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Idaho State University



Michael Mikitish, Director

Michael Mikitish

Department Chair Director

Office: Emergency Services Department, ISU Meridian Institute of Emergency Management


Mr. Michael Mikitish is the Department Chair of the Emergency Services Department and Director of the Institute of Emergency Management at Idaho State University-Meridian (ISU). Michael holds a Master of Science in Business Administration from Boston University, a Masters in Public Administration from Boise State University, and a Bachelors of Science in Public Administration, Criminal Justice major, from the University of Arizona. From 1982-2005, he served in the U.S. Army in a variety of positions, including Pershing missiles Platoon Commander and Operations Officer, Field Artillery Battery Commander, Combat Maneuver Training Center Observer Controller, Field Artillery Instructor, Battalion Executive Officer, Division Fire Support Coordinator, Training Support Battalion Commander, and Professor of Military Science. Michael also owns a IT Cloud Service business with his son providing Cloud and Network Services to small and medium business across the US.

Adjunct Faculty

Fred Abt

Fred Abt

Retired, Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security

Fred is the former Deputy Director of Operations for Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security and has extensive experience in all aspects of Interagency and Multi National operations including operational and campaign planning to include Operational Net Assessment (ONA) type processes and Defense Support to Civilian Agencies (DSCA) from tactical through Alliance/Coalition Command; 30+ years’ experience conducting assessments, planning, and executing complex foreign and domestic operations involving interagency, military (both USC Titles 10 and 32), non-governmental and private sector entities; significant experience in assessing and coordinating interagency emergency preparedness plans and actual operations at state, regional, and national levels; Significant experience in Unified Command and Component Operations to include information collection, threat assessments, and Intelligence in a multinational, interagency operational environment; Significant experience as a Defense Coordinating Officer on multiple emergency operations; Significant experience in Disaster Management at the State level in coordination with: FEMA; Army Corps of Engineers and other Federal partners; State and jurisdictional elected and appointed officials; State Agencies and jurisdictional first responders.

Fred received a Master of Arts from National Security and Strategic Studies US Naval War College; a Master of Military Arts and Science, US Army Command and General Staff College School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS), and a Master of Science, Business Administration from University of Northern Colorado.


Katina Blue

Katina Blue

Katina has an extensive background in IT leadership in state government that reaches 22 years. Her background includes working for agencies such as Division of Facility Services, Division of Aging, Department of Transportation, Office of Information Technology (now DIT), and NC State University.  Katina has served in roles as IT Program Manager, Director of Business Continuity and IT Disaster Recovery, IT Manager, IT Security Specialist, Project Manager, Business Analyst, Applications Development, and Database Administrator. During her 15 years at NC State University, she authored and was awarded on behalf of the institution of over $900,000 in federal grants in the area of emergency preparedness and Cybersecurity.   Katina holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Emergency Management, Doctorate in Educational Leadership with concentration in Higher Education, and is a candidate for Master of Business Administration (MBA) from NC State University in the Spring of 2017. Katina teaches online courses for Central Carolina Community College, Idaho State University, and is also an adjunct instructor for FEMA.

sherri copeland

Sherri Copeland

Sherri has worked for the Texas Division of Emergency Management for the past nine years. She spent six years in Field Response as a District Coordinator. During this time she was responsible for seven counties in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex, she responded to numerous disasters including devastating wildfires, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes. She also responded to the Ebola crisis in Dallas, the West Texas fertilizer plant explosion and was integral part of Super Bowl XLV in Arlington.

Sherri is currently the Section Administrator over Recovery and Mitigation in Houston for the Texas Division of Emergency Management. She oversees the Recovery and Mitigation programs for thirty five counties with a population of over seven million people, the fifth-largest metropolitan area in the United States. She oversees the recovery and mitigation for Hurricane Ike and six other federally declared disasters.

Sherri has a Bachelor’s in Emergency Administration and Planning from the University of North Texas in Denton Texas and a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in International Administration and Development from the University of Texas in Arlington Texas. She is a Certified Emergency Manager, Certified Texas Emergency Manager, and a Master Exercise Practitioner.

In her spare time she enjoys kayaking and attending sporting events with her teenage daughter, and soon to be husband.


