Old Dominion University, in partnership with the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC), co-hosted the Homeland Defense Symposium.
The conference, held at the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC), included more than 40 representatives of federal organizations, including the U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, Fleet Forces Command, FBI and FEMA. Representatives of local and state agencies also participated.
The five-day symposium included a panel discussion by local emergency managers from Hampton Roads, including Jim Redick of Norfolk, Erin Sutton of Virginia Beach, Robb Braidwood of Chesapeake and Jared Hoernig of ODU.
VMASC researchers provided technology demonstrations to support homeland defense and Joshua Behr, research associate professor at VMASC, presented state-of-the-art research on evacuation behavior and regional stability modeling conducted for NATO. Wie Yusuf, ODU professor of public service in the Strome College of Business, also participated in the symposium.
"The research demonstrated as part of the symposium event allows us to connect ODU's infrastructure, research, and technological expertise with real-world users and applications," Yusuf said.
Erika Frydenlund, research assistant professor at VMASC, briefed participants on modeling absorption of refugees, a high-profile project sponsored by the Office of Naval Research.
This symposium was another step forward in the ODU and JFSC partnership, which has combined capabilities to educate and train defense and homeland security professionals to meet challenges and issues facing the nation.
ODU and JFSC began their affiliation in 2001 when the American Council of Education verified JFSC curriculum to be at the graduate level. The partnership agreement between JFSC and ODU was renewed in 2018.
The Homeland Defense Symposium was the third recent event co-hosted by ODU and JFSC.
"Due to the pattern of success with these engagements, we anticipate the JFSC-ODU relationship to continue to strengthen," Yusuf said.
Old Dominion University has a longstanding relationship with the military community. Approximately 25% of ODU's students are military-affiliated.