and graduate degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu

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Norwich News

  • All
  • Alumni News
  • Athletics
  • Athletics News
  • Breaking News
  • Campus Life
  • Faculty News
  • Leadership
  • Norwich In Photos
  • Norwich In The News
  • Norwich In The News
  • Norwich On The Road
  • President's Message
  • Service
  • Special Events
  • Student Experience
  • Student Life
  • Student Success
  • University Publications
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • Norwich's Men's Cross Country Coach Michael McGrane named GNAC Coach of the Year after championship season

    Norwich's Men's Cross Country Coach Michael McGrane named GNAC Coach of the Year after championship season

    • Athletics News
  • Applications are open for the June 2023 GenCyber Teacher Training Camp.

    Applications are open for the June 2023 GenCyber Teacher Training Camp.

    • Special Events
  • Norwich University's Dr. Rachele Pojednic featured in Eating Well article on the health benefits of celery.

    Norwich University's Dr. Rachele Pojednic featured in Eating Well article on the health benefits of celery.

    • Norwich In The News
  • Norwich Men's & Women's Basketball host the 25th Ed Hockenbury Classic Dec. 2 - 4 in Andrews Hall.

    Norwich Men's & Women's Basketball host the 25th Ed Hockenbury Classic Dec. 2 - 4 in Andrews Hall.

    • Athletics News
  • The 2022 Journal of Peace and War Studies is published by the Norwich's John and Mary Frances Patton Peace & War Center.

    The 2022 Journal of Peace and War Studies is published by the Norwich's John and Mary Frances Patton Peace & War Center.

    • University Publications
  • 'So Much to be Thankful for'

    'So Much to be Thankful for'

    • President's Message
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