International Association of Emergency Managers
IAEM@UD is a University of Delaware student chapter of the International Association of Emergency Managers, a professional organization devoted to advancing the art and science of emergency management. In keeping with the principles of a profession, emergency management blends theory and practice for addressing urgent social problems related to risk, hazard, and disaster. IAEM@UD undertakes a number of educational and service-oriented activities in four main areas: contributions to the profession, enhancing student education and professional development, contributions to the national organization, and community service.
Contributions to the Profession
Much of the knowledge base on disasters was developed in quick response research , and our members are very much a part of that tradition. The chapter established an annual Quick Response Field Research Workshop, playing an important role in passing along methods and principles of this research method to rising scholars.
Our speaker series brings in practitioners and researchers from the private, nonprofit, volunteer, and government sectors to engage with students on issues in emergency management – a chapter initiative that supplements members’ coursework, and offers opportunities for networking. During the Disaster Research Center’s 50th Anniversary Workshop, the chapter organized a networking event that introduced students to leading researchers and practitioners in the disaster research and management community from about the world, gathered to take stock of the current state of science, and identify directions for future research. At this event, students gained new mentors and built professional ties with people on the cutting edge of research and practice in disaster management.
Contribution to IAEM
Our chapter members are also actively involved within the national IAEM organization. In addition to student attendance and volunteering at the national IAEM annual conference, four of our members have served as student representatives on the national IAEM University and Colleges Caucus, or have served on the Caucus in the past. Overall, chapter members are committed to increasing IAEM’s presence in the community as well as supporting its operations at the national level.
Enhancing Student Education and Professional Development
The chapter supports students in multiple ways. First, the chapter has invited current students to speak as a part of the speaker series based on their professional or educational experience. Similarly, opportunities to serve on the board in officer positions or as committee chairs, or taking on such responsibilities as coordinating service activities, provides members with ways to develop new or to hone existing skills in ways that also contribute to the growth of the broader chapter membership. The chapter has invited a speaker to lead students in a copyright workshop, to allow students to make informed decisions about what kind of rights they want to maintain on their research as they submit their theses and dissertations to the university in preparation for graduation. The chapter has also developed close relationships with faculty in multiple departments who support the students by both attending and participating in chapter events and promoting those events to other students in their classes.
Though composed of graduate students, the chapter is committed to supporting undergraduate students interested in entering the emergency management and disaster research field. All of the chapter’s events are open to undergraduate students. In the past, undergraduate students have taken advantage of opportunities such as the Quick Response Field Research Training Workshop. Additionally, the chapter supports undergraduate events. For instance, IAEM@UD has cosponsored multiple screenings of undergraduate produced documentaries examining areas of disaster vulnerability and development. Through these efforts, members have developed mentor relationships with undergraduates from social science and engineering fields, serving as resources regarding information about graduate school and connecting students with colleagues in the field for employment and internship opportunities.