Homeland Security Emergency Management Program Faculty
John E. Pennington, HSEM Program Director and Associate Professor
John is a former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region X Director and founder/director of the Snohomish County, Washington Department of Emergency Management. He serves as the Director and Associate Professor of the Homeland Security Emergency Management program. John is a senior adjunct faculty member and subject matter expert for the Department of Homeland Security’s Emergency Management Institute.
Education: John holds a Master’s Degree in Emergency and Disaster Management from American Military University and is a graduate of the United States Naval Postgraduate School's Executive Leadership Program at the Center for Homeland Defense and Security. He is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) from the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) and is an inaugural graduate of FEMA’s National Emergency Management Advanced Academy (NEMAA) with the State of California.
Sarah K. Miller
Sarah is the Zone 3 Emergency Management Coordinator serving the 16 cities of south King County, Washington. Immediately prior to this position, she served as the Emergency Manager for the City of Auburn, Washington (near Seattle) for 10 years. Her career has spanned first response, training, technology, public safety communications, higher education, homeland security and emergency management. Since 2002 Sarah has been an adjunct faculty member for a number of universities including Georgetown University, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and Western Washington University.
Education: Sarah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management and Communications from Corban University and Master of Public Administration degree in Emergency Management from Jacksonville State University. She completed additional doctoral level work in public policy, homeland security, and emergency management at Walden University and was a graduate of FEMA’s first National Emergency Management Advanced Academy. She earned her CEM® designation from IAEM and is also certified as an ISO 22301 (Business Continuity Management System) Lead Implementer through PECB.
Brian Scott Preston (Scott)
Scott Preston is a career emergency management and business continuity professional with 13+ years of experience in emergency management, business continuity and emergency response (primarily EMS). Until October 2016, Scott served with the University of Washington's Emergency Management Department (UWEM) and is now the Business Continuity Program Manager with MultiCare Health System in their Emergency Management Department.
Education: Scott holds a M.A. in Emergency and Disaster Management from American Military University and is a Graduate of FEMA's National Advanced Academy. Scott is certified as a Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP) through FEMA; Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) with DRII; Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) with the International Association of Emergency Managers. He is also a Washington State Certified ICS Instructor and Associate Business Continuity Planner (ABCP) with DRII.
Paul J. McNeil
Paul has been an adjunct professor in Pierce College’s Homeland Security Emergency Management program since its inception. Following a military career, Paul embarked on a thirty-year career in emergency medical services (EMS) and emergency management (EM), starting with Pierce County EMS followed by three years developing EMS systems in Saudi Arabia. He returned to local and state government and spent the last ten years of his EMS career managing the 24/7 Emergency Operations Center for the Washington Emergency Management Division (EMD), from which he retired in 2012.
Education: Paul is an alumnus of Saint Martin's College, Gonzaga University, and the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security.
Jason is a subject matter expert on the role and impacts of HSEM in Higher Education and previously served as the Director of Safety and Emergency Management for Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas and as Emergency Management Director for Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
Jason is a national-level Department of Homeland Security instructor for the Incident Command System (ICS), Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and FEMA’s National Emergency Management Advanced Academies (NEMAA). He holds several professional certifications including the Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) from the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), the FEMA Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP) certification, and the Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute
Education: Jason holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University; M.B.A. in Business Administration from University of Phoenix; M.A. in Homeland Security from American Military University. Jason served as an officer with the United States Army, gaining his extensive experience in planning, coordination and operations prior to his retirement.
Vivian is an Emergency Management Coordinator with Thurston County Emergency Management in Olympia, Washington, first hired in 2006. She is active Army Reserves and her current position is Master Sergeant with the 448th CA BN at JBLM. As part of her military career, Vivian spent six months deployed in Haiti, leading and assisting with humanitarian assistance, which led her to seek a career in Emergency Management. She is a trained military Civil Affairs Specialist, which lends to her expertise in teaching Pierce College’s Homeland Security Emergency Management Public Information Officer (PIO) course.
Education: Vivian graduated from The Evergreen State College with a Bachelor of Arts in Juvenile Justice. She lives in Oakville, Washington on a farm with her two Tennessee Walking horses and dogs. When not working, she enjoys trail riding on her horses accompanied by her dog Libby.
Richard is an Adjunct Professor for Pierce College’s Homeland Security Emergency Management program, focusing on Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Project Management and Cyber-Technology in Homeland Security. He also serves as adjunct faculty teaching GIS and Technology in Emergency Management at Frederick Community College in Fredrick, Maryland.
Rich leverages his lengthy private and public sector experience to serve as the Special Projects Manager for the Mid-Atlantic Center for Emergency Management (MACEM). He provides planning, documentation and accountability expertise for the MACEM.
Education: Richard holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland and a Master’s of Science degree in Natural Resource Management from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. He holds professional certifications as a Project Manager Professional (PMP) and a Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP) and has Professional Land Surveying (PLS) licensures in five Mid-Atlantic States.
Robert has served as a faculty member and Program Coordinator for Pierce College’s Fire Administration Associates degree since 2013 and also serves as Adjunct Faculty for Olympic College’s Organizational Leadership program. Robert retired from the Fire Department in 2007 as a Fire Chief with 35 years of experience in emergency services. Throughout his career Robert focused on emergency management, training, and special technical teams. Robert has deployed with FEMA and is certified as a Training Unit Leader. He is also an instructor for the newly formed FEMA Corp program. As a member of the training group, he has assisted with training over 800 disaster support team members.
Education: Robert holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Workforce Education and Development and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership with a major in personnel development. Additionally he holds a graduate certificate in Non-Profit Organizational Management. Robert has been certified as a Senior Professional Human Resource Manager (SPHR).