Cathy Deckys

Cathy Deckys, MS, RN, COHN-SNC

Clinical Instructor

Office: BSU School of Nursing, Idaho

Cathy Deckys joined the Boise State University School of Nursing clinical faculty in 2010 upon becoming the first graduate of the Master of Science in nursing program. She brings with her 35 years of clinical practice, half of which was dedicated to her field of specialty in occupational health and public health. She has worked for two Fortune 500 companies in the Seattle area, providing nursing services for occupational and non-occupational illness and injury. She has developed employee wellness programs, ergonomic training, and emergency response teams.

Her family life boasts of four grown children; two in Seattle, two in Boise. She has a retired husband who loves anthropology, one Jack Russell and four adopted cats. Her alter ego is a dancer who dreamed of Broadway but ended up choreographing aerobics programs. She loves to hike, paint and garden. Humor is critical to life.

Lewis Eakins

Lewis Eakins PhD, CPP

Director of Public Safety

Office: Idaho State University, Idaho

Dr. Eakins has served as the Director of Public Safety at Idaho State University since 2015 with overall responsibilities for patrol operations, the dispatch center, parking enforcement, CCTV systems, Bengal card, and emergency management. Prior to joining Idaho State University, Dr. Eakins served as the Chief of Police at Oakwood University in Huntsville, AL; as a Captain with the METRO Transit Police in Houston, TX; and as the Assistant Chief of Police at Texas Southern University, also in Houston, TX.

Dr. Eakins is board certified (CPP) in Security Management by ASIS International, as well as being certified by FEMA as a Professional Continuity Practitioner (PCP). Dr. Eakins has also received the Certified Emergency Manager designation by the Alabama Association of Emergency Managers. He has attended numerous law enforcement and emergency management training courses and recently graduated from FEMA’s National Emergency Management Executive Academy Cohort II. Dr. Eakins has held leadership positions at the state and national levels in security, law enforcement, and emergency management trade associations. He has presented nationally and internationally at conferences on the topics of workplace violence, disaster preparedness, active shooter survival, and leadership.

Dr. Eakins has undergraduate degrees in Police Science and Criminal Justice; a M.S. degree in Security Management; and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration with a concentration in Homeland Security Policy and Coordination. His research interests are in academic continuity, public safety leadership, and the convergence of law enforcement and emergency management.


Judson Freed

Judson Freed


Office: Ramsey County Emergency Management, Minnesota

Judd Freed is has more than 25 years’ experience in Emergency Management, Homeland Security, community risk, resilience and operational continuity, and research protection in the academic, private, and public sectors. He has created and expanded innovative and successful Emergency Management programs at the University of Minnesota - where he served as Director - and as a private consultant. For the past decade, he has served (and continues to serve) as Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security for one of the nation's most densely populated large urban counties.

Judd is a frequent presenter at conferences throughout the US, and a regular guest lecturer on issues of public sector risk and ethics in an age of terrorism at colleges and universities, and is regularly sought out be local media. He is also active in issues pertaining to the structure of Homeland Security and the implications to, and impact on, local communities and government. He has provided expert testimony to the Minnesota State Legislature and the United States Congress.

Judd serves as Vice Chair of the Justice and Public Safety Committee, Subcommittee on Homeland Security and Emergency Management at the National Association of Counties; Government Affairs Committee Chair for the Association of Minnesota Emergency Managers; member of the Government Affairs Committee of the International Association of Emergency Mangers-USA Council, and helped write the ANSI-approved Emergency Management Standard by EMAP as a member of the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) Technical Committee and EMAP Commissioner.

In addition to the "standard" certification courses for professional Emergency Managers in the USA, Judd is a graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College Homeland Security Planner program and the DeBecker Advanced Threat Assessment and Management Academy. Judd holds a Management Certificate from the Carlson School of Management; a BA in US History from the University of Minnesota, and a Masters of Art in Security Studies (Homeland Defense and Security) from the Naval Postgraduate School, where his Thesis - "No Failure of Imagination: Examining the Foundational Flaws In America's Homeland Security Enterprise" was selected as a finalist for Outstanding Thesis in 2011.

Mark Haigwood

Mark Haigwood

Public Health Preparedness Pgm Mgr 2

Office: Central District Health Department (CDHD), Idaho

Mark is the Program Manager for the Public Health Preparedness Program at Central District Health Department. Mark is responsible for all emergency response activities, emergency operations planning, and grants management to ensure the readiness of the Health District to respond to all public health emergencies and disasters.

