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Student and Faculty Profiles

VCU launched the nation’s first Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (HSEP) program in 2005, and we’ve been helping students become innovative leaders in the field ever since. Below, you’ll discover stories of how our online master’s degree has empowered students to thrive in their careers and make a measured impact in the communities they serve.


VCU HSEP student James Matt Leicester stands in front of a VCU sign on campus.

James “Matt” Leicester

Emergency Management Coordinator for Chesapeake Regional Health Care

“While my experiences as a full-time professional had given me a certain breadth of understanding about emergency management, the depth of knowledge I’ve gained from the program has given me tremendous confidence.”

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VCU HSEP student Kabrina Tippett stands against a brick wall on VCU's campus.

Kabrina Tippett

Occupational Safety Specialist

“The faculty are amazing here. All of my professors have gone above and beyond in supporting and encouraging me. And those relationships don’t end when a class ends. … That’s special.”

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VCU HSEP student Kylie Stottlemyer stands in the sunlight.

Kylie Stottlemyer

Cyber & Critical Infrastructure Intelligence Analyst

“The coursework here has really strengthened my ability to network, my attention to detail and my overall communication skills.”

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VCU HSEP student Darshan Parikh

Darshan Parikh

Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator, Chesterfield County

“Not a week goes by that I don’t talk with a few of the graduates from my program by text. It’s great to know that if I need a favor or to ask advice, I have people that I can talk to.”

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VCU HSEP student Farjan Billah

Farjan Billah

Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness student

A Wilder School Spotlight on Farjan Billah who went from academic suspension as a non-degree seeking student to being admitted fully as a degree-seeking student, eventually making the Dean’s List.

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VCU HSEP student Hezha Barzani

Hezha Barzani

Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness student

Hezha Barzani, a VCU senior, has a unique perspective on the Afghanistan withdrawal.

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VCU HSEP student Jenifer Nunez

Jenifer Nunez

Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness student

How a homeland security major ended up contributing to oral health research.

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VCU HSEP student Shola Kayode

Shola Kayode

Night Shift Patrol Sergeant for VCU Police

“Students benefit from hands-on connections and real-world experience of the faculty. You’re never just learning from a textbook here.”

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VCU HSEP faculty member Benjamin Young

Benjamin Young

Assistant Professor of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

Benjamin Young explores North Korea’s history and evolving threats.

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VCU HSEP faculty member David Webber speaks to a group.

David Webber

Assistant Professor and Assistant Chair of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

David Webber explains what the motivations of terrorists teach us about Afghanistan.

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Marching in the footsteps of history up the slave trail, students are able to trace a connection to Richmond’s past.

Maureen Moslow-Benway

Assistant Professor and Program Chair of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

Maureen Moslow-Benway examines the effects of human trafficking.

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