Virtual Classroom Presentation
June 7, 2000 -- 12:00 Noon EDT

What Are the Challenges of Teaching
Emergency Management On-Line?


Claire B. Rubin
Claire B. Rubin & Associates


K. Joanne McGlown, R.N, MHHA, Ph.D.
Jacksonville State University


J. P. DeMeritt
University of Houston - Clear Lake


On-line Transcript
Download Transcript (MS Word File)
Slides: 1, 2, 3

About Claire Rubin
About Joanne McGlown
About J. P. DeMeritt

Claire B. Rubin & Associates
GWU Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management
Master's Program at JSU


EIIP Classroom Online Presentation
Wednesday - June 7, 2000 - 12:00 Noon EDT

What Are the Challenges of Teaching Emergency Management On-line?

Claire Rubin
Claire Rubin & Associates

Joanne McGlown
Jacksonville State University (AL)

J. P. DeMeritt
University of Houston - Clear Lake

Avagene Moore: Moderator
EIIP Coordinator

The EIIP Virtual Classroom featured three distinguished speakers to address the topic, "What Are the Challenges of Teaching Emergency Management On-line?" The premise for the discussion was that we are aware that many colleges and universities are expanding their programs to include emergency management degree and certificate programs. Some programs are currently delivering some if not all of their emergency management courses via the Internet. The speakers respectively addressed teaching emergency management in the traditional classroom and via the Internet, and wrapped up the formal presentation with a couple of scenarios for the future of teaching emergency management online.


Claire B. Rubin & Associates

Ms. Rubin is a social scientist who is an independent consultant in the field of emergency management. She heads her own firm, Claire B. Rubin & Associates, in Arlington, VA. ( She has worked for many organizations -- private, non-profit and governmental -- during the past 22 years that she has been a consultant. Her work includes basic and applied research; the development and conduct of training programs; and the creation and operation of various information dissemination and utilization efforts regarding natural hazards and disasters.

From 1993 to present, she has been a consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office. Other recent clients include ICF Consulting; the National Academy of Public Administration; the University of Massachusetts, The George Washington University, Dept. of Engineering; and Innovative Emergency Management, Inc.

Since 1998, Ms. Rubin has been a Senior Research Associate and Professorial Lecturer at the George Washington University, Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management.

Ms. Rubin holds a Bachelor's degree from Simmons College and an M.A. from Boston University, in Political Science. She has authored more than 30 publications on hazards and disasters. In addition, she has given many lectures and talks on emergency management topics.

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Assistant Professor
Jacksonville State University

Dr. McGlown resides in central Alabama, where she is an Assistant Professor in the Master's of Public Administration (M.P.A.) - Concentration in Emergency Management program at Jacksonville State University and a healthcare strategist and management consultant to hospitals and health systems. Dr. McGlown entered the disaster and emergency field in 1971, obtaining her EMT, EMT-I, and Paramedic certifications by 1974. She is a Registered Nurse and holds degrees in Nursing (ASN), Emergency Medical Services Administration (AAS), Fire Science Administration (AAS), a BS in Sociology/Psychology, a Masters in Hospital and Health Administration (MHHA), and a doctorate (Ph.D.) in Administration of Health Services from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is also a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.

She has held numerous positions in emergency management (including Planning & Management Consultant with FEMA in the early 1980's), in Nursing (including Corporate VP of Patient Care Services for a large for-profit healthcare company and Director of Nursing for a private hospital), and healthcare administration (including hospital Chief Operating Officer, Corporate Vice-President of Acquisitions for a large healthcare company, and senior healthcare consultant for Ernst & Young). She actively participates in local disaster activities and is a member of the Volunteer Operations Staff of the Jefferson County (Birmingham area) EMA. She currently serves on the task force for chemical and hazardous materials disasters of the World Association of Emergency and Disaster Medicine, where she also serves as a member of the organization's Board of Directors for the 1998-2001 term. Dr. McGlown is a frequent speaker at regional, national and international meetings in her areas of expertise.

Dr. McGlown=s research interests include the effect of specific disasters on the delivery of hospital and health services, executive decisionmaking in the evacuation of hospitals, and healthcare system aspects of preparedness for and response to chemical and biological agents and WMD - including decontamination processes in field and hospital settings. Her work has been published in both academic and trade journals.

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Graduate Student
University of Houston

John P. DeMeritt’s interest in disasters and emergency management began early. He grew up on the Texas Gulf Coast and remembers evacuating the Texas City area for Hurricane Carla. Since then, he has trained extensively in disaster preparedness, spending 12 of his 20 years in
the U. S. Air Force as a Disaster Preparedness Technician. He wrote disaster preparedness, attack response, and hazardous materials response plans for four different bases. He has trained thousands of people in a variety of disaster preparedness subjects, including chemical warfare defense. He has responded to numerous hurricanes and typhoons at bases along the Atlantic seaboard and in the Pacific. He has served as technical advisor to installation commanders at three bases. His extensive Air Force experience has given him insight into many phases of emergency management.

Since retiring from the Air Force, Mr. DeMeritt has been active in the Greater Houston Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. He has been trained in damage assessment, mass care, emergency assistance, and liaison functions. He is currently completing a Master of Science
degree in Studies of the Future at the University of Houston – Clear Lake with a study of future training and education requirements for Canadian emergency managers. He expects to complete the study in time to graduate in December, 2000.

Mr. DeMeritt brings unique perspectives to the emergency management field, recognizing emergency managers as applied futurists. They have compelling interests in understanding how their communities’ vulnerabilities may change in the future. He wants to bring emergency
managers a greater understanding of futurists’ tools so they can effectively communicate these vulnerabilities. He recognizes the need to develop consensus among diverse peoples and to link emergency management into community visions of sustainable development and smart
growth, and feels the unique skills futurists possess are well suited to the task.

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