Mark is a former United States Army First Sergeant with 24 years of service and multiple deployments around the world. He has 30 years of operations, contingency planning, and disaster management experience at all levels of military, health care, and local emergency management.

Mark earned his M.A. in History from Eastern Washington University and his B.S. in History from Northern Arizona University.


Dave hanneman

Dave Hanneman

Fire Chief

Office: Idaho Falls Fire Department, Idaho

In October, 2014, Dave became the new fire chief of Idaho Falls Fire Department. Hanneman has more than 30 years of experience in firefighting and emergency medical services.  In 2008, he became the fire chief of the City of Chula Vista where he implemented a new paramedic program and developed a fire facility master plan.  He started his career in 1984 with the Cole-Collister Fire District in Boise.  He transferred to Boise Fire Department in 1988 where he worked for 21 years and achieved the rank of deputy chief

Hanneman holds an AA and BA in fire service technology from Boise State Universaity and a MA in professional technical education from the Universaity of Idaho.  He served as president of the San Diego County Fire Chief’s Association from 2011-2014.  In 2008 he was designated chief fire officer from the Center for Public Safety Excellence.  He has provided instruction in  many areas of fire and EMS services including leaadership, incident management, National Incident Management System, incident stress management and public information.  


David Jackson

David Jackson

Lead Critical Infrastructure Protection Planner

Office: Dept of Public Safety, Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division, Texas

David Jackson brings seventeen years of experience in the field of emergency management and homeland security to the classroom. The practical experience that Mr. Jackson shares with the class spans many programmatic areas within the emergency management discipline.

Dave is currently the Lead Critical Infrastructure Protection Planner for the Texas Department of Public Safety, Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division. Prior to joining the Texas Department of Public Safety, Dave spent fifteen years with the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security. During his tenure with the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security, Dave worked in emergency planning and preparedness, training and exercise program management, hazard mitigation, and critical infrastructure protection, and in the Idaho State Emergency Operations Center. He has responded to numerous local, state and federal disasters and hazardous materials incidents. His experience includes experience with core functions to include emergency planning, risk and vulnerability analysis, grant management, risk management and strategic planning. Prior to joining the State of Idaho, Dave worked at the FEMA National Processing Center in Denton, TX.

Mr. Jackson holds a M.A. in Homeland Security and Defense Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School and a B.S. in Emergency Administration and Disaster Planning from the University of North Texas. He has served on multiple focus groups and special working groups for FEMA throughout his career. Mr. Jackson has completed FEMA’s Professional Development Series and Applied Practices Series of courses. He has held certifications as a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) through the Association of State Floodplain Managers and as a Master Trainer through FEMA. He received the Idaho Distinguished Service Medal. Mr. Jackson is also active in several professional organizations to include the International Association of Emergency Managers.

Robert Jaffin

Robert Jaffin

Over 30 years of expertise and leadership in online and adult education development and management. Roberts’s strengths include Emergency Management, Hazmat Transportation, Logistics, and online learning and Adult Distance Education.

Robert has authored Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) Life Cycle Management: Corporate, Community, and Organizational Planning and Preparedness textbook, published numerous articles, presents and lectures at conferences and trainings.

He earned his Executive MBA, Business, from Suffolk University and BS, Business, from Southern New Hampshire University.

Robert A. Littrell

Robert A. Littrell

Emergency Management Planner/Analyst

Office: Boise State University Security & Police Services, Idaho

Rob is the Emergency Management and Continuity of Operations Planner/Analyst for Boise State. He reports to the Executive Director of University Security and Police Services. Prior to coming to the university, Rob was the Emergency Operations Center Manager at Ada City-County Emergency Management along with managing the Training & Exercises Plan for Ada County. He is responsible for coordinating all university emergency response activities (including emergency notification), reviewing/updating the university emergency operations plan, managing the university continuity of operations plans, and any additional emergency management functions ensuring all Boise State departments are best prepared for any major emergencies and/or disasters.

A former United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel with more than 4,200 flight hours on the E-3A/B/C (AWACS) and several deployments across the globe, Rob has more than 20 years of emergency and contingency planning experience at all levels in both military and local emergency management communities. He has a master of science in military operational science from Air University and a bachelor’s degree in music marketing from the University of Texas at San Antonio. The proud father of two children (11 and 14 y/o), Rob spends his off campus time running and mountain biking in the Boise Foothills and exploring Idaho and the Pacific Northwest.

Ralph W. Powell

Ralph W. Powell

Colonel / Director

Office: Idaho State Police, idaho

Powell, a 30+ year ISP veteran, was appointed as the Idaho State Police director and elevated to the rank of colonel, in March 2013. Prior to that he was the deputy director since January 2012. Powell has an associate’s degree from what now is Brigham Young University-Idaho, a bachelor’s degree in pre-law from Brigham Young University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Boise State University. He started his law enforcement career as a police officer for the City of Boise in 1983. He became an Idaho State Police trooper based in Pocatello that same year and worked his way up the ranks as a sergeant, regional commander, forensic and police services commander, area operations commander and deputy director and director.

Darren Price

Darren Price, MA, MEP

EMA Exercise Program Manager, MEP

Office: Ohio Emergency Management Agency (OEMA), Ohio

Mr. Darren Price has over 30 years of government service, including the past 15+ years as an emergency manager where he currently serves as a regional operations supervisor. Prior to his transfer to emergency management, Darren served as a correction officer and assistant special response team commander with the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. He has served as a member of numerous national-level preparedness exercise committees, addressing topics such as the National Standard Exercise Curriculum and providing policy input into the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program. Darren is also a veteran of the U.S. Army, where he served as an Intelligence Analyst in the United States and Germany.

Mr. Price has presented at the National Training and Exercise Conference in Emmitsburg, Maryland and participated as a panelist at the National Grants and Training Conference in Washington, DC. He has also presented at the Homeland Security Summit in Arlington, Virginia, the Michigan Homeland Security Summit, and most recently at an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Seminar at the University of Cincinnati. He has also participated on a discussion panel for the National Terrorism Preparedness Institute’s Live Response broadcast. Darren currently serves as a member of the Academic Advisory Council for the Emergency and Disaster Management Program curriculum at Ohio Christian University Darren has a Master of Arts degree in Security Studies (Homeland Defense and Security) from the Naval Postgraduate School, where his thesis, Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Emergency Management: A Guide for Policy Makers and Practitioners, was an outstanding thesis award nominee. Darren graduated Summa Cum Laude from Ohio Christian University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (concentrations in Organizational Leadership and the Criminal Justice field). He has completed FEMA’s Professional Development Series and Advanced Professional Series programs and has earned the certificate title of Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP) from FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI).

steve raddatz police officer

Steve Raddatz

Retired, Deputy Chief, Boise National Forest

Steve is a 37-year veteran of municipal and wildland fire who retired as Deputy Chief of the Boise National Forest. Steve served on National Incident Management Teams in the capacity of incident commander, planning section chief, and operations section chief.

Steve earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and English from Boise State University.  


Eugene Smith

Eugene Smith

Office: Deputy Chief, Boise Police Department

19-year veteran of the department and was promoted in March 2015 to Deputy Chief. He has spent 26 years total in law enforcement, is well-versed in Homeland Security and disaster response, and was a founding member of Multi-Agency Coordination for Law Enforcement team, a group that focus on regular training and teamwork for first responders.

Eugene has worked in multiple roles within the department throughout his career, including the domestic violence unit, gang enforcement, criminal intelligence, drug recognition, field training and community policing.

Lisa Spanberger

Lisa Bisterfeldt (Spanberger)

Healthcare Liaison

Office: St. Luke's Health System, Disaster Preparedness Officer

Lisa Bisterfeldt (Spanberger) has a Bachelors in Health Science from Boise State University and a Master's of Public Health from Idaho State University.  Lisa has worked in Disaster Preparedness in the government sector as well as the private sector and utilizes real world experience in each of her lectures.  Lisa worked within the Public Health Preparedness Program for Central District Health in Boise, Idaho for four years.  She began as the Training and Exercise Coordinator and Medical Reserve Corps Volunteer Coordinator.  Within this role she coordinated multiple trainings as well as planned and executed numerous drills, large scale table top exercises, and multiple full scale exercises.  Lisa transitioned into the Healthcare Liaison role within the program supporting hospital and healthcare facilities concerning medical surge and continuity planning as well as coordinating facility specific and community wide exercise.  Lisa is currently the Disaster Preparedness Officer for the western region of the St. Luke's Health System in Idaho.   Her responsibilities include disaster planning, training, and exercises for the eight facilities within her jurisdiction.  Lisa is the past secretary of both the Idaho VOAD organization and the Boise County Local Emergency Planning Committee.  In her spare time she enjoys spending time in Donnelly, Idaho snow skiing in the winter and hiking in Idaho's national forests in the fall and summer months.

Robin Thompson

Robin Thompson

Robin is a Master Exercise Practitioner, ICS instructor, former Terrorism Response Trainer/Plans Coordinator for the State of Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management; Emergency Management Coordinator for the University of Minnesota; and Emergency Manager for Rock County Emergency Management.

In preparing the next generation of emergency managers Robin not only presents pertinent academic information, she also strives to provide opportunities for the development of communication and problem solving skills. Beyond the challenges associated with the nature of emergency management, emergency managers must also be aware of the potential complexities of an evolving profession. Private and public entities now realize the value of a well-developed emergency management program within their organization and are investing in emergency management positions. Emergency management professionals must be prepared to develop and maintain working relationships with a wide scope of people, from volunteers at a local non-profit to elected and appointed government officials.

Robin earned her Bachelor of Arts, Organizational Management and Leadership from Concordia University-St Paul.

Kedrick Wills

Kedrick Wills

Lieutenant Colonel/Deputy Director

Office: Idaho State Police, Idaho

Kedrick Wills started his law enforcement career as an officer in his hometown police department of Glenns Ferry in 1994. He was soon hired as a Spanish bilingual police officer by Nampa Police Department in 1995. He then joined the Idaho State Police in January of 1996 and was stationed in District 4 as a Resident Trooper in the Burley/Rupert area. In 2002, Lt. Colonel Wills was promoted to Sergeant and was stationed in District 2, with district offices in Lewiston. In 2004 he was promoted to Lieutenant and was assigned to ISP headquarters in Meridian where he oversaw the background process for new employees, the Executive Protection Unit, and ISP’s Honor Guard. In 2006, Kedrick was promoted to the rank of Captain and was assigned again to District 4 as the District Commander with district offices in Jerome. In 2010 he was promoted to Major and assigned to headquarters as the Police Services Commander over Forensics Services, Criminal Justice Information Systems and the Bureau of Criminal Identification. In January of 2012, Lt. Colonel Wills was transferred into operations as the Area Commander over Districts 4, 5 and 6, which includes most of the southern portion of the state, as well as, Commercial Vehicle Services, Training, and ISP’s two Regional Communications Centers. In April of 2013, Colonel Ralph Powell appointed Kedrick Wills to serve as the deputy director of the Idaho State Police and holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Kedrick was awarded ISP’s Silver Star in 1997 for heroism and bravery.

Wills holds a Master’s degree in Training and Development from Idaho State University, a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resource Training and Development, also from Idaho State University, and an Associate of Arts degree from the College of Southern Idaho. Wills is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia and has enjoyed being a part of the ISU adjunct faculty corps for the past several years at Idaho State University. Wills and his wife, Johanna, have three daughters and one son.

About The Program

Given the current interest and changing landscape in emergency management training, much effort regionally and nationally, has been focused upon higher education programs. Idaho State University’s Associate of Science and Bachelor of Science Degree in Emergency Management place emphasis upon the needs of first responder professionals at the city, county, state, and national levels.

Degree Options

At A Glance

  • General education courses do not have to be completed prior to enrollment in Emergency Management courses.
  • All Emergency Management core and non-core courses are taught online.
  • Courses will be taught online using Collaborate and Moodle.

Program Requirements

  • Students must complete 38 credits of general education courses in order to satisfy the degree requirements.
  • Students will need a computer that has 20 MB of free disk space, a soundcard with speakers, a microphone or headset, and at least a 28.8 kbps internet connection.

Program/Class Fees

Fees apply to the current Idaho State University fee schedule which includes mandatory student health insurance.

A $35 per credit fee is assessed for each class using Collaborate.

Paying for College

You may apply for financial aid, scholarships, grants, and loans to help finance your college education. When you pay registration fees, you are a student of Idaho State University with the privileges and responsibilities of a college student.

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921 S. 8th

Stop 8055

Pocatello, ID 83209-8055


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